Before Jason Daniels was old enough to drink, he was helping his dad set up the world’s largest beer store—Half Time in Poughkeepsie, which opened in 2001 (Daniels was 14). When Half Time opened its second, 20,000-square-foot location in Mamaroneck in 2013, Daniels was a little more involved: He selected the location (an empty, run-down industrial building); managed its transformation (spaces were combined, interiors gutted, and parking and entrances realigned); and helped develop a signage system for more than 10 aisles showcasing up to 4,000 beers. Today, as COO, he handles all the company’s day-to-day responsibilities relating to growth and expansion. He’s no slouch in the marketing department either: To help boost Half Time’s exposure in Mamaroneck, Daniels organized (in fewer than 60 days) the first-ever Harbor Island International Beer Festival in 2014. The event attracted more than 4,000 attendees, four bands, and 20 food vendors, plus 300 different beers for tasting from more than 60 international and 100 domestic breweries.
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• Growing up in a real estate family, it’s not surprising that Daniels’ first jobs were in real estate. (“Dinner table conversations with parents, aunts, uncles, and grandparents included phrases like ‘triple net leases,’ ‘return on cash,’ and ‘loan to value,’” he says.) While working at SCG Retail, he was a member of the team that earned “2012 New York State’s Largest Retail Real Estate Deal in Manhattan.”
• An avid golfer, Daniels been able to drive a golf ball more than 350 yards since the age of 20. He’s also built custom golf clubs for professional golfers.
• Daniels helped produce a documentary of the Harbor Island International Beer Festival. Watch it here.
• Key to success: “I think society has always categorized ‘book smarts’ and ‘street smarts’ as two different schools. I’ve always tried to blend those to my benefit. It’s one thing to balance a financial statement in college. It’s a whole other concept to balance a P&L statement for a company that has real employees with families each depending on their weekly paycheck.”