Panel led by MB&WWA Women’s Advocacy Committee latest effort to highlight growing role of women in Michigan’s beer and wine industry
LANSING, Michigan – Members of the Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association Women’s Advocacy Committee (MB&WWA), along with FIFCO USA, recently hosted an event for a group of Michigan State University students at Dan Henry Distributing in Lansing. A panel of committee members and other women who work in the beer and wine industry shared their knowledge, expertise, and career guidance. The event was the MB&WWA committee’s latest effort to inspire the next generation of women leaders in Michigan’s beer and wine industry.
“As Chair of the MB&WWA Women’s Advocacy Committee, I was honored to participate as a panelist in this event to highlight women working in the beer and wine distribution industry and to discuss numerous career opportunities — from sales, marketing, and human resources to finance and operations,” said Kit Wanty-Lambert, President of O & W Inc. “Breweries, wineries, and retailers across Michigan are owned and operated by women, and women continue climbing the ranks of Michigan’s family-owned, independent beer and wine distributors. I sincerely hope our panel inspired more women to consider careers in this industry that helps create jobs, supports small businesses like local wineries, craft brewers, and local retailers, and provides choices to Michigan’s beer and wine lovers.”
Wanty-Lambert was one of five female panelists who represented the different facets of the beer and wine industry: Amber Goodell, Vice President of Sales for Henry A. Fox Sales, Maggie Happel, Director – Alcohol, East for CVS Health, Rachel Rosbury, Director, Kroger/Meijer for FIFCO USA, and Katy McBrady, President of Atwater Brewery. Tracy McGrew, Chain Account Manager for New York-based brewer FIFCO USA, moderated the panel.
The panel discussed a range of topics, including the changing landscape of the beer and wine industry and how women are stepping into more leadership roles, the importance of mentorship, and the challenges and rewarding aspects of working in the beer and wine industry as a woman.
“The Women in Beer and Wine event was a unique learning experience that piqued my interest in career opportunities in the beer and wine industry, leaving me excited and eager to learn more,” said Natalie Hohwart, a junior studying marketing at Michigan State University. “Hearing from the panel of accomplished and passionate women was inspiring and made me very hopeful for my future.”
As one of the alcohol beverage industry’s most progressive state trade associations, the MB&WWA represents family-owned and local beer and wine distributors who work hard every day to deliver a wide variety of beverages to licensed retailers throughout Michigan. The Women’s Advocacy Committee is made up of female executives from distributors across the state, as well as the MB&WWA’s Vice President of Operations & Events and one of its lead female lobbyists.
Left to right: Maggie Happel (Director – Alcohol, East for CVS Health), Rachel Rosbury (Director, Kroger/Meijer for FIFCO USA), Katy McBrady (President of Atwater Brewery), Amber Goodell (Vice President of Sales for Henry A. Fox Sales), and Kit Wanty-Lambert (President of O & W Inc.)