WSWA’s 2022 Forum on the Hill to Promote Value of Three-Tier System and Successful State-Based Alcohol Regulation

Sep 08, 2022
Washington, D.C.
The Event Combines the Annual Membership Meeting and Legislative Fly-In

WASHINGTON, D.C., 09/08/2022 — Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) is hosting its annual Forum on the Hill next week in Washington, D.C. This year, WSWA’s reimagined event combines the association’s annual membership meeting with its Legislative Fly-In to provide maximum value for member companies.


The event begins on Monday, September 12, and concludes on Wednesday, September 14. Forum on the Hill will be attended by members of the WSWA Board of Directors, council chairs and vice chairs, company owners and executives, next generation and young leaders, state association leadership and government affairs teams.


"The annual Fly-In provides WSWA member companies the opportunity to meet in person with their representatives and discuss the important legislative issues that impact their day to day. The event provides a platform for members to share the stories of their businesses — many of which are multigeneration family-owned — to show the value and importance of the three-tier system,” said WSWA Chairman of the Board Tom Cole. “Combining the annual membership meeting and Fly-In will allow for brainstorming and networking between members of the wholesale tier as we continue to innovate and improve the beverage alcohol industry. Forum on the Hill is the place to discuss important issues with key decision-makers within our industry and on Capitol Hill,” he added.


The week will kick off with a WSWA Board of Directors meeting and a closed lunch with WSWA’s new President and CEO, Francis Creighton. Creighton will join WSWA Chairman of the Board Tom Cole Monday afternoon for a fireside chat. The evening will conclude with a reception and small-group dinners.


Tuesday’s agenda is full of speaker sessions, networking opportunities and updates from WSWA staff. The first speaker is the Honorable Michael Chertoff, executive chairman of The Chertoff Group and former Secretary of Homeland Security. He will talk on the present state of global cybersecurity as well as the current environment member businesses are operating in.


Before Tuesday’s lunch, there will be a presentation from WSWA’s Executive Vice President of Strategic Communications and Marketing Michael Bilello and Morning Consult’s Food and Beverage Analyst Emily Moquin, who will speak to the results of a poll (conducted August 3–8 with 3,200 mothers) on awareness and perception of alcohol laws and regulations, direct-to-consumer (DTC) shipping of spirits, DTC messaging, and WSWA's efforts in opposing DTC interstate shipping.


During lunch on Tuesday, members will hear an update on Uber Eats and local licensed delivery from Christian Frees, head of U.S. new verticals at Uber, and Beryl Sanders, head of new verticals partnerships at Uber. The evening will conclude with a reception featuring six WSWA Access Craft brands: Campesino Rum, Crafthouse Cocktails, Hotel Tango Distillery, Kōloa Rum, Mico Tequila and Remington Family Distillers. WSWA Access Craft will end the night with a media reception, while WSWA members attend a dinner event.


Wednesday’s calendar is full of meetings on the Hill. Nearly 75 executives representing 28 WSWA member companies will sit down with more than 70 congressional offices to discuss legislative issues affecting the livelihood of American, family-owned wholesalers.


Wednesday’s lunch will include a presentation from Tim Wu, antitrust advisor to President Biden. Wu is a key proponent of Biden’s economic policy agenda and is helping drive the administration’s push to rein in large corporations with tougher antitrust enforcement. The Fly-In will conclude with a WSWA-PAC wine tasting reception with GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (R-NY) and her congressional colleagues.


WSWA members attending the Legislative Fly-In include:

  • Allied Beverage Group
  • American Premium Beverage
  • Best Brands Incorporated
  • Breakthru Beverage Group
  • Central Distributors, Inc.
  • Eder Brothers, Inc.
  • Georgia Crown Distributing Co.
  • Great Lakes Wine & Spirits
  • Heidelberg Distributing Co.
  • Kansas Wine & Spirits Wholesalers Association
  • Legacy Partners Distribution
  • M.S. Walker Inc.
  • Momentum Beverage Team
  • Moon Distributors, Inc.
  • Opici Family Distributing
  • Rhode Island Distributing Co., LLC
  • Republic National Distributing Company
  • Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits
  • Standard Beverage Corp.
  • The Wholesale Beer and Wine Association of Ohio
  • United Distributors, Inc.
  • Wine & Spirits Distributors of Indiana
  • Wine & Spirits Distributors of Florida
  • Wine & Spirits Distributors of South Carolina


Wine and spirits wholesalers employ 88,000 Americans across every state and congressional district who earn a collective $7.3 billion in annual wages as part of an industry that generates more than $77 billion in tax revenue each year.


To learn more about WSWA’s Fly-In and legislative priorities, please click here.


To learn about the economic impact of wine and spirits wholesalers nationally, or by state, congressional district, state senate district, or state house district, click 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% of all wine and spirits sold at wholesale in the United States.


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