Co-Founder & CEO
Scott Bolin is Co-founder and CEO of Next Century Spirits. A serial entrepreneur who co-founded several companies in the Triangle region, including Tethis, Inc., which was named one of the “100 brilliant companies” by Entrepreneur, Scott has launched and built venture-backed startups in a wide range of fields. Scott holds a BA from the College of William and Mary and an MBA from NC State University. Scott lives in Raleigh NC with his wife, Cameron, and son, Taylor.
Joel Pawlak is a Co-founder of Next Century Spirits. An NC State University Associate Professor of Forest Biomaterials, Dr. Pawlak’s research interests include the creation of new materials from forest resources using physical and biological manipulation of the polymer structure, and he has received a number of awards for his research. During a 2009 scholarly leave to UNC-Chapel Hill, his work resulted in an interdisciplinary graduate program of study between the Forest Biomaterials and Microbiology departments at NC State University. He is a recognized expert in the field of paper physics and has served as a private consultant for more than 20 companies. Dr. Pawlak currently resides in Raleigh with his wife, Leslie, and three children.
Chief Operating Officer
Rob Mason serves as the Chief Operating Officer of Next Century Spirits. Rob brings a unique view in the spirits industry with over 20 years of experience in global marketing for consumer brands represented by Beam Suntory, Diageo, and Procter & Gamble. Rob has led some of the world’s most iconic spirits brands, including Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark, Knob Creek, Crown Royal, and Johnnie Walker, among others. He brings a breadth of global spirits experience having lived abroad in Geneva, Switzerland and managing Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark at the global level. Aside from consistently delivering against business goals, Rob is known for his expertise in brand management, brand strategy, and innovation. Rob holds a BS from Miami University in Oxford OH and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Rob currently lives in Deerfield, IL with his wife Emily, two children, and their Golden Doodle.
Chief Strategy Officer
Jenny Gates is the Chief Strategy Officer at Next Century Spirits. Throughout her career, she has looked for opportunities that disrupt the industry status quo using technology and innovation. Previously, Jenny spent almost 10 years at Pernod Ricard in roles from M&A and distributor relationships to sales, corporate, and commercial strategy. With a BA from Duke and an MBA from Columbia Business School, Jenny began her career at Deloitte Consulting, where she worked with beer, wine, and spirits suppliers, and later covered CPG and retail at UBS Investment Bank. She currently lives in Dallas with her husband, Bob, and their two children.
Chief Financial Officer
Jonathan Hornaday is the CFO of Next Century Spirits. Jonathan has worked with startups for most of his career, including five years as a venture capital investor at Wachovia Strategic Ventures, investing primarily in FinTech companies. Most recently, in 2009 he was the first employee of Piedmont Community Bank Holdings (ultimately branded Yadkin Bank), which acquired or merged with six banks in six years and grew to over 1,300 employees before being sold in 2017 for $1.8 Billion. Jonathan holds a BS and BA from the University of North Carolina and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Jonathan and his wife Andria live in Raleigh with their three children.
Master Blender & VP of Business Development
Nick Scarff is Master Blender and Vice President of Business Development at Next Century Spirits. He spearheads product formulation and manages blending for optimum quality and consistency. Nick is a graduate of North Carolina State University with a degree in Bioprocessing Science. He was a fermentation researcher at State before taking roles at distilled spirits technology companies Terressentia Corporation and later, Horner International. Nick has earned more than two dozen medals in international tasting competitions for products he has developed. Throughout his career, he has worked as a freelance spirits consultant, helping distilleries and brands with product development, inventory management, quality control systems, business strategies, and regulatory compliance. Nick writes for a well-known whiskey publication, runs a tasting club, rebuilds vintage motorcycles, plays in a local band, practices target archery, and spends time with his golden retriever.
Vice-President of Global Sales and Marketing
Jay Cummins serves as Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing for Next Century Spirits. With an over 35-year alcohol beverage industry career spanning executive roles in technology supply, and distribution sectors, Mr. Cummins has led sales and strategy for several high-profile global brands from Vinventions, Nomacorc, Sazerac, and E&J Gallo. Throughout his career, he has developed award-winning product diversification, innovation, and sustainability initiatives, and has grown key relationships with large, international wine and spirits companies. He lives in Raleigh, NC with Lynn his wife of 26 years and 11-year-old daughter, Reed, where they enjoy a wide range of activities the community and region has to offer.
Vice President of Operations
Margarita Bello serves as the Vice President of Operations at Next Century Spirits. She overseas manufacturing operations such as production, logistics, procurement, and supply chain management. Margarita has an extensive background as an operational manufacturing leader for multiple successful entrepreneurial companies such as Mati Energy and Disruptive Enterprises. She lives in Durham, NC with her husband Luis and their two daughters Emma and Mia.