Over the course of two days, the National Association of Wine Retailers hosted a select group of invited guests at its 4th Annual Wine Retailer Shipping Summit. Presented in a virtual format this year, the summit explored a number of issues of interest to progressive wine retailers and the wine trade including the state of wine retailers shipp, the legal landscape, issues surrounding taxes, terms and logistics as well is compelling information concerning retailers and the COVID-19 pandemic and tariffs.
Ben Aneff, Managing Partner, Tribeca Wine Merchants
is the Managing Partner of Tribeca Wine Merchants in New York City, named one of “America’s Best Wine Shops” by Food & Wine Magazine, and an “Editor’s Favorite” by Wine Spectator. Currently president of the US Wine Trade Alliance, Ben has been a leading voice in the fight against wine tariffs from the beginning. Prior to the formation of the USWTA, Ben worked on campaigns that led to over 28,000 letters to Congress through work with the National Association of Wine Retailers and other constituents. He has led discussions on tariffs, testified on their effects at the International Trade Commission, and worked with a range of allies, from Congressional offices to wine trade members. A native Texan, Ben lives in Brooklyn, NY with his lovely wife, Hilary.
Marc Goodfriend, CEO, 24Seven Connect
Marc Goodfriend is an innovator, public speaker, and e-commerce industry expert with over 20 years of experience in logistics, SaaS, and supply chain innovation. Prior to becoming CEO of 24Seven Connect, Marc led a multi-national global partnerships team at Narvar, the world’s leading post-purchase customer experience platform. At Narvar, Marc worked with brands like Nike, Sephora, Urban Outfitters, Gap, and others to revolutionize the buying experience for online shoppers. Prior to Narvar, Marc served in leadership roles at DHL, where he designed and launched two high profile e-commerce shipping products, DHL Easy Return and Parcel Metro Same Day. Before joining DHL, Marc worked at Newgistics where he and his team built custom reverse supply chain solutions for top global brands like Apple, Walmart.com, and ASOS. When not at work, Marc enjoys spending time with his family at home in Kansas City, Missouri, and boating the Lake of the Ozarks with his wife, Kelly, and two sons, Sam and Eli.
John Hinman, Founding Partner, Hinman & Carmichael
John is a founding partner (1991) of Hinman & Carmichael, LLP. John and started in the industry in 1978 as the General Counsel of a multi-division company that owned wineries and vineyards. Today John advises alcoholic beverage industry clients in all tiers in all phases of industry regulation, including trade practice, distribution and importation, product fulfillment, retail licensing and production. John is a regular speaker and panelist at alcoholic beverage industry conferences throughout the US, has provided testimony in legislative and administrative proceedings across the country. He’s been featured in many publications, has authored numerous industry-related articles. John is a 3rd generation San Francisco native, a Vietnam Veteran and an avid San Francisco Giants fan.
Randy Kemner, Founder, The Wine Country
A Long Beach native, Randy Kemner began his love affair with wine nearly 50 years ago while working as a professional pianist in a fine dining restaurant. In 1982 he launched his wine career working in a retail wine store in Long Beach and began heading down the path that would lead him to be the owner of one of Southern California’s leading wine stores. From 1985 to 1995, he co-founded and co-owned Pacific Coast Wine Marketing, a boutique wine distributor for California artisan wines, Symington Ports & Madeiras and Kermit Lynch French Imports. With the buyout from his partner, Randy opened The Wine Country on November 14, 1995—now in its 25th year in business— which he co-owns with his wife Dale.
Joshua Lawrence, Partner, Hodgson Russ, LLP
Joshua Lawrence is a partner in the State & Local Tax practice group at Hodgson Russ, LLP. He practices in the firm’s New York City and Buffalo, NY offices, and regularly advises clients on multistate tax matters, including sales and use taxes and tax “nexus” issues. Joshua also handles tax controversy issues, including audits with the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance and, where necessary, litigation and appeals. His commentary on state and local tax issues appears regularly in State Tax Notes and Hodgson Russ’s own tax blogs.
Sara Mann, Partner, Hinman & Carmichael
Sara Mann is a partner at Hinman & Carmichael and an experienced wine industry corporate and business attorney. Prior to H&C, she spent over ten years as in-house counsel for WineShopper.com/Wine.com, and New Vine Logistics, a major wine shipping, logistics, and compliance provider in the industry. Her current practice includes trade practice counseling; licensing; marketing; regulatory compliance, including compliance with interstate shipping laws; and routes to market.
Nick Martin, Founder, Wine Owners
Nick is the founder of Wine Owners, online wine collection management platform and trading community for people who love and collect fine wine. Prior to founding Wine Owners, Nick spent 15 years as MD of a global marketing services business within Reed Elsevier before leading the European information business of a Fortune 500 technology firm. More importantly, he is a passionate wine enthusiast and long-term collector.
Jon Moramarco, Partner, bw166
Jon is the managing partner of bw166 LLC, providing advisory services and data intelligence to the beverage alcohol industry. Jon is also a partner in, and the editor of, The Gomberg Fredrikson Report. Jon began his career in the Wine industry at twelve years of age when his father decided he needed to develop a work ethic. The work included working weekends and summers in the vineyards where the typical schedule was 10 to 12 hours per day, 60 to 70 hours per week. Jon holds a Bachelor of Science degree from UC Davis in Agricultural Science and Management. Jon’s early career was with Allied Domecq, where he held various management positions culminating in a divisional CEO role for seven years. After that, Jon spent ten years with Constellation Brands as the CEO of multiple divisions, both domestically and internationally. He then spent four years as CEO with Winebow, a national importer of fine wines and distributor of fine wines and craft spirits. Jon’s career has primarily included responsibility for all business operations from Production through Sales & Marketing. He has overseen wineries from start-ups to a total production of 60 million cases. He has been involved with brands from economy wines such as Almaden 5L Bag-in-the-Box to luxury wines such as Opus One. A majority of his career has been in the U.S. market. He has also been responsible for sales and marketing efforts in over 100 wine markets across the globe. Throughout his career, he has worked with wineries and winemakers in over a dozen countries. Today he focuses on assisting his clients and the industry with fact-based decisionmaking.
Sean O’Leary, O’Leary Law Group
Sean O’Leary, the Irish Liquor Lawyer, represents innovators in the liquor industry, lobbies on behalf of the wine and hospitality community, and is actively involved in helping companies develop business models to meet complex regulatory schemes.
Mr. O’Leary successfully defended numerous business models before state agencies and works with companies to help them develop direct to consumer business models to conform to state regulatory regimes and succeed in the marketplace. Acting as a as policy and legal advisor for Cocktails-For-Hope, in six weeks he helped start a grassroots effort that successfully lobbied the Illinois legislature to enact a major law change to allow retailers greater privileges. He drafted legislation and coordinated grassroots support for the movement. Further, Mr. O’Leary lobbies on behalf of expanding and opening up the liquor industry to innovation. He has represented wine retailers that want to enhance direct to consumer opportunities. Mr. O’Leary attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and received his law degree from Chicago-Kent College of Law. Mr. O’Leary lives in the Chicago suburbs with his beautiful wife Crystal and they are blessed to have an amazing baby boy named Brendan.
Dave Parker, Owner, Benchmark Wine Group
After starting his professional life as a technology engineer, Dave Parker transitioned into the wine world, first as owner of Parker Family Winery in Alexander Valley. Later, Dave founded Benchmark Wine Group, now one of the premier sellers of high-end fine wines. Parker went on to found the first online wine auction house, Brentwood Wine Company. Dave is also the owner of the Wine Market Journal that is used by auction houses and collectors to value wines, as well as First Growth Technologies, providing information services to the wine industry and collectors. In 2019 Dave was elected to lead the National Association of Wine Retailers as its president. Dave is a father of four, lives in Washington State and enjoys scuba diving, travel and data analysis.
Harmon Skurnik, Partner, Skurnik Wine & Spirits
Harmon joined fledgling Michael Skurnik Wines in 1989, after working for 10 years in marketing and advertising for firms such as BBDO, Needham Harper, and Market Facts.
Today, Skurnik Wines & Spirits is an importer and distributor of fine wines and spirits headquartered in the heart of New York City. It has since grown to represent over 500 estates, most of which are family-owned and operated. Skurnik is a national importer but also has direct wholesale operations in 8 states: New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, California, Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. From tasting, to buying, to managing the business and its employees, Harmon makes his presence felt every day. More recently, Harmon has become an active voice and serves as board member for the US Wine Trade Alliance, in the industry’s fight against tariffs on imported wine and spirits.
Tom Wark, Executive Director, National Association of Wine Retailers
Tom Wark began his wine industry career in wine public relations. In 1993 he founded his consultancy, Wark Communications, which continues to work with wineries, retailers, media companies and other wine-related companies. Since 2007 he has served as the executive director of the National Association of Wine Retailers, working closely with the NAWR Board of Directors to bring expanded retailer wine shipping rights to the American wine industry. He is a noted writer who has been published in numerous publications and has maintained is award-winning FERMENTATION: The Daily Wine Blog since 2004. Tom lives in Salem, Oregon.
Jamie Wolff, Co-Owner, Chambers Street Wine Merchants
In 2001, along with partner David Lillie, Jamie founded Chambers Street Wine Merchants in New York City. Since then, the store has garnered numerous accolades including “Best wine shop in the US” (Slate, 2011) and “Best independent wine merchant in the world” (Jancis Robinson, 2017). Jamie began his wine career at Christie’s. Additionally, he added stints at Astor Wine Merchants and Garnet Wine before opening Chambers Street. Jamie has been a longtime board member of the National Association of Wine Retailers. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.