WSWA Women's Leadership Council Conference Shatters Attendance Record

Sep 24, 2018
Washington, D.C.
The second annual Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) Women’s Leadership Council (WLC) Conference wrapped Friday with record-level participation.  The member-planned and member-oriented event saw 56 senior executives attend on behalf of wholesalers of all sizes operating in every corner of the country.

In addition to networking and professional development, conference participants completed a philanthropic event compiling, packaging and delivering 215 toiletry and clothing packages to N Street Village, a Washington, D.C.-based women’s shelter.  The packages were delivered in a wholesaler truck provided courtesy of Republic National Distributing Company.

Following the opening day philanthropic session, attendees headed to Capitol Hill for a reception with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Laura Dove, Secretary for the Majority, a senior executive leadership position in the U.S. Senate.  Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Claire McCaskill (D-MO) each provided personalized video welcome messages to the group. 2018 WLC Icon Award recipient, Sue McCollum, Chairman and CEO of Major Brands Premium Beverage Distributors, addressed the group to share her story of leadership and perseverance.

Conference sessions featured presentations on Building the Brand of You with author Kristen Brown, a panel on Women at the Top of Their Game showcasing association leaders Katherine Lugar, CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association and Dawn Sweeney, CEO of the National Restaurant Association along with Cathy Huyghe, CEO of Enolytics, a data and business intelligence firm.

Executives Karyn Miller and Jennifer Kelley of J.P. Morgan, provided perspective on strengthening finance and accounting acumen; new WSWA President and CEO Michelle Korsmo offered insights on her career and future focus at the association during a Q&A; and corporate trainer Luis Garcia of D.E. Jones Associates led a session on Balancing Priorities for Success and Achieving Your Goals.  The event concluded with a panel of WLC members discussing how they tackle issues in life and business.  Moderator Hillary Wirtz of Breakthru Beverage Group led the panel which featured Philana Bouvier, Young’s Market Company; Lacey Sadoff, Badger Liquor; Jenn Zenker, Breakthru Beverage Group; and, Megan Ross Iaccino, Great Lakes Wine & Spirits.

In addition to a full day of sessions, attendees had the opportunity to enhance their executive profile with complimentary headshots and sit down for one-on-one personal financial advising.

WSWA 2018-2019 Chairman Barkley Stuart delivered remarks regarding the importance of women and minorities in senior leadership positions throughout all tiers of the beverage alcohol industry. Event Sponsors included J.P. Morgan and J.P. Morgan Securities, Beverage Media Group, Walgreens, SevenFifty, Dimensional Insight, DMW&H, and Clyde’s Restaurant Group.

Click here to view photos of the event.  Click here to learn more about the WLC, for more information contact WSWA’s Catherine McDaniel.

WLC is led by Chair Dina Opici, Opici Family Distributing and Vice Chair Philana Bouvier, Young’s Market Company along with Advisory Board members: Heather Alper, Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits; Stacy Gabel, Republic National Distributing Company; Monica Chaplin, Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits; Jessica Cyr, Martignetti Companies; Megan Ross Iaccino, Great Lakes Wine & Spirits; Lacey Sadoff, Badger Liquor Company; Hillary Wirtz, Breakthru Beverage; and Jenn Zenker, Breakthru Beverage.  

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 370 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. Visit to learn more.