The Spirits are Calling. Will you answer? Join us July 15-19, 2015 as the international spirits community answers the call, returning for another spirited round of Tales of the Cocktail®.
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Paul Tuennerman

Tales of the Cocktail
Chief Business Office & Co-Owner
New Orleans, LA
Paul Tuennerman is Chief Business Officer and Co-Owner of Tales of the Cocktail, the world’s must-attend cocktail festival held annually in New Orleans. Since its inception, it has attracted more than 100,000 drinks experts and libations enthusiasts from as far away as China, Kenya and New Zealand and has injected an estimated $100 million into the local economy. Working closely with his wife, Ann Tuennerman, its Founder, Tales of the Cocktail has emerged as a global cultural phenomenon that has helped nurture the Cocktail Renaissance surging across the U.S. and worldwide that has elevated the tippling habits of millions.

Paul, a 39-year veteran of the hospitality industry, is responsible for Tales of the Cocktail’s business administration and management. In addition to overseeing all financial and legal aspects of the organization, he works closely with Ann on the development and implementation of growth strategies for the festival and its expanding businesses in the U.S. and abroad.

While now full-time with Tales of the Cocktail, since 2006, Paul has played an instrumental role in the festival. It began by not hesitating to lend Ann $15,000 when its sole sponsor backed out in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. He also helped her fundamentally reimagine and relaunch Tales of the Cocktail on its trajectory of success ever since. Paul was pivotal in establishing the New Orleans Culinary & Cultural Preservation Society (NOCCPS), a non-profit 501(c)(3) dedicated to supporting the hospitality industry, for which Tales of the Cocktail became its funding mechanism.

Previously, Paul was Senior Vice President, Business Development, Raising Cane’s, a $740 million chain of fast casual restaurants that is the fourth fastest-growing in the nation. Paul conceptualized and implemented business development strategies, expanding the Brand into Non-Traditional Venues, such as colleges, universities, retail centers, and airports and spearheaded the chain’s successful entry into, and launch throughout the Middle East. He was also responsible for the overseeing the franchise business, which he grew by 130 percent over thirty-six months.

Prior to Raising Cane’s, Paul was Vice President at Piccadilly Restaurants, a $260 million chain of family dining restaurants. In this position, he was tasked with launching their Food Service Division, targeting colleges, universities, secondary schools, healthcare, business and industry and generated $10 million in sales in its first 36 months.

Paul’s first job in hospitality was frying fish at Arthur Treacher’s Fish & Chips in Blacksburg, Virginia, at the age of 15. By the time he left, he ran the night shift and came to relish the rush of working in a restaurant, the camaraderie it engendered and the life-long friendships and bonds of trust that were forged.

A U.S. Navy veteran, Paul was assigned to three Carrier Group deployments to the Indian Ocean. In addition to numerous accolades and scholarships, Paul earned a Presidential Citation and the Navy Achievement Medal. Since 2013, Paul has been a mentor at the Jonas Project, which helps veterans transition from military to civilian life and supports “Warrior Entrepreneurs” establish themselves in business.

Continuing his passion for the seas, Paul enjoys sailing in the Caribbean, especially the British Virgin Islands, as well as photography and discovering new things. While he loves a great bottle of Champagne, Paul is known to hoist a Negroni or a Daiquiri. A native of Garfield Heights, Ohio, Paul lives with Ann in New Orleans, along with the unofficial Tales of the Cocktail mascot, Delta Dawg.