The team that make extraordinary exits possible
Smoke Wallin is a serial entrepreneur with a wealth of expertise including strategy and execution, finance, start-ups, branding, marketing innovation, distribution, and business growth.
STS Managing Director Smoke Wallin is a highly accomplished CEO, entrepreneur, leader, board member and philanthropist with more than 25 years of success across the consumer products, beverage, cannabis, distribution, and technology industries.
His broad areas of expertise include strategy and execution, finance, start-ups, branding, marketing innovation, distribution, transformational leadership, as well as sales and business growth. He has extensive experience in regulated industries at the local, state, and federal level.
He has overseen more than $1.7 billion in mergers and acquisitions and has created hundreds of millions in value for stakeholders.
Currently, Smoke serves as CEO of Vertical Wellness, a leading vertically integrated consumer-focused health and wellness brand company with innovative hemp cannabinoid solutions. He is also Chairman of Taliera, a company he founded in 2006 to incubate and celebrate iconic brands and a board member of Top Strike Resources “Vecanna Ventures” [CSE:VENI].
Smoke’s clients, partners and companies have included hundreds of distribution, wine, spirits, beer, and non-alcoholic beverage clients globally. Throughout his entrepreneurial career, Smoke founded and built multiple companies, teams and brands. Among his many achievements, Smoke helped build National Wine & Spirits into one of the largest distributors of beer, wine, and spirits in the U.S. with over $1 billion in beverage sales. He also previously served as Chairman and President of the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) and served on their board for seven years.
Smoke has also served on the board of the Hemp Roundtable and the Craft Brewer’s Association and founded the Wine Industry Technology Symposium and Wine 2.0. An active member of Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO), Smoke has served as Chairman of YPO’s Global Beer Wine & Spirits Network since 2010 and serves on the executive board for the YPO Hospitality Network with a membership of over 3,000 CEOs. Additionally, Smoke is the Learning Officer and a Board member for YPO’s Pacific One chapter.
Smoke is co-founder of Dignity Moves, a group of business leaders who came together to help fight the growing homelessness crisis. He also served on the American Freedom Fund’s board whose mission is to empower veterans through athletic, educational and advocacy programs in Washington, D.C., and across America.
Passionate about entrepreneurship and economic education, Smoke served as Chairman of the Board for Junior Achievement of Indiana and the Experiential Learning and Entrepreneurship Foundation in Indianapolis. Smoke was also President of the Vanderbilt University Business School Alumni Board and served on their board for 12 years.
He regularly contributes to CNBC’s Fast Money, Closing Bell and Nightly Business Report, Fox Business’ Varney & Co., CNN’s Headline News, The Street, Yahoo Finance TV, Cheddar News, and appears on Bloomberg and in Forbes, MarketWatch, Politico and The Wall Street Journal.
He frequently speaks and teaches classes at The Art Center School of Design in Pasadena, Calif., Cornell, Dartmouth, Syracuse, University of Southern California and Vanderbilt as well as at conferences nationwide.
He has been recognized with the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of The Year award, Indianapolis Business Journal’s “Forty Under 40”, and the Vanderbilt Business “Distinguished Alumni Award.” He was also named one of the 100 most influential leaders in the cannabis industry by High Times Magazine.
Smoke earned an MBA from Vanderbilt University and a B.S. degree in Agricultural Economics from Cornell University’s Dyson School of Applied Economics at the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business. At Cornell, he was a wrestler and member of Sigma Nu Fraternity.
He is an Eagle Scout and the father of two daughters and two Eagle Scout sons. He lives with his singer/songwriter wife, Anitra, in Ventura, California.