Moderated Q&A: Fail Harder
Serial entrepreneur, New York Times bestselling author, and Uncle Nearest, Inc. Founder and CEO FAWN WEAVER has launched numerous successful business ventures across industries, solidifying her place as a groundbreaking business mogul. Weaver offers key insights and impactful takeaways for individuals and organizations seeking to accelerate growth and overcome obstacles while sustaining their values in this impactful moderated conversation.
Moderated Q&A: Building the Next Great American Brand
Multi-hyphenate business mogul FAWN WEAVER launched Uncle Nearest, Inc. and it quickly became the fastest-growing whiskey brand in the country, the most awarded whiskey brand for multiple years in a row, and an instant legacy brand. Leveraging 25 years of experience as an entrepreneur, Weaver shares her journey founding this historic and ground-breaking company, and the organizational strategy and leadership it takes to build the next great American brand in this riveting moderated conversation.
Fawn Weaver and Uncle Nearest Whiskey – the fastest-growing whiskey brand in the U.S.
Ground-breaking business mogul FAWN WEAVER is a leader across industries, and leveraged over two decades of experience as an entrepreneur to launch Uncle Nearest, Inc and Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey – now the fastest-growing whiskey brand in U.S. history, and the most-awarded year after year. When Weaver, also a New York Times bestselling author, first read about the story of Nathan ‘Nearest’ Green, she didn’t expect to find her next business venture. But as she began to research Green’s story – he was the world’s first known African American master distiller – she was inspired to create a foundation and eventually a whiskey in his name, honoring his legacy of excellence and his contribution to American Whiskey. Green’s techniques for making whiskey became what Tennessee whiskey is known for today, and Weaver’s brand celebrating his legacy is making headlines all over the world.
Weaver is the first Black American woman to build a $1B+ company from the ground up (founded, majority-owned and led) who is not a celebrity. CEO Weaver and this incredible story have been featured in The New York Times, Bloomberg, CNBC, FOX Business, the TODAY Show, NPR’s How I Built This with Guy Raz. In honor of Green’s legacy, Weaver founded the Nearest Green Foundation, which offers full scholarships to every descendent of Nathan ‘Nearest’ Green, and built the $50M Uncle Nearest Venture Fund, investing in minority founded, owned, and led brands with the greatest potential to grow into legacy brands. In riveting conversations, Weaver offers key insights and impactful takeaways about following your inspiration as a leader in business, building a values-driven brand, and the principles for success across industries.
Fawn Weaver has been a serial entrepreneur for more than 25 years. As the CEO and founder of Grant Sidney, Inc., a privately held investment company, Weaver has often been active in her investments, serving in leadership capacities behind the scenes. Weaver is a popular TED speaker,, as well as a USA Today and New York Times bestselling author who has appeared on 100s of popular newspapers, radio, morning and television talk shows across the US, including FOX Business, the TODAY Show, The New York Times, CBS This Morning, Good Morning America, CNBC, Fast Company, Washington Post, and Oprah Magazine. She is a regular contributor to Inc. Magazine and has been interviewed by top shows in Canada, United Kingdom, South Africa, Italy, Belgium, Australia, Ireland, Australia, Poland, Spain and New Zealand on topics ranging from accelerating growth in business without losing your soul to creating a happy balance between work and family.
Weaver is the first Black American woman to build a $1B+ company from the ground up (founded, majority-owned and led), who is not a celebrity. She serves as the CEO of Uncle Nearest, Inc., a company she founded in 2016, which sits under the Grant Sidney umbrella. Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey is the fastest-growing American whiskey brand in U.S. history, the bestselling African American founded spirit brand of all time and was the most award-winning American whiskey (including bourbon) of 2019, 2020, 2021 and has now extended that winning streak to include 2022. The super-premium brand has earned more than 600 awards, including more than 400 Gold medals or higher, "World’s Best" by Whisky Magazine two years in a row, as well as the industry coveted "Double Gold" by San Francisco World Spirits Competition and Wine Enthusiast’s "Spirit Brand of the Year."
The Nearest Green Distillery opened in Shelbyville, Tennessee in September 2019. This 323-acre distillery is the first in U.S. history to commemorate an African American and is the only major distillery in the world owned and operated by a Black person. In March 2021, Weaver was named to the Endeavor Group Holdings board of directors, alongside Elon Musk. She was simultaneously appointed to serve on its audit committee. Endeavor, the parent company of UFC, WME and IMG, is a publicly traded entertainment and content company listed on the NYSE and valued at over $10 billion. Weaver is a member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO), a global leadership community of 29,000 of the most successful young CEOs in the world, contributing $9 trillion USD in annual revenue.
Weaver launched her first company, a public relations and special events firm, in 1996. In addition to her firm, from 1998-2003, she served as Partner and Business Manager for G. Garvin's LLC, operator of G. Garvin's Restaurant (named one of the Top 10 New Restaurants by Los Angeles Magazine). Weaver developed the business plan, secured development and operational funding, and was business manager for the first four years.
Taking a six-year break from entrepreneurialism, to learn what it was like to be the employee rather than the employer, Weaver held a variety of positions in the hospitality sector. She worked as the head of special events and catering for the world-famous Viceroy Hotels and as a General Manager for Dimension Development Co., the operator of more than 50 Marriott and Hilton brand hotels throughout the US. The experience profoundly changed how Weaver invests and manages.
Weaver is the founder of the Nearest Green Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that offers full scholarships to every descendant of Nearest Green, the world’s first known African-American master distiller. Through their Operation Brother’s Keeper initiative, the Foundation supplied more than 300,000 N-95 and cloth masks to workers on the frontline and people in disadvantaged communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, in response to the BLM movement, the Foundation formed an alliance with Jack Daniel Distillery to create the Nearest and Jack Advancement Initiative, to elevate people of color within the American whiskey industry and to greatly increase diversity in the spirits industry overall. She formerly served on the executive boards of MEND Poverty and Slavery No More.