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


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. In 2018, Brad accepted the Wholesaler of the Year Award from the National Brewers Association.

Hobbies & Interest

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

Ed Johnston



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, Vice President of Business Development, and became President of the company in January of 2021.  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!


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

Hobbies & Interest

  • Foosball
  • Travel
  • Fishing
  • Good Food

Angie Packer

Executive Vice President / Owner


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

Melissa Bruno Johnston

Director of Culture & Communications


Melissa got her start in craft beer in 2010 in Pennsylvania, before moving to North Carolina in 2015. Since arriving, she’s helped build the Charlotte Chapter of the Pink Boots Society, and served many years on the planning board for their annual Biere de Femme Festival. In 2017, she was the editor of Brewing Ambition, a book highlighting women in the NC craft beer industry. Over the years, Melissa has worked in all three tiers of the alcohol industry, spending much of that time as a Brewery Sales Rep. She has always been passionate about organizational culture, which was the focus of her Master Thesis. Since becoming Director of Culture & Communications for Tryon, she has presented at national conferences on this topic. 

Hobbies & Interest

When she's not working on Tryon's culture, Melissa enjoys being outdoors, seeing live music, and spending time with her family and dogs. She is an avid traveler who loves exploring new parts of the world. Her other hobbies include collecting vinyl records, gardening, and promoting animal rights. 

Max Perkins

Vice President of Sales


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.

Dale Cannon

Vice President of Operations


Dale has been with Tryon for over 17 years, during which time he has held various different management roles in both the Charlotte and Durham Distribution Centers. As our previous Eastern Regional Sales Manager, Dale effectively lead our sales teams in the eastern half of the state. Dale brings with him previous extensive operational experience, Encompass proficiency, product knowledge, an understanding of our different markets across the state, and an unparalleled drive to succeed.


Certified Specialist of Wine

Hobbies & Interest

Dale enjoys turkey hunting and spending time with his family. 

Jeff Brodmerkel

Chief Financial Officer


Jeff has been with Tryon for 10 years now, first starting back in 2013 as the Accounting Manager. He is a graduate of Clemson University, and has worked as an accountant in the Charlotte area for 30+ years in such industries as banking, construction, and manufacturing, before coming to Tryon. Jeff is a tenacious “numbers guy" who loves to dig through the details to find the key financial elements that make the difference. Accounting is a science, he will tell you, that safeguards the financial health of any company. Jeff and his finance team work tirelessly to process, analyze, and report all the financial data that will ensure that Tryon will continue to grow and be the most profitable and proactive company it can be.

Hobbies & Interest

When Jeff is not busy crunching the numbers, he loves to travel with friends and family, eat and discuss all the great food from those travels, cruise around in classic cars, and play a round of golf whenever possible.   


Employee Spotlight

Jeff Penny

Chain Sales Specialist

“Jeff actually started as a contract weekend pull up person where he took the extra time to learn about our product line and the industry. He has covered all of the outer market routes in his tenure, and built those into stand alone territories. Jeff is steady and calm with his customers, which instills their confidence in him and in Tryon. Jeff was selected as Harnett County’s ‘HOMETOWN HERO’ in 2022 and was selected as the ‘FIREMAN OF THE YEAR’ in Angier where he serves as Assistant Chief.”
--Steve, Off-Premise District Manager.

Mario Heath

Delivery Driver

"Mario is an incredible asset to the Charlotte transportation team. Mario regularly goes above and beyond to make deliveries happen, running long routes, running routes on weekends, and even volunteering for the mountain runs. Mario took over one of the Boone routes a little over a year ago and has excelled where it can be very difficult. Mario is great with customers and has fantastic relationships with the sales team in the area."

-- Randall Franklin, Director of Operations

Nicole Lennon

Sales Rep

“Nikki has been a valuable member of the Southern Coast Team since 2008. She finds a way to grow her business every year regardless of the obstacles presented to her. With a can-do attitude and a lot of hard work, she has added over a million dollars in sales to her route since she started. Nikki is well respected by her customers, peers, and co-workers alike. She is a leader on her Southern Coast Team and a huge asset to the Tryon Team! Outside of work Nikki is a loving daughter, busy Mom, supportive wife and active in her community. A true model employee!”

-- Garrett Wood, SoCo DM

Tyrone Mebane

Delivery Driver

“I can not say enough about Tyrone. Tyrone has been a mentor and a friend since the day I started with Tryon. He is the embodiment of what Tryon wants as a driver and employee in general. Tyrone enjoys playing golf and was an avid bowler. He is loved by all of his customers and is requested by name for just about all accounts in Greensboro. Tyrone always takes a positive approach and never lets the stresses of the job affect his day or who he is.”

-- Brian Idol, Triad Driver Supervisor

Richard McKinney

Sales Rep

“As one of Tryon’s longest-standing employees, Richard McKinney is undoubtedly a true asset. Since joining Tryon in 1995, Richard continues to dominate his territory and is widely known as the ‘wine mayor’ on the streets of downtown Asheville. Richard is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to wine, beer, sake, and writing wine lists to perfection. He is highly respected among his peers and in all of his accounts, making him an integral part of the Asheville wine scene. Thank you, Richard, for paving so many roads for all of us at Tryon and for all you do!”

-- Lauren Shewbridge Western DM

Terrance Bardlavens

Delivery Driver

“Terrance is a great delivery driver and ambassador for Tryon. He is always willing to go the extra mile for the customer. He also is a good communicator with both on and off premise sale teams. He has on more than one instance called with both praise and problems in an account that needed to be addressed. He is one of our best delivery drivers.”

-- Wayne Mincey, Off Premise District Manager

Leslie Eldredge

Beer Portfolio Analyst

“Leslie Eldredge is an invaluable member of our team, known for her exceptional teamwork and collaborative spirit. She actively seeks opportunities to enhance her skill set by confronting and overcoming her weaknesses, demonstrating a commitment to personal and professional growth. Leslie consistently rises to the occasion when faced with challenges and does so with aplomb. Her desire to learn combined with her receptiveness to differing opinions makes her an adaptable and quick learner in any given situation. Beyond the workplace, Leslie finds joy in exploring the outdoors and indulging her passion for travel, indicative of her adventurous personality.”

 -- Elledge Davis, Director of Procurement

Pat Rogers

Delivery Driver

Pat has been with the company for 14 awesome years. His work ethic from the start has been a great example for all new employees that have came to work at Tryon. His attendance is exemplary as he has probably one of the best attendance records in the company. Pat has developed great lasting impressions with all the accounts he has serviced. His name is known across the Raleigh market and throughout the company for his dedication to ensuring his customers and reps are taken care of. Pat also has a great track record of going above and beyond the call of duty for Tryon by working on his off days to pick up orders, as well as drop off empty kegs to some of our accounts to save the company even more money.

--Ryan O’Briant, Triangle Driver Supervisor

Our Staff

At Tryon we employ over 200 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