Carlos De Aldecoa


Carlos graduated from The University of Houston in 1997 with a BS in Industrial Engineering. He started working for Coffee Process his last year of college. In 1998 he founded Cadeco with his father. Now, he oversees all things at Gulf Coast Distillers.

He believes that a quality product has to start with quality ingredients. Carlos ensures our grains are of the highest quality in order to create our world class products.

In his spare time, Carlos loves to be outdoors either sailing, working on old cars, or at the ranch.

María Patricia Echeverry

VP of Operations

María holds an MS in Industrial Engineering from the University of Houston and a BSIE from the Universidad Javeriana (Bogotá, Colombia).

She joined our team in 2004 and now oversees all our operations. As a Six Sigma Black Belt, she is focused on operations and continuous improvement initiatives. She has been involved in Gulf Coast Distillers from its inception, and she manages the regulatory side of the company.

María is an avid reader and she enjoys visiting new countries and different cultures.

Giancarlo Passarelli

Chief Financial Officer

Giancarlo graduated in Business Adminsitration and MF from the Universidad Rafael Landivar (Guatemala City, Guatemala), currently working on getting his CPA licence.  He brings 25 years of experience on manufacturing from different Industries focusing on Finance, Accounting and the controlling side of the organization, looking always how to support the business avoiding any unnecesarry risks and the best profitability possible.


When Giancarlo is not working, he is spending quality time with him family, playing sports or spending time outdoors.

Julian Giraldo

Master Distiller

With a Bachelor of Computer Science and Systems Engineering and a 6 Sigma Green Belt, Julian brings 13 years of food manufacturing, production, and development experience to the distillery.

He joined the organization in 2007 and has been part of several development projects including the startup of the distillery and also overseeing the coffee side operation.

He was mentored by David Pickerell (Maker’s Mark® and Whistle Pig® former Master Distiller) and Troy Smith (Yellow Rose® former Master Distiller), and during this learning experience he quickly dived in and picked up the insights of the fermentation and distillation universe due to his passion and enthusiasm for wine and spirits. Julian makes sure each step is done in the most efficient way following the highest quality standards.

When Julian is not at the distillery, he can be found enjoying outdoor activities like camping, mountain biking, stunt kite flying or traveling around the world visiting wineries and other distilleries with his family.

Daniel Becka Jr.

Distillery Daily Operations Manager

Daniel joined the team in 2018, he has 25+ years in the food and beverage industry. He oversees the daily operations of the distillery, focusing on continuous improvement and product quality and safety.

Daniel is hands-on and works with the distillery operators to improve the team knowledge daily.

Daniel enjoys spending time with his family in the outdoors and on most weekends, they are either on a lake fishing or spending time in the woods.

Patrick Ellis

Tasting Room General Manager

Patrick studied culinary arts at The Art Institute in Houston, where he learned knife skills, menu planning, food cost analysis and restaurant management. He went on to run multiple food trucks in the booming Houston food truck scene, and managed corporate and private airline catering.

Prior to Gulf Coast Distillers, Patrick started as a Sous Chef for Snooze: An A.M. Eatery, opening multiple locations in the Houston market and then moved on to become Head Chef of the Montrose location. Patrick joined Gulf Coast Distillers in Spring of 2020 and brings his leadership skills in the restaurant industry, diverse food knowledge, and keen eye for food trends to the Ben’s Den Tasting Room food program.

Patrick likes to read and spend time outdoors. He is happiest when on the water or riding his bike and has a major passion for all things BBQ and cooking low and slow.

Mike Cosby

Support Manager

 Mike Cosby has over 20 years of experience within the Food & Beverage industry from working as a Sous Chef in the kitchen, to now being the Support Manager on the operations side of Gulf Coast Distillers.

As Support Manager, he combines his love for food and his knowledge of distilling the finest spirits, creating Ben’s Den’s drink program to pair well with our food menu. His journey with Carlos, started in 2007 when Carlos was operating his coffee plant.

Mike then worked up the ranks at Carlos’ sugar plant and the coffee company, Eximius. Today, they work together to give GCD guests a full distillery experience. You can find Mike guiding tours through the distillery, creating drinks behind the bar, or mountain biking on his days off.



Brisa Vaccaro

Inventory & Warehouse Operations Manager

Brisa has 20+ years of industrial manufacturing experience and started at Gulf Coast Distillers in 2019. She graduated from Santa Ana College in California with a BS in Business Management.

Brisa is in charge of inventory control and analysis, along with all warehouse operations including outbound and inbound shipments.

Veronica Leal

General Manager – Bottling Operations

Veronica graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Engineering in 2014. Prior to joining the Gulf Coast Distillers team in 2018, she traveled through Europe to learn the different cultures and languages, and went on to work as the Inventory Manager at Cadeco Sugar Division in 2016. Veronica now manages the bottling operations, both in-house brands and private labels, as well as oversees the development of new products and brands for all Gulf Coast Distillers including costs and materials. When she’s not at work she is traveling and tasting different whiskies from around the world.

Hoan Nguyen

Utilities Maintenance Manager

Hoan received his Bachelor of Science in Thermal and Mechanical Engineering in 1984. He brings to Gulf Coast Distillers 36 years of experience in HVAC and Boiler Engineering and designing at various fields like Thermo-Power Plant, Cargo Ship, Ship Repair and Building, and the Food industry.

When he’s not working, he enjoys reading books, listening to music, playing tennis, and you can catch him around Houston performing classical guitar.

Caroline Wright

Marketing Manager

Caroline has a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Advertising with a minor study in Consumer Science and Merchandising from the University of Houston. She joined the Gulf Coast Distillers team in the Summer of 2020, bringing 10 years of Marketing experience from industries like Food & Beverage, Real Estate and Market Intelligence. Her skills range from social media, graphic design, product development, community outreach, brand strategy, to business development, sales and event planning.

On her downtime, she enjoys spending time with her husband, son and their dog, Chunky. She loves to travel and immerse herself in the different architecture and interior designs around the world. And for her, nothing beats a night in with a good movie and a mug of Irish coffee.