The 2013 RBC Educational Seminar & Trade Show, which concluded on Tuesday, October 8th, was a huge success. Retailers and exhibitors enjoyed an amazing time of learning about the latest news from Florida’s regulatory and legislative leaders and industry trendsetters; networking with industry leaders from all sectors of the alcohol beverage industry; and enjoying fabulous events including receptions and dinners. Stay tuned for complete details of our event.
The Retail Beverage Council’s 2013 Educational Seminar and Trade Show was held October 6-8 at the beautiful Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate. At the annual meeting of the RBC Board of Directors, Henry Tucker, Southside Lounge & Package in Lakeland, FL, was recognized for his leadership and accomplishments as our outgoing Council Chairman. Rory Eggers, Foremost Beverage Group, Orange Park, FL, was elected as the incoming RBC Chairman.
As winners of an early morning raffle drawing, it was very appropriate with their longstanding dedication to the Council and attendance at RBC’s annual conferences that Jimmy and Grace Smith, owners of San Ann Liquors in San Antonio, FL, won a certificate for a complimentary 2 night stay at the Omni Resort.
We kicked off our event on Sunday evening with a Welcome Reception and Dinner hosted by Southern Wine & Spirits and Coastal Wine & Spirits. The RBC “Supplier of the Year” Award was presented to this year’s recipient, Jim Calaverne, of Shaw-Ross International Importers. Jim is a 35 year industry veteran and has been successful due in large part to his ability to accomplish his goals, as well as the relationships he has built with his CWS colleagues and retailers. Sunday night was capped off with hospitality suites hosted by SWS/CWS and Premier Beverage Company.
Monday began with breakfast hosted by SWS & Campari and featured guest speaker, Jimmy Russell, “The Master Distillers’ Master Distiller”. Mr. Russell provided a rousing commentary on the longstanding business of Bourbon. Scott Dick opened the 2013 Business Session with a brief welcome and introduction of the morning’s guest speakers: Rick McAllister, President/CEO of the Florida Retail Federation; Melissa Joiner, Director of Government Affairs, FRF; The Honorable Debbie Mayfield, (R) Florida House of Representatives District 54, moderated our lively debate on the topic of Growlers.
Panel members included: Josh Aubuchon, Executive Director of the Florida Craft Brewery Guild; Andy Abernathy, Chief Operating Officer of ABC Fine Wine & Spirits; and Eric Criss, President of the Beer Industry of Florida. Other presenters included: Stephanie Bloise, Director of Trade Development at Diageo; Jay Hibbard, Vice President of Government Relations at DISCUS; Ken Lawson, Secretary of the Department of Business & Professional Regulation; and Al Young, Brand Ambassador of Four Roses.
RBC's Golf Tournament took place Monday afternoon on the Omni’s International Course. Tournament sponsors American Beverage Marketers, Mahalo Spirits Group, Mango Bottling and McCormick Distilling Company, hosted 75 golfers during a sometimes gorgeous and sometimes rainy afternoon featuring their products throughout the course. The evening events, Reception and Dinner, hosted by Premier Beverage, included awards presented to Don Franklin for Closest to the Pin, and the 1st place team of Bill Boykin, Al Hanif and Tavarus Hogan. After dinner, everyone enjoyed networking in Hospitality Suites hosted by SWS/CWS, PBC and RNDC.
Tuesday’s breakfast, hosted by SWS & Beam, featured FRF President & CEO Rick McAllister. The day’s Business Session began with Scott Dick moderating a panel on Florida’s Craft Distillers featuring Philip McDaniel, Co-Founder of St. Augustine Distillery Company, Scott McKee, President of Cape Spirits Inc and Brenden Wheatley, Spirits Production at St. Augustine Distillery Company. The morning Session also included presentations from: Jenny Gmurek, On-Premise Channel Manager of Beam, Inc; Jose Vinas of Yarden Inc; Stephen Talpins of Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell; Allen Douglas, Director of Division of Alcoholic Beverages & Tobacco; and Mike Martinez, Deputy General Counsel of the Department of Business & Professional Regulation.
With the conclusion of the Business Session, attendees enjoyed lunch hosted by Pernod Ricard & SWS, followed immediately by Florida’s Largest Industry Trade Show. The 2013 Trade Show boasted 103 exhibits featuring everything from Point of Sale Systems to the latest products hitting the shelves just in time for the Holiday Season.
Suppliers were encouraged to use this show as an opportunity to make one-day deals with the large number of Florida retailers in attendance. Trade Show attendees were eligible to enter cash drawings totaling $1,000. This year’s winners were; Amit Dashondi of A-1 Liquor, $200; Pilar Mendez of The Landings, $300; Ashuh Patel of VK Liquor, $500.
The 2013 Retail Beverage Educational Seminar & Trade Show’s final evening began with a Reception and Dinner hosted by Republic National Distributing Company, where Bob Kaminski was awarded RBC's highest honor, “A Retailer’s True Friend”. Bob joins a distinguished group of “Who’s Who” in Florida’s alcohol beverage industry. Bob was a most deserving recipient of RBC’s highest honor.
Hospitality suites hosted by SWS/CWS and RNDC provided everyone a final evening of networking and industry fellowship before the conclusion of the annual event.
Thank you to everyone who participated - Speakers, Suppliers, Distributors, Exhibitors and Retailers, alike!
President of SKD Consulting Group
Scott has been a part of Florida’s Legislative and Regulatory process for the past 30 plus years. Scott is the President of SKD Consulting Group. He is a registered lobbyist with the Florida Retail Federation and the lead lobbyist for the Retail Beverage Council. He works closely with all three tiers of the alcohol beverage industry – retailers, distributors and manufacturers. Scott handles both regulatory and legislative issues on behalf of the alcohol industry.
Legislative Team Administrator
Sherry has worked with the Retail Beverage Council since 2001, assisting in the planning and preparation of the Annual Educational Seminar & Trade Show. She also works closely with the government affairs team and with Florida Retail Masters.