WSWA 68th Convention & Exposition Kicks Off in Orlando

Orlando, Fla.—Over 1,800 suppliers, importers, service providers and others from the wine and spirits industry gathered today at one the most prestigious industry events, the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) 68th Annual Convention & Exposition at the Grande Lakes Orlando Resort in Orlando on Monday, April 11, 2011.

“This convention brings the industry together to debut what’s coming next in the beverage alcohol business,” WSWA President and CEO Craig Wolf said. “This is one of the largest industry gatherings to share, learn, network, see new products and services and exchange new ideas and apply real-world solutions to a wide range of industry issues.”

The Opening General Session began with a welcome from Wolf followed by WSWA Chairman Robert “Bobby” Harmelin who discussed issues facing WSWA members and the industry as a whole. Harmelin stated that it is important to strengthen the sphere of influence for WSWA and encouraged WSWA members to get involved to make a difference. He added it is also important to support legislative issues such as the CARE Act.
Harmelin also presented the Sidney Frank Award to Bill Samuels, President of Maker’s Mark Distillery.

The keynote address was given by General Stanley McChrystal, former commander of U.S. and International Forces in Afghanistan and focused on leadership. McChrystal discussed how leadership is paramount in all aspects of life — education, politics, business and family. The four attributes that he gave for leaders include a relentless focus, fearlessness, the ability to embrace and harness change and trust. He also acknowledged Wolf’s patriotism for his upcoming deployment to Afghanistan as a Captain in the U.S. Army, Reserve JAG Corps, as part of a brigade that McChrystal’s father commanded in Vietnam.

The morning session followed with the official Ribbon Cutting Ceremony with Harmelin, Wolf and Maxim models, who gave a teaser about tonight’s exclusive Maxim, Skyy Spirits and WSWA after party for convention attendees.

In addition, today’s event features an exciting new event that combines the Opening Night Reception and the Taste of the Industry.

For more information about the WSWA 68th Annual Convention & Exposition, visit, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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