February 16, 2021 (New York, NY) – Women of the Vine & Spirits (WOTVS), the leading membership organization, worldwide, dedicated to boldly pushing the wine, beer and spirits industry toward a more diverse, equitable and inclusive era has announced program details for its virtual event, WOTVS CONNECT! to be held March 8, on International Women’s Day.
Women of the Vine & Spirits chose to go virtual in 2021, an opportunity they are seizing to allow for more participation from their global membership. With more than 160 Corporate Member companies, who’s employees receive complimentary access to the event, WOTVS CONNECT! will be the first time the organization can accommodate all of its Corporate Members – as historically, its sought-after annual events sell out.
A shorter, work-from-home conducive, program than their regularly scheduled Global Symposium each March, WOTVS CONNECT! is jam-packed with relevant content and powerful speakers from all three tiers of the wine, beer and spirits industry.
Sessions taking place during the three-hour program include Town Halls on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) and Business Development & Innovation (BD&I). Two topics driving the core mission of WOTVS and impacting the alcohol beverage industry due to the impact of COVID-19 and racial injustice in the US and abroad.
In addition to the Town Halls, WOTVS is hosting a Roundtable Discussion with senior male leaders in the industry where they will share their commitment to DE&I.
“At Women of the Vine & Spirits, since 2015 our purpose has always been about both advocating for diversity, equity and inclusion and business development,” said Founder & CEO of Women of the Vine & Spirits, Deborah Brenner. “Which is why we are focused exclusively on these two very important aspects of progress for our event; women cannot reach equality without economic growth and an equitable industry.”
Session Details and Confirmed Speakers
BD&I Town Hall: 2020 challenged every industry, and alcohol beverage was no exception. Many were pushed to be more creative and innovative than ever before. We had a constantly changing market and consumer that required this of us. Great achievements were reached through powerful new technology, cultivating stronger relationships with vendors and identifying new ways of doing business. We want to share the best of the best to come out of these unexpected hurdles that in the end made us stronger and more resilient than ever before.
- Rhonda Motil, VP of Marketing, J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines (moderator)
- Regan Clarke, VP of Marketing, Pernod Ricard USA
- Nicole Jordan, SVP, Commercial Transformation & Digital Strategy, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits
- Bertha González Nieves, Co-Founder & CEO, Tequila Casa Dragones
- Cathy Lewenberg, COO, Drizly
- Laura Petry, VP, Group Brand Director, Emerging Brands, Brown-Forman
Roundtable Discussion: Senior Male Leaders Share their Commitment to DE&I: In this Roundtable Discussion, senior male leaders in the alcohol beverage industry will share why they are committed to DE&I and what we all can be doing to reach equity in our companies. We will hear expert advice and relevant industry trends, and how other companies can leverage diversity for team success. Join us for an authentic conversation about why diversity, equity and inclusion is important to them and their business, who has influenced them along their life and career path, and their vision for the future of the industry. Facilitated by Deborah Brenner, Founder & CEO, Women of the Vine & Spirits.
- Steve Billey, General Manager, Bronco Wine Company
- Gus Bozzo, EVP, National Accounts, Breakthru Beverage Group
- Carl Carlson, President, Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey
- Dan Heller, EVP of Sales, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates
- Marc Hirten, President, Frederick Wildman & Sons, Ltd.
- Barkley Stuart, EVP, Director, Government Affairs, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits
DE&I Town Hall: Through the BLM movement and hard but necessary conversations in 2020 it became clear that more measurable action is needed within our industry to have our teams and leaders be more diverse, equitable and inclusive. Companies are struggling to create an equitable workforce, in part because they are struggling to find diverse talent for open positions. Other companies have been putting a focus on ERG and BRGs to ensure that their team members have a voice and a supportive community to lean on. We want to share the successful and duplicable changes leading companies in our industry are putting into action to make sure they are reaching diverse talent, and that every potential candidate is given a fair and equal opportunity to secure employment and once on staff, everyone feels valued and has a voice.
- Ingrid Hobbs, PMP, US DE&I Lead and Global D&I Liaison, William Grant & Sons (moderator)
- Lisa Catanzaro, SVP, HR Strategy & Talent, Breakthru Beverage Group
- Dr. Atira Charles, Head of Diversity & Inclusion, Moët Hennessy USA
- Maribel Delgado, Sr. Associate, General Counsel, E. & J. Gallo Winery
- Erika Hopkins, Corporate VP, Culture & Corporate Social Responsibility, Republic National Distributing Company
- Victoria Russell, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, Beam Suntory
WOTVS CONNECT! is open only to employees of Women of the Vine & Spirits Corporate Members. For those interested in Corporate Membership opportunities, please email Elizabeth Campbell Boyd at [email protected].
WOTVS CONNECT! registration is generously sponsored by Ste. Michelle Wine Estates.
Women of the Vine & Spirits Corporate Members include Founding Member, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits; Diamond Members: Breakthru Beverage Group; Bronco Wine Company; Brown-Forman; E. & J. Gallo Winery; Frederick Wildman & Sons, Ltd.; Moët Hennessy USA; Republic National Distributing Company; Shaw-Ross International Importers; Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey; and Ste. Michelle Wine Estates; Platinum Members: Beam Suntory; Constellation Brands; J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines; Pernod Ricard USA; and William Grant & Sons. For a full list of Corporate Members including those at the Gold, Silver, Bronze and Associate level, visit the Corporate Members tab at womenofthevine.com.
About Women of the Vine & Spirits
Women of the Vine & Spirits is the leading membership organization, worldwide, dedicated to boldly pushing the wine, beer and spirits industry toward a more diverse, equitable and inclusive era that empowers all to succeed. Our members connect through our global network and collaborate across all industry sectors. We provide our members with benefits that include education, training, mentorship, and networking as well as tools, services and resources toward DE&I, and personal and business development. For more information, please visit womenofthevine.com.