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Women of the Vine & Spirits Launches a New DE&I Leadership Series Engaging Senior Male Executives in Wine, Beer and Spirits


The series will address diversity barriers through authentic and complex conversations.

April 22, 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 announced, today, the launch of a new ongoing diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) leadership series, called “Breaking Barriers” featuring senior male executives and DE&I leaders in the alcohol beverage industry.

This new series is in direct response to the requests received following the WOTVS March 8th  WOTVS CONNECT! Male Allies Roundtable, where it became clear that this was a topic that needed to be a continuous conversation. To kick the series off, WOTVS invited the male leaders that were part of the March 8th panel to come back to have a deeper dive.

WOTVS is committed to making this a permanent series. Corporate Members that have Senior Male Executives or DE&I leaders that would like to participate in future segments are welcome to contact Elizabeth, Director of Corporate Membership & Engagement [email protected]

The first installment is taking place next week, April 29, and will include from Ste. Michelle Estates: David Dearie, President & CEO, Dan Heller, EVP of Sales and Melody Zhang, Chief Human Resources Officer.

WOTVS Corporate Members will hear from senior male executives why they are committed to DE&I and what we can all be doing to break barriers and create a culture of inclusivity in our communities and companies. Joined by a DE&I leader, together, these unscripted live chats will dig into the topic through authentic conversation about why DE&I is important to them, who has influenced them along their life and career path, and their vision for the future of the alcohol beverage industry. Expect frank questions, honest answers and real-life lessons on how these senior male executives commit to taking action as an individual, a community member, and a corporate leader.

“DE&I is not a ‘she’ thing or a ‘he’ thing, it is a ‘we’ thing, which is why since the inception of Women of the Vine & Spirits in 2015, we have engaged men to actively participate year-round in the organization,” said Founder & CEO of Women of the Vine & Spirits, Deborah Brenner. “We know that change starts at the top and that the alcohol beverage industry is still primarily led by men. Together, we can accelerate the pace to create a more diverse, equitable and inclusive industry for all to thrive.”

Upcoming “Breaking Barriers”Live Chats will be facilitated by Deborah Brenner and include a powerful lineup of respected leaders in the industry, including:

  • April 29
    David Dearie, President & CEO, Ste. Michelle Estates
    Dan Heller, EVP of Sales, Ste. Michelle Estates
    Melody Zhang, Chief Human Resources Officer, Ste. Michelle Estates
  • June 16
    Terry Arnold, SVP, Chief Human Resources Officer, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits
    Barkley J. Stuart, EVP, Director, Government Affairs, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits
    Marbet Lewis, CEO & Partner, Spiritus Law
  • August 18
    Carl Carlson, President, Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey
    Bruce Hunter, Managing Director, Shaw-Ross International Importers
    Lauren Mutti, VP, Labor & Employment Counsel, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits
  • October 13
    Gus Bozzo, EVP, National Accounts, Breakthru Beverage Group
    Joseph Bruhin, CIO, Breakthru Beverage Group
    Kate Jerkens, SVP, Global Sales, Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey
  • December 15
    Steven Billey, General Manager, Bronco Wine Company
    Marc Hirten, President, Frederick Wildman & Sons, Ltd.
    Clarice Turner, President, Joseph Phelps Vineyards

The series is open to Women of the Vine & Spirits Corporate Members and their teams. To learn more, register for the events, or join as a member visit womenofthevine.com.

Interested in Corporate Membership? Contact Director of Corporate Membership & Engagement, Elizabeth Campbell Boyd at [email protected].

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 (WOTVS) is the leading membership organization, worldwide, dedicated to boldly pushing the wine, beer and spirits industry toward a more diverse, equitable and inclusive (DE&I) era that empowers all to succeed. WOTVS and its members recognize a diverse team leads to successful business development and innovation (BD&I). 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, BD&I and personal development. For more information, please visit womenofthevine.com.

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