Our Ambition

Craft premium, elevated brands and share them with a global community to make life more beautiful.


Richard Betts


Richard is the master craftsman behind everything CKBG produces. Richard has extensive international experience in developing established and emerging brands in high growth markets. He previously founded, created, and exited spirits brands Sombra Mezcal and Astral Tequila, and the wine companies Betts & Scholl and Scarpetta. In the spring of 2003, Richard passed the Court of Master Sommeliers’ Masters Exam on the first attempt, the ninth person ever to do so. He recently Resigned From The Court Of Master Sommeliers.

‍Richard started his journey in food and wine as the wine director at The Little Nell in Aspen from 2000-2008, after receiving both a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Science. Richard is the New York Times best-selling author of “The Essential Scratch & Sniff Guide to Becoming a Wine Expert” and “The Essential Scratch & Sniff Guide to Becoming a Whiskey Know-It-All.” In addition to CKBG, he is co-developing a wine project with his wife Carla Rza Betts called “An Approach to Relaxation”.

Joe Marchese


Multiple-time founder and sometimes media executive, Joe Marchese is Executive Chairman and Founding Partner at Human Ventures. A leader in the media and technology industries, Joe was inducted into the Advertising Hall of Achievement in 2016.

Joe is a member of the Board of Directors for Human Ventures, Team Rubicon, Tribeca Film Institute, Cox Media Group and Clear Channel Outdoor. Joe founded true[X] which sold to 21st Century Fox in 2015 and served as President of Advertising for Fox Broadcast, Fox Sports, National Geographic, and FX.

Board of Directors

Rudy Ruiz, CKBG Board Member
Rudy Ruiz
Board Member
Rudy is currently the Managing Director of Park Street. Rudy spent the last 17 of his career at SouthernGlazer's Wine & Spirits, most recently serving as the Executive Vice President of Emerging Spirits Brands. Prior to Southern Glazer's Rudy served nearly 25 years in senior leadership roles at Bacardi, including President and CEO of Bacardi USA.
Heather Hartnett, CKBG Board Member
Heather Hartnett
Board Member
Heather Hartnett is General Partner and CEO of Human Ventures — one of New York’s premiere startup studios and early stage venture funds. Since launching under Heather's leadership, Human Ventures has invested in and co-built more than 40 companies, with key investments including Reserve (acquired), TheSkimm, Current, Tiny Organics and Paloma Health.
Jay Brown, CKBG Board Member
Jay Brown
Board Member
Jay brings an unparalleled mix of perspectives being an industry leader in music, fashion, sports, and culture overall. Jay is a Co-Founder of Marcy Venture Partners and Roc Nation, where he is currently the Vice Chairman and served as CEO until 2019. Prior to Co-Founding Roc Nation, Jay was an Executive Vice President at Def Jam Records.