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

May 25, 2022
Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America announces the graduation of 30 wholesale leaders from the Women in Leadership Executive Education Program


WASHINGTON, D.C., 05/25/2022 – 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.


During the month of May, women from nine WSWA member companies successfully completed the WIL curriculum in a hybrid model that allowed for participation without students being taken out of the marketplace. 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 culminates today in a Capstone event where all 30 participating women will meet in Washington, D.C. to present final projects and attend a graduation ceremony.


Unique to this year’s graduating class, was the curriculum designed by facilitating professor Adam Galinsky, the Paul Calello Professor of Leadership and Ethics at Columbia Business School which was created exclusively for WSWA. Course topics ranged from hard to soft business skills including Communicating Persuasively and Fairly to Negotiation Excellence to Team Synergy and Innovation and Inspiring Diversity, Equity and Inclusive Cultures. Galinsky was joined by professors Modupe Akinola, Associate Professor at Columbia Business School and Director of Bernstein Center for Leadership and Ethics; Sandra Matz, David W. Zalaznick Associate Professor of Business at Columbia Business School; and Dan Wang, Associate Professor of Business and Sociology at Columbia Business School and Faculty Co-Director of the Tamer Center for Social Enterprise.


“The Women in Leadership initiative provides women in the wholesale tier with a unique opportunity that equips them with important professional skills and tools so they can return to their respective organizations with confidence and continue to be rising leaders in our industry,” said Barkley Stuart, Executive Vice President at Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, and past chairman of WSWA who helped launch the program in 2019.


Quotes From the 2022 WSWA WIL Program Participants:


“We all strive to be thoughtful, inclusive leaders. The WIL course provides the framework for putting those intentions into practice. Every session has been valuable and enlightening. Now we have the tools to positively impact the culture of our industry.” – Allison Hupp, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits


“The WSWA Women in Leadership program has created such a positive change in my well-being that I didn’t realize I needed. After 2 long years of COVID, which provided little opportunity for personal development, to be back in the role of a student has been invaluable. Re-starting the part of my brain that is open to experiencing new concepts, allowing myself to be put out of my comfort zone, creating valuable personal connections, and investing in my own future has re-invigorated my excitement for this industry and given me a new energy in my day-to-day job that was missing.” – Lisa Martin, Breakthru Beverage Group


“The WIL program will change the way you manage and lead people, organizations, and your own life.  Sign up and you will not regret it.” – Helen Na, Breakthru Beverage Group


“The WSWA facilitates an incredible Women in Leadership program through a team of remarkable and engaging professors whose passions are beautifully portrayed in their teachings. I am energized by this experience and encouraged to know workplaces are filled with the highest caliber of extraordinary, intelligent women in this cohort. The time invested in this program will enable me to apply intentionality to furthering every aspect of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Thank you for allowing me to participate!” – Laurie Ormiston, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits


“The WSWA WIL Program has been a welcome provider of mentorship and education for me. As a female starting out in the alcohol beverage industry, it has been amazing to meet, connect and empathize with so many other strong female leaders in the industry. I value all the important tools and skills Dr. Galinsky has introduced me to, the classes have helped me to turn a critical eye to my own leadership style and cultivate a more transparent culture with my team.” – Theresa Rossi, Allied Beverage Group


“The Women in Leadership class has helped me immensely in becoming a better, more inclusive leader. The class has taught me that my actions are amplified as a leader, including praise and criticism, and how I can more effectively use both. It has motivated me to continue learning and developing my coaching skills and how I can be a better mentor for my team. It has also allowed me to meet some incredible women from across the industry that I hope to have lasting relationships with. Finally, the class was fun! It is highly engaging and allows us to implement real-time practices. I only wish I could retake it every year since there is so much great information to absorb.” – Linsey Schlosser, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits


“I appreciate the connection to like-minded women and the genuine conversations we are having about leadership in the beverage alcohol industry. I’m learning so much from Adam and his team, especially the practical tips I can put into practice quickly. Thank you for offering this program!” – Reace Smith, Republic National Distributing Company


“Having an opportunity to join this inspirational group of women leaders across our industry is a true honor. The content delivered by the Columbia Business School team is relevant and thought provoking each day. It has already created a shift in my mindset as a leader within my company and I cannot wait to share with other women leaders within our industry the personal and professional development opportunity this program affords.” – Tiffany Thompson, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits


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 2022!


Theresa Rossi, Allied Beverage

Tara Marohl, Breakthru Beverage Group

Lisa Martin, Breakthru Beverage Group

Helen Na, Breakthru Beverage Group

Judy Viera, Breakthru Beverage Group

Kristen Will, Breakthru Beverage Group

Rachel Evans, Columbia Distributing

Viviana Rivadeneira, Fedway Associates
Jen Bowser, Horizon Beverage

Maggie Dey, Martignetti Companies

Tiffany Ly, Republic National Distributing Company

Ayesha Mahapatra, Republic National Distributing Company

Malena Mer, Republic National Distributing Company

Amy Rodriguez, Republic National Distributing Company

Reace Smith, Republic National Distributing Company

Danielle Barr, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits

Courtney Bell, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits

Cristina Benitez Sacasas, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits

Tanisha Boyd, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits

Allison Hupp, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits

Cameron Levemier, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits

Flavia Lucus, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits

Alma Martinez-Amen, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits

Amy Mitchell, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits

Laurie Ormiston, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits

Linsey Schlosser, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits

Tiffany Thompson, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits

Michelle Wilham, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits

Kay Yoder, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits

Marie Flatau, 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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