Annual Convention | NBWA: America's Beer Distributors

October 5 - 6, 2020

Thank you for joining us on October 5 & 6 for a virtual experience that brought the beer industry together for keynote speakers, valuable education seminars and important industry discussions. Our virtual platform provides the added benefit and increased accessibility of on-demand access to all of the content until October 31, 2020. That means you can re-watch or catch up on sessions, connect directly with vendors on the interactive Product Showcase and more – all on your own schedule!

Even if you weren't able to join us on October 5 & 6, you can still sign up to access all of the content on-demand. Click the button below to register. 


"As future NBWA leaders look back on 2020, they will see the COVID Crisis. But they will also see this year as a time that highlighted the strength of the beer industry and the value of our association."

- Brian Gelner, Heart of America Beverage Co. & 2019-2020 NBWA Chairman
Virtual and Interactive

Education seminars and industry updates will be housed on an interactive virtual platform.

Flexible and Accessible

All of the content is available on-demand so you can rewatch or catch up on sessions you missed!


General Stan McChrystal

Former Commander | U.S. and International Forces in Afghanistan
Co-Founder | the McChrystal Group

A one-of-a-kind commander with a remarkable record of achievement, General Stan McChrystal is widely praised for creating a revolution in warfare that fused intelligence and operations. He is also known for developing and implementing the counter-insurgency strategy in Afghanistan and for creating a comprehensive counter-terrorism organization that revolutionized the way military agencies interact and operate. Gen. McChrystal now shares his leadership insights off the battlefield.

The Honorable Joe Crowley

Former U.S. Congressman (D-NY)

Former House Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley (D-NY) will join former House Transportation Committee Chair Bill Shuster (R-PA) to give an insider’s account of what is going on with politics, policy and parlor intrigue.

The Honorable Bill Shuster

Former U.S. Congressman (R-PA)

Former House Transportation Committee Chair Bill Shuster (R-PA) will join Former House Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley (D-NY) to give an insider’s account of what is going on with politics, policy and parlor intrigue.

Michel Doukeris

CEO | Anheuser-Busch

Michel Doukeris is the CEO of Anheuser-Busch. Michel is a proven leader in the CPG industry, consistently leveraging his sales and marketing expertise to drive category and top line growth. He champions a consumer-first mindset, fully leveraging data and analytics and front-line experience to innovate and bring to market the world’s highest-quality and most enjoyable brands.

Mark Brown

President & CEO | Sazerac Company, Inc.

Mark Brown is a veteran of the beverage alcohol industry and got his start back in 1971 when he began working in his family’s pub business in the U.K.. He then joined British alcohol cider-maker H.P. Bulmer where he then made his way to the United States. Brown has held various roles with Sazerac, Select Brands Group, Advancing Markets Group, but then returned back to Sazerac in June 1997 to his current role as President and CEO.

Benj Steinman

Publisher & Editor | Beer Marketer's INSIGHTS

Benj Steinman is the president of Beer Marketer's INSIGHTS, Inc. (BMI), the leading trade publisher for the United States brewing industry since 1970. Part of the organization since 1980, Benj serves as publisher and editor of the flagship newsletter as well as several other online and print media publications. BMI issues six publications and hosts two conferences, all about beer and/or beverages. The information and analysis published by BMI is often quoted in leading newspapers, magazines and other media.

Harry Schuhmacher

Publisher and Owner | Schuhmacher Publishing Company

Harry Schuhmacher is Editor & Publisher of Beer Business Daily, Craft Business Daily and Wine & Spirits Daily. Harry has worked in the beer business for over 30 years in a variety of positions, and has published Beer Business Daily for over twenty years. In addition, he is the producer of the Beer Industry Summit and the Wine & Spirits Summit. He is often quoted as a beer industry expert in national publications such as Forbes, The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg.

Brian Gelner

NBWA Chairman of the Board | Heart of America Beverage Co.

Brian Gelner will welcome attendees and give an update on NBWA's work to strengthen the beer distribution industry.

Craig Purser

President & CEO | NBWA

Craig Purser will provide an industry update and discuss the policy issues impacting beer distributors. Purser continues to be recognized as a leading advocate in Washington. He was again honored as one of the nation's top lobbyists by The Hill newspaper.

Pat Blach

Incoming NBWA Chairman of the Board | Blach Distributing Company

Incoming NBWA Chairman Pat Blach will share his priorities for the organization over the next year as we build on our work with policymakers and share the industry’s value in local communities.

Kim McKinnish

Senior Vice President and CFO | NBWA

Kim McKinnish will discuss the latest on the Beer Growth Initiative, the #BeersToThat campaign and the Beer First movement with distributors and partners supporting these efforts.

Laurie Knight

Executive Vice President, Government Affairs | NBWA

Laurie Knight will moderate a discussion between former House Democratic Caucus Chair Congressman Joe Crowley (D-NY) and former House Transportation Committee Chair Congressman Bill Shuster (R-PA) about the upcoming election and the current political landscape.

The Program

11:00 AM - 1:30 PM ET

General Session – Day 1

2020 Year in Review – “Houston We Have a Problem”
Brian Gelner, 2019–2020 Chairman of the Board

Lessons Learned – “No Rules Rules”
Craig A. Purser, President & CEO, NBWA

Industry Outlook 2020 and Beyond
Benj Steinman, Publisher and Editor, Beer Marketer’s INSIGHTS
Lester Jones, Chief Economist, NBWA

Beer Growth Initiative Celebration of Beer
Kimberly McKinnish, Senior Vice President & CFO, NBWA (Moderator)

#BeersToThat Campaign
Blair Watson, AB Brand Manager/SEC, Brown Distributing Co., Inc., Austin, TX
Krista Nicholson, President, Motive

Beer First Movement
Mike Barnes, EVP, Chief Revenue Officer, Andrews Distributing Co., Dallas, TX
Adam Vitale, President, G&M Distributors, Galesburg, IL

Politics and Elections in 2020
Laurie Knight, Executive Vice President, Government Affairs, NBWA (Moderator)
Former U.S. Congressman Joe Crowley (NY), served as House Democratic Caucus Chair
Former U.S. Congressman Bill Shuster (PA), served as House Transportation Committee Chair

2:00 - 4:00 PM ET

Visit NBWA’s Virtual Product Showcase

Dedicated visiting hours

The Product Demonstration is open throughout the event and will be accessible until October 31.

4:00 - 5:00 PM ET

Education Seminars

Tax Planning and Strategy in Post COVID-19 World
Gary Cassiello, CPA, ABV, JGS, CPA, PC
R.J. Martucci, CPA, JGS, CPA, PC

Technology Tools for Beer Distributors
Tracy Neal, iSellBeer

2020 Beer Industry Review: A Look Back at Beer’s Most Interesting Year
Jim Kallies, Fintech
Lester Jones, NBWA

NA Brewing 101
Keith Villa, Ceria Brewing Company

Using Data to Win Where it Matters
Matt Dahlstrom, Grant Barrett and Darin Spence
In:trench Consulting Group

Selling and Planning Successfully with Syndicated Data
Lori Scheiffler, Tamarron Consulting
Danelle Kosmal, Nielsen
Bob Sullivan, Sullivan Sales & Service
Michael McDonnell, Tamarron Consulting

Profitability Through Energy Efficiency and Renewables
Shawn Verbrugghe, HotWattEnergy

Understanding the Latest Workplace Trends, Regulations and Best Practices
Theresa Gallion, Cornell Smith Mierl Brutocao Burton, LLP

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11:00 AM - 12:00 PM ET

Education Seminars

The “Secret Sauce” for a Successful Merger
Karen Kovtun, Ippolito Christon & Co.
Craig Van Horn, Ippolito Christon & Co.
Keith Hochheiser, Hochheiser & Akmal PLLC

Gross Profit Dollar Focused Culture
Joe Verno, Verno Consulting
Wes Verno, Verno Consulting

The Three Pillars of Sales Leadership
Tom Fox, Fox Sales Coaching

Technology Preparedness Planning and COVID-19 Lessons
Jake Sampson, Encompass Technologies

The ‘New Normal’ of Beverage Distribution
Greg Ellis, PDC

From COVID to Terminations, Hot Topics Facing Alcohol Distributors
Mike Madigan, Madigan, Dahl & Harlan

Building and Expanding Your Online Ordering Capability
David Christman, NBWA (Moderator)
Grant Barrett, In:Trench Consulting Group
Darin Spence, In:Trench Consulting Group
Matt Dahlstrom, In:Trench Consulting Group
Heather Burnett, Vermont Information Processing
Wei Fraser, Lakeshore Beverage
John Wolff, Monarch Beverage Company

Addressing COVID-Related Insurance Liability Challenges
Matthew Bossier and Jason Dixon
BevCap Management

The Perfect Beverage Delivery
Erich Wolters, Wise Systems, Inc.

12:00 - 2:00 PM ET

Visit NBWA's Virtual Product Showcase

Dedicated visiting hours

The Product Demonstration is open throughout the event and will be accessible until October 31.

2:00 - 4:30 PM ET

General Session – Day 2

Brian Gelner, 2019–2020 NBWA Chairman of the Board
Craig Purser, President & CEO, NBWA

Challenges and Opportunities on the Horizon
Pat Blach, 2020–2021 NBWA Chairman of the Board

Interview with an Industry Leader
Michel Doukeris, CEO, Anheuser-Busch

Distillers Perspective of the Alcohol Beverage Industry
Mark Brown, President & CEO, Sazerac Company, Inc.
Follow-up interview with Harry Schuhmacher, Editor and Publisher, Beer Business Daily

Leadership in Crisis
General Stan McChrystal

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Education Seminars

This year’s convention featured 17 education seminars designed to arm you with the knowledge and skills to keep your business strong. They covered topics such as facility design, sales coaching, technology, profitability, how the industry is moving forward during the pandemic and so much more! Click the button below to learn more.

Visit the Digital Exhibit Hall

NBWA invites you to visit our virtual Product Showcase to connect with vendors and explore innovative products! Check out the list of the exhibitors who have an interactive online booth by clicking here.

The digital exhibit hall is accessible through the virtual platform and participants have access to the virtual booths and exhibitor contact information until October 31. If there's an exhibitor you didn't have a chance to meet with on October 5 & 6 or want to follow up with, contact them with the information posted on their virtual booth.

Meet our Exhibitors

*Exhibiting at the virtual event is an exclusive opportunity for NBWA members. Membership can be added to your exhibit package if you are not currently an active NBWA member.

For questions about virtual booths, please contact:
Chuck Wagner, Exhibit Sales | 312.265.9657


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As an emerging leader, the NBWA Convention is a great opportunity to hear from industry leaders and learn helpful tips on how to grow my business.

- Robbie Maletis, Maletis Beverage

With all of the disruption happening in the marketplace, this year's NBWA Convention will be a can't miss event.

- Brittney Webber, CheyenneMetz Beverage Group