Retail Drinks Australia held its first Annual General Meeting (AGM) last week where it announced changes to its Board of Directors.
John Carmody, Managing Director of Hotel & Tourism Management, has been appointed as the new Chair, taking over for retiring Chair, Giuseppe Minissale.
Five new appointments were made to the Board including Chris Baddock, the CEO of ALM, John Wilson, Owner of Liquor Legends Hawker and Charnwood, Richard Kelsey, Co-founder of Beer Cartel, Scott Towers, Director of Red Bottle, and Sharni Wise, Retail Operations Manager at Vantage Group.
An ‘Observer Seat’ will also be occupied by the winner of the 2019 Young Liquor Retailer of the Year winner, Monique Strand from Dan Murphy’s.
The new Board members replace retiring Directors, Justin Dry from Vinomofo and Rod Pritchard from ALM. Faye Hartley from the Northern Territory and Sam Cufone from South Australia have also retired as Directors but will continue in a new capacity for Retail Drinks as State Council chairs.
Speaking at the AGM, Minissale, who was an integral part of the foundation of Retail Drinks, spoke about Retail Drinks’ achievements of the past 18 months and the important role the association plays for the liquor retailing industry.
“We created Retail Drinks Australia for the sole purpose of getting every major player to come to the table, to stump up and to sit on this board. In 18 months, we’ve now had an election and that election was hard fought. We had people fighting to get on the Retail Drinks board,” he said.
“From an industry point of view, that is a fantastic achievement. It is important that this body moves forward with everybody wanting to be involved. We have to protect the right of retailers to trade in this market.
“We have to protect the right and perfect every minute of that right to trade and trade like anybody else can trade in this market. We needed to do this together. The big guys, the small guys and everybody in between, and everybody needs to be invested.”
On accepting his new position as Chair, Carmody paid tribute to Minissale and the outgoing Directors.
“I’m incredibly honoured to have been nominated and to accept the appointment as chair of the Retail Drinks Australia board,” he said.
“It is an incredibly all-encompassing board when it comes to liquor retailing in Australia. The board represents the best of all the interests of the industry and I’m really looking forward to working with them to bring to the table and to deliver with Julie Ryan and the team at Retail Drinks, the opportunity to protect our right to continue to retail here in Australia.
“I’d like to particularly thank Giuseppe for all that he has done for ALSA and Retail Drinks in his role as Chair, in his vision, in is passion, it is such a legacy that he should rightly be very proud of.”
CEO Julie Ryan also highlighted the strategic vision for Retail Drinks over the next two years, which would be centred on the expansion of services available to Members and ensuring that the organisation was an agile and effective advocate for all of industry in its representations to government.
“As part of the core strategic vision for Retail Drinks over the next two years, we will be focusing on growing our membership services offering to assist our Members operate their businesses sustainably and effectively, including in areas such as training and professional development, mental health and well-being, and data insights.
“The second key pillar of our strategic plan is to ensure that we remain a strong advocate for liquor retailers with both state and Federal governments across Australia on key policy issues affecting the industry, and we will achieve this by continuing to facilitate cooperation and collaboration between all participants in the industry.
“I look forward to working with new Retail Drinks Chair John Carmody and all of the new and remaining Board Members to achieve this ambitious agenda,” she said.