BETHESDA, MD –American Beverage Licensees (ABL) celebrated its 20th anniversary of representing independent on- and off-premise beer, wine and spirits retailers at the ABL Annual Meeting this July in New Orleans. ABL also welcomed its new President, Bobby Greenawalt of B&B Beverage Management in Auburn, Alabama, who was elected to a two-year term.
“As a former president of the Alabama Beverage Licensees Association and with his experience as an ABL Vice President and Chairman of the ABL Communications & Membership Committee, Bobby brings his knowledge of ABL and the industry to his new role,” said ABL Executive Director John Bodnovich. “I’m excited to get to work with him as ABL and retailers chart a course in the rapidly evolving alcohol marketplace.”
Greenawalt’s B&B Beverage Management is a full-service beverage company that facilitates on premise events throughout the country such as weddings, tailgates, global sporting events, venue management, and more. Driven by mission of providing safe, professional, and responsible service of alcoholic beverages, B&B Beverage Management is a leader in alcohol service at large scale events.
“I am honored to be elected as ABL’s next President,” said Greenawalt. “In a time of legislative uncertainty in the alcohol industry, having the trust of America’s beverage licensees is humbling and I am excited to lead the efforts alongside the ABL staff and Board of Directors to promote and protect their interests. Promoting fair and legal industry practices while protecting the sanctity of the Three-Tier System is a priority of ABL and I look forward to dedicating my time to those efforts.”
“I look forward to meeting with leaders of other beverage alcohol organizations and companies to share ABL members’ views and express our interest in working together to preserve and grow the hospitality industry,” Greenawalt added.
ABL recognized beverage retailers and leaders at the meeting for their achievements:
- The ABL Top Shelf Award recognized “Independent Beverage Retailers” who over the past two years have fought to keep their businesses afloat, staff employed, and adapted their business models to serve their communities.
- The ABL President’s Award was presented to Pete Madland of the Tavern League of Wisconsin for his more than four decades of service to ABL, its predecessor associations and the Tavern League.
- The ABL President’s Award was also presented to Mike Moser of the Wyoming State Liquor Association (WSLA) for his long-time chairmanship of the ABL Government Affairs Committee, his service on the ABL Board of Directors and his success as the leader of WSLA.
- The ABL Retailer of the Year Awards for 2020, 2021 and 2022 were presented to those beverage retailers who excel in advocacy; responsible sales and service; community engagement; and support of their state retail beverage associations.
Annual Meeting attendees heard from an array of speakers from the public and private sectors who covered a wide range of topics. Industry analysts Danny Brager and Dale Stratton provided an overview of beverage industry trends and economics, and where the beverage business is headed. Chris Black from Falling Rock Tap House shared his views on how bars and taverns can compete with tap rooms, while J.T. Griffin offered his perspective on impaired driving laws and regulations based on his deep policy experience. Attendees also learned about the issues facing liquor law enforcement agencies from Carrie Christofes of the National Liquor Law Enforcement Association.
ABL Executive Director John Bodnovich spent time on-stage interviewing Dave Christman of the National Beer Wholesalers Association on trends in state alcohol policy, and talked with Carrie May from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) on TTB priorities – including the Treasury Department’s report on competition in the alcohol industry. Harry Schuhmacher and Sarah Barrett, respectively from Beer Business Daily and Wine & Spirits Daily, closed the general session with their reflections on a range of issues from ready-to-drink (RTD) products to other emerging trends in the marketplace.
In addition to conference support from brewing industry leaders Anheuser-Busch and Molson-Coors, meeting attendees participated in a tour and tasting experience at Sazerac House, where they learned about the growth of cocktail culture while enjoying some of signature drinks of New Orleans.
The annual meeting also saw the election of a new slate of leadership to the ABL Executive Committee. Joining President Greenawalt on the ABL Executive Committee are Josh Hammond of Buster’s Liquors & Wines in Memphis, Tennessee, who will serve as Vice President – Off-Premise; Steve Morris of Jorgenson’s Restaurant & Lounge in Helena, Montana who will serve as Vice President – On-Premise; and Keith Kern of Jimmy’s Saloon in Superior, Wisconsin who will serve as an At-Large member of the Executive Committee. J.J. Moran, of the Four Winds Liquor & Lounge in Cheyenne, Wyoming, will transition from ABL President to immediate Past-President and continue his service on the ABL Executive Committee.
For these newly elected ABL officers, leadership roles are nothing new. Josh Hammond is the past-president of the Tennessee Wine & Spirits Retailers Association. Steve Morris is a past-president of both ABL and the Montana Tavern Association. Keith Kern is currently serving as the President of the Tavern League of Wisconsin and served for five years on the Superior, Wisconsin City Council.
They join Treasurer Mat Dinsmore of Wilbur’s Total Beverage in Fort Collins, Colorado; Vice President Jay Gesner of Souse’s Lounge in Rockford, Illinois; Vice President Juan Negrin of Super Wine Warehouse in Paterson, New Jersey; and At-Large member Terry Harvath of the Wishing Well Bar & Grill in Appleton, Wisconsin on the ABL Executive Committee.