Women of the Vine & Spirits (WOVS) , a national non-profit whose mission is to advance women leaders in the wine, beer and spirits industries, has announced the launch of its DE&I Leadership Series, an innovative webinar program that will engage senior male executives across the industry. In order to broaden the opportunity for women to succeed in the industry, WOVS will team with top-tier companies in the wine, beer and spirits industries to provide senior men with greater understanding of gender diversity and inclusion and how they can help advance women leaders in the industry.

Women of the Vine & Spirits, WV&S, a leading industry association for women in wine, beer and spirits, today announced it’s launching a new DE&I Leadership Series that will engage senior male executives in a dialogue around diversity, equity and inclusion. The DE&I Leadership Series will focus on creating a conversation around the topic of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) with senior male executives from the wine, beer and spirits industries. While women represent more than 50 percent of the U.S. workforce, they hold only 4.6 percent of board seats in the Fortune 500 and occupy less than 15 percent of C-suite executive positions across industries. In the U.S. wine industry


This series addresses barriers to diversity through authentic and engaging conversations.

22. April 20, 2021 (New York, NY) – Women of the Grapevine and Spirits (WOTVS), a leading international organization dedicated to moving the wine, beer and spirits industry into a more diverse, equitable and inclusive era, today announced the launch of a new series of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) programs called Breaking Barriers, featuring male executives and DE&I leaders from the spirits industry. The first part takes place next week, on the 29th. April, and will be hosted by Ste. Michelle Estates: David Deary, president and CEO, Dan Heller, executive director of sales, and Melody Zhang, director of human resources.

WOTVS company members will hear from male leaders about why they are involved in the DE&I program and what we can all do to break down barriers and create a culture of inclusion in our communities and businesses. With one of DE&I’s executives, they will dive into these unscripted live chats and have an authentic conversation about why DE&I is important to them, who has influenced their life and career, and their vision for the future of the alcohol industry. Expect open-ended questions, honest answers, and real-life lessons about how these male leaders engage as individuals, community members, and business leaders.

DE&I is not a she or a he, it is a we. Since Women of the Vine & Spirits launched in 2015, we have hired men throughout the year to actively participate in the organization, says Women of the Vine & Spirits founder and executive director Deborah Brenner. We know that change starts at the top, and the alcohol industry is still largely male-led. Together, we can pick up the pace to create a more diverse, equitable and inclusive sector in which everyone succeeds.

Future Breaking Barriers chats will be led by Deborah Brenner and will be attended by respected industry leaders and others.

  • 29. April,
    David Deery, president and CEO, Ste. Michelle Estates
    Dan Heller, Executive Director of Sales, Ste. Michelle Estates
    Melody Zhang, Director of Human Resources, Ste. Michelle Booths
  • 16. June
    Terry Arnold, SVP, Director of Human Resources, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits
    Barkley J. Barkley, SVP of Human Resources Stewart, Executive Vice President, Director of Government Affairs, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits
    Marbeth Lewis, CEO and Partner, Spiritus Law
  • 18.
    Carl Carlson, president, Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey
    Bruce Hunter, general manager, Shaw-Ross International Importers
    Lauren Mutti, vice president, labor and employment lawyer, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits
  • October 13
    Gus Bozzo, EVP, National Accounts, Breakthru Beverage Group
    Joseph Bruchin, CIO, Breakthru Beverage Group
    Keith Jerkens, SVP, Global Sales, Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey
  • 15. December
    Stephen Billay, CEO, Bronco Wine Company
    Mark Hirten, President, Frederick Wildman & Sons, Ltd.
    Clarice Turner, President, Joseph Phelps Vineyards

The series is open to corporate members of Women of the Vine & Spirits and their teams. Visit womenofthevine.com for more information, to register for events or to become a member.

Interested in a corporate membership? Contact Elizabeth Campbell Boyd, Director of Corporate Membership and Engagement, at [email protected].

Women of the Vine & Spirits member companies include founding member Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits and 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 complete list of corporate members, including gold, silver, bronze and associate members, visit the Corporate Members tab on womenofthevine.com.

About Women of the Vine & Spirits
Women of the Vine & Spirits (WOTVS) is a leading global organization dedicated to moving the wine, beer and spirits industry toward a more diverse, equitable and inclusive (DE&I) era where everyone is empowered to succeed. WOTVS and its members recognize that a diverse team enables successful business development and innovation (BD&I). Our members communicate through our global network and collaborate across 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, BD&I and personal development. For more information, visit womenofthevine.com.


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