Meet the team

 

Key People

 
 
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Ben Ellefsen
Managing Director

With a background in online retail and natural affinity for flavour, Ben created the Ableforth's brand in 2011 and has been at the cutting edge of spirit brand creation ever since. Ben has been a Keeper of the Quaich and Warden Rectifier for the Gin Guild since 2014.

 

Lora Hemy
Head of Distillation

An art school student before realising an obsession with spirits, Lora worked at Dalmore and gained an MSc in Brewing & Distilling from Heriot-Watt University. After working as a consultant to distillery start-ups, Lora helped Merseyside’s Halewood enter the distillation domain. Outside work, Lora enjoys the quality assessment of worldwide Negroni offerings.

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Nick Ravenhall
Global Head of Sales

New Zealand Bartender of the Year 2007, Nick is an IBD Beer Sommelier and SSA Sake Sommelier. With a General Certificate in Distilling, Nick moved into export with Suntory and Morrison Bowmore before relocating to the Nordics to manage own-brand spirits development for Altia and The Cask Group.

 

Sam Simmons
Head of Whisky

Sam Simmons, PhD. is a committed whiskevangelist, a Keeper of the Quaich, a judge in some of the most prestigious spirits competitions in the world, and a Canadian (sorry). Sam has worked with the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, The Whisky Exchange and joins us after eight years as The Balvenie Global Brand Ambassador.

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Toby Cutler
Head Spirits Buyer

Toby has 15 years of experience in the drinks trade with many different businesses, including Threshers, Wimbledon Wine Cellar, Eaux de Vie, Hedonism Wines, Master of Malt and now Atom Brands. He is an unashamed lover of all things fine – booze, food, music, art, sport, cars and, oddly, woodwork.

 

Graeme Lilwall
Global Head of Marketing

Graeme has over 20 years’ experience working on global brands including Heineken, Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff, Baileys, Don Julio, Tanqueray 10, Cîroc and Singleton, which he led the development of while in Taiwan. Originally from Essex, Graeme has lived and worked around the world.

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Adam Wyartt
Global Brand Manager

Adam began his drinks trade career 20 years ago at bartender bible CLASS magazine. Moving into brand management indulged Adam’s appreciation of underdog categories and anything Italian. Following two years in export and six years in wine, Adam is delighted to be back in spirits and developing an award-winning portfolio.

 

Claire Keene
Global Travel Retail Manager

With over 13 years of experience in the drinks industry, Claire has worked locally and internationally for Diageo, Suntory and Rémy Martin. Claire has managed multiple European distributors within domestic, duty free and international markets, and possesses boundless wisdom of managing national wholesale, private client and specialist retail relationships.

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Rosie Milsom
NPD Manager

Rosie is a self-confessed packaging geek, delighted by beauty and functionality. She has five years of dedicated service at Atom Brands under her belt, taking ideas from simple sketches through to award-winning physical products, with every day bringing bizarre and exciting challenges. Rosie's other passion is food, with Wright Brothers in Borough Market declared a strong favourite.

 

Liz Thomas
That Boutique-y Gin Company Partner Development Manager

Liz funded her travel addiction by working her way through the bars of Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Liz’s craft spirit interest was stirred while working at wine and spirit trade exhibitions. Liz develops bespoke, innovative and exclusive That Boutique-y Gin Company expressions for key on- and off-trade customers.

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Peter Allison
Regional Sales Manager - North America

Pete’s just a small town boy, living in an export world. He took the midnight flight going to Amerrrrica. Originally from a bar and art gallery background, Pete found himself working for a beer company in Scotland, his home country, straight out of university. He then packed his bags to spend four years living out of a suitcase for Gonzalez Byass (the sherry producer) as their spirits man. He joins Atom Brands after a two year stint in the Middle East with The Macallan. 

 

Jessica Simmons
Regional Export Executive - Europe

Jess joined the Atom Brands export team after two years with Maverick Drinks where she worked in the service and logistics departments. Jess experienced the on-trade life while at Maverick Drinks, working behind the bar in a local pub. A keen Boutique-y lover, she boasts shelves full of the latest releases.

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Stephanie DiCamillo
That Boutique-y Gin Company Brand Ambassador

Originally from New Jersey, Stephanie holds a BA in Restaurant & Hotel Management. She worked in events and sales for seven years in St. Louis before moving to NYC in 2014 to work in cocktails bars. London called in 2015, where Stephanie went on to work with WhistlePig, Belsazar, Heaven Hill and Avuá Cachaça.

 

Dan Crowther
UK Brand Ambassador

With a career in bartending stretching back to 2006 and multiple Business degrees, Dan set up his own business in 2014 before opening his first bar – The Hedonist Project, Leeds – in 2015. Voted Icons of Gin World's Best Gin Brand Ambassador 2018, Dan now heads up our UK ambassadorial team.

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Lee Peare
Ableforth's Southern Brand Ambassador

Having tended bar across the globe for over a decade, and been featured in GQ, The Wall St. Journal and The 101 Best Cocktails, Lee eventually settled in London and became the Southern Brand Ambassador for Ableforth's. He can often be found half-way up the side of a mountain somewhere.

 

Mal Spence
European Portfolio Ambassador

Originally from Glasgow, Mal has over 18 years' experience in the industry, tending bar between Glasgow and Edinburgh – most notably at Blythswood Square Hotel and Kelvingrove Cafe. After three years as a global ambassador for Black Bottle, Mal now works with our export team and is based in Amsterdam.

 

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Chanel Liquori
Portfolio Ambassador - East Coast USA

Award-winning bartender and 2nd grade spelling bee champion, Chanel hails from Sydney, Australia and is now based in New York. She has previously worked for Pernod Ricard and Bacardi brands, as well as at some of the best cocktail bars across Australia and New Zealand. Chanel's passion for the hospitality industry is probably outweighed only by her undeniable love of Prince.

 

Dave Worthington
That Boutique-y Whisky Company Brand Ambassador

A self-confessed whisky geek who gave up a 36-year engineering career to follow the dram, Dave started his Whisky Discovery blog in 2012, which was recognised as a ‘Website to Watch’ in the Malt Whisky Yearbook. Dave has written for Whisky Quarterly, UK Cigar Scene, and was featured in The New Single Malt Whiskey.

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Liam O'Brien
Ableforth’s Brand Ambassador (London & South)

“The worm who turned”

Liam has spent over over ⅔ of his life in hospitality in one form or another, from 10 years as a chef or 5 years steering the ship at Nottingham’s Brass Monkey!

He grows most of his own food with his wife - the mother of dashunds - for their urban growing business Hockley Homegrown.

Big flavours and great produce are what he loves, as well as Tacos, pizza, ramen and an old school miners welfare.

Liam refuses to admit if he only has 1 shirt or 7 that are almost identical.