TEAM

TEAM2019-02-05T16:00:07+00:00

Topa Equities Leadership Team

William S. Anderson

Executive Chairman, Topa Equities, Ltd.

Bill is the Executive Chairman of Topa Equities, Ltd. a diversified holding company based in Los Angeles, and the Chairman of Topa Insurance Group. Bill oversees longterm strategy for the combined group.

He is also the CEO of First Beverage Group, a company he founded in 2005 in response to the beverage industry’s need for a dedicated financial services firm. Through the company’s private equity fund, First Beverage advises and invests in innovative and transformational beverage brands. In March of 2018, First Beverage sold its investment banking arm to Cascadia Capital, a leading boutique investment bank based in Seattle.

Prior to founding First Beverage, Bill served for 14 years as Executive Vice President of Topa Equities and as President of Topa Properties, Ltd. His responsibilities at Topa included over 75 middle-market acquisitions totaling over $1 billion in acquisition value.   He was responsible for many of the business development efforts across the company’s four divisions.

Prior to joining Topa, he was an attorney with O’Melveny & Myers in Los Angeles and a legislative assistant to US Senator George J. Mitchell (D-Maine).

Bill sits on the Board of Directors of Topa Equities, Ltd. and on the Advisory Board of the UCLA Anderson Graduate School of Management. He is a former Board member of the New Belgium Brewing Company.

Bill is the former Chairman of the Board of the Weingart Center, one of the nation’s largest facilities for the homeless, and now serves as Chairman of the Board of Experience Camps, a national nonprofit organization that provides free, one-week camps for children who have experienced the death of a parent, sibling or primary caregiver.

He received a B.A. from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, an M.S. in journalism from Boston University, and a J.D. from the UCLA School of Law.

Bill has two sons and lives in Los Angeles. He is an avid traveler and his interests include golf, yoga, hiking, cycling and politics.

Chris Greco

Chief Financial Officer

Chris most recently served as the Chief Financial Officer and Chief Compliance Officer of Newstone Capital Partners LLC, an SEC registered investment adviser. Newstone has approximately $2.5 billion in committed capital across multiple investment vehicles from leading institutional and high net worth investors. The firm focuses on investments in U.S. based middle-market companies involved in leveraged buyouts, recapitalizations and later-stage growth financings. During his tenure at Newstone Capital Partners, Chris was responsible for treasury management, strategic planning, corporate and fund accounting, SEC compliance, portfolio valuation and investor relations.

Prior to that, Chris spent seven years as the Treasurer of Wesco Financial Corporation, a publicly traded, diversified financial corporation that was acquired by Berkshire Hathaway in 2011. In addition to managing a multi-billion dollar portfolio of publicly traded fixed income and equity securities, Wesco has operations in insurance, furniture rental, steel warehousing and real estate. Chris was responsible for SEC and financial reporting, accounting, internal audit and strategic planning. During this time, Chris also served as a member of the Board of Directors of Blue Chip Stamps, a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., which held 80.1% of the outstanding stock of Wesco Financial Corporation until the complete merger in 2011. Before that, he was with Pricewaterhouse Coopers in Los Angeles.

Chris is a Certified Public Accountant, licensed in the State of California, and holds a B.S. in Business Administration from the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Chris grew up in Los Angeles and currently lives in Pasadena with his wife, Anneke and two children, Abigail and John. He enjoys skiing, hiking, fishing and hunting.

Beth Taska

Chief People Officer

Prior to joining Topa, Beth was the SVP of HR for The RealReal, a highly successful late stage start-up in Silicon Valley.  Before that she was the EVP (Chief HR Officer) of Human Potential at 24 Hour Fitness, a company with 25,000 employees, 450+ locations and 4 million members.  Prior to that she was Chief HR Officer at Clearwire, a technology company in Seattle, and served in a senior HR role at Gap and at Sears in supply chain and retail.  Following her graduation from college, Beth and her husband were Peace Corps volunteers in Ecuador where they assisted in small business development.

Beth holds that in all of her roles, her most significant contribution has been in developing, coaching and mentoring cultures and leaders.  Throughout her career she has created, taught and led others to teach experiential training for leadership development throughout the world.  She has presented at conferences, businesses and professional organizations and has published several pieces related to the inherent power in relationship-based leadership.

Beth holds an MPA with Honors from Roosevelt University in Chicago and a BA in Political Science with Honors from Northern Illinois University, where she graduated as valedictorian and magna cum laude.

Mark Walen

President/CEO of Topa Beverage Group

Mark joined Topa as Head of Beverage Group in October of 2018 where he oversees more than 1,200 employees in five market hubs covering Oregon and Southwest Washington. His team moves more than 28,000 cases of beer, non-alcohol and wine utilizing five major warehouse facilities with an additional five cross dock locations.

Prior to Topa, Mark was recruited by former Columbia CEO, Gregg Christensen, as Executive Vice President of Sales for Columbia Distributing. Soon he was promoted to promoted to President of Columbia Distributing, and for the next seven years he successfully integrated three competing businesses into one merged unit by mapping all essential processes and optimizing all operational departments including sales, delivery, merchandising and warehouse.

Prior to beginning his professional career, Mark was a collegiate athlete at UCLA, where he earned three Rose Bowl Championships as Team Captain. His leadership and skills on the field made Mark an All American, Pac 10 Conference Player of the Year, and J.F. Boncheff Award Winner for Outstanding Leadership.

Jim Brooks

President of Real Estate Group

James R. Brooks serves as President of Topa Property Group with primary responsibility for setting and implementing strategic planning and decision making for a company-owned portfolio of office, retail, mixed-use and industrial properties located throughout southern California and Hawaii. Additional responsibilities include identifying opportunities for growth while adhering to budgets and cost controls to achieve efficiencies in operations.

Prior to joining Topa Property Group, Mr. Brooks founded Fifth Street Realty Partners in partnership with Angelo Gordon & Co. focused on value-add and re-position opportunities. He was elected and currently serves as Chairman of the Westwood Village Business Improvement Association, a 13-member non-profit Board.

Mr. Brooks brings more than 35 years of principal based real estate investment, financing, asset management, operating, development and repositioning experience including an extensive network of relationships critical to driving investment opportunities and financial performance in key markets throughout the west coast.

Having worked for several national and regional real estate firms in senior level management positions and/or in partnership including Angelo, Gordon & Co., Morgan Stanley Real Estate Fund and its subsidiary Kearny Street Real Estate Company, The Koll Company, Tishman Speyer Properties, Empire Commercial Real Estate, and the Marcus & Millichap affiliated companies of Pacific Property Company and Urban Housing Group, Mr. Brooks has demonstrated a successful investment and value-add track record for his former partners and employers while directing over $1.5 billion in acquisitions and financings.

He holds a Master of Science Degree in Real Estate Development from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles and is a licensed California Real Estate Broker.