Our June lunch featured fashion, fitness and travel blogger Grace Wainwright of A Southern Drawl, www.asoutherndrawl.com. Wainwright shared the story behind her success as a social influencer, which now includes 174,000+ followers on Instagram (@a_southerndrawl). Her style tips center on timeless and affordable staples with a feminine twist, and she is never afraid to try (or start) a new trend.
At our April lunch, Venture Connectors hosted a panel of entrepreneurs who shared their successes and challenges in the years since they won local business pitch competitions.
The panel featured: Alli Truttmann, founder and CEO of Wicked Sheets, the Venture Sharks 2012 winner; Nicholas Mattingly, co-founder of Switcher Inc., the Venture Sharks 2016 winner; and Dustin McGehee, vice president of sales and marketing for Stinger Equipment, a 2015 Vogt Award winner.
Our March lunch featured a lively Q&A with Julian P. Van Winkle III, president of the Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery. His company is the maker of some of the world’s finest aged bourbons, including the legendary Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve brand. Van Winkle shared the history of the brand and what has contributed to a renaissance in its success, as well as his thoughts on state of the bourbon industry in Kentucky.
Our February lunch featured Justin Delaney, president of Menguin and Generation Tux, who shared the story behind how two competitors joined forces when Generation Tux acquired Menguin in September 2017 for $25 million. As a result of the acquisition, Generation Tux and Menguin now lead the online formal menswear rental market. Delaney also offered up some details on how he helped lead the integration of the two companies.
Our January lunch featured Jon Bostock, chief operating officer for Big Ass Fans, who shared his company’s journey from startup to success. He talked about its business model and values, growth to date and the company's future plans. Bostock joined Big Ass Fans in 2016 as its first COO. He made an immediate impact by implementing a metric-driven corporate management system, an initiative that resulted in the company’s most profitable year ever.