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DISCUS elects new chairman and vice chairman

The United States' Distilled Spirits Council (DISCUS) has elected a new chairman and vice chairman at its annual conference.

Ugo Fiorenzo, managing director at Campari America, will succeed Clarkson Hine of Beam Suntory as chairman of the national trade association. Meanwhile Ann Mukherjee, chairman and CEO of Pernod Ricard North America, will take up the role of vice chairman. 

Fiorenzo has nearly three decades' experience in the beverage alcohol sector with companies including SABMiller, Peroni, and latterly Campari Group, where he has worked for more than 15 years. Prior to joining Campari America in 2015, he worked with Campari Italy and its Jamaican subsidiary J. Wray & Nephew. As managing director of the group's American business, he has helped to strengthen distributor partnerships and overseen projects including the relocation of the US head office from San Francisco to New York in 2018. 

Fiorenzo said: "This is such an incredible time for the spirits sector and I look forward to working alongside DISCUS president and CEO Chris Swonger in strengthening our relationships with our terrific distributor and retail partners and uniting the industry. On behalf of the DISCUS Board of Directors, I want to thank Clarkson for his extraordinary leadership in guiding the industry as chair through the uncertainty of the pandemic."

During Hine's tenure, DISCUS successfully advocated for the removal of tariffs, pushed commitment to sustainability up its agenda, and launched a number of initiatives including the DISCUS Academy and a partnership with Pronghorn to advance diversity and inclusion in the spirits sector.

Hine added: "DISCUS will be in very good hands with Ugo leading the board and providing strategic counsel to the association during this time of sustained progress for the beverage alcohol industry."

Ann Mukherjee was the first industry outsider and woman of colour to be appointed as chairman and CEO at Pernod Ricard North America. Since assuming the position, she has helped Pernod Ricard to make better use of consumer demand data and ignited growth by improving speed to market across its portfolio. Prior to joining Pernod Ricard in 2019, she held senior marketing and commercial roles at S.C. Johnson and Company and PepsiCo.

Mukherjee said: "DISCUS has always been a true advocate for the spirits industry and the opportunity to serve as vice chair is not one I take lightly. My hope is that, by collaborating with Chris Swonger and Ugo Fiorenzo, we can work toward modernising the industry across our three-tier system while helping our brands and business partners to usher in the shift and succeed in this new world."

During its Summer Meeting in June, the DISCUS Board of Directors also re-elected chief financial officer Adrian Baxter as treasurer, and elected chief legal officer Courtney Armour to serve as corporate secretary. 

The new board appointments take effect July 1.

14 June 2022 - Bethany Whymark