The National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) recently announced that veteran beer industry economist Lester Jones will join NBWA in the position of chief economist. Jones has more than 20 years of experience in research, survey methodology and applied economics. He most recently served as chief economist at the Beer Institute, where he developed and executed significant research initiatives that helped shape America’s beer industry. He also has become a respected public speaker, offering in-depth technical, analytical and quantitative expertise.
“America’s beer distributors deliver enormous economic value to communities across this country. Lester’s work as chief economist will augment that great story, and his research will be influential in policy discussions that involve state-based alcohol regulation, the three-tier system and independent beer distributors,” said NBWA President and CEO Craig Purser.
Today, the beer distribution industry directly employs more than 130,000 people and adds $54 billion to the nation’s gross domestic product. Additionally, beer distributors contribute nearly $10.3 billion to the federal, state and local tax bases. That does not include the nearly $11 billion in federal, state and local alcohol excise and consumption taxes.
As NBWA chief economist, Jones will track and analyze economic factors that impact the beer distribution industry and alcohol policy decisions at the federal, state and local levels. He will evaluate and develop primary industry data, including economic impact, tax impacts, sales and volume data. In addition to his decade of work at the Beer Institute, Jones previously worked for Arbitron Co. (Nielsen) in Columbia, Maryland and the Regional Economic Studies Institute in Towson, Maryland. Jones has a Master of Science, Economics from the University of Delaware as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Maryland Baltimore County.
“Lester is a solid addition to the NBWA team and will bring significant contributions to the beer distribution industry,” added Purser.