With more than thiry-five years of sales, marketing and general management experience, Martin Jones helps companies define and leverage their competitive advantage. He advises investment bankers, venture capital funds and leading producers in the areas of consumer trends, strategic direction, sales and marketing planning, corporate development, buness proscess re-engineering, organizational management, acquisitions and US distriburion strategy. He has worked on state and federal litigation as an expert witness for many of the leading multi-national beverage corporations.
He is a transitional specialist, skilled at moving organizations to a new level. Often taking the role of an interim general manager, he brings his unique hands-on style to all aspects of the business.
Partnering with Michael Houlihan, founder of Barefoot Cellars, he established Houlihan & Jones advisory services to help wine companies with strategic planning and the development of best practice in sales, distribution and brand management.
As a director, shareholder, and consultant to VinoPRO Wines he helps define the Company’s expertise in direct to consumer wine marketing, leading to successive recognition as a “Inc. 500” Fast Growth Company.
Working on behalf of international wine and spirits companies he has planned and structured numerous US marketing and distribution partnerships, including Thomas Hine & Company's recent appointment of Anchor Distilling. Working with leading NW wine producers like Duck Pond Cellars and Desert Wind winery he has assisted in the rejuvenation of established brands and the refinement of new-to-market entries. His sales and distribution expertise, combined with extensive knowledge of the US drinks industry has helped strengthen leading regional and national producers.
As an expert witness he has testified in litigation on behalf of numerous leading multi-national beverage alcohol companies.
In 2007 Martin was retained by a Napa, CA family winery and directed a Chapter 11 restructuring, refinancing and turnaround plan. A new credit facility was negotiated and the Company was recapitalized, allowing him to manage a successful exit from bankruptcy.
In 2004 Martin was hired by the founders of Sonoma County’s Barefoot Cellars Winery. He worked with the owners in developing and implementing value enhancement programs for the business. The goal was to position the Company as an attractive acquisition for one of the industry consolidators. The project was successfully completed in 2005 with the sale to E&J Gallo Winery.
In 2001 he took the role of General Manager, Premier Wine & Spirits, a leading New York wine and spirits distributor. He concentrated on strengthening sales management and customer service. By improving the Company’s reputation, he was able to position the business as an attractive acquisition for one of the larger multi-state wholesaling enterprises.
He began his career as Marketing Manager with Hiram Walker & Sons Ltd., Toronto and progressed through various sales and marketing positions in the US, Canada and overseas markets.
In 1992 Martin was appointed President & CEO of Corby Distilleries, a Canadian public company and the largest producer, marketer and importer of wines and spirits in that country. In this position, he transformed an old-style manufacturing business into a dynamic market driven organization resulting in record growth in shareholder value.
In 1996 he returned to the United States as President & CEO of Allied Domecq Spirits US, one of the five leading companies in the industry. Under his management, Allied’s market share growth outstripped all other major competitors, contributing to double digit increases in operating profit. In 1999, he was chosen “American Beverage Alcohol Industry Executive of the Year” by Shanken Communications and US wholesalers and retailers.
Martin grew up in Vancouver, Canada and attended the University of British Columbia, Ryerson Polytechnic and the Canadian Advertising Institute. He has participated in the Wharton Business School Presidents’ Leadership Program and the University of Michigan Executive Financial Management Program.
He has served as a director of various public, private, not for profit and beverage alcohol industry organizations. He has been a member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and is a regular contributor and speaker to wine and spirits industry conferences and seminars. He served on the Sonoma County Civil Grand Jury and County Pension Reform Committee and resides in Sonoma County, California.