Message from the Chairman
What a tremendous honor it was for me to stand before America’s beer distributors at the 75th Annual Convention in San Diego as NBWA’s incoming chairman of the Board! When I attended my first NBWA Convention in Chicago back in 1973, I never in my wildest dreams imagined I would one day serve as NBWA chairman.
Today, I am grateful to run Blue Ridge Beverage Company in Virginia alongside several family members, including my mother Regine and my brothers and sisters who all play a critical role in the business. Although the company began operating in 1938, the Archer family has led Blue Ridge since 1959 when my father James and mother Regine purchased the company. My parents struggled for years to build the company, which our competitors used to say "was going out of business any day." Yet, now we employ 385 people and sell 7.5 million cases. It's independent, family-owned businesses like ours that NBWA works for every single day.
During my 30 years of service in the Army and Army Reserve, I learned that you have to be ready to mobilize when conditions dictate. The beer industry is constantly evolving and, as NBWA chairman, I look forward to helping build our “army” to help adapt and respond to the changes and challenges facing our industry. To help ensure NBWA’s strength as an organization and ability to respond to a series of evolving challenges, we must build our resources and tools. To that end, I have three primary goals as chairman: build our resources; build our capability to advocate; and build our relationships.
It is imperative that we as distributors maintain a strong and focused national trade association whose mission is to advocate for our industry. Not only does NBWA advocate in Washington, it also offers resources to support state efforts. And, NBWA works hand-in-hand with our trading partners on issues for the common good.
America’s independent, three-tier distribution system sets the standard for delivering variety and choice for the consumer like no other system in the world.
Together, we must work to support America’s independent beer distribution system that works so well.
Chair, NBWA Board of Directors