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"Decade of Challenge".

"Decade of Challenge"

The National Beer Wholesaler's Association held its 53rd annual convention in San Francisco early in October. The convention was marked by relatively strong attendance, with 1,100 people registered, 350 of them wholesalers. A number of prominent industry figures delivered addresses to the assembled wholesalers and suppliers, including Mike Roarty, Leonard Goldstein, Ron Sarasin and Matthew Dee.

Several wholesalers received awards for their contributions to the beer wholesaling industry and to the NBWA. The Chairman's Award for Legislative Excellence was presented to Paul DeNio, president of the California Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association, Sacramento, CA, and to Kevin B. Forth, chairman and chief executive officer of Straub Distributing Co., Orange, CA. They were recognized for their efforts in the campaign to defeat California's Proposition 134.

Two industry groups were recognized for their good works by the 1990 President's Award for Industry Excellence. Beer Drinkers of America, of Costa Mesa, CA, was congratulated for their work against the proposed federal excise tax increase. Anheuser-Busch Inc.'s Department of Consumer Awareness and Education was recognized for its sponsorship of alcohol awareness programs.

The NBWA Life Service Award went to R. Kenneth Kerr for his many years of service to the NBWA.

Two individuals were presented with the 1990 Industry Service Award. One of the awards went to John T. Lewis, president of Lewis Management Services, of Sheboygan, WI. Lewis was recognized for his work in designing and setting up student assistance programs, as well as other prevention and intervention techniques. The other industry Service Award went to Gene Ford, editor and Publisher of the Moderation Review and author of the book, The Benefits of Moderate Drinking. Ford received tribute for his efforts in enlightening the public to the beneficial side of moderate drinking.

A number of suppliers graciously hosted hospitality suites and receptions. Wisdom Imports sponsored several events, including a well-attended late evening dessert buffet. Hudepohol-Schoenling hosted a convivial Monday Night Football party and Sapporo put on an opulent reception, complete with strolling violinists and a superb sushi bar. Attendees were also treated to an open house at San Francisco's brewery, the revivalist Anchor Brewing Co. As members of the staff led tours of the brewery, the Anchor taproom overflowed with wholesalers sampling some of the best beer in the West.

PHOTO : Al Markstein of Heritage Beverage Co.

PHOTO : NBWA president Ron Sarasin, fresh from the tax fray, told wholesalers that the anti-tax fight was not yet over. Despite the proposed increase in beer taxes handed down with the budget, Sarasin was optimistic and defiant. 'The excise tax on beer will be doubled under the current proposal," he said. 'Is that a victory? Hell, no. But is it a defear - no, it isn't. It does not represent a five-fold increase, and it is not equalization." Sarasin said he was encouraged by the performance of the industry under fire. 'We have been in this fight as a united group, and we will continue to work together on putting together a response to what comes our way."

PHOTO : Standing in for scheduled keynote speaker August Busch was Michael Roarty, executive vice president of the Anheuser-Busch Companies. Roarty spoke on the need for addressing the social issues that lie at the root of neo-prohibitionism.

PHOTO : Leonard Goldstein, president of Miller Brewing Company, addressed the assemblage, calling for industry unity. saying, 'In a time when walls between nations are being town down, we must begin to take down the walls within our industry." He also stated, 'The future for the beer industry is not just one of challenge, but one of tremendous opportunity. In this auditorium are some of the greatest salespeople in the country - you can help articulate the benefits of beer to the public. If we act together," he concluded, 'we cannot lose."

PHOTO : Winburn 'Brother" Stewart accepted the chairmanship of the NBWA from Matt Dee, reminding his audience that he remains, 'a small wholesaler from Macon, GA, and proud of it." Stewart said he was encouraged by the level of commitment he sees among wholesalers. 'Wholesalers are becoming very involved politically," he said. 'I've never seen this level of spirit from wholesalers, and it's very exciting."

PHOTO : Ken Kerr stressed the importance of wholesaler contributions to the NBWA political action committee (PAC). 'Each of the impending legislative measures will cost each of us more than a PAC contribution," he noted.

PHOTO : Ken Kerr, chairman of Kerr Distributing Co., Athens, OH, received the NBWA Lifetime Service Award from outgoing chairman Matt Dee for his many years of service to the NBWA and the wholesaling industry. Kerr was the NBWA's Board Chairman in 1988, and has served in numerous other leadership capacities in both NBWA and the Wholesale Berr & Wine Association of Ohio.

PHOTO : New NBWA chairman 'Brother" Stewart introduced once and future NBWA officers. Bruce Leitz was appointed sergeant-at-arms, Matthew Dee is the immediate past president, Bill Theiss is now treasure, Kevin Forth was reelected secretary and Kirby Lawliss stepped up as new vice chairman

PHOTO : Fritz Maytag, master brewer and president of Anchor Brewing Co., talks with NBWA information director Frank McNierney and his wife Ellen during the Anchor Brewing Co. open house.

PHOTO : The Betten family Brad, France and his wife Coe stand beside their Betten Trcuks phone booths, where they carried on a tradition of providing free telephone calls for wholesalers at the NBWA meeting.
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Title Annotation:National Beer Wholesaler's Association's 53rd annual convention
Publication:Modern Brewery Age
Date:Nov 19, 1990
Words:896
Previous Article:Playing it cool.
Next Article:The 7th annual Microbrewers Conference.
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