(Washington, D.C.) - Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) today released the following statement honoring Hubert Opici who died Tuesday at age 102. In announcing his passing, in lieu of flowers, the Opici family asked that memorial contributions be made to the WSWA Educational Foundation.
Noting the generosity of the memorial, WSWA Chairman Barkley Stuart, Past Chairman Carmine Martignetti, and Vice Chairman Syd Ross released the following joint statement:
"Hubert Opici was a giant in the wine industry, and one of the most genial, popular and well-liked people in the business. His success was recognized by Wine Enthusiast magazine, which honored him with its American Wine Legend Wine Star award, as well as by his employees to whom he was affectionately known simply as Mr. O. To Hubert, family was everything and he was fortunate to watch his grandchildren grow into positions of leadership within the company he created.
"On behalf of WSWA and the entire membership, we salute Hubert for the manner in which he lived and inspired so many, and for his generosity and that of the Opici family, in singling out the WSWA Educational Foundation for memorial contributions. His granddaughter, our colleague and WSWA Women's Leadership Council Chair, Dina Opici, has told us how proud Hubert was of the support the foundation provided.
"The WSWA Educational Foundation provides more than 50 scholarships each year to support higher education expenses for children of wholesaler employees. This program is an important way that our industry supports its biggest asset: our employees and their families.
"We are keeping the Opici family and their employees in our thoughts and prayers."
Click here to learn more about the WSWA Educational Foundation.
WSWA is the national trade association representing the wholesale tier of the wine and spirits industry, dedicated to advancing the interests and independence of wholesalers, distributors and brokers of wine and spirits. Founded in 1943, WSWA has more than 370 member companies in 50 states and the District of Columbia, and its members distribute more than 80 percent of all wine and spirits sold at wholesale in the U.S. Visit www.wswa.org to learn more.