Highlights from the 2018 WSWA Women’s Leadership Council

by | Sep 27, 2018 | Wine & Spirits

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I recently attended the second annual WSWA Women’s Leadership Council (WLC) in Washington, DC. This event brought together 56 senior women executives who work in all areas of the beverage alcohol industry, including legal, IT, operations, and more. This was the second year that Dimensional Insight participated as a sponsor.

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The WLC was formed to empower women to advance in the beverage alcohol industry. And this event did not disappoint. I walked away feeling invigorated and optimistic about what the future holds for female wine and spirits executives. Here are some highlights from the event.

Importance of women in the industry

WSWA 2018-2019 Chairman Barkley Stuart provided a “spirited” talk regarding the importance of women and minorities in senior leadership positions throughout all tiers of the beverage alcohol. He mentioned that women influence 83% of all consumer spending in the United States and that it’s important that management reflects its buyers.

Barkley also shared that 56% of college graduates are now women. I was personally touched when he spoke about his mom and her work to advance women. He shared his current effort to visit women across the country in beverage alcohol to gain insights into the barriers they face and his commitment to help them breakdown these barriers.

Balancing a career and family life

The new WSWA President and CEO Michelle Korsmo offered insights on her career and future focus at the association. She stated how excited she is to support family-owned wholesalers, along with supplier and retailer partners. She discussed how she balances her career, being a wife and a mom of three active young girls. Michelle also shared growing up on a farm and how revisiting her childhood home always grounds her.

In addition, Barkley shared a Maya Angelou quote Michelle said during her interview process that won him over: “People will forget the things you do, and people will forget the things you say. But people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Dimensional Insight’s support of WLC

I had the opportunity to briefly share why Dimensional Insight supports WLC and my tremendous good fortune of working in organization that is both color and gender blind. At Dimensional Insight we all have equal voices, bottom to top. We collaborate, share knowledge and experiences, support, care and nurture each other, generate leaders who lead by uniting, and create lasting relationships with each other and our customers. We are proud to support women in the beverage alcohol industry and support the WLC event each year.

I’d like to extend my sincere thanks to WSWA. WLC is led by Chair Dina Opici of Opici Family Distributing and Vice Chair Philana Bouvier of Young’s Market Company. Advisory Board members are: Heather Alper, Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits; Stacy Gabel, Republic National Distributing Company; Monica Chaplin, Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits; Jessica Cyr, Martignetti Companies; Megan Ross Iaccino, Great Lakes Wine & Spirits; Lacey Sadoff, Badger Liquor Company; Hillary Wirtz, Breakthru Beverage; and Jenn Zenker, Breakthru Beverage.

Priscilla Ballaro

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