Distribution Round Table: How to Engage & Support Your Distributors

 This session will feature a panel of distributors from varied backgrounds that will inform attendees on how to navigate the distributor landscape with a focus on distributors engagement and how to support your distributors to increase sales and market presence.

Speaker Bios

Senior sales and marketing executive leveraging 30+ years of experience with Fortune 500 companies to build and manage support functions and personnel essential to optimizing productivity within the wine, beer, spirits and Consumer Packaged Goods space. Proven record of success providing leadership for key strategic business processes, including supplier planning, supplier marketing and programming, pricing, commercial finance, inventory management, forecasting and analytics. Demonstrates expertise to captain sales force implementation of new product roll-outs in tight coordination with sales, finance and marketing, and provide viewpoints on consumer and/or brand opportunities based on thorough awareness of marketplace trends.
Randy Ford, a 25-year wine industry veteran, came to Cristom Vineyards from King Estate Winery where he served as senior vice president of sales. Randy, a native of Richmond, Virginia, began his wine career in the restaurant business before enjoying a 12-year career with RNDC, a leading fine wine national distributing company, where he earned a master level wine certification in 2004.
Brian Renney is a 32 year wine industry veteran. He currently serves as General Manager of Young’s Market Company of Oregon. He has worked with Young’s for the last 25 years in various states and various positions including SVP of Portfolio management and SVP of Trade Marketing. He was an active member of the Washington Independent Food Association, serving on the board for two years before relocation to Oregon last September.
Christopher Riendeau is a wine portfolio specialist with Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits of New England. A hosptiality industry veteran for over 25 years, Christopher successfully completed two levels of study at Boston University’s Elizabeth Bishop Program and achieved the designation of Certified Sommelier. A native of New Hampshire, Christopher possesses a unique perspective and understanding of Control State operations, best practices for building strong and prosperous distributor partnerships, and working within these ever-evolving regulated landscapes.
Fueled by her passion for wine, Amanda started her career in 2001 as a wine buyer for Whole Foods Market. While there, she curated thousands of wines, pivoting from brands to collector items to terroir-driven, small-production items. In 2011, Amanda became the sales director for Charles River Wine Company, a fine-wine import and distribution business in Massachusetts and quickly learned the intricacies of sales and account management. In 2015, Amanda joined forces with Skurnik Wines, a New York-based company at the pinnacle of fine-wine sales in the United States. Amanda now sells to and educates distributors, sommeliers, and top retail accounts in several markets with Skurnik’s comprehensive portfolio.
Luke Wohlers began his career in restaurants in Illinois in 1996, then Boston at Upstairs on the Square, Formaggio Kitchen, Lower Falls Wine Company and in Seattle at The Herbfarm and RN74. In 2008 he was part of the wine team that earned Eleven Madison Park the James Beard Award for “Outstanding Wine Service” and in 2013 returned to New York City to create the wine program for Betony. He earned a diploma from the Wine, Spirit & Education Trust and is certified as an Advanced Sommelier.