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

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 15 of 59

StateWays n n May/June 2016 16 Other trademark factors make the VDLC unique among the control states. The VDLC's Board of Commission is a fi ve-member citizen board. Board members come from a wide range of professional backgrounds and regions of the state. They are not employees of the state and only receive a small per diem stipend for their participation, essentially making their appointment a volunteer position. These restrictions are in place to prevent any outside infl uence by any one member. Board meetings are typically held monthly, unless extenu- ating circumstances require the need for additional meetings. The VDLC also has a commissioner, who is overseen by the board and who manages the agency's day-to-day operations. In terms of change, Vermont has experienced a lot in recent years. One major factor has been growth, as the agency has experienced a steady increase in sales. Because of its location in close proximity to Quebec, Vermont also generates much of its revenue from the tourist industry (in addition to the sales that come from the state's 626,000 residents), making it essen- tial for the agency to stay on top of its varying customer de- mographics. Vermont has also become a destination location for customers due to the many new wineries, breweries and distilleries that have opened across the state in the past decade. Other changes have occurred within the agency itself. Several key retirements within the VDLC eliminated a lot of experience and institutional knowledge in certain areas. These vacancies also forced the board to step back and reevaluate its procedures, analyzing why certain processes are currently set up the way they are. Additionally, leadership changes have opened up the agency to many questions and criticisms sur- rounding its structure and policies. "It's a very unique system, and we've had to answer a lot of questions challenging the value of a citizen board, wonder- ing why we do enforcement, asking why the board oversees the commissioner instead of having that person report di- rectly to the governor and asking if we've made the proper investments in technology to keep the state moving in the right direction," O'Brien explains. In the face of these challenges, Vermont has taken advan- tage of the opportunity to embrace change. Turnover among "Change happens. We have to embrace it. It challenges us and we need to take advantage of changes in our organizations." USHERING IN change A NABCA board member since 2011, O'Brien has chaired the education, governance, public affairs and public health advisory committees, and worked on a number of other priority projects.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Stateways - StateWays - May/June 2016