Authentic Equity Acquisition Corp.
- Consumer, Food, Beverage, Beauty, Marketing
David M. Hooper serves as our Chief Executive Officer and also chairs our board of directors . Mr. Hooper co-founded Authentic Equity in 2018. Prior to Authentic Equity, in 2006, he co-founded Centerview Capital. At Centerview Capital, Mr. Hooper was a Partner, managed the firm’s consumer fund and co-chaired its investment committee. He played a leading role in each of Centerview Capital’s consumer investments since inception, including The Nielsen Company, Richelieu Foods, Big Heart Pet Brands/Del Monte Foods, Ole Smoky Distillery and Advantage Solutions. Mr. Hooper remains on the board of directors of Ole Smoky Holdco LLC (the parent of Ole Smoky Distillery). Prior to Centerview Capital, Mr. Hooper was a Managing Director, Head of the Consumer Group and Chairman of the U.S. Investment Committee at Vestar Capital Partners. Prior to joining Vestar in 1994, Mr. Hooper served as a financial consultant to GPA Group plc and was a member of The Blackstone Group’s Principal Investment Group and Drexel Burnham Lambert’s M&A department. Over his career, Mr. Hooper has served as a board member or board observer of numerous consumer-oriented companies, including Nielsen, J.M. Smucker, Big Heart Pet Brands, Advantage Solutions, Birds Eye Foods, Richelieu Foods, Del Monte Foods and Anvil Knitwear. Mr. Hooper holds a BSBA from Georgetown University and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Mr. Hooper serves on the Board of Advisors for Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. We believe Mr. Hooper’s extensive experience in private equity and business qualifies him to serve on our board of directors.
Thomas Flocco serves as our President and Chief Operating Officer and will also be appointed to our board of directors in connection with this offering. Mr. Flocco is an established consumer products operating executive with a more than 30 year track record of experience in building and managing businesses and brands, driving operational improvements and providing strategic leadership. Mr. Flocco joined Authentic Equity in 2020 as an Operating Partner. Prior to Authentic Equity, he served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Utz Quality Foods (NYSE: UTZ), a snack foods company with approximately $900 million of revenue, from 2017 to 2019, where he was responsible for day-to-day commercial, financial and operational activity. Mr. Flocco previously served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Beam, a global distilled spirits business with over $2.5 billion of revenue and 4,000 employees, from 2003 to 2008. At Beam, he held full general management responsibility for a global spirits business that includes brands such as Jim Beam, Knob Creek, Maker’s Mark, Courvoisier, Sauza, Canadian Club, Laphroaig and others. He has also served as Chairman and CEO of Everglades Boats, where he currently holds the title of Chairman. Earlier in his career, Mr. Flocco was a Senior Vice President - Strategy and M&A for Fortune Brands, Inc. and a Partner at McKinsey & Company, where he co-led the Consumer and Supply Chain practices in North America. He began his career in Sales and then in Brand Management for Procter & Gamble. Over his career, Mr. Flocco has served on multiple boards of directors of consumer companies, including BevMo!, and currently sits on the boards of directors of Ole Smoky Holdco LLC and Everglades Boats. Mr. Flocco holds a BA in Chemistry from Boston University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. We believe Mr. Flocco’s significant experience in the consumer products space will make him well qualified to serve as a member of our board of directors.
Todd Khoury serves as our Chief Financial Officer and is also a member of our board of directors . Mr. Khoury co-founded Authentic Equity in 2018. During his career, Mr. Khoury was a Managing Director, Head of the Media and Communications Group and a member of the U.S. Investment Committee at Vestar Capital Partners from 1993 to 2005. He was also a Managing Director at BlackRock, Inc. from 2005 to 2007, where he co-led the firm’s initial effort in private equity. He has also worked closely with a number of small businesses on strategic and operational initiatives and started his career at Salomon Brothers Inc. Mr. Khoury holds a BA in History from Yale University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. We believe Mr. Khoury’s significant investment experience makes him well qualified to serve as a member of our board of directors.
Joe Baker will be appointed to our board of directors in connection with this offering. Mr. Baker is a serial entrepreneur in the U.S. consumer sector and has significant experiential marketing experience. Mr. Baker is the founder of Ole Smoky Distillery, the largest craft distillery in the U.S. which he began in 2010, and is currently the Chairman of Ole Smoky Holdco LLC. Ole Smoky’s four distilleries are visited by approximately 5 million consumers annually, making them the world’s most visited distilleries. In 2015, Mr. Baker also founded Yee-Haw Brewing Company, which has grown from a single location micro-brewery to a significant southeast U.S. regional participant in the craft beer sector. Mr. Baker has also been a successful entrepreneur in other areas, and currently runs a family office with interests in commercial real estate, hospitality, sports gaming and entertainment. He began his career as a lawyer and also served as an Assistant District Attorney General for the State of Tennessee. Mr. Baker holds a BA from Georgetown University and a JD from the University of Tennessee College of Law. We believe Mr. Baker’s significant experience in the consumer products space will make him well qualified to serve as a member of our board of directors.
Tim O’Connor will be appointed to our board of directors in connection with this offering. Mr. O’Connor is a highly experienced consumer products executive with over 30 years of leadership of food and consumer products companies, including as Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer. Mr. O’Connor most recently served as the CEO of Richelieu Foods, Inc., the leading manufacturer of retail private label frozen and deli pizza in the U.S. and a leading provider of retail salad dressings and premium sauces, until the company’s sale to Freiberger/Sudzucker (ETR: SZU) in 2017. As CEO, Mr. O’Connor delivered highly relevant product innovation, operational improvements and strategic development that led to significant growth in market share, revenue, profits and cash flow. Prior to becoming CEO in 2013, Mr. O’Connor served as Richelieu’s CFO from 2011 to 2013. Earlier in his career, Mr. O’Connor served as Executive Vice President and CFO of LoJack Corporation, a leading manufacturer of stolen vehicle recovery systems for cars, trucks and SUVs. Mr. O’Connor also served in senior finance roles for American Tower Corp. (NYSE: AMT), a leading wireless and broadcast communications infrastructure company, Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG), and The Gillette Company. Mr. O’Connor holds a BS in Finance and Accounting from Northeastern University. We believe Mr. O’Connor’s significant experience in the consumer products space will make him well qualified to serve as a member of our board of directors.
Kathleen Griffin Stack will be appointed to our board of directors in connection with this offering. Ms. Stack has over three decades of experience as an investor and research analyst in the consumer products sector. Ms. Stack served most recently as Managing Director at J.P Morgan Asset Management until 2015, where she was responsible for equity investments within the U.S. consumer products sector across institutional and retail funds. Her career at J.P Morgan Chase & Co. spanned 34 years, 32 years of which she was the U.S. Consumer Products Research Analyst. In addition, she served as Global Team Leader for consumer products equity investments in the Global Analyst Portfolio, as Portfolio Manager for the U.S. Analyst Fund, and as U.S. Equity Research Analyst for the web hosting, internet infrastructure, regional banking and brokerage sectors. Prior to joining Morgan Guaranty Trust Company of New York (the predecessor to J.P Morgan Chase & Co.), Ms. Stack was an Associate at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, Incorporated, and an Assistant Vice President at Lehman Brothers Kuhn Loeb, Incorporated. She began her career at Lehman Brothers Incorporated, where she was the first Research Assistant in the U.S. Equity Research Department. Ms. Stack was recognized over multiple years by Institutional Investor Magazine as “Best of the Buy Side”. Ms. Stack holds an A.B. in Mathematical Economics from Colgate University and an M.B.A. in Finance from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. We believe Ms. Stack’s significant experience in the consumer products space will make her well qualified to serve as a member of our board of directors.
Michael Weinstein will be appointed to our board of directors in connection with this offering. Mr. Weinstein is a consumer marketing professional with a long and successful track record focused on the beverage industry. Mr. Weinstein most recently was Chairman of INOV8 Beverage Consulting Group and its predecessor, INOV8 Beverages, which he co-founded in 2004. His career spans nearly 50 years, starting with positions of increasing responsibility at the Pepsi-Cola Company and Kenyon & Eckhardt Advertising. Later in his career, he served as President and COO of A&W Brands Inc., CEO of Triarc Beverage Group (which included the Snapple, Royal Crown, Mistic and Stewart’s brands) until its sale to Cadbury Schweppes, and President of Global Innovation and Business Development at Cadbury Schweppes. Mr. Weinstein currently serves as a board member of privately held King Juice (Calypso Lemonade) and Eska Water. Previously, he served on the boards of the H. J. Heinz Company, Dr. Pepper Snapple, Bob Evans Farms, A&W Brands Inc. and Tampico Beverages. Accolades include Beverage Industry Executive of the Year and induction into the Beverage World Hall of Fame. Mr. Weinstein holds a BA from Lafayette College and an MBA from Harvard Business School. We believe Mr. Weinstein’s significant experience in the consumer products space will make him well qualified to serve as a member of our board of directors.