About Smoke

 

Smoke Wallin

Experienced CEO, Business Builder, Advisor and Company Director

Smoke Wallin is a highly accomplished CEO, entrepreneur, thought leader and board member with more than 25 years of success across the consumer products, alcohol beverage, distribution and technology industries.  His broad areas of expertise include start-ups, branding, marketing innovation, distribution, transformational leadership, sales and business growth. He has extensive experience in regulated industries at the local, state and federal level.

After studying the legal medical cannabis industry and recognizing the eventual convergence between legal cannabis and the alcohol beverage industry, Smoke sought out the right company to back with the right team and best opportunity to become the market leader. He joined Vertical in January 2018 as a partner and President, overseeing Distribution, Sales and Marketing as well as the company’s Investor relations, capital formation and acquisitions. With the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp became federally legal in the US.  In anticipation of that, Smoke and the Vertical team formed Vertical Wellness, Inc. to pursue the hemp and CBD business globally.  He now also serves as Chairman & CEO of Vertical Wellness and Vice Chairman of Vertical’s Multi-State Operator (MSO) and V. Brands Management (IP Holding Co).  Smoke also serves on the boards of two publicly traded companies, First Strike Resources “Vencanna” and Global Lifestyle Brands. Both companies trade on the Canadian Stock Exchange.

Throughout his entrepreneurial career, Smoke has founded and built multiple companies and brands including Taliera, a strategic brand company that advises, creates, incubates, introduces and grows brands and companies (Beach Whiskey; American Harvest Organic Vodka; Napa Smith Brewery, Sugar Skull Rum and dozens more), and eSkye Solutions, the leading provider of ecommerce solutions and national account pricing solutions to the industry handling millions of price files for Walmart, Walgreens and others for the largest suppliers in the Spirits and Wine. Early on, Smoke helped build National Wine & Spirits (now RNDC/Young’s) into one of the largest distributors of beer, wine and spirits in the US with over $1 billion in beverage sales, 1500 employees and 350 trucks serving more than 36,000 retail accounts.  Smoke’s clients and partners have included 100s of distribution, wine, spirits, beer and non-alcoholic beverage clients globally. He has raised ~$500 million in debt and equity, publicly and privately for his own and client companies. He has acquired, invested in and/or sold dozens of brands and companies and has coached numerous start-ups, CEOs and workout situations to create meaningful value for stakeholders.

Smoke served as Chairman & President of the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) and Chairman of the Global Beer Wine & Spirits Network for the Young President Organization and serves on the executive board for the YPO Hospitality Network with over 3,000 CEOs. He also served as Chairman of the Board for Junior Achievement of Indiana and the Experiential Learning & Entrepreneurship Foundation (ELEF). Smoke also served as President of the Vanderbilt University Business School Alumni Board.  A seasoned Board Member of public and private companies, he has also won several awards, including the EY Entrepreneur Award in 2001, IBJ’s “Forty under 40”, and the Vanderbilt Business “Distinguished Alumni Award” in 1998. He currently serves on the American Freedom Fund’s Advisory Board whose mission is “to empower Veterans through athletic, educational, and advocacy programs in Washington, D.C. and across America.”

He regularly appears in business media including on CNBC’s Fast Money, Fox Business, CNN’s Headline News, The Street, Yahoo Finance TV, and in Bloomberg, Forbes, MarketWatch and numerous others.  He has also spoken and taught classes at The Art Center School of Design (Pasadena), Cornell, Dartmouth, Syracuse, USC, and Vanderbilt. Smoke holds an MBA from Vanderbilt University and a BS in Agricultural Economics from Cornell University’s Dyson School.  The Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management is located within two colleges – the SC Johnson College of Business and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University. Smoke was a Cornell Wrestler and a member of Sigma Nu Fraternity. He is an Eagle Scout and the father of two Eagle Scout sons and two amazing daughters.  Smoke enjoys spending his free time with his four inspiring adult children and his singer songwriter wife Anitra Carr.

3 Eagle Scouts at Philmont - Skye, Smoke & Cameron Wallin

3 Eagle Scouts at Philmont – Skye, Smoke & Cameron Wallin

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