The Benevolent chief David Cox to retire

David Cox is set to retire as chief executive at The Benevolent, the drinks industry charity at the end of the year.

Cox will be replaced by Chris Porter, currently ‎director of Porter & Laker, a division of JF Hillebrand UK, who has 35 years’ experience in the logistics and freight forwarding sector.

Cox has spent nearly five years as CEO of the charity, and more than 32 years in the drinks industry.

“When approached by the trustees of The Benevolent in 2013, I always knew that this role would represent an incredibly rewarding and very fitting end to an immensely enjoyable career in this fantastic trade of ours,” said Cox. “This has definitely been the case.”

After an early career outside the trade, David joined Matthew Clark as export director in 1985, before joining Brown-Forman to establish its wine division in Europe.

After 14 years he then became the ‘face’ of New Zealand wines in the UK & Europe running that generic body, before joining The Benevolent in 2013.

During his time at the charity, the number of corporate partners has increased by more than 90% and the revenue from their annual donations has increased by more than 95%.

Cox also created the ‘Here to Help’ campaign, devised to raise awareness of the charity amongst the wider UK drinks industry. The campaign allowed the charity’s messaging to penetrate new sectors of the UK drinks industry and consequently reach even more members of the trade in need.

Cox added: “With the growing issues of mental health and general wellbeing, we are now ideally placed to offer a much-needed safety net and support to those less fortunate than ourselves.

“Given that the drinks industry represents such a wonderful community, I believe this is incredibly laudable.”

Porter however, is not new to the charity. He has been involved with the charity for over 16 years, a trustee on its board since 2010 and chairman of The Benevolent in 2013 and 2014.

Porter said: “It was always going to take something very special for me to move anywhere after a very rewarding and enjoyable 34 years with two wonderful family businesses.

“It is a fantastic opportunity for me and represents everything that I believe in. I look forward to building on the terrific impact made by David Cox over the last four years, driving the charity further forwards as we develop our strategic goals.”