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February 16, 2021 (New York, NY) – The World Organization of Women in Wine and Spirits (WOTVS), the leading global membership organization dedicated to creating a more diverse, equitable and inclusive era for the wine, beer and spirits industry, has announced details of the program for its virtual event, WOTVS CONNECT! to be held on 8… March, International Women’s Day.

Women of the Vine & Spirits has decided to go virtual in 2021, an opportunity it is taking to ensure greater participation from its members around the world. WOTVS CONNECT, with more than 160 corporate members whose employees have free admission to the event, will for the first time be able to welcome all corporate members – as in the past the coveted annual events were always sold out.

WOTVS CONNECT! – is a shorter and more user-friendly program than the global symposia held each March, with relevant content and leading speakers from all three levels of the wine, beer and spirits industry.

The three-hour sessions included presentations from the City’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) and Business Development and Innovation (BDI) departments. Two issues that define the primary mission of POTS and affect the alcohol industry in relation to the effects of COWID-19 and racial injustice in the United States and abroad.

In addition to the town halls, WOTVS will host a roundtable discussion with industry leaders to share their DE&I commitments.

Since 2015, our goal at Women of the Vine & Spirits has always been to promote diversity, equality, inclusion and business development, says Deborah Brenner, founder and CEO of Women of the Vine & Spirits. That is why we have focused our event exclusively on these two very important aspects of progress: Women cannot achieve equality without economic growth and fair industry.

Details of meetings and confirmed speakers

BD&I Town Hall: The year 2020 has put all sectors to the test, and alcohol is no exception. Many have been encouraged to be more creative and innovative than ever before. We had an ever-changing market and a consumer who demanded it of us. Much success has been achieved through powerful new technologies, cultivating stronger relationships with suppliers and finding new ways to do business. We want to share the best of what came out of these unexpected challenges, which ultimately made us stronger and more resilient than ever.

  • Rhonda Motil, Vice President Marketing, J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines (Moderator)
  • Regan Clark, Vice President Marketing, Pernod Ricard USA
  • Nicole Jordan, SVP, business transformation and digital strategy, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits
  • Cathy Levenberg, Chief Operating Officer, Drizzly.
  • Laura Petrie, Vice President, Group Brand Director, Emerging Brands, Brown-Forman.

Round Table: Older male leaders share their commitment to DE&I : During this panel discussion, prominent male leaders in the alcohol industry will speak about their commitment to DE&I and what we can all do to achieve equality in our businesses. We will listen to expert advice and relevant industry trends, and learn how other companies can leverage diversity for team success. Join us for an authentic conversation about why diversity, equality and inclusion are important to her and her business, what has influenced her life and career, and her vision for the future of the industry. Chaired by Deborah Brenner, founder and executive director of Women of the Vine & Spirits.

  • Steve Billy, CEO of Bronco Wine.
  • Gus Bozzo, Executive Vice President, National Accounts, Breakthru Beverage Group
  • Carl Carlson, president of Peanut Butter Whiskey Scruffball.
  • Dan Heller, Senior Vice President of Sales, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates.
  • Mark Hirten, President, Frederick Wildman & Sons, Ltd.
  • Barkley Stewart, Executive Vice President, Director of Government Relations, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits.

DE&I City Hall: Thanks to the BLM movement and the difficult but necessary negotiations in 2020, it has become clear that more measurable action is needed in our industry to make our teams and leaders more diverse, fair and inclusive. Companies strive for an equitable workforce in part because they seek to find diverse talent for open positions. Other companies rely on ERGs and BRGs to ensure their team members have a voice and a community of support to draw from. We want to share the successful and replicable changes leaders in our industry are making to ensure they are attracting diverse talent, that every potential candidate has a fair and equal opportunity to be hired, and that once hired, 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 and Talent, Breakthru Beverage Group
  • Dr. Atira Charles, Head of Diversity and Inclusion, Moët Hennessy USA
  • Maribel Delgado, Senior Associate, General Counsel, E. & J. Gallo Winery
  • Erica Hopkins, Vice President of Culture and Corporate Social Responsibility, Republic National Distribution Company
  • Victoria Russell, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Beam Suntory

WOTVS CONNECT! is only accessible to the staff of Femmes de la Vigne et des Spiritueux. If you are interested in corporate membership, please email Elizabeth Campbell Boyd at [email protected]

The WOTVS CONNECT! Registration is generously sponsored by Ste. Anne’s Hospital. Michelle Wine Estates.

Women of Wine & Spirits corporate members include founders, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits; members of Diamonds : Breakthru Beverage Group; Bronco Wine Company; Brown-Forman; E. & J. Gallo Winery; Frederick Wildman & Sons, Ltd; Moët Hennessy USA; Republic National Distribution Company; Shaw-Ross International Importers; Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey; and Ste. Michelle Wine Estates; Platinum Members : Beam Suntory; Constellation Brands; Jay Laura Vineyards & Wines; Pernod Ricard USA; William Grant & Sons. For a complete list of corporate members, including gold, silver, bronze and associate members, visit the corporate members tab on womenofthevine.com.

About the women of the grape and the spirit.

Women of the Vine & Spirits is a leading global organization dedicated to moving the wine, brewing and spirits industries toward a more diverse, equitable and inclusive era where everyone is empowered to succeed. Our members are globally networked and work together in all sectors. We offer our members benefits such as continuing education, training, mentoring and networking, as well as tools, services and resources for DE&I and personal and business development. For more information, please visit womenofthevine.com.

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