Twisted Pine Brewing Co., a Boulder-based craft brewery, has tapped a local pharmaceutical executive to serve as its new chief executive officer.
Jean Lund, who most recently served as president and CEO of CordenPharma Colorado, will become the chief executive at Twisted Pine on Nov. 1, brewery officials announced Wednesday.
As a result of the appointment, Bob Baile, Twisted Pine's owner and CEO, will retain the title of president.
Baile, who worked with Lund from 1978 to 1992 at Arapahoe Chemicals -- the predecessor to Roche Colorado and, later, CordenPharma Colorado -- lauded her "keen business acumen," adding she would be a person who could "shepherd (Twisted Pine) through the future."
"Here's somebody with amazing skills that has a great proven track record," Baile said on Wednesday. " ... Her knowledge of manufacturing processes is huge."
Earlier this year, Lund left CordenPharma Colorado after 35 years at the company and its predecessors. While she attended a retirement event at Twisted Pine, Baile sidled up to his former colleague and proposed that she take the executive reins at Twisted Pine.
"I didn't even let the dust settle," Baile said.
In recent years, Twisted Pine's expansion resulted in Baile being bogged down in spreadsheets and spending time in his office trying to tackle various growth strategies.
"I wasn't able to really utilize what I think are my best assets," he said. "I've always been the face of the brewery. I found myself not really getting to get out much. I lost touch with a lot of old customers, who actually became old friends."
By having Lund at the helm, Twisted Pine would gain a seasoned executive with manufacturing and quality control prowess. In addition to gaining her business sense and a fresh perspective on the operations, Twisted Pine also landed a "people person" who is a perfect match for the close-knit, 25-person company, Baile said.
Lund, 56, said she spent Wednesday -- her first full day at the brewery -- getting to know the employees and learning about the extent of the processes and operations.
She also noticed some similarities between her current role and her past.
"A lot of the processing equipment is virtually the same -- of course you're growing yeast and live yeast cultures," she said. "It's just remarkably the same: stainless steel, sanitary fittings, hoses and the pumps ... you have to keep things very clean and sanitized."
Twisted Pine also fits what she was searching for when she left CordenPharma: a mom-and-pop shop that could provide a challenge, she said.
"It's not quite so bureaucratic ... . It's a very young workforce, and they're very agile and very adaptable and they bring in new ideas. I'm learning a lot from them," she said of Twisted Pine. "I feel like I'm there to maybe provide a little more structure and systems where they can use some."
Lund's first goal as chief executive is to help Twisted Pine develop a long-term strategy. Craft breweries need to be nimble, she said, but they also need to keep an eye on the future.
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"The most immediate thing for us is making sure we set our goals for 2014," she said.
Twisted Pine appointing a seasoned business executive from outside the industry is a move that could become more common as the booming craft beer industry continues to mature, said Julia Herz, craft beer program director for the Brewers Association, a Boulder-based trade association representing the craft brewing industry.
"You're going to continue to see established and more heritage craft brewers, as well as emerging brewers, up their games on the business side of things," Herz said. " ... It's not just a labor of love, it's also a business."
Contact Camera Business Writer Alicia Wallace at 303-473-1332 or email@example.com.