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Carson and Beadles ready to take the helm at WSTA

Published:  23 July, 2008

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) will complete its rebirth' early this year, with Christopher Carson - non-executive chairman and former CEO of Constellation Europe - expected to take the position of chairman, alongside the Association's recently appointed chief executive
Jeremy Beadles.

Beadles, who formerly held a similar position at the British Retail Consortium, takes up his new position this week. Carson

is expected to join him on 6 April after being elected at the AGM. He is the only candidate who has been nominated.

Current interim chair Dr Barry Sutton, who was brought in late last year to perform a wholesale review' of the Association's operations, structures and governance', will step aside following Carson's arrival. This is a great nomination for the WSTA, and Carson will make a great chairman. This is the first time in some years that we will have a real trade leader in the role of chairman, and his nomination is the next step on the road to completing the reform of the WSTA. He has the ear of all the important figures across the industry and has knowledge and experience of both spirits and wine.'

Carson, who was MD at BRL Hardy Europe before his appointment as head of the merged Constellation Europe group in April 2004, commented: I welcome the opportunity to give continued support to the Association and industry through these challenging times.'

Interestingly, Carson was a prominent member of one of the main catalysts for change at the WSTA - the Wine Trade Action Group (WTAG) - which was set up due to dissatisfaction with the Association. In addition to the chairman, WTAG has a very strong presence on the 15-strong executive board. Just over half its members are leading lights in WTAG, including Mike Paul, David Cox and Nick Hyde.

Further reforms of the WSTA are expected this year, with Sutton highlighting the role of the WSTA's various committees and subcommittees as an aspect still under review.