TEAM

TEAM2019-05-07T09:47:06+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 head of HR for a high growth late stage start-up in Silicon Valley and 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 and the future of work.

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 Walen joined Topa Equities in 2018 after nearly 10 years of executive management roles with northwest beverage giant Columbia Distributing, including Executive Vice President of Sales, Chief Marketing Officer and President of Columbia Distributing, Oregon-California.  While at Columbia, Mark led the business through a ground-breaking merger combining three independent distributors into a high performing business in Oregon and southwest Washington. Additionally, Mark led the development of the largest craft beer portfolio in the west. Prior to joining Columbia Distributing, Mark enjoyed a successful career at CBS Broadcasting in Portland Oregon where he was the Senior Vice President and Market Manager for the group.

Mark’s success is anchored in building great teams and creating a culture of achievement and mentorship. The fulfillment that comes from succeeding together as a team is a key driver for achievement in Mark’s life. Success for Mark has always been about building great teams. Prior to his professional career, Mark enjoyed success as a collegiate athlete and Team Captain at UCLA where his teams earned three Rose Bowl Championships during his career. He followed this success at UCLA with a career as a professional athlete with the Dallas Cowboys.

Outside of work, you can find Mark sharing a table with his family and friends enjoying great food up and down the West Coast. Mark loves sailing, skiing, anything near the water and enjoying all this with his family and his dog Blu.

Matt Lavin

Acting Head of Real Estate

Matt Lavin serves as a partner at Worthe Real Estate Group, and heads the origination of new investment opportunities, manages the financing process, and oversees the design and development process for the properties.

In addition, Matt is an active member of the Urban Land Institute, currently sits on the UDMUC Red Council, and serves on the Board of Adopt Together.