WSWA Wraps 2023 NextGen Leaders Summit and Council for Leadership Development (CLD) Conference

Jul 24, 2023
Washington, D.C.
The Event Hosted in Milwaukee Featured 90 Next Generation and Rising Wine and Spirits Wholesaler Leaders

WASHINGTON, D.C., 07/25/2023 – Last week, Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) NextGen Leaders Summit and Council for Leadership Development (CLD) Conference was hosted in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The event started on Monday, July 17 with the NextGen Summit and welcomed members of CLD on Tuesday, July 18.


The annual CLD Conference provides a space for leaders in the wholesale tier of the wine and spirits industry to share ideas, learn about our industry’s hot topics and trends, develop and improve leadership skills, and network with peers.


This year, the WSWA member-planned and member-oriented event saw 90 rising executives attend on behalf of wholesalers of all sizes operating in every corner of the country.

“Spending time with rising leaders from WSWA wholesaler member companies left me believing the distribution tier is in good hands today and into the future,” said WSWA’s President and CEO Francis Creighton. “We will continue to build upon this educational foundation to ensure these talented and dedicated professionals are supported throughout their careers,” he added.


Attendees of the conference heard from experts across a variety of topics and educational sessions to better engage with political representatives, learn about current trends and marketing information, and how to protect against ransomware attacks. Each session provided information and hands-on learning needed to advance their careers.


NextGen Leaders Summit Speakers featured:

  • Jane Melvin, founder, Strategic Innovations Group, Inc.
  • Laura Piotrowski, President and CEO, Cavendish Vernal
  • Jill Desmond, Ed.D., Consultant, Cavendish Vernal


CLD Conference speakers included:

  • Dia Simms, Co-Founder of Pronghorn and CEO of Lobos 1707 Tequila and Mezcal
  • Marc Strachan, Head Coach, Coach Marc Strachan Consulting
  • Danny Brager, Analyst, SipSource
  • Dale Stratton, Analyst, SipSource
  • Andrew McGuire, Chief Commercial Solutions Officer, Molson Coors
  • Laura Louise Green, LPC, Founder, Healthy Pour
  • Jessica Pomerantz, Consultant, Healthy Pour
  • Michael Klauer, CEO, President, Momentum Beverage Group
  • Wesley Hein, Board President, Cannabis Distribution Association.
  • Matt Shiffrin, CEO and Owner, Pioneer Interests
  • Lowell Goldman, President & COO, RSL Holdings (Lipman Brothers)
  • Lee Hastings, Vice President, Moon/Central Distributing
  • Joseph Rodriguez, Assistant Director of IT, Allied Beverage Group
  • Lucas Morris, Security Risk Advisors (Moderator)


For a full list of speakers, session information and agenda, click here.


Attendees used the conference to make connections with wholesaler, supplier and service provider peers—as well as current industry leaders, speakers, panelists and the WSWA staff and leadership team.


The conference was made possible by the following sponsors:

  • City Hive
  • Dimensional Insight
  • Efficiency Enterprises
  • Encompass Technologies
  • FORM
  • Infuzion Solutions
  • Inventiv



The NextGen Leaders Summit and CLD Conference will return in July 2024 in Miami, FL.


If you are interested in sponsoring the 2024 conference or another WSWA event, please email Molly Fontaine ( to learn about our exciting sponsorship opportunities.


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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