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WSWA Announces Three Additional Keynote Speakers for Annual Convention

Submitted By: Lewis Perdue, February 08, 2012

Washington, DC (February 8, 2012) -- The Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) is pleased to announce three new additions to its 2012 slate of general sessions keynote speakers during WSWA’s 69th Annual Convention & Exposition, April 2-5, 2012 at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas. Added to the lineup are Nando Parrado, a key figure in one of the paramount survival stories of all time, Erik Qualman, Founder of Socialnomics, and Kit Codik, CEO and Co-Founder,

Parrado will speak during the convention’s Opening General Session, on Tuesday, April 3. He will recount the extraordinary tale of how he and 15 of his teammates survived for 72 brutal days after their plane crashed into the frozen Andes Mountains over 30 years ago. Since the ordeal, Nando has become a successful businessman and television producer. He is CEO of four companies in Uruguay and hosts several popular television programs in that nation.

Parrado’s story of courage, teamwork, determination and leadership will leave attendees with a heightened awareness of the value of human life.

The second day, Wednesday, April 4, will begin with a one hour General Session at 9:00 a.m., featuring two outstanding speakers, Erik Qualman, Professor at Hult International Business School and International Best Selling Author, and Kit Codik, CEO & Co-Founder,, a veteran of the start-up world and a serial entrepreneur.

Called a Digital Dale Carnegie, Qualman is the author of Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business.

Socialnomics was a finalist for the "2010 Book of the Year" awarded by the American Marketing Association, and made Amazon's #1 Best Selling list in the US, Japan, UK, Canada, Portugal, Italy, China, Korea and Germany. His new book, Digital Leader was launched this year and is already receiving rave reviews including those of Zappos’ CEO Tony Hsieh.

Codik co-founded, the premier national digital media brand for all things related to cocktails, spirits, mixology and the lifestyle of “cocktail culture.” Prior to founding, Codik founded The Green Lake Group, a San Francisco-based advisory firm that specializes in business development, fundraising and corporate development for Internet companies. In addition, Codik co-founded and was executive vice president of Business and Corporate Development for Finacity, a specialty finance company focused on the securitization of corporate trade receivables.

John Hofmeister, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Citizens for Affordable Energy and former President of Shell Oil Company will speak during the third General Business Session on Thursday, April 5.

As one of the country’s leading experts on the energy industry, Hofmeister will share with attendees the current state of that industry and how it impacts beverage alcohol businesses.

The WSWA Annual Convention & Exposition brings together approximately 2,000 suppliers, wholesalers, and industry professionals. It is the highlight of the year for the beverage alcohol industry, featuring a balanced cross section of general session speakers, a world-class exhibit hall, educational programming, along with several industry and product competitions.

Each year, the WSWA Annual Convention & Exposition provides a unique networking and informational experience to its growing community of attendees. “We are developing the best line up for our convention, for a varied and rich three-day experience that will be the industry event of 2012,” said Craig Wolf, President and CEO of WSWA. “This year’s convention will include more educational sessions and more top speakers, enabling powerful information gathering opportunities not found at any other event," Wolf said.

Registration for WSWA’s 69th Annual Convention & Exposition is open. Visit for registration information. This event is the beverage alcohol industry’s leading forum to connect, collaborate and gain insight into the latest products and business trends to help grow supplier and wholesaler businesses.


About WSWA:

The Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America, Inc. (WSWA) is the national trade organization representing the wholesale tier of the wine and spirits industry. It is dedicated to advancing the interests and independence of wholesale distributors and/or brokers of wine and/or spirits. Founded in 1943, WSWA has nearly 330 member companies in 50 states and the District of Columbia. Our members distribute more than 70 percent of all wines and spirits sold at wholesale in the United States.

Jerry Brown

Vice President, Communications and Public Affairs

Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America, Inc.

805 15th Street, NW, Suite 430

Washington, D.C. 20005

202-371-9792 x306