Central Region Nominees:
Ian Conboy – Lucky Hare Brewing
As a founding member of a small business here in The Finger Lakes, I have experienced every step along the way of what it takes to create a successful New York State Brewery. Lucky Hare Brewing Company has grown from a 3bbl brewhouse in a 100-year-old barn, to a state-of-the-art production facility in Watkins Glen, with continued growth every year. From this growth and gained knowledge, I believe I can continued to represent the Central Region, while being able to share the experience of what it takes to operate a successful & sustainable brewery.
As the representative on the NYSBA Board for the Central Region for the past three years, I will continue my commitment to the breweries of New York State, advocating for and supporting the best interests in all sized breweries while drawing on my years of experience, both good and bad, to help lift our great association and continue to showcase our amazing craft beer and brewing community.
Ian Conboy is a founder of Lucky Hare Brewing Company and has served as Vice President since 2014. Beginning originally as a brewery producing less than 300 barrels per year, Lucky Hare is now operating 2 separate taproom locations and a production facility in Watkins Glen, NY. Ian has held every position in the brewery and taproom and now is the Head Brewer. Ian was a Marine Biologist until leaving that career to focus entirely on producing delicious beer here in the Finger Lakes. He has been a guest lecturer for Cornell University, Experience the FLX, The Schuyler County Historical Society, and the Sciencenter of Ithaca. Ian also serves on the board for the Community Development Committee here in his hometown of Watkins Glen. Ian has also worked with Seneca Lake Pure Waters Harmful Algal Bloom monitoring group. Most importantly, Ian has served the last three years on the NYSBA Board as well, chairing the Safety Committee for the last two. Originally from the Philadelphia area, Ian now lives in Watkins Glen with his wife Denise and five-year-old son Wolfgang Xavier.
Kristen Lunkenheimer-Slocum – Lunkenheimer Craft Brewing Company
It is with strong leadership capabilities and passion for the brewing and craft beverage industry (past, present & future) that I seek your vote for the Central Region board position. If elected it is my intent to serve as the unified voice for the region and represent ALL facets of the business through regular collaboration and gatherings (in all geographical areas of the large region) with open discussions on any matters that impact our brewing industry.
A strength of mine has always been the ability to look at complex things objectively with a forward, strategic approach across functions to achieve great things. It is with this approach, my background and experiences, hard work, and partnership/relationships built or to be built with you, that I hope to gain your trust to collectively represent the Central Region and utilize the strength of the NYSBA to encourage greater consumption of fresh, local beer! Cheers!
Kristen began her career in the NYS craft beer scene in 2013 when she and her husband Derric began working part-time to open Lunkenheimer Craft Brewing Co. In 2014, LCBC opened as a farm brewery and was Cayuga County’s first brewery since prohibition. In the fall of 2018, LCBC at Sodus Bay Bridge was opened as a satellite location on the farm license. LCBC is known primarily for its production of classic-traditional styles that have earned many awards, including the 2022 Governors Cup for its Berliner style weisse with woodruff. Today, Kristen and her husband are now full-time, continue to grow the business organically and remain highly involved and hands-on in the day to day brewing operations and front of the house activities; while also mentoring a team of 12 to continue to perfect high quality, award winning beer and wood-fired pizzas.
Prior to turning her focus to the brewing industry and passion, Kristen worked 15 years at a medical device manufacturer. There she held numerous leadership and management positions across the organization in Operations, Supply Chain, Engineering, Quality Systems and Shipping and Receiving. Often Kristen’s role entailed traveling for work and one might say this is what led her to craft beer, as she would chase quality brews while in California, Washington, Oregon, Mexico and elsewhere. Kristen was able to embark on a strong manufacturing career due to her eagerness to learn and drive to exceed expectations.
Kristen’s educational background includes:
-A Lean Six Sigma Black belt certification from Rochester Institute of Technology
-M.S degree in Manufacturing & Global Operations Management from Clarkson University
-B.S in Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering from Clarkson University
-A.S in Mechanical Technology from Onondaga Community College
Additionally, Kristen has recently dedicated time to serve as a director for Cayuga County Tourism and Farm Bureau boards. Kristen lives with her husband and 5 year old son in Weedsport along with their Rhodesian Ridgeback, Vienna and two cats on 13 acres.
Tom Scozzafava – 1812 Brewing Company
Northeast Region Nominees:
Paul Mrocka – Paradox Brewery
Paul Mrocka, at 65 years young, has a life story that reflects his remarkable journey from the skies to the world of craft beer. With a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautics and a Minor in Marketing, Paul dedicated many years to a distinguished career as a Senior International Pilot at Honeywell International.
In 2013, while still actively working for Honeywell, Paul embarked on a bold entrepreneurial venture by opening Paradox Brewery. What started as a modest 1,400-square-foot brewery has now evolved into a state-of-the-art 25,000-square-foot brewery and restaurant. Simultaneously managing his role at Honeywell and the growth of Paradox Brewery, Paul showcased his remarkable ability to juggle and excel in multiple spheres.
After his retirement from Honeywell in 2020, Paul continued to focus on his role as the President of Paradox Brewery, where he remains the driving force behind its ongoing success.
Career: Retired in 2020 from Honeywell International as a Senior International Pilot
Current Role: President of Paradox Brewery
Long Island Nominees:
Catie Callaghan – Greenport Harbor Brewing Co
A generational Long Islander, Catie grew up residing in Yaphank, while frequently visiting grandparents in Nassau County and the North Fork. Her ties to the diverse communities and bountiful resources offered within Long Island’s shorelines are core to her identity.
Catie prides herself on hard work, community and love of fermentation as the perfect symbiosis of art and science.
With over 5 years at Greenport Harbor Brewing company starting with loading bottles on the line, to working and then overseeing the cellar, and now overseeing production staff as well as working on the creation of mixed ferments and barrel program she is a product of her environment. Catie gained support and experience from several neighboring breweries and various acclaimed North Fork vineyards. .
A founding member of Lady Brewsters, she cherishes the opportunity to work with her co-founders to celebrate women in all aspects of the Long Island Brewing community and witness her colleagues come together to build community and support local non-profits.
I believe the skills I have developed in the Long Island brewing industry and the experiences I have gained attending NYSBA beer judging competitions, festivals and conferences throughout the years make me an ideal candidate to represent our Long Island Region with fairness and focus on growing our community as a region and an integral part of the Empire State.
Additionally, I can offer a unique brewery employee perspective to the board as a team driven leader in support of collaborative focused discussion and excellence..
The brewing industry isn’t for everyone but for those of us it found, we are so fortunate to be given the opportunity to pursue the creation of a product built on community, storytellers and history. I truly believe in fostering an ever evolving cohesive team of eccentric humans making beers as a vehicle for self reflection and human connection.
The brewing industry offers a trust in those who came before and those that will surely come after. I hope to serve as the best representative of the Long Island Region of the New York State Brewers Association Board for those that trust in beer, gumption and one another.
Paul Komsic – Ghost Brewing Company
Statement & Bio:
Meet Paul, a dedicated and passionate advocate for Long Island’s ever-growing brewing community. He began his professional journey at Brickhouse Brewery (Patchogue, NY) where he held a position as a Chef for three years, then honed his brewing skills for the following six years as both an Assistant Brewer and Brewmaster. In early 2019, he began to transition over to Ghost Brewing Co. (Bay Shore, NY) and by December, the doors were open. He is no stranger to sharing his expertise and support, has previously served on the Long Island Brewers Guild, and is always eager to nurture and display his love for the community.
As he vies for a seat to represent Long Island on the New York Brewers Association Board, Paul brings a wealth of experience, a boundless passion for craft beer, and a deep-rooted commitment to fostering both connections and growth within the brewing community. With hopes to shorten the perceived distance between Long Island and the rest of New York State, he intends to continue cultivating relationships to help grow this community together.
John Fraioli – Ubergeek
John Fraioli is a lifelong resident of Long Island and has been a part of the brewing community for the last eight years.
Currently he is brewing for Ubergeek, He has previously brewed for the Destination Unknown Beer Company and the Oyster Bay Brewing Company.
The reason I am running for the New York State Brewers Association seat on the board is simple, it’s about community. I have always been a big believer that when we come together as a group, we are unstoppable. The countless resources provided to us help to make it easier for us to succeed. It’s very easy to see the value, hard work, and dedication that everyone involved in the Brewers Association has put in. I am fortunate to be a part of this community and I would like to have a part in helping the Association continue to thrive and evolve.
Mark Heuwetter – Six Harbors Brewing Company
Statement & Bio:
Mark worked on Wall Street for thirty years, spending most of his career with the Dreyfus Asset Management Company, where he honed many business and social skills, now used today at Six Harbors. After many years of commuting to Manhattan, Mark began to think about a career revolving around his passion for beer. In college, Mark and his roommate could never seem to put enough money together to buy beer, so they started to make it with home brew kits. They mailed a money order out thru the Sears & Roebuck catalog. No computer or internet back in the day, they patiently waited eight weeks (2/3rd of a semester) for the beer kit to arrive. They made the wort in the residence hall kitchen to the dismay of many and fermented it in their dorm room closet. caused quite the stench in the hallways, but nonetheless, they became quite popular on campus! In recent years, Mark became very active in the local home brewers club, Home Brews and Hand Grenades, started creating recipes, sharing the beer with family, friends, and other beer enthusiasts. When things began to get too big in scale and the odor in the house became unbearable for the rest of the family, Mark took his beer production to the family garage. What was once a small idea at this point ‘brewed’ into a larger plan, and Mark decided to look for bigger space so he could put the thoughts for a hometown brewery into production. Today, Six Harbors Brewing Company reached a milestone, celebrating their five year anniversary in May. Open seven days a week, you can stop down any day of the week and probably see Mark tinkering around doing something beer related.