WSWA Educational Foundation Announces Four 2023 Robert Qualls Scholarship Recipients

Oct 16, 2023
Washington, D.C.
Four Hospitality Students Receive $20K in Total Scholarships to Help Fund Education

WASHINGTON, D.C., 10/16/2023 – The WSWA Educational Foundation – the charitable arm of Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) – has today announced four recipients of the Robert Qualls Scholarship. The winning students, who are pursuing a certificate or degree in the hospitality space and are former or current employees or children of employees of alcohol wholesalers, retailers and suppliers, were awarded $5,000 each to help fund their education expenses. Scholarship winners were selected by an independent panel of judges through a competitive application process.


WSWA Educational Foundation created the Robert Qualls Scholarship Fund thanks to the generous donations of Tito’s Handmade Vodka and Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits in memory of Robert Qualls, an extraordinary hospitality and spirits industry veteran and a beloved employee (at different times in his life) for both companies. The Robert Qualls Scholarship Fund honors Qualls’ legacy of hard work, generosity, and selflessness by allowing students to follow in his footsteps. Throughout his career, he helped build brands, managed businesses, and mentored the next generation of industry professionals.


2023 Robert Qualls Scholarship Recipients:

  • McKenna Crowder – Iowa State University
  • Peter Knoblauch – Colorado Mountain College
  • Jill Elkins – Oklahoma State University
  • Grace Johnson – University of South Carolina


“Congratulations to these four students on receiving this meaningful scholarship,” said Francis Creighton, WSWA’s president and CEO. “I know the future of hospitality is bright, and that Robert Qualls would be proud to see the younger generation’s achievements. We are honored to support Grace, Peter, Jill and McKenna and look forward to seeing the impact they have on our industry.”


For more information about this scholarship program and the WSWA Educational Foundation, please visit our website here.


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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