BandCon (Booth 1430), a content delivery network provider, is serving up the sauce on the show floor this evening. The company will host Karma Tequila in its booth and give away free shots and drinks to attendees and exhibitors.
Gary Eisenberger, senior vice president of alternate channels for privately held CLEC Datavo Telecom of Hollywood, Calif., and Datavo CEO Devin Semler are also co-founder and founder, resepectively, of Karma Tequila, based in Malibu, Calif. Eisenberger has been consulting with BandCon, assisting with recruiting agents and enhancing its agent program, and the company decided featuring Eisenberger and Semler’s tequila on the show floor might draw a crowd. They plan to serve tequila straight up, or perhaps in a “Karma Tonic,” which is made from 1.5 ounces of Karma Silver Tequila and 1.5 ounces of tonic water over ice with a wedge of lime. Eisenberger will be on hand to show attendees how to properly taste the tequila, which he likens to a wine tasting.
“Tequila is the drink of choice in telecom,” said Eisenberger. “When I was working at PAETEC, it was unheard of to miss a shot at the bar with Arunas (CEO of PAETEC). And when Devin and I were always together, we compared tequilas and how there were so many interesting characteristics in tequilas versus other spirits.”
Eisenberger and Semler decided five years ago, at a telecom trade show, no less, to start a tequila company. Beneficially, Semler is already in the spirit business — his family owns a 1,100-acre ranch/winery in Malibu called Saddlerock Ranch. And they added a third partner, Vadim Fridman, who was the COO/CFO of Patron Spirits for many years.
Karma began bottling in January and has bottled more than 3,000 cases with distribution in southern California and Chicago, and planning to distribute soon in Las Vegas, Phoenix and New York City. Karma’s distillery, where each individual bottle is hand-filled, labeled and numbered, was established in 1937 and is in the town of Atotonilco El Alto. Eisenberger said this region is recognized for having the best soil and climate for growing the sweetest and finest Blue Agave plant in the world.
Eisenberger said that Karma Tequila, like its name, is about “cause and effect,” and actively gives back to children’s charities all over the world, including Kids Courage, Project Cuddle, [Cystic Fibrosis Foundation|http://www.cff.org, and Windsong Trust, where money from the estate of Martin Crowley (co-founder of Patron) will assist in educating under-privileged kids around the world.
Datavo agents benefit from this tie-in with the tequila business as well. “Our spiff program is the only one in the marketplace that offers ‘Ultra-Premium Tequila’ and ‘Premium Malibu Wines’ as incentives to sell our products,” joked Eisenberger. Datavo has more than 10,000 customers, currently operates 52 fully deployed CALIX-based central offices and has multiple Metaswitch softswitches covering four major California LATAs. Datavo is now currently working with independent agents that sell in California, utilizing flexible bandwidth applications for small businesses.