Tuesday, March 13, 2018


Collection A

2:45 PM – 3:30 PM


The Art of Negotiation

Michelle Hodges, State Sales Manager at Ste. Michelle Wine Estate

Barkley J. Stuart, Executive Vice President, Director, Government Affairs, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits

Katherine Wojcik, CS, CSW, Director, Beverage Programs, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants

Kirsty Cringan, CFO, Trinchero Family Estates

Melissa Linehan, General Manager Continental Division, Spirits, Pernod Ricard USA

Every day we encounter the need for various levels of negotiation in our lives, both personal and business. Arriving at a resolution on a tough issue sometimes feels like an impossible task. The path may be fraught with internal and external roadblocks, perhaps a misalignment of expectations or even conflicting personalities. This workshop will help you break apart the steps in the negotiation process and learn ideas to develop a personal approach to successful negotiations. 

Michelle Hodges, State Sales Manager at Ste. Michelle Wine Estate, will be joined by seasoned representatives from distribution and the wine trade as they share practical advice on developing and honing your negotiation skills.  



  • Learn how developing strong listening skills can set the stage
  • Target negotiations as a “win-win” for both sides in building overall business
  • Explore turning a “no” answer into a “yes” with the help of compromise
  • Discuss approaches to dealing across different personalities and/or genders
  • Review the importance of clarifying each participant’s “needs, wants & must haves”
  • Discuss the role of time, data and passion

De-mystifying Control States

Nicole Brassard-Jordan, Division Director, Marketing, Merchandising and Warehousing, NH Liquor Commission

Following the repeal of prohibition, states had the opportunity to assume control over the sale and distribution of alcohol. Today 17 control states and jurisdictions remain, each with their own unique sales models and regulatory structure.  Despite generating billions in annual revenue, many brands are unfamiliar with how these states operate and unclear how to introduce their products.

With 80 NH Liquor & Wine Outlet locations serving 11 million customers and generating nearly $700 million in annual revenue, New Hampshire is recognized as one of the most progressive and profitable of these control states.

Nicole Brassard Jordan, a 30-year industry veteran and the director of sales, marketing, merchandising, and warehousing for the New Hampshire Liquor Commission will provide a crash course of the control state model, provide insight into New Hampshire’s innovative operations and share why the Granite State has received praise from media outlets like the New York Times, Washington Post, Food & Wine and StateWays Magazine and is a favorite destination for wine and spirits icons like Michael Mondavi and Tito Beveridge.  


Gender Parity

Jan Jones Blackhurst, Executive VP of Public Policy & Corporate Responsibility, Caesars Entertainment

Caesars Entertainment has committed  to achieving Gender Equality in management by 2025. Caesars is undertaking a number of initiatives focused on enhancing the Company's commitment to creating an environment in which all employees are treated fairly and are part of a company that values them and their contribution to this organization. Among the new initiatives Caesars will be implementing is the creation of the Equality Council – a Taskforce including employees and external experts, implementing unconscious bias-training across all management teams and conducting surveys broadly across the company about diversity and inclusion.

Jan Jones Blackhurst shares her insight and experience in how to achieve gender parity in your own company, and what it could mean for the success of your organization.


Collection B

3:45 PM – 4:30 PM


I’ll Have What She’s Having: Challenges and Opportunities in the Marketing of Spirits to Women

Dr. Nicola Nice, Founding Partner, THINK Conservatory / CEO, Pomp & Whimsy

For many years, women have been left out of the cultural conversation on spirits. With few spirits brands actively geared towards the female consumer, the female drinking population has been drastically underserved relative to their participation in the category. Yet, as drinking culture has changed dramatically over the last 20 years, women have become a key driver in the growth and trends of spirits. This workshop explores the social, cultural and historical antecedents to women’s perceived image as consumers of spirits, and re-examines the impact that women have had on the cocktail revolution through her role as chief event planner of the home.  Finally, we will pose the question: how do we successfully market an aspirational spirits brand to women in a category that has been so historically dominated by masculine norms and values?  And how can understanding the way women taste and the occasionality of her spirits and cocktail consumption, help us to craft a uniquely female brand experience that has resonance, differentiation and longevity in the category today?

Effective Organizational Structure: 3 Steps to Building a Successful Women's Initiative Program

Marlene Gordon, Vice President, General Counsel, Bacardi North America Corporation

A successful Women's Initiative Program is not created overnight, it takes vision, mission, strategy, buy-in, funding, and structure. Marlene will walk attendees through best practices and tools for starting and maintaining a program, identifying the various elements and steps to achieve a successful Women's Initiative Program.


From this workshop you will learn to identify your:

  • Vision & Mission
  • Key Stakeholders
  • Organizational Structure
    • Advisory Committee
    • Steering Committee
    • Working Committees
    • Succession Planning
    • Governance

Mentors, Advocates and Sponsors: Break Through Barriers in Your Career by Leveraging Your Network

Amy Lund, Vice President of Marketing Communication and Brand Activation for the Spirits BU, E. & J. Gallo Winery

Rick Gillis, President, Young's Market Company

Desire' Hunter, Director of National Accounts West, Brown-Forman Corporation

Mary Masters, Vice President - General Manager New England, The Winebow Group

Susan Caudry, Estate Director, Domaine Chandon

Mentors, advocates and sponsors serve different purposes, but their end goal is the same: to support you in achieving your goals. Hear from industry influencers their experiences navigating their careers, tips on how to overcome your barriers and achieve those breakthrough moments, how their mentor/advocate/sponsor supported them and influenced decision makers, and how yours can do the same for you.



Wednesday, March 14, 2018


Collection C

9:00 AM – 9:45 AM


Inspire Rather than Sell: How to Create a Kickass Brand

David Tyreman, Brand Provocateur, World Famous Company

Once inspired, you’ll discover there are literally masses of people just waiting to do business with you! This workshop shows you how to use your own personal or business brand to inspire prospective clients to take action NOW!

Finally, discover exactly how to create a kickass brand that adds value to your bottom line, whether it’s ‘a personal brand’ or a ‘business brand’... regardless of how big or small your organization happens to be! This workshop is guaranteed to provide you with instantly accessible, ready-to-use, take-home pure gold you can start using right away!


During this workshop, you'll:

  • Discover what ‘really, truly’ differentiates your brand from all others
  • Define your own brand ‘success’ strategy
  • Dare to sit in the ‘Brand Hot Seat’ for 1-on-1 feedback
  • Recognize where your brand is boring, invisible or even repelling customers
  • Embrace ‘irresistible’ branding that grabs your customers’ imagination

On-Premise Sales Strategies to Maximize Opportunities for Success

Rebecca Jensen Running, General Manager, Santo LLC


Ashley Ceraolo, Senior Vice President Marketing, California Pizza Kitchen

Gwen Chappell, Director of Strategic Sourcing, Global ProcurementMGM Resorts International

Kelly Hendriksen, Senior Manager Brand Development, Ruth's Hospitality Group INC

Tracy Redmond, Bar & Beverage Senior Manager, Applebee’s Services, Inc.

Hear tips from experts in the alcohol beverage industry on how to effectively increase your opportunities for success with on-premise accounts.


Collection D

10:00 AM – 10:45 AM


How to Leverage Gender Diversity for Team Success

Jeffery Tobias Halter, President, YWomen

This interactive workshop focuses on strategies that will enable your teams to be more creative, reach decisions faster, communicate more effectively and help to manage, rather than ignore the most significant dynamic present in every meeting – GENDER!


In this hands-on session, participants will:

  • Understand that men and women think, act and work differently and how to leverage these unique dynamics
  • Explore how gender dynamics impact problem solving, team effectiveness, communication and personal work styles
  • Leave with a full engagement tool, The EVOLVED Leader Tool, that can be used immediately to increase team effectiveness

Off-Premise Sales Strategies to Maximize Opportunities for Success

Tom Swift, VP of Customer Marketing, Bacardi North America

Annette Alvarez-Peters, DipWSET, CWE, Asst. Vice President/GMM, Beverage Alcohol, Costco Wholesale

Mark Merrion, Executive Vice President of Sales, Delicato Family Vineyards

Amanda Batchelet, Director of Category Management for Spirits, Total Wine & More

Dan Heller, Executive Vice President of Sales, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates

Hear tips from experts in the alcohol beverage industry on how to effectively increase your opportunities for success with off-premise accounts, how to make the best presentations, tips for being prepared, what works and what doesn't, the do's and don'ts of leaving samples, and next steps.