ABL President Participates in Congressional Responsible Hospitality Caucus Briefing
Panel discusses the importance of the TTB to beverage alcohol marketplace
Bethesda, MD –– July 22, 2015 –– Earlier today, Congressmen Sean Duffy (R-Wisc.) and Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.) hosted the first issue briefing of the Congressional Responsible Hospitality Caucus. ABL President Warren Scheidt joined a panel of distinguished industry representatives to discuss the growth of the hospitality industry and the importance of the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB).
Representatives Duffy and Kilmer opened the briefing, attended by more than 50 Congressional staff, by talking about the creation of the Congressional Responsible Hospitality Caucus and their support of a vibrant hospitality industry. Following the Congressmen, Mr. Scheidt was joined by panelists including: Tom Hogue, Congressional Liaison, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB); Harvey Allen, President and C.E.O. of M. S. Walker and Board Member of The Presidents’ Forum of the Distilled Spirits Industry; and Charlie Merinoff, Chairman and CEO of The Charmer-Sunbelt Group and Board Member of the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America.
In his remarks, Mr. Scheidt shared the story of his family’s three-generation business, Cork Liquors in Columbus, Indiana; his relationships with his partners in the producer and wholesaler tiers; and the importance of a fully funded TTB to ensure a thriving beverage alcohol marketplace.
“The growth of the beverage industry and introduction of new products has been exceptional in recent years. Beverage licensees work with our industry partners to stay on top of new products and meet the needs of our customers. We support the efforts of the Hospitality Caucus to draw attention to the importance of the TTB and the role it plays in our industry,” said Scheidt.
The bipartisan Congressional Responsible Hospitality Caucus was formed in June as a means of educating legislators and the public about the value and the role of the American hospitality industry. To date, more than 30 Members of Congress have joined the Caucus.
“Today’s briefing was a great opportunity for the hospitality industry to share its perspective, connect with key decision makers and their staff, and raise awareness about how our industry and the TTB work together,” said John Bodnovich, executive director of American Beverage Licensees. “ABL appreciates the work of the Hospitality Caucus in bringing these issues to light.”
As a key part of the hospitality industry, direct retail alcohol sales create as many as 1.7 million jobs across the U.S. and generate as much as $245 billion in total economic activity with more than $36 billion paid in taxes. ABL continues to encourage members of Congress to show their support for the thousands of businesses and millions of Americans that make up the hospitality industry by joining the Hospitality Caucus.