About Us

People

Based in London, New York, Dublin, Amsterdam and San Francisco, the global footprint and exceptional range of experience within the team enable us to fully support our portfolio of founder-led brands.

Frank Lampen

CEO and Co-Founder

Frank Lampen

CEO and Co-Founder

Frank has set up several businesses, and advised dozens more, both inside and outside of drinks. He has a wide understanding of deal structures, launch strategies and effective brand positioning, and helps founders look for and achieve game-changing pivots to drive rapid growth. He has over ten years' experience in drinks, and blogs at frankaboutfood.co.uk

Shilen Patel

Co-Founder and Non-Alc Lead

Shilen Patel

Co-Founder and Non-Alc Lead

Shilen started in drinks by leading a team at Guinness that turned around over 20 years of brand decline. He then started his own business and has since helped dozens of founders realise their potential. He’s great at asking provocative questions, helping develop brilliant propositions and compelling strategies and coaching high performing teams to deliver great results.

Matt McKee

Managing Director - Rest of World

Matt McKee

Managing Director - Rest of World

Matt started in the drinks industry over 13 years ago by leading and growing a premium contract manufacturing business. Working with premium spirits brands and UK Supermarkets he gained a strong understanding of the commercials of spirits production. Later he joined a premium sales and distribution company where he successfully led the rapid growth of a number of brands including Kraken Rum. He brings broad experience and knowledge of building a spirits brand from new product development to scaling to volume.

Gonzalo De La Pezuela

Managing Director - North America

Gonzalo De La Pezuela

Managing Director - North America

Gonzalo co-founded two startups in wines and spirits and managed two successful exits. Previously, he developed his marketing career within industry leading portfolios in the USA specifically, as well as in the Americas more broadly. Gonzalo is a commercial generalist who brings powerful business strategies, brand innovation and effective teams to life.

Heidi Dillon Otto

Portfolio Director - North America

Heidi Dillon Otto

Portfolio Director - North America

Heidi brings 20 years of expertise in the natural & organic beverage and food categories. As a seasoned brand marketer and innovation strategist, she has led several start-up companies from inception through launch and in-market success. She brings general management expertise combined with a passion and particular focus on lifestyle brand authenticity, consumer and trade marketing connectivity and product innovation development.

Dan Shrimpton

Investment Director - Rest of World

Dan Shrimpton

Investment Director - Rest of World

Dan is an entrepreneur with over 10 years' experience at Innocent and Peppersmith. Having worked in both financial and marketing roles and set up his own business, his experience enables him to add value in areas ranging from financial planning and business modelling to trade marketing and sales strategy.

Nicolas Proszenuck

Investment Director - North America

Nicolas Proszenuck

Investment Director - North America

Nicolas has financial and strategic advisory experience working with leading food and beverage companies in the U.S. and Europe across mergers and acquisitions, portfolio reviews and new ventures. At Distill Ventures, he will lead new investments to expand the spirits and non-alcoholic beverage portfolio in North America and work with existing portfolio companies to enable brands to scale and realize their full potential.

Ara Carvallo

Portfolio Director

Ara Carvallo

Portfolio Director

Ara Carvallo, an international brand strategist and serial entrepreneur, has over 20 years of experience in the spirits industry. Prior to joining DV, Ara launched many successful projects and consulted for both established spirits brands and startups around the world, using her finance and marketing expertise to help them attain global recognition and accelerate their businesses. She is also a trailblazer when it comes to sustainability, having founded the first-ever zero carbon bar show in the world and done pioneering research on the subject during her graduate studies.

Josh Wortman

Commercial Director - North America

Josh Wortman

Commercial Director - North America

Josh joins Distill Ventures with experience throughout the spirits industry working in beverage program and cocktail development, bar management and most recently on the distribution side with a portfolio of boutique, global spirits producers. He has partnered with founders on their sales and marketing strategies, brand development, training and education. As Commercial Director, he's excited to help the next generation of global spirits innovators find creative ways to generate growth.

Evis Savvides

Operating Partner - North America

Evis Savvides

Operating Partner - North America

Evis comes to Distill Ventures with almost 20 years of leadership experience in the wine and spirits industry. In his role as operating partner, he will focus on planning and operations for all brands in North America and will work with the existing portfolio companies to accelerate the growth of these founder-led brands in both the spirits and non-alcoholic beverage categories.

Rosa Einhorn

Finance Executive - North America

Rosa Einhorn

Finance Executive - North America

Rosa has over 10 years of experience working in start ups, specialising in the wine and spirits industries. She has overseen and ran all aspects of finance and operations in variety of companies including Casa Dragones and Pisco Porton. Her experience gives her deep understanding of the pace of high growth companies and enables her to add value in areas such as business operations, financial modelling and sales strategy to scaling finance and accounting departments.

Zoe Decool

Brand and Marketing Director

Zoe Decool

Brand and Marketing Director

With experience in both creative agency and brand consultancy sides, Zoe has built a deep understanding of how brands work within culture. She’s been helping companies around the world develop great positioning, messaging, design, communications and content which resonate with what’s happening right now and drive commercial objectives. She brings expertise on how founder-led brands create successful growth and is excited to help entrepreneurs create the global drinks brands of the future.

Allie Warren

Head of Marketing

Allie Warren

Head of Marketing

Allie joins Distill Ventures after spending the last 6 years working in the Marketing departments of some of London’s biggest bar & restaurant groups. Her experience includes dreaming up & driving partnerships with drinks brands, using original content to tell engaging stories and creating traction through digital and social engagement. As the Head of Marketing, her focus will be on making sure Distill Ventures is the first port of call for anyone interested in starting & scaling a modern spirit brand.

Susie Goldspink

Head of Search

Susie Goldspink

Head of Search

Susie has experience in research and consulting from both a market research agency and a global management consultancy.  Her drinks industry experience includes running research and analysis projects for FMCG clients, turning large amounts of market and consumer information into actionable insight for clients.  Susie is up for the challenge to help Distill Ventures find the founder-led brands of the future.

Vishal Patel

Investment Associate

Vishal Patel

Investment Associate

Vishal joins the investment team at DV having previously worked at SABMiller and has over 5 years’ experience advising on a wide range of venture capital, private equity and M&A transactions. Having originally trained as a lawyer, Vishal’s experience enables him to add value in areas ranging from legal, financial due diligence and deal execution.

Volha Klimenkova

E-Commerce Specialist

Volha Klimenkova

E-Commerce Specialist

Volha joins Distill Ventures as an E-commerce and digital marketing strategist, she has over 15 years of experience in retail/FMCG industries. Prior to joining DV, Volha worked on many successful projects and consulted for both well established brands and startups around the world helping them accelerate their businesses. Her combination of agency and in-house experience allows her to drive strategically our founder led brands by developing programs to grow the customer base and continue to sustain a healthy retention rate through a variety of well-coordinated ecommerce marketing initiatives, while understanding start-up set up and its nature.

Ed Mott

Data & Insight

Ed Mott

Data & Insight

Ed is an award-winning Marketing & Data Insight professional with experience of working both agency and client side. Ed’s talent for running global strategic research projects and turning big data into actionable insights has delivered dynamic growth for multiple Fortune500 businesses. At DV, Ed will support the team by helping the portfolio understand their in-market brand performance and using big data to unearth the next emerging trends and exciting brands.

Chris Young

Portfolio Finance Manager

Chris Young

Portfolio Finance Manager

Chris joined Distill Ventures after working for a premium spirits distributor managing a portfolio of brands including Kraken Rum. He has worked across all aspects of finance and operations roles; this experience has given him deep understanding of how companies work and how to best prepare and guide them through rapid growth. At DV Chris helps the portfolio accelerate by advising best practice when producing a financial plan as well as analysing commercial performance.

Holly Browne

Search & Insight Manager

Holly Browne

Search & Insight Manager

Holly started her career at Tesco before joining a global research organisation specialising in food and drink retail. There, she worked on a wide range of insight projects for the world’s leading retailers and FMCGs, in fields such as e-commerce and digital, shopper missions, and seasonal events. Her experience gives her a great understanding of changing consumer trends. As Senior Search Exec at Distill Ventures, Holly’s focus will be to find the best new founder-led brands for potential DV investment.

Ilaria Pellegrini

Search Executive

Ilaria Pellegrini

Search Executive

Ilaria started her career in beverage right after graduating college, spending around 2 years in the marketing department of two global spirits companies, focusing on luxury brands first and aperitifs later, both on a country and regional level. She developed expertise in a 360 degrees approach to brand touch-points (ATL, BTL, digital, e-commerce, PR and On Trade) and brings a passion for the drinks industry. As Search Executive, Ilaria will contribute to scouting the next big thing in drinks.

Alison Griggs

Office Manager

Alison Griggs

Office Manager

Alison brings 3+ years of experience in the drinks industry at Bacardi Global Brands, as well as an extensive background in the entertainment and marketing sectors. With a focus on wellness as well as natural and raw beverage and food categories, Alison supports the DV office and teams in every way; enabling them to find the best new founder-led brands