The team at Pretoria
Our Founder, Dr. Tripp Morgan, is a fifth generation Georgian who was raised surrounded by agriculture in the small town of Camilla. Although a surgeon by trade and owner of the local Albany Vascular Specialist Center, his heart returned him back to farming and his love for craft beer led him to pursue creating Albany’s very first craft brewery.
Tripp is proud to see the vision of Pretoria Fields come to fruition as a Collective of brewers, farmers, and tasting room field guides to serve this community. Through organic farming practices, he is ecstatic to be able to utilize the highest quality of ingredients and seasonal additions in Pretoria Fields beer. Balancing life as a father of four, a surgeon, and founder of a craft brewery means that Tripp may not have as much free time for fishing and hunting as he once did. But when he does get the opportunity to get out on the land, you might just find him enjoying time with his family, his dogs, and a fishing pole in his hand – oh and quite possibly a Skywater Golden Ale in the other.
Sean Hendley is our CFO and has over 21 years of experience in the finance industry. He spent thirteen years working for a regional CPA firm providing auditing and consulting services to clients in the Southeastern United States. That was followed by eight years working for two hospitals in the Albany, GA area in financial leadership roles. He brings a wealth of knowledge around financial reporting, forecasting and accounting practices. Sean was excited to be able to combine his occupation with his love of craft beer.
He grew up right outside Savannah, GA and moved to Albany upon graduating from Georgia Southern University with a Bachelor’s degree in accounting and a minor in finance. He is a licensed CPA and also a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt. He spent twenty-one years in the high paced, stressful environment of the healthcare industry and has enjoyed the slower paced, laid back environment of the craft beer industry. Sean guides our team on financial decisions as well as accounting for all the transactions related to making and selling Pretoria Fields beer. He loves a good spreadsheet almost as much as a good, hoppy IPA. When not sitting behind a spreadsheet at a computer at the brewery he can be found spending time with his wife and two boys or in the mountains of North Ga or North Carolina fly fishing for trout. After a long day of fly fishing he enjoys a delicious Shoalie while he relishes the day’s catch and watches the sunset.
In 1986, Tom Vess entered the beverage industry as a Driver Salesmen in Norfolk Virginia where he found his passion for sales and cultivating relationships within his profession. His aspirations to move into management relocated him to Jacksonville, Florida where he completed his business management degree while continuing to build his skills in the beverage industry. At the age of 27, he accepted the role of Sales Manager and continued to successfully grow and become the Vice President and General Manager of Champion Brands.
Fast forward to 2016, Tom found himself ready for his next opportunity with Beverage South of Albany, Georgia as the General Manager. In this role, he focused on changing the culture and providing “best in class” customer service to their retail partners. His vision of developing the skills of his team through motivation, coaching, and leading by example provided the tools for Beverage South of Albany to become a market leader in the industry. This brought him to a new position as the company’s South Regional Director where he effectively managed four distribution centers.
He was approached by Pretoria Fields to use his knowledge, experience, and love for the industry to bring a new level of notability to the company and enthusiastically accepted the position as CEO. Tom is excited to share his industry expertise with the team at Pretoria Fields, where he will be overseeing the vision of the company in the Southeast. His grandfather was a farmer in South Carolina and he would be proud of his professional journey in collaborating with farmers and brewers to bring locally produced products to the community and consumers in the Southeast.
Outside of the office Tom enjoys spending time with his wife Karin and their dogs, Tucker and Auggie. Tom and Karin have six children and two grandchildren. When time permits, he can be found offshore fishing or in the woods of Georgia enjoying his recent interest of quail and deer hunting. Afterwards, he can be found enjoying a cold locally grown and brewed beer from Pretoria Fields.
Our brewermaster, Kevin, graduated from Virginia Tech with a degree in Hospitality and Management. While he managed a golf course in Maryland, his homebrewing hobby grew into a passion. He then picked up a bartending job at Craft Works which led to an apprenticeship in the brewery. After realizing that his interest in beer was not going away anytime soon, he sought out the opportunity to brew.
He accepted a position at Bluejacket Brewing in DC. This restaurant/brewery honed his understanding of how well beer compliments food. Kevin worked with multiple souring and wild yeast strains, as well as coolship practices in addition to the traditional ale production. After a couple of years in this fast-paced environment, Kevin learned about the slow-beer being made in Albany, GA. He will bring a little funk to the planned barrelhouse out on our farm. In his free time, Kevin is most likely to have his best four-legged friend, Clark, at his side enjoying a hike or a day of fishing. Kevin’s ideal way to celebrate a good catch or a great hike is a freshly poured Shoalie.
Josh grew up in a small town south of Atlanta called Zebulon (no, it’s not a distant planet; it’s in Georgia). During college, Josh discovered the burgeoning world of craft beer in Georgia. Sweetwater and Red Brick were two early favorites for him.
Working in bars and restaurants through college and into his mid-20’s, Josh developed an appreciation for craft beers from all over, taking trips to breweries in Colorado, California, and later North Carolina. After graduating college, he found himself working some pretty soul-sucking “grown-up” jobs. But he later found fulfilling work in sales – advertising and eventually information technology.
Through this experience Josh learned that he got the most enjoyment from outside sales – from traveling and interacting with people of all walks of life. The one thing missing was a true calling – a “thing” to sell that he was really passionate about.
That all changed in early-2018 when Josh found Pretoria Fields Collective and came on board as a sales rep for the Central Georgia Territory. In less than a year, Josh was promoted to Sales Manager and helped to put together our amazingly talented sales team for Georgia and Alabama – growing with the brewery as we launched across new markets. Josh absolutely loves what he does for a living now, and he can happily say he is “living his best life.”
Any Father will tell you how proud it makes them to watch their child succeed in life. Dr. Harris has had the opportunity to watch his son, Tripp, succeed in multiple ventures in life. Most fathers will also tell you it’s a pleasure to work alongside of their children, and assist each other to accomplish common goals and visions. Harris is the Pretoria Fields Collective farm manager, overseeing the organic acreage which grows barley, wheat, hops and fruit for our brewery. He researches the best practices for efficient farming, harvesting, malting, and processing of our inputs.
He is currently working to develop more of the Pretoria Fields farmland with diverse fruits and crops to incorporate into seasonal beers. Harris meets weekly with our staff to discuss updates on the farm and relay information regarding harvesting plans. Living on the farm himself, he spends much of his free time walking the land and enjoys checking on the farm beehives. When he does venture off of the farm, he values every moment that he gets to spend with his children and his grandchildren. After a hard day of work, Harris will tell you that nothing tastes better than a Pretoria Fields Stout.
A farmer’s daughter, Dona Lyn Goodpasture’s affinity for agriculture began as a child on her family’s farm in Mitchell County. It was on this farm where her knowledge and appreciation of how crops are grown and where they are derived became a source of pride.
After graduating from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Communication and Master of Education, Dona Lyn has enjoyed a career in non-profits, education and healthcare working for a better community.
A mother of two she spends much of her time out of the office cheering for her Girls in their activities. When there is down time, you’ll find her on Lake Blackshear, outdoors with her dogs or on the tailgate of her husband’s truck in their driveway enjoying a Pretoria Fields Collective Skywater.
Lauren Dorminey has degrees in cultural anthropology and English education from Valdosta State University and Western Carolina University, respectively. A native of SW Georgia, she returned home in the spring of 2017 after living several years in the mountains of North Carolina where she fully immersed herself in the region’s vibrant craft beer, music, and art scene. She’s not afraid to try something new, with a resume including workplaces of libraries, art galleries, universities, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and summer camps.
Lauren has been bartending in the tasting room since day one. When she’s not working, she’s spending time on the farm with her dogs and mom, hopping around Atlanta with boyfriend Brad, painting, reading and writing, and all things music. While she loves each beer, her choice after a shift or a long day painting is a pint of Rye Charles IPA.
Justin Duelge moved to Albany in 1993 and started his career in the hospitality industry. Starting as a server at Yesterday’s – he has worked as a server, bartender and manager at restaurants and bars throughout Albany. When he isn’t pouring you beer at Pretoria Fields, he enjoys spending time with his daughters Logan and Madison, going to concerts, kayaking and restoration projects. He loves Walkers Station Stout, but can also be found with a Flowing Well Gose in hand on warmer days.