Left Hand Brewing Restructures Board of Directors, Welcoming New Members
Posted: September 2, 2021
LONGMONT, Colo. Sept. 2, 2021 – Left Hand Brewing Company, one of the original pioneers in craft brewing, has restructured their Board of Directors, welcoming three new members: Julia Herz, Kevin Patterson, and Anton V. Dworak. In 2021, Left Hand grew its Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) by repurchasing stock from original shareholders and previous board members, paving the way for adding new members to the Board. The restructure deepens and diversifies fields of experience in the brewery’s advisory team, strengthens community ties, and increases stock value for current employee-owners and shareholders.
When seeking out new members for the Board, Left Hand’s goal was to strategically add locally-focused leaders with areas of expertise relevant to growth opportunities for the brewery. “Over the past two decades, our Board’s beer industry knowledge, entrepreneurial outlook, and financial planning have been very strong,” said Eric Wallace, Co-Founder and President of Left Hand. “Julia, Anton, and Kevin are not only bringing to the Board fresh perspectives on our industry, they also are strengthening our depth of experience in the legal field, governance and government, marketing, public service, and in the non-profit sector.”
With Left Hand’s long-standing, original location in Longmont, Colorado and a new location opening in Denver’s RiNo neighborhood next year, the brewery intentionally recruited new members with strong community ties, building on their mission to “build community one pint at a time.”
Julia Herz is CEO and Founder of HerzMuses Enterprises, LLC. She is a strategic consultant, speaker, and educator who supports small business and nonprofit entities. Before consulting, Herz was the Craft Beer Program Director for the Brewers Association (BA) and Publisher of CraftBeer.com. She specializes in cause-based marketing, including the new Gray For Good – For All Womanhood campaign. As one of the main advocates behind U.S. craft breweries, she has been a source to thousands of media outlets, is a BJCP Certified beer judge, an award-winning homebrewer, Certified Cicerone®, a lead architect of the BA National Beer Holidays, the Independent Craft Brewer Seal, BA diversity and inclusion efforts, and more. Herz is the co-author of Beer Pairing: The Essential Guide from the Pairing Pros (Voyageur Press 2015). She is a graduate of the University of South Florida with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.
Kevin Patterson has served as CEO of Connect for Health Colorado since April of 2015. He previously served as chief administrative officer and interim chief of staff to Gov. John Hickenlooper and has an extensive history of public service. Patterson has served as the interim executive director of three state agencies during leadership transitions: the Governor’s Office of Information Technology, the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, and the Governor’s Energy Office. He brings a strong understanding of state government and stakeholder engagement to this role. Patterson has held leadership roles for the city and county of Denver in the Budget Office, the Planning Department, the Department of Human Services, the Department of General Services, and the Department of Parks and Recreation. He was elected to the Denver Board of Education in 2001 and reelected in 2005. Patterson serves on the Denver Zoological Foundation’s Leadership Council and serves on the board of trustees for Mile High United Way. He graduated with a B.A. in Teaching from Sam Houston State University and holds both a Master’s of Public Administration and a Master’s of Urban Regional Planning from the University of Colorado at Denver.
Anton V. Dworak is a shareholder at Lyons Gaddis Attorneys & Counselors. Dworak’s practice focuses on business, real estate, estate planning, probate, and tax law. He enjoys the variety of his practice, and takes pride in working with many different clients, from large companies to small businesses, individuals, non-profits, and government entities. Dworak’s professional work extends beyond the firm. He is a Past President of the Boulder County Bar Association and a Past Vice President of the Colorado Bar Association. He also is a member of the tax, business, and estate planning sections of each association. As a fourth generation Longmont resident, Dworak is committed to the community. His involvement includes: Longmont United Hospital Board of Directors (Chairman of the Board 2020-2022), Special Transit Board of Directors, Longmont Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Longmont Housing Development Corporation, Tiny Tim Center (Past President), Twin Peaks Rotary Club (Past President), and Lifetime Member of the Board of Directors of the Longmont Cemetery Association. Dworak graduated in 1990 from Emory University where he received a B.A. degree in Economics. In 1993 he received his J.D. from the University of Denver College of Law, and in 1999 he earned his LLM, Master of Laws in Taxation.
The new Board of Directors structure speaks to Left Hand’s continued efforts to remain independent. “Our ESOP is growing,” said Wallace. “We’ve gone from roughly 3% to 9% in the last year while increasing the value of shares for our current employee-owners. We know that staying an employee-owned, independent company means we are willing to do this the hard way. We see our board as a strategic advantage. Without the deep pockets that acquisition has given others in the industry, we need to work smarter. Having a solid, diversified, and experienced Board is one way to continue to compete with more limited resources.”
Left Hand’s current Board of Directors also include returning members Jeff Mendel, Co-Founder of Tabernash Brewing Company and the Colorado Brewers Guild, and Mark Burka, Senior Vice President and Senior Portfolio Manager at Ziegler Capital Management, LLC. Eric Wallace and Chris Lennert, Left Hand’s Chief Operating Officer, remain as members of the Board internal to the organization.