Fawn Weaver

Fawn weaver
Fawn Weaver

Co-founder, CEO
Uncle Nearest Inc.
Nashville, Tenn.

Ask Fawn Weaver what she would like to do most if she had the time and money and she will answer, “I’m already doing it.”

Weaver is a co-founder and CEO of Uncle Nearest Inc., maker of an award-winning premium whiskey named after Nathan “Nearest” Green, a former enslaved man on record as the first African-American master distiller. As the first master distiller for Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Uncle Nearest, as family members called him, used his own process to develop one of the country’s most recognizable whiskey brands, Weaver recounts. “We are the very first of any major spirits brand to commemorate an African-American in history,” she states.

Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey now is one of the fastest-growing independent brands in American history, with a presence across the U.S. and in the U.K., South Africa, and many other countries. “We’re branching out quite a bit,” Weaver says.

She established the Nearest Green Foundation to honor Green. Of its current 12 projects, her favorite is the Nearest Green Legacy Scholarship awarded to all direct descendants of Green attending college. “The needs of others fuel me, not financial success,” Weaver asserts. “But I am able to use the latter to invest in the first.”

A serial entrepreneur, Weaver started her first business straight out of high school and never looked back, even for post-secondary education. She is a TED speaker; investor in real estate, tech, and lifestyle brands; and a USA Today and New York Times best-selling author. She is the first African-American to grace the cover of any Paragraph Publishing magazine, including Whisky Magazine and American Whiskey Magazine. “The most challenging thing about being an entrepreneur is the buck stops with you. You are the final line. Every day has its highs and its lows. Keeping that balance can be interesting. But I love it.”