George Burciaga – Chief Executive Officer
George Burciaga, 37, launched his most recent technology firm, Elevate Digital, in 2011. Elevate is an interactive media firm utilizing outdoor multi-touch displays to introduce connective advertising and applications that increase communication and integrate into mobile/social media while enhancing consumer access to services. Elevate is currently partnered with Tribune Group, Clear Channel and Groupon with forecasted revenue of $20 million by 2014.
Burciaga also is the founder and CEO of smarTECHS.net, a Chicago-based national IT firm specializing in application, infrastructure and project management development solutions for clients in both private and public sector. Burciaga was honored in Washington by two U.S. Presidents as the National Technology Business of the Year and the Minority Small Business Person of the Year. SmarTECHS was also given the Inc. 5000 award in 2008 and 2009.
Recognized locally and nationally as a business leader, Burciaga was inducted into the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame in 2012. He was also named the Illinois Business Person of the Year in 2008 by the Small Business Development Center, was the second-runner up in the national competition and was also honored by the Small Business as National Minority Small Business Person of the Year. In 2011, he received an annual award from the Black Data Processing Associates Chicago Chapter.
Burciaga also serves on the City Colleges of Chicago Advisory Council (2012), the State of Illinois Literacy commission 2012, the City of Chicago – Mayor’s Technology Council (2010) and was the chairman for ordinance, rules and regulations subcommittee for the City of Chicago Business License Council (2010). He was also appointed to the State of Illinois’ Economic Recovery Commission in 2011- 12.
An active civic leader, Burciaga has a strong commitment to community service and development. He started the “Follow Me” program, in which he visits Chicago-area high schools and encourages students to attend college. Burciaga also participates in the annual Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center’s “Future Founders” program. He was also appointed to the State Literacy Foundation Board and is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago.
Burciaga is a member of several professional and non-profit organizations. He is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. He was also given the Starbucks Community Service and Founder’s Award by the Chicago Latino Network. Burciaga has also served as a member of Chicago’s Career Academy for Advanced Technology and Chicago’s 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Committee’s Next Generation Advisory Council.
Raised by his grandparents in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood and attending Chicago Public Schools, Burciaga found himself in a position to become innovative by necessity. He is the first college graduate in his family and currently resides in the Chicago area with his wife, Trina, and their three children Sofia, Giana, and Lorenzo.
Louis Amoroso – Chief Operating Officer
Mr. Amoroso has twenty years of experience starting up and leading rapid growth companies. Mr. Amoroso was co-founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Beverage Solutions (dba – Beer Across America, International Wine Cellars, 4 Seasons), the largest wine and beer direct marketing company in the country with annual sales in excess of $60 million. Beverage Solutions was acquired by Direct Wines (the largest wine direct marketing company in the world with annual sales of $500 million) in 2007. Beverage Solutions was a pioneering force in developing a nationwide market for microbrewed and craft-brewed beers. Mr. Amoroso’s contributions to the microbrewing industry have been publicly recognized by major breweries and his entrepreneurial success at the helm of Beverage Solutions has led to appearances on NBC’s Today Show and profiles in Forbes magazine.
During this period, Mr. Amoroso was a co-founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of drinks.com, Inc., the largest on-line marketer of beer, wine and spirits in the U.S. Both drinks.com and Beverage Solutions were instrumental in developing the market for consumer direct shipments of beer, wine and spirits. Mr. Amoroso is a leading proponent of consumer direct marketing and shipments and he has emerged in the beer, wine and spirits industry as an acknowledged leader in developing legal distribution structures for the consumer direct market.
Mr. Amoroso is also a partner in other successful consumer products business ventures, including Goose Island Beer Company and Dogswell. Goose Island Beer Company is the premier craft brewery in the Midwest and is one of the top ten craft breweries in the country. In 2007, Mr. Amoroso and his partners at Goose Island sold 48% of the venture to a subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch. Dogswell is the fastest growing pet food in the country and was recently ranked number 7 in the Top 100 Consumer Products Companies in the Country by Inc. Magazine and the 101st Fastest Private Growing Companies in America. Prior to founding Beverage Solutions in 1991, Mr. Amoroso was employed by Andersen Consulting, where he participated in systems integration and business re-engineering projects for numerous Fortune 500 companies. Mr. Amoroso has a B.S. degree with concentration in Economics and Computer Science from DePauw University.
Todd Holmes – Chief Revenue Officer
Todd Holmes is the founder and CEO of Liquidus Marketing. Prior to Liquidus, Mr. Holmes founded several businesses in the technology, direct marketing and Consumer Package Good sectors. Mr. Holmes began his career as an entrepreneur as one of the founders of Beer Across America and International Wine Cellars, as well as Drinks.com. The beverage businesses were sold to Direct Wines, the world’s largest wine club.
In addition, Mr. Holmes is one of the founding investors of Goose Island Beer Co. Mr. Holmes is on the board of directors of the brewery, which is one of the fastest growing in the US. Mr. Holmes is active in the Chicago community. He is on the Board of Directors for Starlight Foundation. Mr. Holmes lives in Chicago and has three great daughters.