At its recent 75th Annual Convention & Exposition, the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) Board of Directors elected the group’s 2018-2019 Executive Committee led by Chairman Barkley Stuart of Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits and including Missouri wholesaler Sue McCollum of Major Brands, the first female to join the group’s senior leadership ranks.
Stuart is Executive Vice President of Government Affairs for Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits. During his remarks to convention attendees and wholesaler members, Stuart challenged the industry as a whole to take action on an issue that will be his key priority over the next year: empowering women employees and expanding diversity within industry ranks.
Other association officers include Vice Chairman Syd Ross, Great Lakes Wine & Spirits; Senior Vice President Danny Wirtz, Breakthru Beverage Group; Vice President Chris Underwood, Young’s Market Company; Secretary Tom Cole, Republic National Distributing Company; Treasurer Sue McCollum, Major Brands; and immediate past Chairman Carmine Martignetti, Martignetti Companies.
The 2018-2019 Executive Committee also includes three at-large representatives: Leadership Caucus A Representative Cutter Smith, Eder Brothers; as well as two Leadership Caucus B Representatives, Steven Becker, Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits and Richard Leventhal, Fedway Associates.
During his convention remarks, Stuart noted that over his four decade career he “saw firsthand the impact of women’s presence in decision making, in government, churches, businesses, schools and families. The message was always the same: when women are at the table, better decisions are made. … It is indisputable that women and people of color in our industry remain an untapped and under-utilized pool of talent and that is hurting our bottom line. Companies with greater gender diversity are more competitive, and therefore more profitable,” he said. Click here to view his full remarks.
At Southern Glazer’s, Stuart helps lead the company’s government and industry affairs teams, providing representation at the state and federal levels. Before its 2016 merger with Southern Wine & Spirits, he worked in roles ranging from Gallo salesman to COO at Glazer’s Inc. in a career that spans two decades in the industry. Before joining the beverage alcohol industry, Stuart worked as a technology consultant and non-profit executive. He is a passionate philanthropist and civic leader who serves in board positions with Drizly, Collette Vacations, North Country School and the Devereux Foundation. He is a graduate of Brown University and holds an Executive MBA from Harvard Business School.
WSWA President and CEO Craig Wolf will depart the association June 30 after nearly two decades of service, first as association General Counsel, and since 2006 as President and CEO.
In his farewell address at the convention, Wolf remarked on the success of the association as the “unquestioned industry leader in the courts, fighting litigation across the country” and as an advocate on Capitol Hill, in the media and as a coalition partner. Wolf also offered his gratitude to association members and industry colleagues, saying “I have enjoyed every day of my time with you and will miss each and every one of you. I consider the relationships I have with you as more precious than gold.” Click here to read an earlier press release detailing the association’s growth and effectiveness under Wolf’s leadership and click here to view Wolf’s full remarks.
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 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 U.S.