People on the move: New appointments in the beverage industry in May

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT


Related tags Beam Suntory Whisky Scotch whisky Beverage can Packaging

We take a look at some of the beverage companies welcoming new faces to top jobs.

Beam Suntory: New president North America

beam suntory Carlo Coppola

Spirits company Beam Suntory has appointed Carlo Coppola as President of North America, succeeding Jessica Spence, who has decided to pursue other opportunities outside the company.

Coppola brings with him the experience of a 20-year career across US commercial, finance and global brands. He steps into his new role after serving most recently as President of American Whiskey & Tequila where he oversaw the P&L for the company’s priority bourbon brands, Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark, and its Tequila portfolio that includes El Tesoro, Tres Generaciones and Hornitos.

Prior to that, he was Managing Director of the James B. Beam Distilling Company brand house and previously served as US Chief Commercial Officer.

Coppola reports to Greg Hughes, president and CEO of Beam Suntory, and will serve on the Beam Suntory Executive Leadership Team.

American Beverage: New Vice President, Head of Public Affairs

american beverage 2

Strategic communications veteran Cait DeBaun joins American Beverage as vice president, head of public affairs.

American Beverage is the national trade association representing companies which manufacture and distribute non-alcoholic beverages in the US.

DeBaun most recently led the American Gaming Association’s (AGA) strategic communications, marketing and responsibility team, where she helped manage communications efforts on issues that included legal sports betting and responsible gambling.

Prior to the AGA, she was the director of communications for Project: Time Off, where she helped lead a national advocacy campaign from the U.S. Travel Association to demonstrate the necessity of taking vacation and to grow domestic leisure travel.

She started her career at Ogilvy Public Relations, leading national campaigns for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health, and Department of Health and Human Services.

DeBaun and her work have been recognized by PR News, Public Relations Society of America, Washington Women in PR, and the American Society of Association Executives. 

New managing director for Larsen Cognac

IB and Larsen Cognac 1
International Beverage managing director Malcolm Leask & Emmanuel Dokhelar

International Beverage has appointed Emmanuel Dokhelar as Managing Director of Larsen Cognac, following its acquisition of the Cognac-based brand in September 2023.

Dokhelar joins International Beverage’s senior management team and will focus on strengthening Larsen’s position in key Nordic markets and across the company’s network of global distribution partners, with a specific focus on Asia.

Larsen Cognac was founded in 1926 by Norwegian adventurer Jens Reidar Larsen after he settled in Southwest France, and now boasts a portfolio of acclaimed expressions and aged eau-de-vie stock.

Dokhelar has two decades of experience in designing and delivering drinks brand strategies in emerging and developed markets across Europe, South East Asia and Latin America.

This includes 12 years at Pernod Ricard, initially as Mumm Champagne Global Brand Director and latterly as Marketing and Business Development Director in Malaysia and then in Thailand. Most recently he was a sales and marketing consultant at Champagne Bollinger.

As the spirits arm of ThaiBev, International Beverage specialises in the sales, marketing and distribution of a multi-award-winning portfolio of premium global brands. This includes Old Pulteney, Speyburn and Balblair single malt Scotch whiskies, Hankey Bannister blended Scotch whisky, Caorunn Gin, Phraya Rum, Mekhong Thai spirits, Cardrona spirits and liqueurs and Larsen Cognac spirits.

William Grant & Sons: Managing director for global travel retail

william grant and sons

UK family-owned distiller William Grant & Sons has appointed Rufus Parkinson as managing director, global travel retail.

Highly experienced within the luxury arena, Parkinson relocated from Asia to join the group in June 2023, as Regional Director Global Travel Retail for Europe, the Americas, India and the Middle East.

Fluent in Mandarin, Parkinson has an extensive background in luxury consumer brands, FMCG and retail, and has previously held senior leadership roles at Moët Hennessey and Mars. Bringing a depth of brand building and global commercial expertise to his new role, he is charged with steering the group’s GTR team as it continues to build on established leadership positions within the premium spirits sector.

William Grant & Sons distills some of the world’s leading brands of Scotch whisky, including single malt Glenfiddich, The Balvenie range of handcrafted single malts and Grant’s; as well as Hendrick’s Gin, Sailor Jerry, Milagro Tequila, Tullamore D.E.W Irish Whiskey, Monkey Shoulder and Drambuie and Hudson.

Hemp Beverage Alliance: Inaugural board of directors

The Hemp Beverage Alliance has formed its inaugural board of directors.

Founded in 2023, the Hemp Beverage Alliance​ is the trade association of the burgeoning hemp beverage industry. With more than 180 members in the US and Canada, the Alliance works with brands, retailers, and distributors to create a self-regulated industry that restricts hemp beverages to adults, establishes reasonable serving size standards, requires strong testing for cannabinoids and contaminants, and creates labeling standards to empower consumers to make informed choices.

The Hemp Beverage Alliance board of directors includes:

  • Mike Colich, co-founder & president, North Canna Co.
  • Lisa Hurwitz, co-founder & president, Happi
  • David Knight, president & CEO, Jones Soda
  • Andrew Lee, chief legal officer, Cheech & Chong's Global Holdings
  • Art Massolo, vice president of business development, Cycling Frog
  • Glenn McElfresh, co-founder, Plift
  • Adam Terry, CEO & co-founder, Cantrip
  • Ted Whitney, head of sales, Squared
  • Pierce Wylie, co-founder, Rebel Rabbit

"The Hemp Beverage Alliance is honored to have the strongest leaders in the industry on our board. Each one of them is committed to creating a safe, transparent and thriving hemp beverage industry, and elevating the category into the mainstream," said Christopher Lackner, president and CEO.

Can Manufacturers Institute: New director of communications

can manufacturers Ebner_Tim_2022

The Can Manufacturers Institute, a US trade association for the metal can manufacturing industry and its suppliers, has appointed Tim Ebner as director of communications.

Ebner will lead CMI’s annual strategic process for all internal and external communications programs, with a focus on promoting cans as ‘the superior sustainable package’.

Ebner comes to CMI from the American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) where he served as the director of communications and press secretary overseeing media relations, and communications and marketing campaigns advancing the association’s leadership in sustainability.

He also serves as an active volunteer for the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) and previously worked as a senior editor of Associations Now​ where he covered association leadership, membership, marketing, and technology trends.

Prior to his role at AF&PA and ASAE, Ebner served in a variety of communications and journalism roles. This includes work as an editorial manager and content editor at Atlantic Media, publisher of The Atlantic​, and his role leading the launch of e-books and digital publications at Editorial Projects in Education, publisher of Education Week​.

Ebner is also an award-winning food and travel writer. He was honored by the International Association of Culinary Professionals Food Writing Awards for his coverage in Edible DC​ magazine, and he actively contributes to Eater​ and Resy​. He also served on the 2023 James Beard Awards voting body.

Ebner began his career working for Xenophon Strategies, a leading Washington, DC, public affairs firm specializing in issues management and crisis communications.

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