Ben Carson-Brown

President & CEO
Photo of Ben Carson-Brown - President & CEO

Indefatigable Learner. Team Builder

Now based in New York City, Ben’s childhood dream growing up in rural Idaho was to be a performing artist. While he also studied voice, piano, and the cello, it was dance that won, and he spent his early adult years as a professional ballet dancer but was soon bitten by the wine bug.

Following his time in ballet, Ben was anxious to learn more about the business world and study. While putting himself through school waiting tables at Mise en Place in Tampa, he was pegged as a wine talent by now-dear friend and mentor Maryann Ferenc. He became the wine director for their several restaurants, bars and a retail store. After several years buying wine, training teams and creating consumer events, Ben felt ready to move to distribution. Starting as a local sales rep in West Florida at Augustan Wine Imports, he quickly moved through the ranks, spending his greatest tenure as GSM overseeing the hiring and training of what became Florida’s best wine sales team. There he met Patrick Mata, founder of Olé Imports, who offered him a job on their first day together. Ben spent 15 years as GM of Olé, which during his tenure expanded to include Portugal and become Olé & Obrigado. He led the team and expanded it from 3 to more than 20, contributing to Wine & Spirits naming the company an “Importer of the Year” in 2020. When Esporão sought the right leader to helm their further expansion in the US, the challenge was offered to Ben, and he joined NOW Wine Imports as President and CEO in January, 2024.

Ben speaks Spanish and is currently learning European Portuguese. The few hours he has to relax involve spending time with his husband Stephven sharing wine and cooking for their friends, enjoying few things more than intimate dinner parties, especially ones that end in some sort of brain-teaser of a board game. All that wine and food requires lots of exercise, and he loves biking whenever and wherever possible, especially to and from yoga classes and Central Park.

Photo of Ben Carson-Brown - President & CEO