The Tasting Panel magazine

September 2012

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Page 12 of 132

INDUSTRY SPOTLIGHT Introducing Blackheath Beverage Group B lackheath Beverage Group (BBG) has offi cially launched, providing alcohol suppliers and brand owners a fi rst-of-its-kind sales and marketing platform designed to reduce costs and provide more aggressive national representation. An alternative to direct and full-service importer models, BBG strategically aligns and partners with brands that become part of exclusive portfo- lios. Suppliers share signifi cant resources between a concentrated number of brands including a national sales infrastructure that manages all sales and distribu- tion, compliance and logistics and full-service through-the-line marketing. In addition, unlike the full-service importer model, BBG does not apply a traditional intermediary margin, which allows brand owners to maintain higher gross profi ts and utilize those resources elsewhere throughout the brand-building process. Strategically combining or "marrying" brands eliminates the need for brands to incur the bur- den of employing and managing a national sales team or relinquish- ing valuable gross-profi t dollars to the middle-men. "There is a glaring need for a more effi cient and cost-effective route to market option within the sup- plier tier of the U.S. beverage industry," says Jay Harkins, CEO of BBG. "Blackheath Beverage Group aims to offer brands and brand owners a better model that is more affordable and more effective. While national importers provide an infrastruc- ture to a plethora of brands, BBG provides the same, if not better, infrastructure to a carefully selected and very focused number of brands, therefore providing much greater bandwidth at signifi cantly less cost." Blackheath Beverage Group is led by a team of experienced spirits industry executives. Founder and CEO Jay Harkins is a 13-year industry veteran who, at Domaine Select Wine Estates, drove the U.S. business for brands such as WhistlePig Rye, Averna Amaro and Barsol Pisco, among others. COO Michael Farbenblum, J.D., LL.M., is a highly experi- enced professional in mergers and acquisitions, real estate transac- tions and hedge and private equity funds. Vice President of Marketing Stephanie Kubacki has extensive experience leading marketing initiatives for Bacardi Canada and Diageo Sprits California. She most recently worked for Palm Bay Spirits, where she drove marketing for such brands as Aperol, Voli Vodka and 901 Tequila. Appointments Heineken USA has appointed Colin Westcott-Pitt as Vice President of Marketing, Heineken USA. In his new role, Westcott-Pitt will lead marketing for the fl agship Heineken brand in the U.S., providing direction and leadership to support Heineken's brand strategy and the execution of multicultural events and sponsorship programs. Most recently, Westcott-Pitt served as Vice President of Colin Westcott-Pitt. Marketing for Dos Equis, Amstel Light and Newcastle Brown Ale. Under his leadership, the Dos Equis brand continued its double-digit growth through the award-winning "Most Interesting Man in the World" campaign. Mike Dawson has been named Area Manager, Northern CA for Akvinta Vodka. He had previously worked for Great Western Brokerage, Inc. Tami Donald has been promoted from Area Manager/So Cal to State Manager in California for Akvinta Vodka. In Passing Blackheath Beverage Group team: COO Michael Farbenblum, J.D., LL.M, Stephanie Kubacki, Vice President of Marketing and CEO Jay Harkins. 12 / the tasting panel / september 2012 We are all saddened by the sudden death of Patrick Ricard, which occurred Friday, August 17. The staff of SA Paul Ricard as well as the 18,000 employees of Pernod Ricard group share the grief of the family. In 1967 Patrick Ricard joined the Ricard company, founded by his father Paul Ricard in 1932. He held successive positions in the company's main departments, becoming Managing Director in 1972. In 1975, he was appointed Managing Director of Pernod Ricard and then, in 1978, Chairman and Chief Executive Offi cer. On 5 November 2008, he resigned his executive duties at the head of the Group. He was Chairman of the Board of Directors.

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