WSTA and Benevolent appoint new members

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) has appointed Jeremy Shepherd from Brown-Forman and Mark Riley from Edrington-Beam Suntory UK to its board.

The Benevolent, the drinks industry charity has appointed three new trustees: Troy Christensen, chief executive of Enotria & Coe; Tom King (pictured), managing director, Europe for Treasury Wine Estates and Michael Saunders, chief executive of Bibendum PLB.

Shepherd is the vice president, country manager, UK. He joined Brown-Forman in 2005 and has held various international marketing and sales leadership roles across his native Canada, the United States and Europe. Prior to his most recent appointment Shepherd was the VP division director for the Midwest US and Canada at Brown Forman based in Louisville KY. 

Before moving to Brown-Forman, Shepherd worked for Bacardi Canada and served in various sales, marketing, and brand management roles. He also previously worked for Coca-Cola Enterprises. 

Riley has worked in the drinks’ industry for 21 years. He joined Diageo in 1997, starting in the Scottish on-trade.  In 2008, he moved to Beam Inc as UK sales director, before joining Maxxium UK in 2009 as commercial operations director.  He was appointed sales director off-trade in April 2012 and was promoted to managing director in April 2015.

Michael Saunders will succeed current Benevolent chairman Tom Yusef. The appointment will be announced formally at The Vintners’ Company annual wine trade lunch that will take place in January 2019 and to maintain the charity’s drive, Saunders will be succeeded by Christensen, who will become chairman in January 2021.

The three new trustees join as part of the charity’s plans to expand the reach of support to help more vulnerable members of the wider UK drinks industry.

Benevolent chairman Yusef said: “They are all well-known and highly respected and bring with them hugely relevant experience which will be invaluable at this crucial time in our trade charity’s growth. I am certain that the trustees alongside the team will work tirelessly to make sure the needs of the beneficiaries around the country will be met.”

Chief executive Chris Porter said: “I am so pleased to have three new trustees for the Benevolent who will not only bring great business acumen and further experience to our board, but three who truly understand the mission and core values of the charity.

“As industry leaders they have all been so supportive of the Benevolent as corporate partners, at our events and encouraging their own teams to get behind the trade charity with individual fundraising. They have all led by example in their own companies.”