USA – Eastside Distilling, the Redneck Riviera and Granny Rich Whiskey brands owner has appointed Joseph Giansante, the former CEO of Azuñia Tequila as the company’s new Chief Marketing Officer.

Giansante initially joined Eastside Distilling as part of the September 2019 acquisition of the Azuñia Tequila brand from Intersect Beverage, where he was the CEO and oversaw all aspects of the operation of Azuñia Tequila.

Under his leadership and in collaboration with owners Pat Kilkenny and Stephanie Kilkenny, at Intersect, Giansante re-invented the company’s management structure, sales and marketing approach, and brand positioning and development.

The Azuñia Tequila brand more than doubled in size in just three years.

Prior to joining Intersect, Giansante served as the Senior Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer at Vivature Sports Solutions of Dallas, Texas after a long career in collegiate sports.

He has also served as Executive Senior Associate Athletic Director–and was later named Chief Revenue Officer of Syracuse athletics, where he renegotiated and quadrupled the Orange’s marketing and multimedia rights revenues. 

Giansante has also served in several other marketing positions including at the University of Oregon, as well as the Programming Executive Producer and Director of the Oregon Sports Network and CSN.

Lawrence Firestone, CEO and Board Member of Eastside Distilling, commented, “Joe has a diverse and deep set of experiences and accomplishments in brand development and marketing financial management, marketing, revenue generation, sponsorship, media rights and strategic planning.

“Since joining Eastside in September, he has worked to integrate the Azuñia tequila brand and will drive our brand strategies brands going forward.” 

Lat Month, Eastside Distilling also appointed Paul Block to the company’s Board of Directors, following the resignation of Paul Shoen as the Chairman of the Board. Upon his resignation, the Board of Directors elected Block to serve as Chair of the Board.

Currently, Mr. Block serves as President and member of the Board of Directors of GLG Life Tech Corporation (“GLG”), one of the world’s leading sustainable and vertically integrated producer of zero calorie natural sweeteners.

He has also held various positions at Miller Brewing Company, Guinness Import Company, worked as the Chief Marketing Officer, and then VP/General Manager, of Allied Domecq’s Premium USA Spirits Division as well as CEO at Sara Lee Coffee and Tea USA, Merisant Worldwide and SVP Worldwide.

Meanwhile, the Portland-based craft spirits company has also secured US$1.4m financing arrangement with Live Oak Banking Company to provide additional balance sheet strength during this unprecedented time of global economic challenge related to the COVID-19 pandemic.