C.E.O of Parce Rum
1) Who is Jim Powers?
Jim Powers, CEO, Parce Rum. Jim spent many years as an entertainment industry executive, way back when people paid for music. He created ventures later sold to Universal Music and the Walt Disney Company. A Chicago-based entrepreneur with 20 years’ experience successfully detecting early trends and creating popular properties in the entertainment industry, Jim is a member of the NARAS organization behind the Grammy Awards. His record label, Minty Fresh Inc., represents artists garnering national coverage (Time Magazine, Wall Street Journal, New York Times), major network television shows (Saturday Night Live, Gray’s Anatomy, the Sopranos, Six Feet Under, CSI Miami), films (Austin Powers International Man of Mystery), His experiential marketing event, Beer Hoptacular, recently brought 5,500 attendees and more than 60 breweries together to promote the craft beer to the public.
He got involved in creating Parce Rum with two of his brothers and a longtime friend from Medellin, Jaime Uribe, because he wanted to make something for the public that couldn’t be digitized. It also had to be something that all three Powers brothers and Jaime could get excited about. That pretty much narrowed it down to spirits,
They also wanted to make somethng to benefit the country they fell in love with, Colombia, is some way, which further narrowed the spirits to rum.
Jim resides in Chicago with his wife Janene and two sons, Brendan and Joe. They like hearing the crowd roar from nearby Wrigley Field whenever the Cubs hit a homerun.
We hope to be at the forefront of introducing Americans to the pleasure of high-quality sipping rums. We’re proud that Parce Rum gives back is a small yet tangible way by planting a native species tree in Colombia for each bottle of Parce we sell. We’ll planted over 20,000 trees in overforested regions of Colombia so far!
(Btw Parce is pronounced PAR-say. It is Medelling Colombian slang for “good friend” or “pal”)
3) What made you fall in love with rum and when did it happen?
I was offered a job at Appleton Distillery after graduation in 1963 and was fascinated by the distilling industry and of course rum even though Appleton also produced vodka and gin.
4) What is that thing that makes you want to continue in the rum industry?
In August of 2011, I flew to Medellin to hear some bands and meet with my brothers Pat and Brian. And Jaime too. It was my first trip to the country and I was completely blown aware by the warmth of the people and the beauty of the country. Our Dad had recently passed away and he was always into the idea of his sons working together, so, one thing led to another and we started kicking around ideas of things we could do together that we would all enjoy. Eventually we looked down at the tumblers in our hands containing some tasty rum and away we went. Four years later we made it to market.
5) Favorite Rum Drink + Recipe?
1oz Parce 8 Years Rum
1oz Parce 12 Year Rum
1oz Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth
2 Dashes Angostura Bitters
Add Ice and stir for 30 seconds
Strain into glass
Garnish with a Lime Coin
6) Where do you see the rum industry today and in the next 5 years?
We believe the audience for super premium rums is going to continue to grow over the next 5-7 years and expect further stratification of the rum category. We are a believer of highest quality blended rums and see a lot of interest and opportunity there too.
7) Share some (2-3) of your mentors and how they have help you.
Ed Hamilton – Ministry of Rum
Ed was the first guy in rums that I sat down with. His first words “don’t do it.” I deeply appreciated that because he clearly had our best interests (i.e. sanity and savings) in mind at the time.
Of course we plowed ahead and Ed was always generous with his perspectives and insights on what made a great rum, vs. a merely ok rum.
Paul Mcgee Owner Lost Lake
We met Paul through a mutual friend years ago. Paul (and his wife Shelby), have been very supportive and helpful in navigating the spirits industry.
8) What 3-5 things do you have in your bucket list for the next 12 months?
2. Attend Cubs World Series game at Wrigley Field.
3. Fly in gunner turret of a B-25 bomber.