Cat’s Track #178 – Jeff Popiel
Welcome to Cat’s Track Episode 178, with guest Jeff Popiel.
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Jeff Popiel is currently the President of Village Brewery, a Calgary-born-and-raised entrepreneurial success story & pioneer in the local craft beer scene. Village has grown to be a market leader by building community and supporting artists through their philanthropic initiatives.
Prior to joining Village Brewery, Jeff was the President of Beakerhead Creative Society, a non-profit advancing education at the crossroads of science, engineering and art. Jeff lead the reshaping of the organization into a profitable social venture with a promising runway of growth. Tripling the attendance and doubling the profitability of the annual festival on Prince’s Island Park lead to Beakerhead being named a Top 12 festival in Canada for the first time ever!
Prior to Beakerhead, Jeff spent two as President of Sagium Corporation, a wealth strategy firm based in Calgary, Alberta with over $2B in asset coverage and in excess of $150M in assets under management. Jeff lead the strategic growth of the company as it established itself as one of Canada’s preeminent financial solution providers through a merger with investment platform Kinsted Wealth.
Jeff’s career has led him across industries and functional areas, leaving him with a wide skill set, a rare business perspective and an extensive network. Jeff’s strong business acumen combined with his mastery of project management and strategic planning makes him an expert in creating the execution that accomplishes a vision.
As the President of Enthrill Distribution, a technology start-up in the publishing industry, Jeff re-engineered Enthrill’s business focus, spearheaded the launch of Walmart’s online ebook store, architected Enthrill’s global expansion plans into the U.S. and Europe and created a strategic plan that led to Enthrill being named “Digital Start-Up of the Year”.
Jeff spent 14 years as an entrepreneur in the entertainment industry. As a Producer, he was responsible for complex and large scale project management. His duties included the creation of business plans and critical paths, cost analysis and projection, time estimates, data organization, risk assessment and mitigation and stakeholder relationship management. Of special note, Jeff organized and produced two of Calgary’s largest music festivals with 30,000 guests in attendance, over 1,500 staff and a complex array of stakeholders (including business partners, charity, local government, media, corporate sponsors, regulatory agencies, venue, talent representation, community associations, musical artists and patrons). Jeff also has producing credits on over 1,000 tour dates of various productions in the United States, Europe, China and Canada including the longest running show in off-Broadway history and a theatrical production that played Broadway and the West End.
Early in his career, Jeff spent 7 years in the consumer packaged good and pharmaceutical industry learning from blue chip industry leaders; Pepsico, Schering and Campbell Soup Company. Most notably, Jeff managed a $75M budget across all provinces and business units on over $700M in sales. In his role, he led a team in developing revenue forecasts, cost projections, pricing analysis, category management models and ultimately delivering national EBITDA.
Jeff is a native of Calgary, Alberta having also lived and worked in Vancouver, Toronto and Edmonton. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from the University of Alberta with specialization in Finance and Marketing. His achievements and community involvement have been recognized in Avenue Magazine’s Top 40 Under 40 list in 2003 and Business In Calgary’s “Business Leader of Tomorrow” awards in 2011. Jeff loves living in Calgary with his wife and two young daughters and is passionate about the arts, sports and helping his community.