Annual Meeting Speakers to Provide Attendees with Insights into Key Issues for Beverage Retailers

DECEMBER 20, 2018 – BETHESDA, MD – American Beverage Licensees (ABL) announced today the initial slate of speakers for the 2019 ABL Annual Meeting, being held March 24-26, 2019 at Bally’s Las Vegas Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Additional announcements are expected in the coming weeks that will build on a program already rich with unique perspectives on a range of issues directly affecting independent beverage licensees.

“The ABL Annual Meeting is the marquee event for independent beverage retailers, providing attendees from across the country with a forum to share, network and learn about important regulatory and legislative developments, emerging industry trends, the evolving legal landscape, and more, said ABL Executive Director John Bodnovich. “The annual meeting is an exceptional opportunity to celebrate our industry, build lasting connections, and impart valuable information and key takeaways that members can apply directly to their businesses.”

Speakers for the 2019 ABL Annual Meeting currently include:

Kevin Cooke | Chief Global Sales Officer – Wine & Spirits Division | Constellation Brands
Keynote Address

Kevin Cooke is Constellation’s Chief Global Sales Officer, Wine & Spirits Division. In his role as Chief Global Sales Officer – Wine & Spirits Division, Cooke is responsible for leading Constellation’s Wine and Spirits sales goals. He manages a high performing group of leaders in Spirits, Fine Wine, Core Wine, Strategic Accounts, Sales Enablement and Sales Strategy. In this role, he leads a talented team of Constellation sales professionals across multiple channels. Cooke joined Constellation in May 2016 as Senior Vice President – Sales Strategy & Transformation, with a focus on integrating world class account management planning and enhancing Constellation’s Route to Market. He has over thirty years of experience in all sectors of the total alcohol beverage industry.

Scott Keller | Partner | Baker Botts LLP
Legal Update for Retailers

Scott Keller is chair of the firm’s Supreme Court and Constitutional Law Practice, and he has briefed and argued numerous appeals nationwide. Scott has argued 11 cases in the U.S. Supreme Court and has been counsel of record on over 80 U.S. Supreme Court briefs, including regulatory, free speech, immigration, election, criminal, environmental, antitrust, intellectual property, and interstate water disputes.  Keller regularly speaks and writes on appellate advocacy, and he has made several media appearances. Keller is also a member of the Federal Judicial Evaluation Committee, appointed by U.S. Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz to recommend nominees for federal judicial and U.S. Attorney positions in Texas.

Ann Kitch | Transportation Research Analyst | National Conference of State Legislatures
Impaired Driving Policy Trends

Ann Kitch is currently a Transportation Research Analyst at the National Conference of State Legislatures, responsible identifying and monitoring state legislation on a variety of traffic safety issues. Her traffic safety expertise includes topics such as distracted and impaired driving as well as recent legislation pertaining to unmanned aircraft systems. Kitch actively supports state legislatures and other organizations with their traffic safety efforts. Prior to joining NCSL, Kitch worked for the State of Colorado where she helped state agencies such as the Colorado Department of Transportation track their policy initiatives and improve their regulatory processes.

Mike Provance | CEO | 3×3 Insights, LLC
Technology Platforms for Beverage Retailers

An expert in scaling high-potential ventures and digital business strategy, Mike Provance delivers strategic growth and operational excellence to progressive, technology-centric companies. As CEO of 3×3 Insights, Provance leads a team of industry and technology experts who are applying analytics to disrupt the business of beverage alcohol consumption. This role follows 25-year career building groundbreaking digital businesses in industries spanning financial services, information services, and healthcare.

Heather Stone | Legal Counsel | Dinsmore & Shohl LLP
Addressing and Preventing Sexual Harassment in the Hospitality Workplace 

Heather Stone provides employers with advice, counseling and training to help them lower the frequency and severity of employment practice claims. With her guidance, employers develop and implement human resources best practices, educate supervisors and employees, and evaluate all aspects of their employment life cycle. Stone’s experience includes conducting comprehensive audits of existing human resources practices, workplace investigations, analyzing corporate policies, and developing and presenting employment seminars. She also defends employers/individuals accused of wrongdoing in the workplace, including defense of claims of discrimination, retaliation, harassment, wrongful termination and wage/hour disputes.

ABL will also honor Craig Purser, President & CEO of the National Beer Wholesalers Association, as the recipient of the 2019 ABL Top Shelf Award. The ABL Top Shelf Award, the highest honor presented by America’s beer, wine and spirits retailers, recognizes those who have demonstrated professional excellence in the beverage alcohol industry and have had a positive influence in their community. The award will be presented at the ABL Honors Gala on March 25, 2019.

REGISTER NOW! Registration is available online for $299, which includes access to all general sessions and ABL hospitality events + a COMPLIMENTARY 2-day pass to the Nightclub & Bar Show 2019 (Valued at $499). Click here to view 2019 ABL Annual Meeting schedule of events. For more information on ABL or the annual meeting, please visit

BOOK TODAY: ABL has secured room block for the 2019 ABL Annual Meeting at Bally’s Las Vegas Hotel & Casino. Please note that room availability at the reduced ABL costs (Saturday, March 23: $120.00 + $35.00 daily resort fee + applicable taxes/fees | Sunday, March 24 – Tuesday, March 26: $85.00 + $35.00 daily resort fee + applicable taxes/fees) is on a first-come, first-served basis. Once the room block is filled, ABL is unable to guarantee rates and availability. As such, we encourage attendees you to reach out to your members and remind them to book now!


American Beverage Licensees is the preeminent national trade association for beverage alcohol retailers. Direct retail beverage alcohol sales in the United States generate as many as 1.94 million well-paying jobs. ABL’s thousands of on-premise and off-premise licensee members are independent and often family-owned establishments.  The beverage retailing industry pays over $25.3 billion in federal taxes and $18.36 billion in state and local taxes. To learn more about ABL, please visit