Meet the WSTA team...

Dan Jago

Dan Jago

Chairman, Wine and Spirit Trade Association / Chief Executive, Berry Bros. & Rudd

Dan has been involved in the drinks business for most of his working life. After a gap year spent delivering wine on a bicycle and 9 years in the Royal Navy as a Navigator, in 1988 he joined Layton’s, an old school London City wine merchant.

In 1990, he joined Bibendum Wine Limited setting up their off trade agency division. He was appointed to the board in 2000, and became joint Managing Director in 2001.

In April 2006, Dan joined Tesco, a company he had supplied for more than 10 years, as Category Director for Beers, Wines and Spirits (BWS). Tesco is the world’s largest buyer of wine and operates over 6,500 stores in 13 countries around the world.

In late 2012, Dan was appointed UK and Group Wine Director with responsibility for Tesco’s overall wine sourcing and range development for all the business’ across the UK, Western and Central Europe and Asia. 

In October 2015, Dan was appointed Chief Executive of Berry Bros. & Rudd.

Miles Beale

Miles Beale

Chief Executive, Wine and Spirit Trade Association

Miles has overall responsibility for the activities and management of the WSTA, including advice, member services, public affairs, and media relations. His role includes building and leading, in conjunction with the Executive Board, the development of the WSTA’s strategy and priorities on behalf of WSTA members.

Email: [email protected]

Troy Christensen

Troy Christensen

Chief Executive, Enotria Wine Cellars

Troy Christensen was appointed as CEO of Enotria Wine Cellars in June, 2014. Enotria is the UK’s best specialist wine supplier, offering customers a world of award winning wine. Enotria acquired Coe Vintners in 2015 creating one of the largest premium wine and spirits distributors in the UK.  

Previous to the appointment, Troy spent 15 years in the beverage alcohol industry, mostly with Constellation Brands, Inc. Troy was the Chief Executive Officer of Accolade Wines from 2011 until 2013. Accolade was created through divestiture of Constellation’s Australian and European business. These platforms were merged in 2009 where Troy served as President. Before leading the merged businesses, Troy had been President, Constellation Europe Ltd, from 2006.

Prior to the appointment in Europe, Troy spent 7 years as CFO for Constellation’s Beer and Spirits business, Barton Brands, located in Chicago, IL.  At the time Barton was the United States’ largest beer importer and third largest producer and distributor of spirits. 

Troy is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Management Accountant, and Certified Treasury Professional.

John Colley

John Colley

Managing Director, Majestic Wine Retail

John Colley is Managing Director of Majestic Wine Retail, which operates 210 stores in the UK and two stores in France. Majestic Wine helps customers find the wines they will love through over 900 highly trained, specialist store team members.

John joined Majestic in October 2015 and has over 20 years of senior retail experience. Prior to Majestic he was Chief Executive Officer of Praxis Netherlands, which is a Dutch based DIY chain. He also held senior positions at Kingfisher plc, working as Commercial and Marketing Director in B&Q, and Commercial Director at Screwfix.  

Majestic Wine PLC, the UK's largest wine specialist and owner of Naked Wines, was listed on the London Stock Exchange AIM market in 1996. In the financial year to March 2016 group turnover was £402 million, of which the Majestic Wine Retail division contributed £244 million.

Diana Hunter

Diana Hunter

Chief Executive, Conviviality Retail Plc

Diana Hunter joined Conviviality Retail Plc as Chief Executive in 2013 and was the driving force behind the company’s float on the AIM in July 2013, followed by the acquisition of Wine Rack and subsequent acquisition of 31 Rhythm & Booze stores and GT Retail. She is known in the industry for her innovation on the high street, and at Conviviality she has been instrumental in the growth and development of new retail environments for both its Wine Rack and Bargain Booze brands. 

Diana has extensive experience in convenience retail, having joined Conviviality from Waitrose where she worked for nine years, firstly as Director of Store Development and later as Convenience Director. During her time with the company she led the roll out of the ‘Little Waitrose’ convenience chain.

Prior to her role at Waitrose, Diana began her career at Sainsbury’s where she held numerous senior roles over 13 years, including leading investment programmes and heading the format development of Sainsbury’s.

Charles Ireland

Charles Ireland

General Manager GB, Ireland & France

Charles was appointed Diageo’s General Manager GB, Ireland & France in July 2016, a newly created role that saw him take over from Diageo’s Great Britain country director.
Prior to being appointed to the role, Charles served as managing director of East Africa Breweries Limited (EABL) from April 2013 and he has spent 13 years leading some of Diageo’s biggest businesses in both Asia Pacific and Africa.

Before becoming managing director of EABL, Charles was the Managing Director of Guinness Anchor Berhad(GAB), a highly successful joint venture between Diageo plc. and Heineken. GAB is listed on the Malaysian stock exchange with a market capitalisation of c. £1 billion.

Over the years, Charles has built up an extensive understanding of the many markets Diageo operates within. He first joined Diageo in 1997, after working for Nestle in Great Britain for 10 years. He held senior positions within Diageo in Great Britain and moved to Diageo’s operations in Asia in 2003. Charles was later appointed to his role as Managing Director of GAB in 2006 until he moved to EABL.

Charles is married to Alison; they have 3 children. He enjoys playing golf, sailing and reading.

David Mawer

David Mawer

Managing Director of JF Hillebrand UK Ltd; Area Director UK, Ireland & Benelux for JF Hillebrand Group

David has spent his entire career in the drinks industry, joining Victoria Wine in 1978.

In the early 1980s,and after three years employment in the shipping and stock control department of wine importer European Vintners, David moved into beverage logistics, where he has remained ever since.

David is currently part of the senior management team steering JF Hillebrand, the world’s leading specialist beverage logistics company.  JF Hillebrand operates with over 2,000 employees based in a network of offices strategically located at the heart of wherever beers, wines and spirits are produced or consumed.

David has been Managing Director of JF Hillebrand UK Ltd since 2005 and was appointed JF Hillebrand’s Area Director for UK, Ireland & Benelux in 2010. 

Huw Pennell

Huw Pennell

European Regional Managing Director, Edrington

Huw has over 27 years’ experience in the drinks industry.

Huw worked with the Maxxium business since its inception in 1999.  He was appointed Marketing Director in 2003 and oversaw a number of exciting marketing initiatives and brand developments during this time and was promoted to Managing Director in 2006.  Maxxium UK is one of the top 3 spirits companies in the UK, employing over 200 people with a turnover of over £200m.  Its portfolio of spirit brands includes The Famous Grouse, The Macallan, Sourz, Jim Beam, and Courvoisier.

In April 2015, Huw was apointed European Regional MD of Edrington.

Huw has been a fellow of the Marketing Society since 2005, and was awarded Scottish Marketer of the Year in 2007.

Pierpaolo Petrassi

Pierpaolo Petrassi

Head of Buying - Beers, Wines, Spirits & Tobacco, Waitrose

Pierpaolo Petrassi MW has worked in the Wine & Spirit industry for 33 years. He was born in London of Italian parents and holds dual Italian & British citizenship. He followed his father into the wine industry in 1983 and having worked in both sales and buying roles for the Carnevale Group (1987-1997), International Wine Services (1997-2003), WaverleyTBS (2003-2007) & Tesco (2007-2010), he became Head of Buying for Beers, Wines & Spirits at Waitrose in 2010. He was also Chairman of the Italian Wines Committee of the Wine & Spirit Association from 1998 to 2005.

Pierpaolo became a Master of Wine in 2007 and was the first Italian to achieve this qualification.  He has been consistently placed in the top 5 of OLN's most influential people in Wine, coming in at number 2 in 2016.

Laurent Pillet

Laurent Pillet

Managing Director, Pernod Ricard UK

Laurent joined the Pernod Ricard Group in 1991 as Product Manager in France. In 1995, he was appointed Marketing Director of Havana Club International. He then took the role of Business Development manager of Pernod Ricard Americas in 1999 based in Mexico, earning his first Managing Director position at Pernod Ricard Andes in 2002.

In 2011, he was appointed Managing Director of Pernod Ricard Sub Saharan Africa. Laurent Joined Pernod Ricard UK as Managing Director in 2016.

Pernod Ricard UK is part of Pernod Ricard – world’s no. 2 of the wines and spirits industry. The company is responsible for the sales, marketing and distribution of the Group’s leading premium spirits, wines and champagnes in the UK.

Michael Saunders

Michael Saunders

Business Development Director, Conviviality Plc

Michael joined Bibendum in 1982, the year the company was founded, following a brief stint working for Sherry Lehmann in New York.  Apart from six months working at Chateaux Leoville Barton and Langoa Barton in 1985, Michael has spent the last 35 years building Bibendum PLB into the UK's most successful independently-owned wine and spirits business.

Michael was responsible for founding Bibendum's On Trade department in 1986 and its Fine Wine broking desk two years later.  Having been made Sales Director in 1988, Michael became Joint Managing Director in 2001 and assumed sole responsibility four years later. Under his tenure, Bibendum's turnover increased to over £270m, supplying every channel of the UK trade from contract catering to multiple grocers, via Michelin-starred restaurants and travel retail.  Bibendum was chosen as the supplier of wines (Olympic venues) to the London 2012 Games. In May 2016, Bibendum PLB was sold to Conviviality plc where he is now Business Development Director.

Michael was named Drinks Business Man of the Year in 2009 and picked up the Special Achievement award at the 2012 Harpers Wine and Spirits Awards.

Jo Thornton

Jo Thornton

Managing Director, Moet Hennessy Ltd

Jo has spent his career in the luxury drinks industry with significant experience in the UK and the US.  Jo started his career at Haynes, Hanson and Clark before moving to France for a year after university to work for Sarl Le Serbet. Jo joined Moët Hennessy in 1993 as a Sales Development Executive rising to On Trade Sales Director. In 2006 Jo left the UK for the U.S as Vice President North East region living in New York, he returned to the UK in 2010 to take up the position of Managing Director. 

Moët Hennessy UK Ltd is the largest luxury drinks distributor in the UK, with such brands as Dom Pérignon, Krug, Moët & Chandon and Veuve Clicquot champagnes.  The portfolio also includes Hennessy Cognac, Glenmorangie single malt, Belvedere vodka and still wines including Cloudy Bay and Cheval des Andes.

Andrew Wilby

Andrew Wilby

Managing Director, Northern Europe, Brown Forman Corporation

Andrew was born in the UK in 1958 and educated at The City of London Freemen's School. He has an Honors Degree from The School of Management Science at Lancaster University and is a Qualified Chartered Accountant. Andrew's early career was in Finance in various 'Blue Chip' UK companies such as BAT, Whitbread and Marks and Spencer. He joined IDV (now Diageo) in 1988 finally becoming Finance Director of their UK operation. Andrew moved into Sales and eventually became Managing Director of Morgan Furze, a UK sales arm of Diageo who were also the agents for Jack Daniels and Southern Comfort all through the 90's. He moved to Brown Forman in 2000 and 2 years later was part of the team that saw BF take direct control of the UK business via an innovative Cost Sharing Arrangement with Bacardi.

Andrew is based in BF's London office and is responsible for a team of 60 enthusiastic and dedicated Brown Forman professionals who manage the BF business accross Northern Europe.

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