DISCUS Elects Chair and Vice Chair

The Distilled Spirits Council (DISCUS) has elected Ugo Fiorenzo, managing director at Campari America, as chair of the national trade association during its summer board of directors meeting at the DISCUS Annual Conference in New Orleans.

Fiorenzo succeeds Clarkson Hine, Beam Suntory SVP of corporate communications and public affairs, who has chaired the council since July 2020.

Fiorenzo is an industry veteran with nearly three decades of work in the beverage alcohol sector, including more than 15 years with Campari Group. As managing director of Campari America, he led the acceleration of the business by strengthening distributor partnerships and overseeing several transformational projects, the company says, including the relocation of the U.S. head office from San Francisco to New York City in 2018.

“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 in the beverage alcohol industry,” says Hine. “The spirits sector is embarking on a number of critical initiatives from making the industry more inclusive and diverse, to ensuring more equitable treatment in the marketplace for spirits products and our consumers. Ugo’s deep knowledge of the global spirits industry will put us on a path for continued growth and success while staying true to our collective commitment to responsibility.”

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Before joining Campari America in 2015, Fiorenzo held multiple leadership positions within the company at Campari Group in Italy and J. Wray & Nephew, Campari Group’s subsidiary in Jamaica, as well as senior marketing and sales positions at several other global alcohol beverage companies, including SABMiller and Peroni.

“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,” says Fiorenzo. “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 his tenure, DISCUS successfully advocated for the removal of tariffs, placed a strong emphasis on our commitment to sustainability and launched a number of new initiatives including DISCUS Academy, Destination Distillery, and a partnership with Pronghorn to advance diversity and Inclusion in the spirits sector.” 

The board also appointed as vice chair, Ann Mukherjee, chairman and CEO, Pernod Ricard North America, where she is the first industry outsider and woman of color to assume the position, the organization says.

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Mukherjee joined Pernod Ricard in 2019 from S.C. Johnson and Company, where she served as their first-ever global chief marketing officer and, later, global chief commercial officer overseeing a $12-billion business division in more than 90 markets. She previously made a decade-long impact at PepsiCo, most recently as President of Global Snacks and PepsiCo Global Insights.

“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,” says Mukherjee. “My hope is that by collaborating with Chris Swonger and Ugo Fiorenzo, we can work toward modernizing the industry across our three-tier system while helping our brands and business partners usher in the shift and succeed in this new world.”

During the meeting, the board also re-elected DISCUS’ Chief Financial Officer Adrian Baxter as treasurer, and DISCUS’ Chief Legal Officer, Courtney Armour, to serve as the board’s corporate secretary.

The new board appointments take effect July 1.

This follows news of DISCUS and Pronghorn partnering to improve DEI in spirits.

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