Our Team

Jaisen Freeman
Managing Partner

As Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Phusion Projects, Jaisen Freeman works with the executive team to manage the business and its growth, focusing on corporate strategy and innovation.  As part of his work at Phusion, he oversees the development and introduction of all Phusion Projects brands into the market place and the development of the sales and distribution networks.

In addition to his work at Phusion, Jaisen is on the board of Chicago Hope, a charitable organization that provides college scholarships and mentoring to exceptional underprivileged students in the Chicago area.  He is also a member of the Chicago chapter of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO).

Mr. Freeman graduated with a business degree in marketing and has an M.B.A from The Ohio State University, where he was a four-year letter winner and captain of The Ohio State University’s varsity hockey team.  He is also a graduate of Harvard Business School’s Owner/President Management Program.  Jaisen spends his free time playing sports and traveling.

Jeff Wright
Managing Partner

As Co-founder and Managing Partner of Phusion Projects, Jeff Wright is a member of the executive team that manages the business and its growth mission. He currently focuses on corporate branding, strategic planning, and global business development. Jeff was instrumental in developing the international sales and distribution platform, which currently extends across five continents and more than 30 countries.

Over the past 10 years, Jeff has built close working relationships across the global beverage industry. He has leveraged his passion for the industry, coupled with his service to the Company, to help position Phusion as a recognized and accomplished innovator in the highly competitive alcoholic beverage market.

Jeff draws on his experience and provides invaluable expertise in his role as a key member of the Board of Directors at two of Phusion’s global business partners, Blue Spike Beverages, Inc., based in Montreal, Quebec, and Phusion’s Mexican distribution partner, Grupo Joseph Roberts.

Jeff is a community leader and donates considerable time and resources to The Make-A-Wish Foundation. The Make-A-Wish Foundation grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength, and joy.

Mr. Wright graduated with an economics degree from The Ohio State University and also is a graduate of the Harvard Business School Executive Management Program (OPM) for Owners and Presidents.

Jeff, his wife, and two children reside in Scottsdale, Arizona. In addition to family activities, Jeff enjoys playing sports, traveling, focusing on fitness, and volunteering.

Jim Sloan
President

As President, James Sloan oversees the day-to-day activities of the Company and manages Phusion’s growing brand portfolio and executive team, which now has more than 100 years of cumulative industry experience.

Mr. Sloan, who joined Phusion in 2010, served as the Executive Vice President of Sales for the Company and has more than 25 years of experience in the industry. He previously held senior management positions at Heineken USA and Star Brand Imports.

Outside of his work with Phusion, Sloan gives back by volunteering and fundraising for local charities and food banks. He has a B.S. from SUNY Albany and took part in the general manager program at Harvard University. His interests include playing basketball and cooking. Jim resides in New York with his wife, Athena, and his son, Joseph.

Matt Dornauer
General Counsel

As General Counsel for Phusion Projects, Matt Dornauer is responsible for the Company’s global legal, compliance and regulatory matters, in addition to government affairs and risk management. He also serves as a member of the Company’s executive leadership team. His primary areas of focus include corporate governance, commercial negotiations, complex commercial litigation, intellectual property portfolio management, labor and employment issues, marketing law compliance, alcohol regulation, and providing business and strategic advice to the executive leadership team.

Prior to becoming the first General Counsel of Phusion in 2013, Matt was an associate at the Chicago office of international law firm Sidley Austin LLP, where he began working with the Company in 2009. At Sidley, he was a member of the general litigation group and his practice included a diverse range of litigation, regulatory and transactional matters.

Mr. Dornauer received his J.D., cum laude, from the University of Notre Dame Law School and his B.A., summa cum laude, with distinction in Political Science from The Ohio State University. He is also a graduate of Harvard Law School’s Executive Education Leadership in Corporate Counsel program. Matt is licensed to practice law in Illinois and is a member of the Illinois State Bar, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

Outside of his work at Phusion, Matt maintains an active pro bono legal practice, including teaching Chicago public school students about the U.S. legal system and the legal profession. He also serves as a mentor to law students in Notre Dame Law School’s Alumni Mentorship Program.

Matt and his wife reside in Chicago, and he enjoys spending his free time running and biking along Lake Michigan, backcountry skiing and traveling internationally.

Mike Nelson
Controller

Mike Nelson officially joined Phusion Projects in 2016 after having served the Company in an outsourced role since 2006. Mike is responsible for overseeing the accounting and finance functions for the Company while also assisting in the areas of administration and human resources.

Prior to joining Phusion, Mike worked with Beanstalk CFO Group in Columbus, where he helped dozens of small businesses grow profitably through proactive financial management.

Mike graduated magna cum laude from The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. While not an officially licensed CPA, Mike passed all sections of the CPA exam on his first attempt.

Mike, his wife, and two sons reside in Columbus, Ohio. Outside of work and family activities, Mike enjoys playing music, singing and volunteering with his church.

John Whittaker
Vice President of Sales – Beer

John Whittaker rejoined Phusion Projects in June of 2013 as the Vice President of Business Analytics. John transitioned to the Vice President of Sales role in early 2014 and is now managing Phusion’s beer sales team. John has over 25 years of experience in the industry and has held senior management positions on both the wholesaler and supplier sides of the industry. John currently resides in Poway, California, with his wife, son and two daughters.

Gerry Macchia
Vice President of Sales – Wine & Spirits

Gerry joined Phusion Projects in March 2016, and oversees the day-to-day activities of Phusion Projects’ newly formed Wine & Spirits Division, Innovative Wine & Spirits.

Gerry has over 30 years of experience in the alcohol beverage industry. Prior to Phusion, he was the Central Division Vice President at William Grant & Son’s, the Director of Sales at Diageo, and the Southwest Vice President at PepsiCo’s Wine & Spirits Division.

Gerry has a Bachelor of Science from the State University of New York at Albany in both Management and Marketing and has taken several executive level strategic management classes at the Wharton School of Business. Gerry resides in St. Charles, Illinois with his wife Debbie, and his daughters, Jennifer and Lauren.

Jenna Shklyar
Vice President of Marketing

Jenna Shklyar leads development and execution of marketing strategy across all brands in the company’s portfolio.

Prior to Phusion, Jenna held a variety of brand and innovation positions with Anheuser-Busch InBev and MillerCoors, where she managed established beer and flavored malt beverage brands, as well as successfully launched new-to-market products.

Jenna received her MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and a Bachelor’s of Finance degree from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Her outside interests include traveling, fitness, and music. She resides in Chicago, IL.

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