StateWays - May/June 2016

StateWays is the only magazine exclusively covering the control state system within the beverage alcohol industry, with annual updates from liquor control commissions and alcohol control boards and yearly fiscal reporting from control jurisdictions

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StateWays n n May/June 2016 14 C ontrol states that embrace change are more likely to be successful in the long run. Change is also constant for the National Alcohol Beverage Control Associa- tion (NABCA). The organization understands and closely monitors all states' individual rules and regulations. NABCA also acts as a liaison to many government and community groups, making change a daily requirement. It is fitting, then, that change will be at the heart of NABCA during the next year, when Stephanie O'Brien assumes the role of chair. O'Brien currently serves as Chairman of the Montpelier- based Vermont Department of Liquor Control (VDLC). She will succeed Stephen Larson, Administrator of the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division, who has served as NABCA chair since 2015. O'Brien's theme for the upcoming year is "Take Advan- tage of Change," which accurately sums up her leadership in Vermont and illustrates her desire to take NABCA to a whole new operational level. "Change happens. We have to embrace it. It challenges us and we need to take advantage of changes in our organiza- tions," O'Brien says. "As we look inward, it takes us back to the 'us' and 'we' and lets go of the 'I' in the way we think about our business, and that's the key to being successful." Jim Sgueo, President and CEO of NABCA, says that O'Brien is an ideal candidate to serve as the next chair be- cause, "She understands NABCA's mission to support mem- ber jurisdictions in their efforts to protect public health and safety and ensure responsible and efficient systems for bever- age alcohol distribution and sales." Sgueo also believes that O'Brien's passion for the con- trol state model will help the association offer additional resources to assist its member states with meeting the chal- lenges of remaining modern and efficient distributors and regulatory agencies. "Change is inevitable and necessary," Sgueo says. "Unless the control models adapt to their 21st century constituents - which include customers and communities, legislators and law enforcement--they will become irrelevant." BRINGING VERMONT TO THE FOREFRONT O'Brien has served on the VDLC board since 2007 and was appointed chairman in 2011 by Governor Peter Shumlin. She has a background in real estate, and her father previously served as chairman of the VDLC board for 28 years. Vermont's regulatory structure is quite distinctive. It was established back in 1933, when the 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, repealing Prohibition. Earlier that same year, a study titled "Toward Liquor Control" was published, detailing various alcohol regulatory approaches. Vermont used the study to set up its control state policies, a model which is still upheld today. Perhaps the only thing that can be counted on in the constantly fluctuating beverage alcohol industry is that things are always going to change. (Left to Right): Com- missioner Patrick Delaney, Interim Deputy Commissioner James Giffin, IT Director Linda Vincent, Liquor Con- trol Board Chairman Stephanie O'Brien, Liquor Control Board Member Julian Sbardel- la, Liquor Control Board member Melissa Mazza-Paquette, Direc- tor of Retail Operations Kim Walker and Liquor Control Board Member Thomas Lauzon.

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