MEET THE TEAM
Co-Owner & Chairman
After completing Asheville Buncombe Tech's Brewing and Fermentation Program in 2013, Max got his start in the industry as an ambitious young barback with Wicked Weed Brewing. A year later, he was promoted to Assistant Brewer at 20 years old. Upon completing his Associate's Degree from the Craft Beverage Institute of the Southeast, Max was hired as a Brewer and Wood Cellarmen with Wicked Weed's globally-recognized Sour Program during their highest point of production. After another two years in this role, Max was promoted to Lead Pub Brewer/Research & Development, where he created new beers and grew production through distribution outlets from their pub location.
With his in-depth knowledge of brewing and distillation through the Craft Beverage Institute, alongside his academic pursuit of his MBA degree through LSU, Max endeavors to create a faster, easier, and more user-friendly approach to the beverage creation space with the launch of Inbox Beverage Inc.
Co-Owner & Director
David brings a wealth of business experience to Inbox. He has started 8 companies, 5 of which he took public, 2 of which were sold to private equity. Today, David specializes in business consulting for companies who need assistance in corporate structure, management, and capital. He has secured over $250M in equity and debt across various industries including Healthcare, Financial, Hospitality, and Tech.
jeff "puff" irvin
Jeff “Puff” Irvin earned his undergraduate degree in biology from Iowa State University. He went on to complete the Master Brewers program through the University of California – Davis, and then became a Diploma Brewer through the Institute of Brewing and Distilling (IBD). He spent over ten years at Olde Main Brewing Company in Ames, IA as their Head Brewer, where he established and continually improved brewing processes and recipes, and managed brewery operations. In August 2013, he became the first full-time instructor for the country’s first accredited Associate of Applied Science program in Brewing, Distillation, and Fermentation at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College. Puff currently serves as the Department Chair for Brewing, Distillation, and Fermentation and as the Director of the Craft Beverage Institute of the Southeast. Puff created and hosts the Consuming the Craft podcast exploring the craft beverage industry, which you can find through your favorite podcast app.
Tom graduated from George Washington University with a JD degree in May 1992 and has over 30 years of experience in intellectual property law. Along with Tom's vast knowledge in intellectual property, he helped grow a successful restaurant chain and has the expertise to assist Inbox Beverage as we expand and navigate through our franchise platform.
Ismat (Matt) SawaqeD
Board Member & Strategic Partner
Ismat (Matt) Sawaqed is an experienced international executive of over 30 years in the areas of economic development, investment banking, finance, real estate development, environment, and
conventional and renewable energy. In his 30 years’ experience, he has gradually grown his career from roles such as project manager and construction manager to CEO and a board member in various industries and countries. He has experience in working with United Nations agencies and foreign dignitaries, including Prime Ministers, Rulers and Ambassadors. In the past, Mr. Sawaqed studied Architectural Design in Jordan, and later he obtained a Master’s
Degree in Management from Chifley School of Business. Starting his career with a leading architecture firm, Jafar Tuqan and Partners, then George Fuller Corporation, a division of Northrop Corporation. His vast base of company experience include: Wintite Energy Systems in Canada were he has implemented energy efficient programs for commercial buildings for the Government of Canada, Ontario Ministry of Energy. In the 90’s, Mr. Sawaqed moved from Canada to the United States and became a co-founder of AFI Capital, an incubator and a venture capital firm that specializes in early stage, asset management and corporate financing & M&A. Mr. Sawaqed was a founding member of Rakeen Development UAE, a leading real estate development
company. He served as an Executive Committee Member and Board Secretary for Rakeen with a portfolio of projects exceeding 2B USD. He also served as Vice President of Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority, a government agency and a sovereign fund that has investment in several continents and in various sectors, such as mining, oil and gas, real estate, industrial and business parks. While there he was instrumental in the planning, structuring and negotiating for free trade zone set-up and off-shore
jurisdiction policy of RAK OFFSHORE. He co-arranged for the World Bank investment conference that attracted over 500 Million Dollars of FDI in the first year of launching, additionally he was instrumental in running the investment portfolio strategy in various industry segments and geographical planning. In spring of 2007, Mr. Sawaqed was also appointed by the Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler with an Emiri Decree to co-chair the office of the executive committee board of RAK CAM “Ras Al Khaimah Centre for
Advanced Material” and in working with the top 5 world-renowned scientists who constituted the SAB “Scientific Advisory Board” of the center for setting the mission and the business plan of the center. Then in 2008 became CEO of Oryx Holding, a private equity firm in the UAE. Mr. Sawaqed also became a Managing Director for Consolidated Consultants, RAK, UAE a leading engineering firm that specialize in urban planning and full engineering services.
Mr. Sawaqed was the founder of Renewable Energy Inc, a US corporation, with its subsidiary Spira International, a Vertical Axis Wind Turbine Manufacturer. He also serves as Chairman of EpecoGulf, a water desalination and sewage treatment plant designer and manufacturer. In 2016 he was appointed
as a lead for a Royal Court of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan initiative for climate change mitigation and weather modification program and later became the president of PanBuck Jordan, a business advisory firm that offers exclusive service to various government sectors and industries. Currently Mr. Sawaqed is the CEO of Hedger Ventures, boutique investment banking, PE, asset
management, strategic planning and advisory firm.
Board Member & Strategic Partner
Current Role: Vice President Business @ In-Situ Corporation; BOD - Chlorophyll Biofuels Pvt. Ltd. & Innovative Liquid Technologies Pvt. Ltd.; Operating Partner @Emerald
Operating Partners. Anurag Thakur has 22 years of management experience in product and service management, global operations, supply chain management, and commercial/operational excellence in various industries including board governance and reporting, extensive M& A due diligence/integration, and globalization. His direct experiences include working in Asia, Europe, Canada, and the USA in Steel, Aviation,
Transportation, Healthcare, Pumps/Compressors, Water, Alcohol, and Consulting industries.
Anurag has consistently led growth P& L’s in the last 13 years at General Electric (US), Severn Trent (UK), DeNora Water (Italy), IDEX Corporation (USA) & currently at In-Situ Corporation. Concurrently, Anurag has led various M& A due diligence projects for tier 1 private equity firms for assets with valuations ranging from $100m to $3B. Lastly, Anurag serves on the board of directors for Chlorophyll Biofuels India Pvt. Ltd. And Innovative Liquid Technologies USA Pvt. Ltd. Anurag has led Service P& Ls ranging from $75m at DeNora to $1.2B at GE Healthcare and has consistently delivered double-digit annual growth organically in the last 10 years. In the process, he effectively doubled the share of wallet from captive customers and acquired new customers globally at low costs via regional commercial and operations excellence.
Inorganically, he led strategic M& As in his roles at various OEM firms and was also the lead commercial and operational due diligence expert for the likes of tier 1 PE firms such as Blackstone, Triton, Platinum, and EQT Partners via Emerald. Anurag is currently utilizing his water and ethanol industry expertise and passion for green energy in developing biofuels and biogas market in India in the capacity of the board of directors and is also a Vice President at In-Situ Corp. based in the USA leading its global Service and Aftermarket business. Anurag holds a Ph.D. in aerospace materials from Canada and is a General Electric trained six sigma master blackbelt and a lean leader.