Retail Drinks adds to its ‘industry leading’ board of directors

19 December, 2018 by Deborah Jackson

L-R: John Carmody and Gavin Saunders

Retail Drinks Australia has announced that Gavin Saunders, the CEO of Liquor Marketing Group (LMG) and John Carmody, the MD of Hotel & Tourism Management, have joined its board of directors.

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Retail Drinks officially launched in October as a new industry body representing all off-premise packaged liquor retailers in Australia with the vision and purpose of enhancing its members’ freedom to retail responsibly.

CEO Julie Ryan said that Saunders and Carmody will both join the Retail Drinks board to represent banner group members, and to give substantiate weight to the representation of independent stores.

LMG operates the Bottlemart, Sip’n Save and Harry Brown banners and Carmody’s Hotel & Tourism Management operates the retail banners of Liquor Legends, Urban Cellars and Clubslink.

“Gavin and John are both respected industry leaders in liquor retailing, and we are thrilled that they will be bringing their expertise and passion for independent retailing to the Retail Drinks Australia Board.

“We promised members that we would deliver a board of industry leaders, providing equal representation and voting rights to each category of chain stores, multi-state banners, single state banners, liquor stores, corporates and online.

“Together with the directors already appointed to date, we have recognised industry leaders to agree the strategic advocacy and membership services that will underpin the Retail Drinks vision of enhancing the freedom to retail responsibly.

“By virtue of our membership structure, we now represent the majority of packaged liquor licences within Australia, which allows us to credibly influence government with pro-active and positive advocacy.”

LMG’s Saunders has more than 20 years’ experience working in liquor, hospitality, funds management and finance industries. LMG is a member-owned, governed and focused retail group representing more than 1,300 member outlets nationally. It was recently recognised as the 2018 ALIA Retail Group of the Year.

Carmody started Hotel & Tourism Management in 1999 and has successfully developed an industry leading rewards and loyalty program, delivering one platform and one database across the whole business. This enables them to collect real time insights to help drive business performance.

Carmody has a wealth of hospitality and management experience dating back to the late 1980’s and currently owns and operates the Sundowner Saloon at Haigslea with long term business partner Tony Prentice. He has managed more than 100 hotels in Queensland, NSW, Victoria, Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

The board is rounded out by CEO Julie Ryan and Australian Liquor Marketers’ Giuseppe Minissale, as Chair.

They are joined by the former Presidents of the state-based Liquor Stores Association chapters including Paul Heilman the Managing Director of Top Cellars Group (formerly President of LSA NSW), Faye Hartley the Owner of Stuart Park Corner Store (formerly President of LSA NT), and Sam Cufone the Owner of Parafield Airport Liquor Store (formerly President LSA SEA).

The Board is rounded out by David Smith, the Managing Director of Diageo Australasia, Shane Tremble the General Manager Corporate Services at Endeavour Drinks Group (EDG), Justin Dry the Co-founder of Vinomofo, Rod Pritchard the Acting CEO of Australian Liquor Marketers (ALM), David Short the Managing Director of Shorty’s Liquor and Cathi Scarce the Director of Coles Liquor.