Former Governor Bill Richardson Added to WSWA Convention Speaker Lineup

Washington, D.C.—The Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) has added Bill Richardson, former Governor of New Mexico, to its lineup of keynote speakers at the WSWA 68th Annual Convention & Exposition. An awards program and after party hosted by Maxim, Skyy Spirits and WSWA have also been added to the convention program. The event will be held at the Grande Lakes Orlando Resort in Orlando, Fla., April 10-13, 2011.

As former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy, Richardson is uniquely positioned to speak about the rising cost of fuel and its tie with the unrest in the Middle East. Richardson served two terms as Governor of New Mexico, and also served for 15 years in northern New Mexico representing the 3rd congressional district. Richardson will speak during the closing General Business Session on Tuesday, April 12.

The Beverage Information Group will present its “Growth Brand Awards” on Monday, April 11. The four categories of Growth Brands are designed to recognize the wine and spirits brands demonstrating notable growth in a meaningful way. These awards are intended to help retailers, restaurateurs and the industry at large discern the existing and emerging trends and tap into the opportunities:

· Fast Track Brands
Criteria: The brand must have exceeded 100,000 9-liter cases in 2010, with double-digit growth over each of the past four years. All brands must be at least five years of age.

· Rising Stars
Criteria: The brand must be less than five full years of age, and must have exhibited notable growth over the past few years.

· Established Growth Brands
Criteria: The brand must be a top seller, moving a minimum of 400,000 9-liter cases annually, and must have grown moderately or substantially over each of the past four years.

· Comeback Brands
Criteria: Recognizes brands of significant volume that saw a sales decline in 2009, but which rebounded in 2010. This increase, however, must have resulted in total sales that are at least equal to or greater than the 2008 sales total.

An exclusive after party has been added to the convention schedule for Sunday night hosted by 2008 Hometown Hottie Winner, April Rose. “A Night with Maxim: Celebrating WSWA,” sponsored by Maxim, Skyy Spirits and WSWA, will feature Skyy Spirits’ hottest brands, from its extensive collection of vodkas, whiskies, tequilas, rums and cordials, including their latest additions:  All Natural SKYY Infusions® Dragon Fruit and SKYY Infusions Blood Orange.

The event is for registered convention attendees only. Must be 21 to attend.

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