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WSTA diversifies board with four new members

Published:  12 July, 2023

A year on from its appeal to diversify its board, the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) has welcomed four new board members.

The decision was made to remove the requirement that board members must all hold the most senior role in their business, to deepen the pool of potential board members, increase diversity and improve inclusion. 

After receiving around 40 applications the candidates were whittled down to four highly skilled women, who were accepted onto the WSTA board at its meeting on 12 July.

Starting their two-year terms on the WSTA board are: 

Lorraine Copes, founder of Be Inclusive Hospitality – a multi-award-winning social entrepreneur, hospitality consultant and life coach.

Trish Lorimer, grocery controller, Freixenet Copestick – leader of the grocery sales team with over four years in the company.

Danielle Obbard, head of e-Commerce for Rémy-Cointreau UK – manager of a team covering commercial, operational and trade marketing roles.

Lara Sills, director of Commercial Operations, Mentzendorff & Co – leader of the end-to-end supply chain and day-to-day operations of the business

Mark Riley, chair of the WSTA Board, said: “We are delighted to welcome the four new board members who kick start a new era for the WSTA board. 

“The WSTA launched its search for four new board members back in March this year. The idea was to tap into the wider pool of talent in our membership, with a view to bringing onto the board a more diverse range of individuals with the skills to contribute to the work of the board.  

“By removing the requirement that WSTA board members must hold the most senior role in their alcoholic drinks business, we have been able to bring on board a range of individuals with different perspectives and skills, who will also help us to promote greater diversity and inclusion. This has been a fantastic first experience in helping to find future leaders in the UK wine and spirit trade.” 

Miles Beale, CEO of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, added: “We were bowled over by the response to our search for new WSTA board members, with a huge number of expressions of interest and some 40 completed applications, providing us with a large pool of talent from which to choose. This has helped us to find enthusiastic, talented individuals to support the WSTA’s ongoing efforts to represent its members and the wider wine and spirit industry, as well as to guide the increasingly varied work of the WSTA.  

“We are confident they will bring their own perspectives, enthusiasm and skill set to the board; and be a positive source of information, inspiration and advice for members and for the WSTA team.  

“Importantly – and for those who didn’t make it this time round – this exercise has also shown us at the WSTA how much interest, support and talent there is in our membership. We are convinced that the strength of the applicants means there are plenty of leaders waiting in the wings to contribute to our work in the future. It’s a wonderful position for a trade association to be in.”

The successful candidates join the board formally on 12 July and attend their first full meeting in November.  

They will be joining the existing 13 WSTA board members who can be found here.