By TODD STACY, Alabama Daily News
Michael Schilleci, president of Tanner, Alabama-based Supreme Beverage Company, has been elected as Chairman of the National Beer Wholesalers Association.
At the group’s annual convention in San Diego last week, Schilleci was chosen by peers to lead the national group, taking over for Jim Matesich of Ohio. NBWA advocates on behalf of the nation’s independent beer distributors to Congress and other government bodies.
The Alabama Wholesale Beer Association is an active member of the national group, which is how Schilleci got involved. He previously chaired the AWBA and played a leading role in passing legislation that eased restrictions and allowed the craft brewing industry to grow in Alabama.
Schilleci is the third generation of his family to own and operate Supreme Beverage, which provides domestic, imported, and craft beer and other beverage products to the entire North Alabama region.
Upon his election, he told the convention he wanted to use “strategic advocacy” to prioritize growing the beer distribution industry, strengthening the overall beer category health, and validating the beer industry’s independent distribution model.
“I attended my first NBWA Convention when I was 23 years old, and I’ve had the privilege of witnessing the association fight tooth and nail on behalf of beer distributors across the country,” Schilleci said. “While we may face challenges over the next year, but I believe we are up to the task and am grateful for this incredible opportunity to serve.”
“We are thrilled to welcome Michael Schilleci as the new Chairman of the NBWA Board,” said NBWA CEO and President Craig Purser. “Chairman Schilleci has decades of experience as a beer distributor and has served in several leadership roles within NBWA. He understands the critical mission of NBWA and the priorities of America’s 3,000 independent beer distributors. I’d also like to thank outgoing Chairman Jim Matesich for all of his hard work over the past year and his dedication to the beer industry.”
Alabama political leaders also noted the achievement of Schilleci rising to lead the national organization.
Congressman Mike Rogers (R-Saks) recognized his contributions to the larger business community.
“Michael and his family have long been leaders in their industry and in the Alabama business community. It is great to see this leadership quality recognized by their National Association.”
State Sen. Jabo Waggoner said the NBWA was fortunate have Schilleci’s experience and perspective from a homegrown Alabama business.
“As a longtime friend of Michael Schilleci and all the Schilleci family, I am very proud of Michael serving as the new chair of the National Beer Wholesalers Association. He is a man of wisdom, persistence and integrity, and he knows his industry very well. Michael’s common sense and Alabama values will be a great asset to the national association that he now leads.”
Alabama Wholesale Beer Association Executive Director Donna Alexander said the state’s distributors are proud to have one of their own leading the group that helps wholesalers all over the country.
“Michael has been such an integral part of AWBA’s growth over the last several years and we couldn’t be prouder to see him transcend to the national scene,” she said. “It’s a feather in the cap for our state, our industry, and our association.”