WSTA Industry Summit 2019 – Speakers

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Date:    18 September 2019, 2-6pm

Venue:  The British Library Knowledge Centre, Euston

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Keynote speakers:

Both Keynote speakers will be interviewed together onstage by Alex Forrest, former ITN Political Correspondent.


Kathleen Murphy,
VP of Innovation and New Business Development, Francis Ford Coppola Winery, USA

KathleenMurphyTapping into the craft spirit movement, Murphy worked with Francis Ford Coppola to establish a super-premium line of craft spirits called Great Women Spirits, a collection that celebrates extraordinary women in history whose stories are largely untold. Murphy also spearheaded Francis Ford Coppola’s entrance into the cannabis space. Leveraging consumer insights from the wine industry and applying them to the cannabis industry, The Grower’s Series embraces appellation-specific sourcing and sustainable outdoor farming for cannabis curious consumers to discover, and rediscover, cannabis. The luxury lifestyle cannabis brand marks one of the first cannabis product launches rooted in a wine family.

Prior to joining The Family Coppola, Murphy led the innovation pipeline of new brands at Constellation Brands, worked on Johnnie Walker and Ketel One global teams with Diageo in the Netherlands, managed international brand development for Campari in Monaco, and championed marketing strategies for E&J Gallo in the U.S., Latin America, Benelux, France and Spain.





Conference Chair:

Alex Forrest Whiting,
AlexfwBWBroadcaster, Conference Host & Media Trainer

Alex Forrest Whiting has reported and presented for major broadcasters around the world. A political correspondent and presenter for many years with ITV, Alex brings authority to all her work. With a track record that includes BBC World, Al Jazeera English and now Germany’s international broadcaster, DW, she has a deep knowledge of international affairs. Her work as presenter for Saxo TV expanded her expertise to financial and economic news. ITV Good Morning Britain, Huffington Post, The Spectator, RTE Radio and a range of publications have also benefitted from her analysis and insight.

A major part of Alex’s work is as an event host, moderator and public speaker. She has also worked as a media trainer and consultant for among others, Saxo Bank and Maersk.




WSTA Chairman & CEO:

Michael Saunders,

WSTA Chairman & Chief Executive of Bibendum 

MichaelSaundersBWMichael 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.


Miles Beale, WSTA Chief Executive

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Miles has overall responsibility for the Wine and Spirit Trade Association including organisational strategy, public affairs, member services and public relations. Miles joined from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, where he was Deputy Director for EU and international agriculture policy. He was previously deputy director for European and global issues at the Cabinet Office and spent much of his early career at the Department of Communities and Local Government.

Miles has worked across a broad range of public policy, including urban regeneration, drugs policy and social exclusion, and has been involved in significant negotiations at national and European level. He has also worked closely with senior Ministers in successive governments – including as private secretary to two Cabinet Ministers.

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Want to know more? Ask Jessica Parker
Jessica Parker

Jessica Parker - Head of Membership & Events

Jessica is responsible for all internal and external WSTA events and the day-to-day operations of the WSTA. Her role includes liaising and coordinating suppliers, inhouse design, inventory, and IT.

Email: [email protected]
Telephone: 020 7089 3884