December 1933

21st Amendment Ratified, Prohibition Ended


December 5, 2017 marks 84 years since the United States ratified the 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and paved the way for the modern three-tier beverage alcohol system.

Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America Offers Informative Speakers and In-Depth Panel Discussions at 72nd Annual Convention & Exposition

(WASHINGTON, D.C.)  – The Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) 72nd Annual Convention & Exposition, one of the wine and spirits industry’s leading trade shows and events, will feature dynamic educational sessions as part of the U.S. Alcohol Beverage Forum (USBAF) on Wednesday, April 15.  This half-day program includes four unique topics: Winning Customers’ Hearts & Wallets via Social & Mobile Media; Everything You Need to Know about Marijuana Legalization; How to Succeed in the U.S. Wine & Spirits Distribution System; and Trends in Wine & Spirits.  

“The USBAF is a great opportunity for us to bring together experts from multiple areas to present important industry issues and offer real-world expertise,” said Craig Wolf, WSWA President and CEO.  “These sessions are of great benefit to wine and spirits wholesalers and suppliers.”  

Session Highlights:

  • 11:30 am – 12:30 pm: Winning Customers’ Hearts & Wallets via Social & Mobile Media with keynote speaker and social media guru Erik Qualman, best-selling author of Socialnomics, Digital Leader and What Happens in Vegas Stays on YouTube: Word of Mouth is now on digital steroids.  Brands have the power to convert customers into their best marketers and sales people.  They can help tell the story cheaply and effectively.  Through Qualman’s entertaining and unique video story style you will learn how to use mobile and social media to develop customer relationships, earn their loyalty and drive long term success.
  • 12:35 pm – 1:35 pm: Everything You Need to Know about Marijuana Legalization with panelists Dan Anglin, Managing Partner, EdiPure; Michael Brown, Director, Office of Impaired Driving & Occupant Protection, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; Rick Garza, Administrative Director, Washington State Liquor Control Board; and moderated by Tyler Hensen, President, Colorado Cannabis Chamber of Commerce: Each week, you hear more and more news about marijuana legalization efforts, health claims, and safety concerns, to name a few topics.  It’s hard to stay on top of what’s going on around the country.  In an in-depth overview of marijuana legalization, attendees will gain an understanding of how the laws and regulations apply in Colorado and Washington, including the similarities and differences.  Attendees will also learn about new products on the market, as well as the challenges and issues that have emerged.  These topics will be presented by the people who are at the forefront of this burgeoning industry – from those implementing the laws, pushing change, and creating new businesses, to those focused on public safety.  Also discussed will be  how marijuana legalization could impact another socially sensitive product: beverage alcohol.
  • 1:40 pm – 2:40 pm: How to Succeed in the U.S. Wine & Spirits Distribution System with panelists Raj Bhakta, Founder and CEO, Whistle Pig; Tom Maas, Founder and Master Blender, RumChata; Charlie Merinoff, Chairman and CEO, The Charmer Sunbelt Group; Ryan Moses, Executive Vice President, Best Brands Inc.; and moderated by Craig Wolf, President and CEO, WSWA: The modern three-tier system is uniquely American and helps build one of the most vibrant beverage alcohol markets in the world.  No other market in the world offers the diversity of products in a manner that guarantees product integrity.  As artisanal wines and spirits and craft beers have exploded on the scene, many are successfully competing with well-established brands.  Come hear from suppliers, marketers and innovators who have taken their craft brands from concept to reality and on to widespread distribution.  Uncover the secrets of success to get your products in front of more customers.  Learn what a large, multi-state wholesaler and also a single-state distributor think are the best ways to approach, pitch to, and work with wholesalers.  There will be time at the end of this panel to have questions answered by our informative panelists.
  • 2:45 pm – 3:45 pm: Trends in Wine & Spirits with panelists Jacques Bezuidenhout, Global Brand Ambassador, Partida Tequila, Head of Beverage Programs, Kimpton Hotels; Tobin Ellis, Founder, BarMagic, Inc.; Camper English, Cocktail and Spirits Writer, Alcademics; Piotr Poznanski, President, International Wine & Spirits Research (IWSR); Alyssa J. Rapp, CEO & Founder, Bottlenotes; and moderated by Tony Abou-Ganim, The Modern Mixologist: This session will provide an overview of U.S. and global beverage trends from a leader of data collection.  Following the global presentation attendees will hear from our panel of mixologists and wine experts who will share their perspective on what is currently happening on premise; from craft spirits and shifting taste profiles to the next big thing.

The WSWA 72nd Annual Convention & Exposition will be held April 12-15, 2015 at the Grand Lakes Orlando, a joint J.W. Marriott / Ritz-Carlton property.

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