Speakers

Sarah Barrett
Executive Editor
Wine & Spirits Daily
 
Sarah Barrett joined the Wine & Spirits Daily team as Associate Editor in 2015 and took on the Executive Editor role in early 2019. Committed to working odd hours and traveling across the country, she regularly contributes executive interviews and the daily aggregation of news stories. She graduated with a BA in English from Trinity University in San Antonio, and has leapt headfirst into wine and spirits journalism.
 
 
 
 
 

Chris Black
Cofounder
Falling Rock Tap House
 
Chris Black was for 24 years, king of the Falling Rock Tap House. As king I got to do all the regular 'king' stuff - Ruling my subjects, Tasting all the wonderful beers they send to their Sovereign, wearing new clothes...Oh yeah and, fixing the draught system, refinishing the floors, schlepping kegs that the distributors drivers can't seem to remember to put away, Scullery, Painting, Alley cleaning, Beermongering, Sound Engineering, Toilet Plunging, Tiling, Carpentry, Plumbing, Electrical Apprenticing, You know, 'king' stuff. I started out pouring beers at an early Beer Bar in Austin TX and progressed through jobs as the State-wide Beer Manager for various Distributors, Salesperson for Importers, Breweries & other Distributors as well as stints working for other Beer Bars in the Houston Area. I got tired of being ‘Part of the Solution’ & decided, along with my 2 brothers Steve & Al (Co-Owners), to be ‘Part of the Problem’ by opening up the Falling Rock Tap House in 1997. Besides Beer, I enjoy skiing in the Winter, listening to Jazz, & hanging out with my Wife of 35 years, Cheryl. As well as working in all Three Tiers of the Alcohol Beverage System, I was on the Board of Directors for the Association of Brewers (the predecessor of the current Brewer’s Association) for 5 years, and Chairman during the year the Association of Brewers merged with the Brewer’s Association of America. A tireless advocate for interesting beer for the last 4 decades and one of the craft brewers’ biggest cheerleaders, I have also been one of the biggest critics of the continued erosion of the 3-tier system.
 
I use a lower case “k” in king for 2 reasons;
  1. it gives copy editors fits
  2. it shows humility

John Bodnovich
Executive Director
American Beverage Licensees
 
John Bodnovich is Executive Director of American Beverage Licensees (ABL) and a leading advocate for America’s beer, wine and spirits retailers.  He works closely with ABL’s state and regional affiliates representing on- and off-premise beverage licensee members on matters of concern to beverage alcohol retailers.  His work includes managing ABL’s federal government affairs portfolio, grassroots advocacy, and strategic communication efforts between ABL and its affiliates. John is ABL’s primary representative to industry trade associations, alcohol suppliers, wholesalers and importers, as well as social responsibility organizations and other industry stakeholders.  During his time with ABL, John has led association initiatives including legal advocacy, membership and responsibility campaigns, and public awareness efforts addressing alcohol issues.  A native of Illinois, John holds a B.A. in Government & International Relations from the University of Notre Dame, and a Master’s degree in Political Management from The George Washington University. He and his wife, Erin, reside in Kensington, Maryland with their four children.
 
Danny Brager
Owner
Brager Beverage Alcohol Consulting
 
Danny Brager has a wealth of experience in the Beverage Alcohol industry, analyzing trends over many years.  He formerly headed the Nielsen’s Beverage Alcohol Practice Area in the U.S, where he led teams that supported relationships with Nielsen’s clients (suppliers, importers, distributors, and retailers) as well as key industry groups and the media.  In that role, Danny succinctly provided data driven analysis and insights, focused on the U.S. marketplace environment and consumer/shopper. In 2020, Danny introduced Brager Beverage Alcohol Consulting, providing analysis services to companies seeking to translate market data into fact-based insights in support of their goals.  Each year, he presents at a large number of notable industry and company events, and is a frequent thought leader contributor to the media/press.   His informed opinions are highly respected by the beverage alcohol industry.  Danny is also Managing Director of Category & Consumer Insights at Azur Associates, founded to bring comprehensive advisory & consulting services, including strategic advisory, mergers & acquisitions and route to market to wine and spirits companies. Danny was born in Calgary and moved to Toronto where he graduated from the Schulich School of Business at York University. He relocated to Mission Viejo, California in 1993 where he now resides.  
 
Carrie Christofes
Executive Director
National Liquor Law Enforcement Association

Carrie A. Christofes started her professional career in law enforcement having transitioned into prevention, coalition and grants management work.  She has over 15 years of experience in the development, direction, and management of substance use disorder prevention programming at the local level as well as managing grants at the state and federal levels. Carrie has been the Executive Director of the National Liquor Law Enforcement Association (NLLEA) since 2019.  The NLLEA is a non-profit association of law enforcement personnel dedicated to the enforcement of liquor laws and regulations. 

 


 
J.T. Griffin
Principal
Griffin Strategies, LLC
 
J.T. Griffin has over 20 years of Capitol Hill and government relations experience. For 8 years he worked on Capitol Hill for a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee. For over 13 years, he ran the government relations and communications department at Mothers Against Drunk Driving. In the fall of 2020, J.T. formed Griffin Strategies, LLC, a full-service Government Relations firm representing clients before the federal government including the U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, and various federal agencies. The firm specializes in issues relating to transportation and technology, the federal appropriations process, and advising non-profit organizations on fundraising and best practice management. Currently Griffin Strategies advises a diverse portfolio of clients including a national non-profit organization as well as a cutting-edge technology company working to improve transportation safety.
 
Carrie May
Assistant Administrator, Field Operations
Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB)
 
Carrie May currently serves as the Assistant Administrator, Field Operations, of the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), where she is responsible for the oversight, direction, and coordination of Field Operations functions associated with TTB's tax collection and consumer protection programs. Previously, Ms. May served as an attorney-advisor and Senior Counsel for Field Operations; since July 2013, she had been TTB Assistant Chief Counsel, Field Operations. Before joining TTB, Carrie was a trial attorney with the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) Tax Division, where she represented the United States in federal district and bankruptcy courts in tax-related matters. Prior to working at DOJ, Carrie was a litigation associate with the Washington, DC law firm of Patton Boggs, LLP. Ms. May holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Louisville and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Virginia. She is a member of the bar of the Commonwealth of Virginia, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
 
J.J. Moran
Four Winds Liquor & Lounge
Cheyenne, WY
President, American Beverage Licensees
 
John P. Moran, Jr. (“J.J.”) is the owner of Four Winds Liquor & Lounge in Cheyenne, Wyoming leads the American Beverage Licensees (ABL) Board of Directors having been elected as the 9th President of ABL – the nation’s leading national association dedicated to representing the interests of America’s independent beer, wine and spirits retailers.  J.J. has been a member of the ABL Board of Directors since 2013, serving as both Vice President On-Premise and Vice President Off-Premise. He was also a member of ABL’s Communications & Membership Committee from 2014-2019, serving as Co-Chair from 2016-2019. Moran has owned and operated Four Winds Liquor & Lounge in Cheyenne, Wyoming for 43 years, having purchased the license and opened the business with his father J.P. in 1976. In the ensuing decades, Moran built the Four Winds into one of the leading retail establishments in Cheyenne.  He is actively involved at the local and state level, having joined the Wyoming State Liquor Association (WSLA) in 1994 and served as WSLA President from 2013-2014. He has also served as Treasurer and Vice President of the WSLA during his 25-year membership.
 
Spencer Nevins
President
Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association
 
Spencer is the President of the Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association (MB&WWA) and MBWWA Services, Inc. He is the Association’s chief spokesperson to the legislature, regulatory bodies, elected officials, and the media. Spencer joined the MB&WWA in 2006 after holding several State and local positions, including serving as Legal and Policy Counsel to the Republican Caucus of the Michigan House of Representatives. He has also served as General Counsel to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and as Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He holds a BS degree in Criminal Justice from Ferris State University and a JD from The Thomas M. Cooley Law School. Spencer lives in East Lansing with his wife Michelle and four children.
 
Harry Schuhmacher
Publisher & Owner
Beer Business Daily
 
Harry Schuhmacher is Editor & Publisher of Beer Business Daily, Craft Business Daily and Wine & Spirits Daily – all read on every continent except Antarctica. 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. He is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin. Harry lives in a restored brewery in San Antonio, Texas. He enjoys reading, dive bars, and drinking beer in beer-clean glasses.
 
Dale Stratton
Owner
Five Points Consulting LLC
 
Dale Stratton brings almost 40 years of experience in the Beverage Alcohol Industry to his role as an independent consultant.  Dale retired from Constellation Brands in May of 2019 where he was the Vice President, Commercial Insights working across their Beer, Wine, and Spirits divisions.  While at Constellation Brands he oversaw consumer and shopper insights, consumer affairs, business analytics, market research, category management initiatives and established their wine sensory program. Dale’s extensive work linking consumer, shopper, and market analysis with business objectives and strategies enable him to translate insights into action. Dale is currently President of the Wine Market Council and is also involved in projects with Azur Associates, and the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America’s SipSource Report. Prior to joining Constellation Brands in 2006, Dale spent 22 years working at E&J Gallo where he began his career. During his tenure, he covered a wide range of responsibilities that included distributor management, account management, strategic insights, and Lean Six Sigma. Dale has a bachelor’s degree in Journalism with a concentration in Public Relations from Colorado State University and an Executive MBA from Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.