Adapting To Change

One of the things that has always impressed me about the control state system and its national association, the National Alcoholic Beverage Control Association (NABCA), is how the system, thought by many who know nothing about it to be old-fashioned and monolithic, is so readily able to adapt and respond to unexpected change. Undoubtedly, that’s a tribute to the men and women, bureaucrats and highly-capable political appointees who make the control system work. It’s also a tribute to the professional staff of the NABCA, from Executive Director Jim Sgueo on down, who have created an industry association among the best in the nation.

Like many well-run organizations, the NABCA has a leadership plan that allows for future presidents to be identified several years in advance. Early this year, Randall Smith, Administrator of the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board and subject of an in-depth profile in the January/February 2002 issue of this magazine, was chosen by the NABCA directors to be the group’s President-Elect for 2002-2003 and to serve as President the following year. But, as we all know, things don’t always go according to plan.

After being nominated for a Federal judgeship by President George W. Bush, John E. Jones III, the current NABCA President-Elect and Chairman of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, withdrew his name from consideration for his term as NABCA President, set to begin this month.

Those circumstances led to Randall Smith stepping up to lead the NABCA a year early and to his appearing on the cover of StateWays again so soon. We were fortunate to have the opportunity to shoot a cover photo of the incoming President, as we do every year at this time, with several of his predecessors when they gathered in Portland, ME, for the NABCA Administrators Conference. Thanks to 2001-2002 NABCA President Eben Marsh of Maine and past-Presidents Ed Buelow (Mississippi), Ken Wynn (Utah) and John Byrne (New Hampshire) for allowing us to capture this historic moment.

It’s most fitting that Smith is pictured surrounded by some of others who have been entrusted with that leadership position. In conversation with StateWays Editor Richard Brandes, he stressed that he sees much of his role as building on the momentum that the NABCA has attained under its recent string of leaders. Randall Smith is fully justified in his confidence that with the assistance of the NABCA’s top-notch staff his term will be another year of positive accomplishments for the organization.

We at StateWays and the entire Adams Beverage Group wish him and the entire NABCA the best of luck in the coming year.



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