America’s family-owned wine and spirits wholesalers will honor two industry giants as part of the WSWA 74th Annual Convention & Exposition to be held April 18-21 at Grande Lakes Orlando.
Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) will present the Lifetime Leadership Award to Alan Dreeben, a Partner with Republic National Distributing Company. The award is presented each year to a wholesaler whose contribution to the association, beverage industry and community defines excellence, inspires loyalty and exemplifies leadership.
The WSWA Educational Foundation will honor Gerry Ruvo, Chairman of Campari America, with the Sidney Frank Innovation Award presented by Mast-Jägermeister, given annually to a person who has made exceptional industry contributions in addition to noteworthy philanthropy and community service. The award is named for Sidney Frank, a leading innovator and marketer in the beverage industry who also set records for philanthropic contributions and service.
“Alan Dreeben and Gerry Ruvo, each have a long history of supporting charities, individuals and community organizations with their time, money and leadership. Awards given by WSWA and the WSWA Educational Foundation highlight their leadership and service to others, inspiring all of us. Alan and Gerry are industry giants, and we are honored to recognize their contributions,” said WSWA President and CEO Craig Wolf.
ABOUT ALAN DREEBEN
Dreeben has served in nearly every leadership role at WSWA, including as the 2014-2015 Chairman, and earlier as Vice Chairman, and PAC Chairman among other duties. He has lent his services to the Past Chairmen’s Council, and Government Affairs and Meetings & Conventions Committees, and is a major donor to the WSWA Educational Foundation.
In addition to his duties at Republic National Distributing Company, Dreeben is actively engaged in a number of business and philanthropic activities. He serves as an Advisory Director at Cullen Frost Bank; a member of the Board of Directors of Camber Energy; a member of the Advisory Board of San Antonio Capital; and on the Executive Committee of the Texas Business Leadership Council.
With a long history of commitment to education at all levels, Dreeben serves as a Foundation Director and past regent and chairman with the Texas State University System, and as a member of the Executive Committee of the University of Texas/Texas System Chancellor’s Council, among other activities. He has endowed two “Forty Acres” Scholarships with the University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business where he also serves as an MSB Foundation Trustee, a member and past chair of the MSB Advisory Council and a member of the University of Texas Development Board.
Dreeben attended Highland Park High School in Dallas, and later earned a BBA at the University of Texas at Austin and an MBA at Harvard University (Executive Program). He and his wife Barbara reside in San Antonio, are the parents of three daughters, and have nine grandchildren.
ABOUT GERRY RUVO
Gerry Ruvo is a transformational leader in the spirits business with nearly 40 years of experience. Ruvo began his beverage alcohol career at Gallo in upstate New York, followed by senior sales roles with Monsieur Henri, where he helped introduce Stolichnaya Vodka to the U.S. After moving to the Paddington Corporation as Vice President, National Sales, he was named Vice President of Sales for the newly formed International Distillers and Vintners (IDV), the largest spirits company in North America.
In 1998, he joined SKYY Spirits to develop the burgeoning one-brand company before being named CEO after the buyout of the company by Gruppo Campari in 2005. Ruvo helped Campari build a diverse portfolio of unique, owned products, beginning with the acquisition of Cabo Wabo Tequila, Wild Turkey Bourbon, Espolon Tequila, Appelton Rum, and Forty Creek Canadian Whisky. Recognizing the consumer trend towards all-natural, infused products, he is also credited with introducing the popular SKYY infusions line.
Ruvo’s dedication to charitable efforts includes work on behalf of the American Cancer Society and the Sky Ranch Foundation. He has also served as Chairman of the Distilled Spirits Council.
WSWA is a national trade association representing the wholesale tier of the wine and spirits industry and is the voice for wholesalers in Congress, the administration, the courts, with the news media and in communities across America. Founded in 1943, WSWA has 405 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.