Tryon Distributing - Our People

The Pulse Behind Tryon

Our People

At Tryon we pride ourselves on being just a little different than most other beer and wine distributors.

Executive Team

Brad Johnston

Owner / Founder

ALT

Brad was born and raised in Charlotte.  He received a Business degree from UNC-Greensboro where he met his wife, Suzan.  After several years in the restaurant industry Brad and his old college roommate Steve Hedberg put together a group of investors to purchase an eighteen-month-old business that was failing.  Brad was only 26 at the time, but even at that age he saw the potential in Tryon Distributing. 

As the President of Tryon, Brad has been very active within the Craft Beer and Wine industries.  He has been a board member of the Charlotte Hospitality and Tourism Alliance as well as the North Carolina Beer and Wine Wholesalers Association. 

Brad was also very active in the grassroots movement to raise the alcohol limit in beer, called ‘Pop the Cap’.  He was also the Chairman of the National Craft Beer Wholesalers Symposium for several years and in 2017 was honored with the Industry Impact Award, which was awarded to him by the North Carolina Brewer’s Guild.  

Hobbies & Interest

  • Served as a Boy Scout leader for over ten years
  • Enjoys fishing
  • Loves driving his tractor on his farm

Angie Packer

Senior Vice President / Owner

ALT

Since 1985, Angie has worked to make Tryon a viable alternative to larger, more corporate driven wine and beer distributors in the North Carolina market. Trained as an educator in college, her passion has always been tasting with and educating employees and consumers on the products represented by Tryon. She has worked as a salesperson, Charlotte manager, Statewide Sales manager, VP of Marketing and currently the Senior Vice President. 

As the business has evolved over the years, it has remained a challenging and rewarding career.

A personal goal, within Tryon, is to work with local charities and organizations featuring Tryon’s products.   

Hobbies & Interest

  • Biking
  • Playing volleyball
  • Spending time with husband, two sons and a golden retriever

Brent Hinson

Chief Financial Officer

ALT

Brent Hinson is the Chief Financial Officer at Tryon Distributing, where he is responsible for all of the company's financial affairs and also serves as the Secretary & Treasurer.  Brent has over 20 years of experience in the areas of accounting, finance, operations and management in public and private sectors.  Prior to working at Tryon, Brent held senior management positions in the industries of foodservice, manufacturing, education, landscaping and restaurant management.

Brent is a CPA certified in the state of North Carolina and holds a BS in Accounting from UNC Charlotte.

Hobbies & Interest

Brent lives in Matthews NC with his lovely wife Lorna.  Brent & Lorna enjoy:

  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Spending time in the mountains
  • Playing tennis
  • Watching Alabama football

Don Helton

Vice President of Operations

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Don came to Tryon in 2003 with 32 years of Operations and Warehousing experience, with 21 years in the beverage alcohol industry with the now Republic National Distributing Company and Empire Distributors.  Don had participated in and/or directed numerous warehouse moves and re-warehousing projects during his career, including the complete re-warehousing of the Charlotte Distribution Center and the opening of Tryon’s Durham Distribution Center in 2016.  

Hobbies & Interest

Don enjoys:

  • Golf
  • Fishing
  • A good Chardonnay

Jon Helton

Operations Manager

ALT

Jon Helton has lived in Charlotte, North Carolina since 2003. He was just 17 years old when he moved from South Florida to Charlotte with his family. While attending high school in South Florida, Jon worked part time at National Distributing Company, where he got his first hands on experience in the beverage distribution industry. Warehouses were nothing new to Jon because his father was a part of the industry for decades. This gave Jon early exposure to beverage distribution growing up.

 

After moving in 2003, Jon quickly began looking for a job and applying to colleges. He was hired shortly thereafter by Harris Teeter while he attended the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Jon worked his way from a part timer and into store management within his 7 years spent at Harris Teeter.

 

In 2011, Jon transferred jobs and came to Tryon Distributing. He started as the State Router and Night Shift Supervisor at the Charlotte warehouse. Shortly thereafter, there was a need for a Charlotte Warehouse Manager. Jon was going to temporarily fill that role, which eventually became a permanent position. As Tryon grew and the Durham Distribution Center was built, Jon became the Operations Manager for Tryon. He has helped reinvigorated the Tryon operations team and has focused on utilizing innovative technology and striving to be one of the best distribution companies in North Carolina.

Hobbies & Interest

In his free time, he enjoys:

  • Spending time with his wife and three children.
  • Cooking
  • Practicing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Max Perkins

Vice President of Sales

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Max began selling wine tableside in restaurants in 1985, but his career in distribution began in Charlotte retail in 1989. He has worked on the street in both the retail and restaurant arenas. His journeys have taken him across the country working for wineries and around the world working as an importer. But Max will tell you, distribution is in his blood and he loves the diversity of portfolio that working for Tryon brings. 

Hobbies & Interest

When he isn’t pounding out emails and reports, he is often in the market seeing what is happening first hand. Outside the office his passions are:

  • Travel
  • Great food
  • Fishing
  • Volleyball.

Ed Johnston

Vice President of Business Development

ALT

Ed developed a passion for the beer and wine industry at a young age and found his first job in the industry working second shift in the Tryon warehouse when he was 18 years old.  After graduating from NC State University (Go Pack!) he took a job as a brewery sales rep in Atlanta, GA.  He eventually made his way back to North Carolina and began working with Tryon again as their Statewide Draft Manager.  From there he has held several positions including Merchandising, Triangle operations manager, On-Premise sales, Off-Premise sales, Beer Brand Manager, and his current role - Vice President of Business Development.  Ed is committed to ensuring that Tryon Distributing remains the leader in craft beer and fine wine wholesale distribution in North Carolina and is excited about what the future holds!

Certifications

  • Certified Beer Server
  • Certified Specialist of Wine
  • Certified to survive even the most ruthless hangovers

Hobbies & Interest

  • Foosball
  • Travel
  • Fishing
  • Good Food
Close

Employee Spotlight

Ben Wilkey

Durham Distribution Warehouse Manager

Ben Wilkey began his career at Tryon Distributing in July 2000 where he worked in the Warehouse as a Warehouse Associate. In this role he learned the ins and outs of the warehouse operation which prepared him for his next role as a Keg Daft Technician where he learned more about the operation side of the business. He was promoted to the Shift Supervisor position and then decided to learn something new and took on the role of State Wide Transportation Manager. After residing in that role for a year he took on his latest venture of Distribution Warehouse Manager. Ben is truly a success story of someone following their goals and dreams. 

 

Our Staff

At Tryon we employ over 120 people, and each one of them are a building block to what we stand for.

Dedicated to Our Staff

We strive to create the best environment possible

At Tryon Distributing, we love technology. We use it every day and (most of the time) it makes our lives a lot easier. Technology, however, can only take you so far. It’s our people that really make us who we are as a company. Over the last three decades we have strived to create the best environment possible for our people to not only work, but to grow and excel. We are constantly investing in our people in many different ways because we not only know that highly skilled and happier people are more productive, but also because it’s just the right thing to do.

Our Culture Join Our Team