Thirty Rising Wholesale Leaders from WSWA Member Companies Participate in 2023 Women in Leadership Executive Education Program

Jun 07, 2023
Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America announces the graduation of 30 wholesale leaders from the Women in Leadership Executive Education Program

WASHINGTON, D.C., 06/07/2023 – Today, Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) announced the graduation of 30 rising wholesale leaders from the WSWA Women in Leadership (WIL) Executive Education Program designed and taught by prominent Columbia Business School professors.


Over the last month, women from nine WSWA member companies successfully completed the WIL curriculum in a hybrid model utilizing a virtual classroom format with an in person, two-day session in Washington DC.  The program consisted of an intensive three-week, fully live and virtual curriculum designed to accelerate the advancement of women leaders in the wine and spirits industry – enabling them to navigate the business landscape, develop and leverage their talents, and step into roles of greater influence and leadership. The program culminated yesterday with a graduation ceremony and dinner, along with reception at WSWA offices and two field trips- a night tour of the U.S. Capitol building and a VIP tour of the Library of Congress.


Building on the success of last year’s program, the curriculum designed exclusively for WSWA by facilitating Professor Adam Galinsky, the Paul Calello Professor of Leadership and Ethics and Vice Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Columbia Business School.


“I am so proud to have helped developed the Women in Leadership program with my amazing colleagues at the WSWA,” said Galinsky. “We designed this program to help propel high potential women into next-level leadership roles by giving them the essential leadership toolkit. Unlike other programs that often only offer a small slice of leadership focused on one particular skill (e.g., communications, negotiations, team building), the WSWA program offers a comprehensive exploration into the many skills leaders need to survive and thrive in our fast-moving interconnected world. Because of this comprehensive commitment, this program has the potential to reshape the leadership landscape in the wine and spirits wholesale industry and to turn these leaders into more effective innovators of the future.”


Course topics tactical business skills including Inspiring Leadership; Inspiring Communicating Persuasively and Fairly; Negotiation Excellence; Inspiring Team Synergy and Innovation; and Inspiring Diversity, Equity and Inclusive Cultures. Galinsky was joined by professors Modupe Akinola, Director of Bernstein Center for Leadership and Ethics and Barbara and David Dalaznick Professor of Business at Columbia Business School; Sandra Matz, David W. Zalaznick Associate Professor of Business and Co-Director of the Leadership Lab at Columbia Business School; and Dan Wang, Faculty Co-Director of the Tamer Center for Social Enterprise and Lambert Family Associate Professor of Social Enterprise at Columbia Business School.


“WSWA’s WIL program has been a phenomenal experience. The quality of the instructors, as well as the timely topics they cover, are going to be an essential resource for my leadership tool kit. I am excited to put into action the valuable lessons I learned to be an impactful leader, who pays it forward to other women of color,” said Manager, Talent Engagement and Employer Brand at Republic National Distributing Company JLee Galán.


“WIL has been an unbelievably enlightening experience. The quality of education and program design was incredible. The combination of high-level education with group conversation allowed for a dynamic exchange of ideas, experience and real-life application. I feel very fortunate to have been able to connect with and learn from some very talented and experienced women. The content of the program has challenged how I show up in my work, in the best way, and I will use it to help shape my approach to leadership,” said Director of Sales, Upstate New York at M.S. Walker Stephanie Perna Celani.


“Participating in WSWA’s 2023 WIL program has been a positive and enriching experience. Engaging on meta level with this group of strong and diverse female executives across most of the major wine and spirits wholesales, has been a unique and enlightening privilege. In the first few sessions it became apparent that the 30 of us have much more in common than the differences that separate us. Sharing best practices and talking out real-life and timely scenarios with Adam, a highly educated moderator and educator, has pushed me to think beyond my comfort zone and perspective. I strongly feel that the program will accelerate my personal evolution as a more thoughtful, empathetic, confident, and courageous female leader in our industry,” said Sales Director at Winebow Kristi Delovitch.


WSWA will continue to support efforts that develop both talent and diversity and support the advancement of women in the wholesale tier. Congratulations to the class of 2023!


Luisa Felipe, Allied Beverage Group

Gladys Njoku, Allied Beverage Group

Erin Engels, Breakthru Beverage Group

Amanda Hale, Breakthru Beverage Group

Pamela Lee, Breakthru Beverage Group

Taylor Wolf, Columbia Distributing

Mary Kate Kutney, Fedway

Caitlin McGarrahan, Horizon Beverage Company

Stephanie Perna Celani, M.S. Walker

Jlee Galan, Republic National Distributing Company

Brianna Seeley, Republic National Distributing Company

Patti Signorile, Republic National Distributing Company

Janie Thurman, Republic National Distributing Company

Kate Bleyer, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits

Laura Browning, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits

Rebecca Christy, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits

Karla Estrada, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits

Marisa Gillespie, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits

Joscelyne Ginoris, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits

Amy Kickham, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits

Annie Oliver, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits

Brittany Mauch, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits

Emily McGrew, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits

Jenna Salvatin-Alagna, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits

Kimberly Spence, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits

Liz Rodriguez, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits

Sascha Rubin, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits

Stephanie Silvestre, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits

Kristi Delovitch, Winebow

Gina Parenti, Winebow



About Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America

WSWA is the national trade association representing the distribution tier of the wine and spirits industry, dedicated to advancing the interests and independence of distributors and brokers of wine and spirits. Founded in 1943, WSWA has more than 380 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 United States.  


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