THE TEAM

 
 

We all have dreams. Ours just happens to be life, liberty, and the pursuit of bringing people together for good times.

 

 

As descendants of a NW timber family, we have our roots in great pursuits and see the world with patience and long-term thinking. Pursuit is not just our brand, but our ideology. We hope to leave a legacy of high quality spirits, live out our dreams and support yours along the way.

 
 
P3090306-web.jpg
 
sam.jpg

Sam Agnew

OWNER / EXECUTIVE OFFICER

The first thing most people notice about Sam is his earnest enthusiasm and passion. This makes sense when you understand his experience as a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach. Along with his natural leadership Sam brings some fiscal responsibility to all the fun that comes with living out your dreams. He has over 10 years overseeing and managing the financial performance of a commercial real estate portfolio and a PNW timber portfolio. As a founder and executive officer, Sam oversees the strategy, vision and handshakes at Pursuit. Sam is a graduate from the University of Kansas where in addition to being exposed to some above average basketball games, he met his wife.

 
chris-w.jpg

Chris Werner

OWNER / MARKETING & SALES

Most of us here are easy to talk to, however Chris raises the bar bringing a natural polish to our operation. Well, that and he has a good relationship with numbers. Chris is one of our Pursuit founders and heads up the marketing and sales side of the operation. In this capacity he is responsible for Pursuit marketing initiatives and sales. He also chimes in eloquently on the overall vision and strategy for brand development.  He is actually partially responsible for why you are reading these words now. Weird, right? Chris brings a broad perspective of financial planning and investment management experience to Pursuit. Chris began his career in finance in 2001, working as an investment advisor and has served as the Managing Director of his firm since its inception in 2007. This is more fun.

 
rebecca.jpg

Rebecca Hovey

HEAD DISTILLER

You may know this, but no matter how amazing our still happens to be, it takes some someone special to coax it to produce high quality spirits.  At the heart of our operation is the artistry of Rebecca Hovey our Head Distiller. Rebecca joined the pursuit team in 2016. She works in all areas of distillery operation and maintenance, but most importantly, she poetically oversees the running of the still. And this is not just any still, but a large, dynamic living and breathing entity. She has a degree in chemical engineering from the University of North Dakota, and cannot believe the stroke of luck that landed her a job in the distilling industry.

tyler.jpg

Tyler Teeple

OWNER / OPERATIONS / EXECUTIVE OFFICER

Tyler could be described as a renaissance man whose diverse experiences and skills serve the distillery well. However we think of him more as an instigator of endless ideas.  Before founding Pursuit with the team he flew planes commercially and helped lead his family business in sales and management. His role now as our Operations Officer is focused on creative direction, product development and ingredient procurement. So, just basically like flying a jet, inside a building, upside down.

 
chris-g.jpg

Chris Greene

OWNER / FINANCE & STRATEGY

If you want to start a distillery named Pursuit, you need a founder named Chris. If you want to start a distillery named Pursuit that’s thriving for the next 100 years or so, you need a second Chris. At least that is what we read in a fortune cookie. Anyway, meet Chris.  If you see Chris in jeans and a t-shirt, understand he’s also wearing a well-tailored imaginary suit. This is the kind of commitment and professionalism you get from him and why he is another owner and founder.  Chris provides financial and strategic advice relating to all pursuits and business development activities.  He advises on growth initiatives, financial projections and capital structure. Prior to founding Pursuit, Chris was an investment banker for 10 years in Minneapolis and Portland, Ore.  As an investment banker, Mr. Greene advised public and private companies on valuation, strategic alternatives, mergers and acquisitions and capital raises and suiting advice.

 
Cory Johnson Photo.JPEG

Cory Johnson

PRODUCTION MANAGER

There is some fierce debate going on at Pursuit and Cory happens to be at the center of the controversy. You see, the Pursuit team argues they are the lucky ones to have found Cory, while Cory argues he is lucky to have found himself at Pursuit.   While we may never know the answer, chances are you will get to know Cory on your visit. Cory mans the Tasting Room with a gentleman’s hospitality and a lifelong Mariner’s fan level of positive energy. He also happens to be a local so he is more helpful than the Internet. 

JT.jpg

Jonathan Thomas (JT)

OWNER / FACILITY MANAGEMENT / PLANT OPERATION

If you want to know how to make something out of metal and thin air without a set of instructions, JT is your man. That’s why he’s our partner and a founder of Pursuit where he heads up facility management and plant operations.  What does that mean?  Well, he’s fluent in building stuff and ensures the distilling equipment and mechanics of the plant are in a good mood so they distill and bottle our pursuits for your own. JT has been in the welding and fabricating industry for over 15 years and owns his own fabrication shop.  He has designed and built food, spirits, milk and beverage manufacturing plants all over the world. And he’s related to our still.

 
Dre Dog.jpg

Andres Gonzales

OWNER / MARKETING

This is probably obvious, but maybe one of the most important skills you can have while starting a world-class distillery is in having a professional golfer on board. We read that book too.  Lucky for us Andres isn’t just a pro golfer but someone with the gravitas and eloquence to bring a voice to the countless bottles of Pursuit spirits that can’t do so for themselves. Andres lends his talents to the overall strategy, vision and helps make sure the brand is well represented in the world.

 
mash.jpg

Mash

DOG

Mash is our resident distillery dog. He spends his days stealing meals of spilt beer mash, napping, chewing on pallet wood, and goading Tyler into playing with him. This two year old boxer is very chatty, and will definitely let you know if he’s feeling left out of the fun. Mash has an irresistible puppy dog face and it’s impossible to remain mad at him. His skills include playing well with kids, going to the bathroom outside, almost fetching a tennis ball, and clearing a room with his post-digestive gifts.

 
unnamed.jpg

Heidi Hawkinson

SALES MANAGER - TASTING ROOM MANAGER

If our tasting room seems unusually luminous you can thank Heidi who is our solar-powered Sales Manager and also our
Tasting Room Manager. Heidi spent nearly a decade learning the intricacies of craft cocktails while bartending on the island of Oahu. If it weren’t for her generous personality, deep understanding of spirits and natural desire to bring people together, we would not be able to get over our resentment of her enviable island past. We are happy to be able to draft off of
her passion for adventure in life and pairing of unexpected flavors as we continue to expand our Pursuit.

Shekinah.jpg

Shekinah

STILL

Always dressed up and looking smart in copper and stainless steel, Shekinah is perhaps the most important member of the team. As our still, she works tirelessly and has the power to turn our crazy ideas into delicious distilled reality.  Shekinah is no ordinary still. Unlike more common pot stills that can only make single batches, she is continuous with four columns that align with her perfectionist attitude. She is a true, high-performance warrior that can run 24 hours a day.  Of course that can make her a bit ego-centric at times and sometimes hard to communicate with. But such is the temperament of a hard-working artist.