Practice Area Directors

Daniel Huvet

Daniel Huvet is an international agribusiness executive with senior management experience in North America, Europe, Russia, Latin America and the Asia Pacific region.

His 30 year career with Malteurop Groupe encompassed management positions from Sales and Export Administration and Chief Commercial Officer to Chief Executive Officer responsible for developing production capacity from 0.8 m tons to 2.2 m tons and leading 750 employees in 12 countries.

As First Key’s senior agribusiness advisor, Mr. Huvet assists clients with the development of malt strategy, procurement and supply logistics. He possesses a superior degree of human relationship skills working with people at all levels and for a range of cultures.

Matthew Harris
Craft Services

Matthew Harris is a solutions-focused leader with an Engineering (Chemical) background who has many years of experience in breweries of all sizes. He has managed teams in both brewing and packaging operations, as well as leading multi-disciplinary teams to identify and deliver significant efficiency and productivity improvements.

In addition to his operational experience, Matt has supported numerous craft and large scale breweries across the globe in business planning, design, construction, and commissioning through to the start-up phases of brewery development.

Matt has a deep understanding of the operational challenges that craft breweries face and applies a practical design approach that ensures the right solution is delivered for clients.

Joel Hueston
Commercial Strategy

Joel Hueston is a senior marketing executive with over 30 years of experience in management and leadership, including National Brand Director on Coors Light at Molson Canada. Joel also spent seven years with Coors Canada where he was one of the chief architects in building the organization from scratch. From 2005 to 2010 he operated his own leadership and management training business.

In 2003 Joel earned his MBA in Marketing Management and in 2011 joined First Key in the Commercial Strategy Group, focusing on sales and marketing strategies, corporate positioning and M&A consulting projects. Since May 2013 Joel has headed up the Commercial Strategy business unit.

Paul Woodhouse
Financial Services

Paul Woodhouse is the Senior Financial Advisor at First Key providing valuations and fairness opinions, international investment opportunity evaluations, turnaround studies, litigation support services and financial due diligence for a wide variety of investment firms, banks, and brewery clients.

Prior to First Key Paul worked with PricewaterhouseCoopers where he earned a Chartered Accounting and a Chartered Business Valuators designation.

He was formerly the President of the B.C. Chapter of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Business Valuators, and has written articles and organized conferences and educational seminars on the subject of business valuation.

Dr. Hugo Patiño
Technical Services

Dr. Hugo Patiño has worked in the beer industry for over 30 years, with brewing experience in the USA and in Mexico. He started his brewing career at Cervecería Cuauhtémoc in Monterrey, Mexico. He taught at the University of California-Davis. In his 27 year career at Molson Coors Brewing Co., he held a variety of leadership roles in the areas of Research & Development, Quality Management, and Technical Services encompassing from barley breeding to brewing and packaging.

He has successfully led multi-functional teams to deliver cost and quality improvements, as well as the development and implementation of new products. He is fluent in Spanish.

Patrick Greer
Supply Chain

Pat Greer is the Senior Supply Chain Advisor at First Key. His 30 year working career with one of the world’s largest brewers encompassed senior management experiences in global logistics, sourcing, distribution, joint ventures, contract brewing, facilities and operations start-ups. Having worked in 26 countries, Pat has a very hands-on approach to helping clients reduce costs and/or improve efficiencies.

Pat earned his MBA in Operations Management and Supply Chain. He is a Certified Supply Chain Pro (CSCMP) and has taught Supply Chain Management and Operations Management courses at St. Louis University. The combination of work experience, education and academic efforts, gives Pat unique perspective and insights into the complexities and interdependencies in today’s brewing world.

Executive Group

Dr. Heather Pilkington
Executive Director

Heather Pilkington is the Executive Director of First Key Consulting. She is a licensed Professional Engineer and received her Ph.D. in Biochemical Engineering from Western University in Canada. Prior to joining First Key Heather held positions at Labatt and AB InBev, managing brewing process development and brewery support departments both at the national and international level.

At First Key she leads projects for craft to large-scale clients across the globe and oversees all aspects of the company’s strategy, team and operations to deliver the best client results in the brewing and malting industries. Heather’s blend of educational background, career experience and passion for the industry, give her a broad appreciation and insight into the challenges facing breweries of all sizes today.

Simon Jackson
Director, European Region

Simon is Director, European Region at First Key. A proven and highly experienced leader with a multi-disciplined track record, Simon has held director-level appointments in manufacturing, logistics, sales and customer marketing. He has also operated at the management board-level with significant financial and operational accountability, throughout his successful and wide-ranging career in the brewing industry, including serving 10 years as the chief executive of The Institute of Brewing and Distilling (IBD).

Simon is a Master Brewer and has extensive experience in capital investment programmes, rationalization projects, industrial relations, change management, service/productivity improvements, organizational design, people development strategies, health and safety systems and compliance, and environmental systems and compliance. At First Key, Simon brings a deep understanding of the European beer business from the craft to multi-national scale. He also brings core strengths in shaping and driving change, building and developing teams, pace, energy, and delivery through analysis and action.

Patrick Truman
Director of Operations

Patrick Truman is the Director of Operations. He has a Masters Degree in Digital Media and Bachelor Degree in Communications. He is responsible for the development and implementation of the Company’s operating systems and project delivery. Patrick’s position includes facilitating process improvement initiatives and overseeing organization-wide knowledge management. He enjoys close collaboration with the company’s practice groups and sharing information to serve our clients the best way possible.

Lynn McIlwee
Director of Human Resources

Lynn McIlwee is the Director of Human Resources at First Key with over 20 years’ experience in human resources and management.

She has a Masters in Business Administration and previously, worked in the legal and natural resource industries. At First Key, Lynn manages our wide network of consultants. Lynn is also Director of our sister company BrewingWork.com and is responsible for executive recruiting and working directly with brewery clients on their hiring needs.

Lynn is a published beer writer, backyard hop grower and is a co-founder of the Farmhouse Saison and Wild Ale Festival.

Christopher Clarke
Director of Marketing

Christopher Clarke is the Director of Marketing. He has completed a Strategic Planning Program and has a Bachelor Degree in Political Science. Chris developed two key industry websites: BrewingWork.com and most recently launched the app Beat The Brewmaster. He is responsible for the marketing initiatives for First Key including managing implementation with advertising campaigns, corporate marketing themes, events, exhibitions, conferences and indirect marketing projects.

Senior Advisors

Rod McLeod

Rod McLeod has specialized in brewery and winery operations for more than 35 years. His expertise encompasses operations management positions, including brewer, plant management, VP operations, and general management.

Rod graduated with a degree in food science from the University of British Columbia and obtained his M.S. degree in food science at the University of California, Davis. He also has attended Harvard Business School.

As Director at First Key Rod has provided leadership for global brewing projects encompassing capacity and facility management, strategic planning, due diligence, and productivity and efficiency enhancement. He has also presented and written published articles on world class manufacturing in the brewing industry.

Jim Clarke

Jim Clarke is the Chairman of First Key Consulting. From 1984 to 2015 he was the president where under his leadership, the company grew into a global consulting practice with project experience and representatives in over 50 countries around the world. Today he represents the company to clients, suppliers, governments, and financial institutions, and provides contacts or introductions as appropriate to facilitate the company’s expansion.