WASHINGTON, D.C., 10/24/2023 – Nominations are now open for the 2024 Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) Ray Herrmann H.E.R.O. Award, sponsored by Breakthru Beverage Group (BBG). Herrmann, who passed away in 2021, is credited with one of the most accomplished, respected and distinguished careers in the wine and spirits industry. He was not only a beverage alcohol industry titan, but also a man of great character, ethics and philanthropy – a true humanitarian. WSWA and BBG created the H.E.R.O. Award to promote his many venerable traits and inspire others to reach higher, do better and leave the wine and spirits industry and our world in a better place for those who follow. The award is administered by WSWA and will be sponsored by BBG annually for a decade, from 2023 through 2033.
The H.E.R.O. Award, representing Herrmann’s vibrant qualities (Humanitarian, Ethical, Respectful and One-of-a-kind) will award one individual with $20,000 to donate to a charity of their choice. This award honors Herrmann’s engaging, inclusive and humble demeanor that allowed him to build deep and respectful relationships. Banfi Chairman Emeritus Dr. John Mariani was unanimously selected as the inaugural recipient in 2023 in recognition of his philanthropy and impact on the industry.
The nominated recipient of the award must be a member of the wine and spirits industry from one of the three tiers: supplier, distributor, or retailer. The recipient must actively display a character dedicated to philanthropy, helping others, improving community, etc. They must also live a life focused on ethics, integrity, honesty, inclusiveness, humanity. An appointed executive selection committee will select the recipient. The award will be presented at WSWA’s Access LIVE event taking place January 29-February 2, 2024 in Las Vegas.
Herrmann was truly “one-of-a-kind” with a legacy of enduring noble qualities admired by all who had the wonderful opportunity to know him. He earned a degree from Princeton University and honorably served in the United States Army, 191 Field Artillery Group in the South Pacific Theatre from 1943 to 1946. Herrmann began his industry tenure as a salesman in New York and grew to leadership positions with McKesson Corporation, Schieffelin and Company and National Distillers Products Company. He founded Sunbelt Beverage Corporation in 1988 and, as Chairman and CEO, led its 1994 merger with Charmer Industries.
To nominate a colleague please visit https://accesslive.wswa.org/awards
About WSWA's Access LIVE
WSWA's Access LIVE is the largest U.S. event uniting all tiers of the beverage alcohol industry. Featuring buy-sell engagements, high-level information panels, wine and spirits competitions, and C-suite-level networking, this event has been a premier destination for beverage alcohol wholesalers, suppliers and now retailers since its inception in 1943. To learn more, please visit accesslive.wswa.org or connect with us across our social platforms on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube or follow us at #AccessLIVE24.