The National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) honored several industry leaders during its 77th Annual Convention. The NBWA Life Service Award is presented to beer distributors who have dedicated a lifetime of service to the industry, community and fellow distributors.
The first NBWA Life Service Award was presented posthumously to Mike Hopkins Sr., former executive director of the Wholesale Beer Distributors of Texas and the founder of Mike Hopkins Distributing Co. in Brenham, Texas, which celebrated its 25th anniversary this year.
2013-’14 NBWA Chairman of the Board Greg LaMantia said, “Mike was truly legendary as he possessed the most unique of perspectives: that of a fierce professional advocate for wholesalers and that of an owner of an independent distribution company.”
NBWA President and CEO Craig Purser added, “Following his personal philosophy of ‘Pass-It-On,’ Mike served on the Texas A&M Chancellor’s Council and volunteered for the Make-a-Wish Foundation among other organizations. Locally, if there was a club, he was a supporting member.”
“On Sept. 9, Congressman Kevin Brady honored Mike Hopkins on Capitol Hill, with a tribute in the Congressional Record,” Purser said.
LaMantia said, “As the Congressional Record read, ‘Those who knew him and learned from him were blessed to have a true visionary as a mentor and a friend.’”
A second NBWA Life Service Award was presented to Allen Everette, who joined the beer distribution industry as the chief financial officer of Orange & Blue Distributing in Champaign, Ill., in 1979. He later became the company’s president and equity owner before purchasing additional distributorships. Today, Everette remains active with Capital Distributing in Oklahoma City.
“Both the Associated Beer Distributors of Illinois [ABDIA] and NBWA have benefited from Allen’s volunteer service,” LaMantia said. “As part of ABDI, he served in nearly every position, and eventually became chairman of the board. He served on the NBWA Board of Directors from 1999-2001. During his time on the NBWA Board, he served on the Management Committee and he made his mark as the Political Action Committee chairman – raising more than $1 million in political contributions.”
Purser added, “In addition to Allen’s dedication to the beer distribution industry and professional successes, he has devoted countless hours to various charitable and social organizations in the Champaign community, including the Kiwanis Club, United Cerebral Palsy, the Carle Hospital Foundation Board, the American Legion and the University of Illinois.”
The NBWA Industry Service Award was presented to Jeremy Pisca, executive director of the Idaho Beer and Wine Distributors Association for his energy, insight and service to the distribution industry, and for making significant contributions that will influence the industry for years to come.
“The Idaho Beer and Wine Distributors Association made it a priority to build relationships and strengthen their grassroots capabilities,” Purser said. “They removed their brand hats and stood tall with all distributors – even their toughest competitors – in order to strengthen the independent three-tier system in their state.”