The SOMM Journal

August / September 2015

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Page 74 of 132

74 { THE SOMM JOURNAL } AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2015 { collaborations } —RNDC—has for years been known as a leader in educating its employees about wine and spirits as part of its marketing strategy. A few years ago, however, the company decided it needed to re-examine its program. "We had been sourcing from several platforms, and we decided we were having too much variation in our program," says Joe Gardner, RNDC Vice President for Fine Wines. "So we decided we needed to work with one vendor for a consistent approach." That search led RNDC to look at several candidates before deciding on perhaps the best- known wine and spirits education organization in the world—the London-based Wine & Spirit Education Trust, or WSET. Gradually, RNDC implemented WSET training programs for selected RNDC employees, as well incorporat- ing WSET input into its educational planning. That cooperative approach worked so well that two years ago RNDC joined a select group of companies as WSET Corporate Sponsors. A Win-Wine-Win Partnership Right to left: David Wrigley of WSET; RNDC account rep Stephen Williams; Ilona Knopfler, Maître d' of Le Bilboquet in Atlanta; and Ken Rosenberg and Joe Gardner, the two RNDC Vice Presidents of Wine and Fine Wine, respectively. WSET's David Wrigley (second from left, seated) and the RNDC wine education team at Atlas restaurant in Atlanta. RNDC AND WSET FORM A SUCCESSFUL EDUCATIONAL COLLABORATION by Roger Morris / photos by Chris Hornaday REPUBLIC NATIONAL DISTRIBUTING COMPANY

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