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Advisory Board

Meet Our Advisory Board

Explore the expertise and diverse backgrounds of Bear Lake Coffee's advisory board, a team of accomplished professionals guiding the brand's mission to deliver exceptional coffee experiences.  



Ben Damiani :: Power Pioneer

Ben Damiani received a PhD in electrical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2004. His thesis concentrated on degradation of silicon solar cells. Ben also studied for six months in Germany, at the Fraunhofer Institute in Freiburg. After finishing his PhD, he joined Intel Corporation in the Technology Transfer group, where he conceived, developed, manufactured and sold megawatts of US solar module technology. Ben has also successfully funded innovative solar companies as a founder and co-founder, winning over $1 million from the Department of Energy and resulting in patented products that are being prototyped around the world. Ben has worked domestically and internationally in all parts of the solar module manufacturing supply chain, developing equipment and devices. He is currently the Chief Technology Officer of Cherry Street Energy and Solar Inventions.



Simon Cartin :: Tech Speedster

Simon Cartin is an IT security consultant, cloud infrastructure architect and application developer, with two decades of working with companies to solve challenges and keep pace with an ever changing landscape of technology. He has assisted companies in retail and food service industries with modernizing their backend infrastructure, and ensuring they can operate efficiently opening new branches by deploying the supporting systems quickly. As a cloud security architect, Simon has focused heavily on implementing security and compliance to meet industry regulations that aim to keep both company and personal customer data secure, private, and reduce the risk of cyberattacks. He is currently working as the Practice Manager for Modern Work and Security at Finchloom, a consulting company based in California assisting companies in the Microsoft cloud with their security and cloud architecture needs. An avid motorsports enthusiast, Simon spends most of his spare time at the race track, and is currently participating in the ChampCar endurance racing series in his BMW E36 race car.



Tony Riffel :: Coffeepreneur

Tony Riffel is an entrepreneur and a co-founder of the Octane Coffee Company, the Elevator Factory co-working space and the Pancake Social restaurant, all based in Atlanta. He has a passion for building community and culture by creating spaces for people to gather around the social aspect of beverages, food and an atmosphere that fuels creativity. As its CEO, Tony helped grow the Octane Coffee Company to a regional coffee roaster and retailer with six locations and two production facilities in Atlanta, GA and Birmingham, AL, and facilitated its sale in 2017. For more than a decade, Octane was a pioneer and innovator in helping to build the coffee culture in the southeast and has fostered the development of some of the best baristas in the country. Octane competed nationally and internationally in industry coffee competitions. The Elevator Factory co-working space is a creativity-focused workspace based in Grant Park, Atlanta and the Pancake Social restaurant is now open at Ponce City Market in Atlanta. Outside of the food industry and community initiatives, Tony and his wife Diane enjoy all things travel and food with their two daughters, Simone and Sylvie.



Todd Boerema :: Brand Builder

Todd Boerema is an accomplished and transformational executive with expertise in sales & marketing in all channels and customers across the globe. His 30+ year career includes Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, Newell Brands, Samsung and Private Equity. He has helped build some of the largest brands in the world to include Duracell, Gillette, Oral-B, Rubbermaid, Sharpie, Graco and Waterpik. His specialty is building performance driven teams that deliver consistent world class results, accelerating private equity revenue from acquisitions, growing partner revenue, leading complex negotiations, and scaling business through joint business planning. He has experience across the globe in over 100+ countries and has built partnerships with industry leaders such as Amazon, Walmart, Costco, Target, Home Depot, Alibaba and ALL major retailers and distributors. Todd and his wife Vicki split time at their houses in Milton, GA, Florida and Lake Oconee with their 2 boys Tyler and Hayden.

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