Alabama beer distributor Michael Schilleci has been elected Chairman of the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA). In the role, he will lead the distribution industry’s national policy and advocacy efforts for the next year.
Schilleci owns and operates North Alabama-based Supreme Beverage Company. Upon his election, he became the first Alabamian to ever chair the national organization.
The Alabama Wholesale Beer Association (AWBA) is an active member of NBWA. Schilleci got involved with the NWBA through his involvement with the AWBA, which previously chaired. There he played a leading role in passing state legislation that eased outdated restrictions and allowed the craft brewing industry to grow in Alabama.
Upon his election at the group’s convention in San Diego, Schilleci told his peers he wanted to use “strategic advocacy” to grow and protect the beer distribution industry. He also wants to keep a strong focus on the Beer Growth Initiative (BGI) in order to strengthen overall beer category health. As well as continue validating the beer industry’s independent distribution model.
“I attended my first NBWA Convention when I was 23 years old, and I’ve had the privilege of witnessing the association fight tooth and nail on behalf of beer distributors across the country,” Schilleci said. “While we may face challenges over the next year, but I believe we are up to the task and am grateful for this incredible opportunity to serve.”
Alabama Wholesale Beer Association Executive Director Donna Alexander said the state’s distributors are proud to have one of their own leading the group that helps wholesalers all over the country.
“Michael has been such an integral part of AWBA’s growth over the last several years and we couldn’t be prouder to see him transcend to the national scene,” she said. “It’s a feather in the cap for our state, our industry, and our association.”
Schilleci will drive the advocacy efforts for America’s 3,000 licensed, independent beer distributors and educate elected officials, regulators, the media and the public about the importance of effective state-based alcohol regulation and the regulatory, economic and commercial value of independent beer distributors.
“Over his career, Michael has solidified himself as a leader in the beer distribution industry,” said Craig Purser, NBWA president and CEO. “His active involvement in NBWA and vast knowledge of the beer business make Michael a natural choice to guide the organization. We look forward to his leadership during this pivotal time in our industry.”
Schilleci will also oversee “Delivering Local Jobs,” NBWA’s new public awareness campaign. The campaign shares the role beer distributors play in their communities, employing 135,000 people across the country and driving local economies.
Alabama’s beer distributors support the jobs of more than 4,000 Alabamians.