Mark Ford – Chief Executive Officer
Mark owns Ford Westland Consulting and Ford Westland Marketing. He is the creator of Sin City Caddy Girls, a company founded in Las Vegas that trained models as golf caddies and was featured on Travel Channel’s Thrill-list Top 10 things to do in Las Vegas. The Sin City Caddy Girls business model was later emulated and laid the groundwork for other companies and casinos to follow.
Mark is a U.S. military veteran whose background includes training as an EMT/Medic and completion of several pre-hospital emergency care and other advanced medical training courses. Mark is a certified peer counselor, veterans’ assistance liaison, critical incident stress de-briefer, and cognitive hypnotherapist. Mark’s passion is to assist returning veterans who have physical and/or psychological trauma which is beyond the scope of currently available VA care.
Mark continues to educate himself in clinical therapy disciplines such as hypnotherapy, behavioral change work, neuro-linguistic programming, and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) in order to further assist returning veterans. Mark is a skilled communications specialist, a licensed pilot, and fluent in Spanish.
William Kanada – Vice President & Chief Sustainability Officer
William obtained his bachelors of science from Sacramento State University in Environmental Science and Biology. While the VP & CSO of Tier 1 Vodka, he is concerned with monitoring the firm’s practices with the intent to minimize the firm’s environmental imprint. His responsibilities include monitoring and evaluating the firm’s sustainability and compliance with regulations, identifying areas where the firm can lessen its environmental impact, setting guidelines that govern the interplay between the firm and the surrounding environment, ensuring the firm’s compliance with all state and federal environmental legislation, collaborating with various departments to incorporate sustainability practices and set environmental conservation goals and leading training sessions and workshops on sustainability practices and policies for firm employees.
Susan Ford – Chief Operations Officer
A graduate of the Michigan State University Honors College, Susan holds a dual degree in Business and Professional Writing. Susan gained over 10 years of experience with Fortune 500 company Sears Holdings Inc. serving on both the store management as well as the corporate buying teams during her tenure.
When she was introduced to the Special Forces community, Susan was deeply moved by the extent of commitment and dedication to service and country displayed by the operators and their families. Tier 1 Vodka presented the perfect opportunity for Susan to honor and give back to the Special Forces community while leading a company she is passionate about. In terms of the Tier 1 mission, Susan’s focus is to provide support for the wives and widows of Special Forces veterans whose needs, both physical and psychological, are all too often overlooked.
Dave Bourne – IGNITE Beverage Branding, Founder & Creative Director
IGNITE is a full service branding and design firm in Portland Oregon exclusively serving the spirit and beverage community. In the last 10 years, IGNITE has won numerous packaging design awards and has helped hundreds of start-up spirit brands launch their products. Services include branding, packaging design, advertising campaigns, online marketing, social media management, and media planning.
After graduating from Art Center in 2006 with a degree in Graphic Design and Advertising, Dave went to work at one of the premier design agencies in Los Angeles, WPA Communications. His work included national print and television advertising campaigns for Freeman Cosmetics, SpeedVision, The Outdoor Life Network and many others. Dave left WPA in 2003 to start his own agency called IGNITE with the goal of becoming a world leader in beverage branding and packaging. For over a decade he has helped launch over 200 new spirit, wine and beverage brands throughout the US and Europe. Being immersed in the development of these new brands has helped Dave gain valuable knowledge about the inner-workings of the spirit industry. This experience, combined with a drive to constantly explore innovative ways of marketing, helps Dave deliver cutting-edge brand development to his clients.
Recent IGNITE client highlights: Byejoe (Spirit of China) – Won a double gold for bottle design in the 2013 San Francisco World Competition. Donnor Peltier Distillers: Recently secured distribution in over 300 locations and 40 Walmart stores in its first year selling its Vodka, Gin, and Rum. Jackpot Spirits — Signed exclusive deal with Palm Casino Resort. 90+ Cellars — Went from 1.4 Million in revenues to over 11 Million in just 3 years.