Press Release

Distributors, Brewers and Retailers Meet to “Champion Yourself and Others”

Alliance for Women in Beer Holds Inaugural Conference

Media contact: Erin Donar | | 703-229-3702

CHICAGO, IL. – The National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) hosted the inaugural Alliance for Women in Beer conference in Chicago, drawing over 300 participants to hear from industry experts on ways to develop and grow as leaders.

The Alliance’s mission is to unite all three tiers of the beer industry to transform beer into an exciting industry of opportunity for women.

“The response has been overwhelming and attendance for the event far surpassed our expectations,” said Kim McKinnish, NBWA’s SVP and Chief Operating Officer. “The enthusiasm demonstrates a continued need to elevate and empower women throughout our industry.”

The “Champion Yourself and Others” event featured a robust lineup of speakers and networking opportunities. It featured numerous beer industry leaders, including:

  • Tom Day, CEO of Reyes Beer Division
  • Jenn Litz-Kirk, Executive Editor for Beer Business Daily
  • Mallika Monteiro, EVP, Chief Growth, Strategy & Digital Officer, Constellation Brands
  • Ellie Preslar, Vice President Sales, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company
  • JB Ryan, Marketing & Sales Director, Molson Coors Beverage Company
  • Michelle St Jacques, Chief Marketing Officer, Molson Coors Beverage Company
  • Amanda Tilley, VP of Commercial Insights & Category Strategy, Anheuser-Busch

The conference also drew in outside expertise from Accendo Leadership Advisory Group founder Cari Coats, who revealed the four building blocks of career acceleration, and leadership development and DEI coach Sarah Bettman, who shared how leaders can champion others by leveraging privilege as a superpower.

Matthew Boykin, SVP of Sales and Marketing at Cirrus Tech, the event’s sponsor, said, “Cirrus Tech is honored to be one of the main sponsors of the inaugural Alliance for Women in Beer Conference. Cirrus recognizes the importance of the role that suppliers, distributors and vendors have in supporting empowerment in the industry. BREW and Alliance for Women in Beer ask all of us to be a Champion for ourselves and for others. Cirrus Tech will continue to Champion empowerment and looks forward to supporting this outstanding organization and event now and in the future.”

Jake Johnson, senior vice president of the beverage finance group at UMB Bank, which sponsored the Alliance for Women in Beer Reception said, “Congratulations to the Alliance for Women in Beer on this event and for elevating women’s leadership presence in the beer industry. UMB is committed to continuing to grow in this space and we look forward to being partners with NBWA and the Alliance for Women in Beer.”

Jennifer Hauke, Founder of Draftline Technologies, the sponsor of a panel during the conference stated, “The environment within our industry has definitely changed over the past 20 years. Just look around at the show and you’ll see female brewers, owners, COOs, CTO’s, CFOs and other women that bring a much needed point of view to a traditional industry that can make the three tier system healthier.”

For more information, head to the Alliance’s LinkedIn page.

The National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) represents America’s 3,000 independent beer distributors who service every state, congressional district and media market across the country. Licensed at the federal and state levels, beer distributors get bottles, cans, cases and kegs from a brewer or importer to stores, restaurants and other licensed retail accounts through a transparent and accountable regulatory system. Distributors build brands of all sizes – from familiar domestic beers to new startup labels and imports from around the world – and generate enormous consumer choice while supporting more than 140,000 quality jobs in their home communities. Beer distributors work locally to keep communities safe by sponsoring programs to promote responsible consumption, combat drunk driving and reduce underage drinking.