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Market Watch Toasts Top Retailers At 2012 Leaders Awards Dinner

September 14, 2012

The drinks industry’s biggest players gathered at the St. Regis Hotel in New York City last night for Market Watch magazine’s annual Leaders Awards Dinner, which honors the nation’s top retailers, the industry’s top executive and the market’s hottest brands.

Ed Sands of Washington, D.C.-based Calvert Woodley Fine Wines & Spirits was named Market Watch Retailer of the Year. Sands, who launched his business in the 1960s, today does $20 million in annual sales from a 4,500-square-foot store, considered one of the top retail venues in the nation’s capital.

Jim Clerkin of Moët Hennessy USA was honored as Industry Executive of the Year. Clerkin, who joined Moët Hennessy in 2008 as COO and became president and CEO in December 2010, has been widely credited with driving strong growth within the MHUSA portfolio.

Seven new Market Watch Leaders were inducted at the dinner: Alan Cook of Kroger Co., which had beverage alcohol sales of $3 billion last year in 31 states; partners David Symmes, Jon Sinder and Anthony Kroot of Indianapolis retailer Crown Liquors, a 19-unit operation with annual sales of $20 million; Ryan Maloney of Westborough, Massachusetts-based Julio’s Liquors, a single store retailer with sales of more than $10 million last year that’s a regional destination for fine whiskies and craft beers; Chris Boudouris of McNamara Wine & Spirits in Bridgehampton, Long Island, which does $3 million in annual sales; and Bob Gibson, marketing officer at ABC Fine Wine & Spirits, who’s been a key strategic player at the Orlando, Florida-based chain for more than 30 years.

Market Watch also honored four previously-inducted Leaders with its Leaders Alumni Awards. Gary Fisch, a 1999 Leader and owner of the three-unit Gary’s Wine & Marketplace in New Jersey, took home the Best Advertising award. The Best Merchandising award went to 2006 Leader Roger Gildehaus, whose Macadoodles brand is now a five-store empire in Missouri and Arkansas. Ron Junge of Springfield, Missouri-based Brown Derby Stores, a 1987 Leader, won the Best Website award. The Community Service award went to 1997 Leaders John and Lindy Rydman of Texas retailer Spec’s Wine, Spirits and Finer Foods.

The dinner also featured the Market Watch Leaders Choice Awards, which honor the industry’s top-performing brands. Maker’s Mark, which reached the 1-million-case mark in 2011, was named Spirits Brand of the Year, while Ste. Michelle Wine Estates’ 14 Hands took home the Wine Brand of the Year honor. Mexican import Modelo Especial was named Beer Brand of the Year. The Best New Product awards went to Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey in the spirits category, FlipFlop in the wine category and Bud Light Platinum in beer.


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