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Sarah Evans retires as chairman of The Wine Society

Published:  16 June, 2021

The Wine Society has announced that its chairman of 12 years, Sarah Evans, is retiring. 

Alan Black, who joined the committee as a co-optee in 2009, has been elected as the new chairman of The Society, with Eleanor de Kanter set to work alongside Black as deputy chairman.

Paying tribute to Evans’ "leadership, dedication and long service" to The Society, CEO Steve Finlan said it had been a “real pleasure working with Sarah” in the two years since he joined The Society.    

“She has brought a wealth of experience and insight, but more importantly a real passion for our Society, from vineyard to member, always making sure that we are creating the conditions for a fantastic member experience and ensuring that mutuality and the values of The Society are at the forefront of our discussions and decision making.

"Sarah’s passions for wine and ensuring that wine was always at the heart of what the business does had been “a real inspiration and The Society has continued to innovate and discover great wines for members to enjoy”, he said.

Mike Thompson, committee member, added: “Sarah was co-opted to the Committee in 1998 and elected to it in 1999 – a time before The Wine Society had a website – and leaves us winning industry awards for online retailer of the year. 

“All the core management statistics are similarly impressive. Sarah carried a torch for mutuality, which has burned brightly through these last 23 years. A Chairman with grip and a touch of imperiousness, Sarah’s forensic analysis, clear-sightedness and strong governance have all seen her through our challenges, not least this last Covid-19 period.”

Stepping into Evans’ footsteps, Black brings a wealth of experience from a career in international law and a “real excitement” for all aspects of wine, believing “wholeheartedly in the mutual model”. 

De Kanter meanwhile runs a digital strategy business and has experience in digital strategy, marketing and communications.

“Sarah leaves us with The Society in terrific shape and able to embark on the next stage of our journey under the guidance of our new chairman Alan Black,” said Finlan.

Last month, The Wine Society reported a surge in both memberships and sales.