Mario Zepponi has extensive experience performing valuations and negotiating and structuring purchase, sale and lease transactions. Mario has served as a transaction advisor to several companies, including beverage alcohol brands, winery estates and parties seeking to create strategic alliances. Prior to forming Zepponi & Company, Mario practiced law as a corporate, real estate and food and beverage attorney. He has extensive expertise in advising on asset, stock purchase and joint venture transactions, buy-sell agreements, leases, sourcing and processing agreements, sales and marketing agreements and succession planning issues.
Mario received his undergraduate degree from the University of California at Berkeley, and his law and MBA degrees from the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. He has served on several business and community non-profit advisory boards.
Matt Franklin has over eighteen years of corporate finance advisory experience, including mergers and acquisitions, equity and debt financing, valuations and technical accounting. Matt has been an advisor on numerous beverage alcohol industry transactions and has completed more than 100 business valuations and valuation-related consulting projects. Matt was previously a managing director at a boutique investment banking firm in San Francisco where he provided sell-side and buy-side transaction advisory services to food and beverage companies. Matt also worked for KPMG’s Investment Management Services Group where he provided assurance and advisory services to investment banks, private equity firms, mutual funds, hedge funds and broker/dealers.
Matt’s professional credentials include certified public accountant (CPA) and chartered financial analyst (CFA) charter-holder. Matt also holds the following securities registrations as a representative of StillPoint Capital: Series 7 (General Securities Representative), Series 79 (Investment Banking Representative), and Series 63 (State Securities Representative).
Joe Ciatti has more than forty years of wine industry experience, a deep network of industry influencers, and a long track-record of high profile vineyard and winery transactions in California, Oregon, and Washington. At Zepponi & Company, Joe’s long term relationships and proven track record of successes have proven to be an asset during negotiations. His understanding of the wine industry aids in creating mutually beneficial opportunities for both buyers and sellers.
Joe’s grandfather, Giuseppe Bagnani, owned Sonoma County’s Geyser Peak Winery in Alexander Valley for several decades after Prohibition ended. Joe’s early accomplishments included establishing Joseph W. Ciatti Company and growing it into the world’s largest brokerage of grapes and bulk wines, with offices around the world. In 2005, he became Chairman and CEO of Vintage Wine Trust, a real estate investment trust that was devoted to vineyard and winery properties. Joe received his undergraduate degree from the University of Oregon.
George Coope, Senior Director of Strategy & Analysis, has more than twenty-five years of investment banking and advisory experience in the wine, beer and distilled spirits industries. Prior to joining Zepponi & Company, George held senior roles at several boutique investment banks in San Francisco and was a founding member of the consumer practice group at Hambrecht & Quist LLC. George also worked in R&D and operations at Miller Brewing Company. George is a former director of Patz & Hall Wine Company and The Coppola Companies.
George graduated with a BA from Stanford University, an MS in food science with a specialization in viticulture and enology from UC Davis and an MBA from Harvard Business School. Prior to attending UC Davis, he worked as an apprentice to the general manager and winemaker at Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé in Chambolle-Musigny, France. George holds Series 7 (General Securities Representative), 24 (General Securities Principal) and 63 (California Securities Representative) securities registrations and a certified valuation analyst (CVA) designation from the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts.
David Von Stroh
David Von Stroh is a Senior Vice President with Zepponi & Company and has more than ten years of investment banking and corporate advisory experience that includes mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, and equity and debt financings. Prior to joining Zepponi & Company, David served as a Vice President with MC Advisors, where he provided sell-side and buy-side investment banking representation to middle market companies specializing in the food, beverage and technology industries. Preceding his employment with MC Advisors, David served as an investment banker at Wood Warren & Co., a San Francisco Bay Area middle market investment bank. While at Wood Warren & Co., he completed numerous transactions in the beverage, consumer products, manufacturing, business services and technology industries. David began his investment banking career on Wall Street in New York City where he worked for Chase and then JP Morgan. While on Wall Street, David worked on and completed numerous transactions for multinational corporations.
David earned his undergraduate degree in Business Administration from the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver majoring in Finance and Marketing. David holds a Series 7 (General Securities Representative), Series 79 (Investment Banking Representative), and Series 63 (State Securities Representative) securities registration as a representative of StillPoint Capital.
Kevin O’Brien is a Senior Vice President with Zepponi & Company and has over ten years of experience advising businesses in the beverage, consumer packaged goods and manufacturing sectors. His beverage experience has been focused in the wine, beer and distilled spirits industries. At Zepponi & Company, Kevin is responsible for project management and market analysis in the firm’s core wine business, as well as its broader activities in the beverage alcohol industry.
Prior to joining Zepponi & Company, Kevin was the Director of Business Advisory at Irvine & Company, a leading beverage alcohol accounting and consulting firm in the Pacific Northwest. Kevin worked with numerous winery, brewery and distillery clients on corporate advisory matters, including financial modeling, strategic planning, and mergers and acquisitions. Prior to his work in the Pacific Northwest, he was an investment analyst for a San Francisco-based consumer product focused private equity firm where he completed debt, equity and acquisition transactions in the food and beverage industries. Kevin began his career with PricewaterhouseCoopers working within the firm’s private company group providing assurance services to various wine, manufacturing and retail clients.
Kevin has presented on various accounting and finance related topics for the Oregon Wine Symposium, American Distilling Institute Conference, CiderCon and the Craft Brewers Conference. Additionally, he is a frequent contributor to several beverage alcohol blogs. Kevin earned his bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Portland and holds a certified public accountant (CPA) license.
Cody Jennings is a Vice President with Zepponi & Company and has been with the firm since 2009. Prior to joining Zepponi & Company, Cody was a senior financial analyst at Jackson Family Wines, where he managed all farming-related finance and accounting matters for the company’s portfolio of wineries.
Cody plays an active role in the firm’s transaction review and assessment processes, performing business valuations and working directly with clients to develop strategic marketing materials. He was actively involved in the closing of several transactions, including Chalk Hill Estate Winery, Four Vines and Langtry Estate.
Cody received a bachelor’s degree in Finance from Sonoma State University.
Denise Weinert joined Zepponi & Company as an Associate in the last quarter of 2011. Denise’s primary responsibilities include providing client support, coordinating client communications and managing document workflow throughout the transaction process. Denise is also responsible for maintaining the firm’s proprietary information systems. Denise was actively involved in the closings of Chronic Cellars and Cycles Gladiator. Denise is a licensed real estate salesperson.
Prior to joining Zepponi & Company, Denise was an administrative assistant with several notable international law firms based in Los Angeles, Denver and, most recently, Silicon Valley where she specialized in the areas of corporate law and mergers and acquisitions.
Kelly Gomez is the Director of Operations for Zepponi & Company. She is responsible for directing the administrative and general operations of the firm, which includes oversight for finance, accounting and human resources matters. Kelly has over ten years of experience in operations and professional office management. She has had the opportunity to acquire a broad range and depth of experience as a result of having worked in the areas of law, accounting, medicine, and information technology.
Kelly graduated from San Diego State University where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications.
Jessica Bird is an Associate with Zepponi & Company, and has been working with the firm since it began. Her primary responsibilities include assisting in the creation of client marketing materials, reviewing and facilitating the exchange of due diligence materials, managing closing and escrow activities, and interfacing with clients, buyers and their consultants, as well as preparing and managing transaction data rooms. Jessica is a licensed real estate salesperson.
Jessica has assisted in the closing of several transactions, including White Cottage Ranch, Chalk Hill Estate Winery, and Kenwood Vineyards, as well as several other wineries and vineyards across California, Oregon and Washington.
Prior to Zepponi & Company, Jessica was employed in the legal field, working on matters ranging from family law to corporate and class action litigation. She also has a background in graphic design and restaurant management.