Chief Executive Officer, Founder and Director
Geoffrey McFarlane has served as our Chief Executive Officer since May 2018 and as a director since August 2011, building Winc into a vertically integrated winery. As a serial entrepreneur, Mr. McFarlane has a versatile background as a founder, executive and advisor for a wide variety of companies. In 2011, Mr. McFarlane co-founded Winc and served as the company’s chief operating officer from August 2011 to January 2018 before becoming the chief executive officer. Prior to Winc, he was founder and chief executive officer of a restaurant and hotel group, Pizza Republica and the Jet Hotel, with seven locations and over 200 employees, from May 2004 until April 2012. Mr. McFarlane also serves as a director of several private companies, including Amass Brands Inc., a botanical beverage and personal care product company, since January 2017, Voyage SMS Inc., an ecommerce mobile messaging platform, since February 2018 and Westbound and Down Inc., a Colorado brewpub, since December 2015. In 2013, Mr. McFarlane filed a voluntary petition for personal bankruptcy under Chapter 7 of the United States Bankruptcy Code in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Colorado. The resulting case was closed in 2016.
President, Founder and Chairperson of the Board of Directors
Brian Smith has served as our President since May 2018 and as Chairperson of the Board of Directors since June 2020. Mr. Smith combines his years of experience as a sommelier, winemaker, brand builder, and entrepreneur to oversee what we believe is the world’s most innovative and culturally relevant wine program. Prior to Winc, Mr. Smith founded Jolie Folle, a millennial focused wine brand, which he sold the company in 2017. Before that, he served as Wine Director of Clo Wine Bar. Mr. Smith began his career in finance at Man Group PLC and founded his first company, Meritage Group, a Virgin Islands based commodities brokerage that catered to hedge funds and commodity traders, in 2004. Mr. Smith graduated from the University of Vermont with a bachelor’s degree in Cultural Anthropology.
General Counsel and Chief Strategy Officer
Matthew Thelen has served as our General Counsel since October 2014 and Chief Strategy Officer since April 2021. He leads the Company’s corporate strategy and financing initiatives and any special projects that fall outside the typical business remit. As General Counsel, he oversees all Winc legal matters, including beverage regulatory compliance, corporate, commercial transactional, intellectual property, consumer protection, employment, litigation and privacy practice areas. Previously, Mr. Thelen was an intellectual property strategy and valuation professional for Ocean Tomo, a San Francisco based merchant bank, and an attorney at Collins, Collins, Muir & Stewart. He received a Bachelor of Economics from the University of San Diego and a Juris Doctorate and Masters of Business Administration from the University of Notre Dame.
Chief Financial Officer
Carol Brault has served as our Chief Financial Officer since April 2021. Previously, Ms. Brault served as our Vice President of Finance from February 2018 to April 2021. Before joining Winc, Ms. Brault was Accounting Director at The Honest Company, a consumer products company that supplies baby, personal, beauty and home products for ethical consumerism. Prior to that, she served as Controller for Bare Escentuals from 2013 until 2016 and held leadership roles in several prominent multi-national companies, including Bath & Body Works, LBrands, The Longaberger Company and Honda of America Manufacturing, Inc. Additionally, her extensive career includes consulting on financial and organization guidance for various companies ranging from start-up and mid-size businesses to multimillion-dollar organizations. Ms. Brault has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration/Accounting from The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business.
Chief Operating Officer
Erin Green has served as our Chief Operating Officer since April 2021, and is responsible for all operational functions of the business and the strategic vision of Winc’s national wholesale team. Ms. Green previously served as our Vice President of Operations from December 2018 until April 2021 where she built our wholesale distribution channel and scaled our sales team in addition to overseeing all day-to-day operations and the winemaking team. Prior to that she held the Director of Operations role from January 2015 until November 2017 focused on primarily on optimization of our warehousing, logistics, shipping and packaging. Previous to Winc, Erin worked at LivingSocial overseeing all deal operations and ran point on the Amazon partnership. Ms. Green has a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from Indiana University.