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Setting the tone.

As a prelude to this issue's cover story, I had the good fortune to meet with the key officials who are responsible for setting the tone at the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association (NABCA)--Jim Sgueo, president and ceo of the NABCA, who has been effectively running the organization for decades now; Ed Schmidt, current chairman of the board of directors of the NABCA as well as director of the Wyoming Department of Revenue; and Doug Fox, chairman-elect of the board of directors of the NABCA as well as chairman of the North Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission.

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Our discussion served to underline the notable progress that the NABCA and the control states have made in recent years, particularly regarding the organization's Best Practices program, which aims to help improve a wide range of operations for all its control state members. The NABCA has also developed into a crucial link in disseminating all types of information relevant to the beverage alcohol industry.

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"The NABCA is in the unique position of being a middleman and facilitator who can engage the various groups--public health experts, suppliers and the government--to discuss various issues pertaining to beverage alcohol," said chairman-elect Fox, whose theme of "Building Bridges" will serve as the focal point for his upcoming year in office.

For his part, NABCA chairman Schmidt reflected on his year-long term: "I've learned a tremendous amount during the past year as NABCA chairman," he said. "There are just so many issues to cover. I believe you become a better director of your own state as a result."

"Community and Customer Service" has been Schmidt's theme for the past year. Indeed, under his chairmanship, the NABCA formed the Public Health Advisory Committee. "It is a group of seven individuals from the public health community," explained Schmidt. "The first meeting convened at the end of March and it will meet once a year with the NABCA Executive Committee. The goal is to have them advise the NABCA on their positions on beverage alcohol policy."

Still, most of the organization's heavy lifting is done by president and ceo Sgueo and his staff. "NABCA's main product--data--continues to do well and expand," he said. "Twenty years ago, 40% of our revenue came from the sale of data. Today, it's 70%."

The NABCA keeps moving forward, and as a surrogate for its members, represents the progress occurring throughout the control states. Kudos to all.

Richard Brandes, Editor-in-Chief
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Title Annotation:EDITOR'S NOTE
Author:Brandes, Richard
Publication:StateWays
Date:May 1, 2008
Words:409
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