Stateways Jan-Feb 2013

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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E D I T O R ' S N O T E StateWays Executive Vice President and Group Publisher Charles Forman Tel: 845-426-6072 Fax: 845-426-6423 email: Cliff Dwellers N o sooner was the ink dry on the tepid fiscal cliff-defying agreement crafted by a seemingly dysfunctional U.S. Congress then a hue-and-cry emerged from all forms of media - broadcast and cable TV, newspapers and magazines, and the internet in all its blogospheric incarnations: "There's even greater uncertainty to come! Watch out for the imminent debt ceiling fight, which could send the entire U.S. government into default! That could then send the U.S and world economy into a precipitous decline! It's another fiscal cliff!" Well, judging by the atmosphere in our nation's capitol, it appears that we are all going to be cliff dwellers for quite some time. The drumbeat for the past several years has been that employment and the economy are suffering because business leaders and managers are uncertain about the future (particularly taxes, healthcare costs, etc.), and as a result are hesitant to hire or invest in their businesses beyond immediate needs. As I've absorbed this chatter – you can't avoid it these days if you are a sentient human being – I've been wondering, "Isn't uncertainty an inherent part of the human condition?" It obviously is, though we try not to think about it too much. Why then, doesn't that same condition extend to a business environment? I've not run my own business, or handled the large budgets that comprise state beverage alcohol divisions, like many of you do, and I can imagine that it is comforting to be able to predict fixed costs; however, it seems that there are so many varying dynamics, constantly in flux, that make up the totality of a business that a level of uncertainty is more the norm than the exception. Indeed, it would seem that successful businesspeople are able to intuitively recognize the conditions that lead to "uncertainty" in its many forms, and then exploit those conditions to their advantage. Those who are prepared, who know how to tack into the wind, can still move forward; those who don't, fall behind. That's one point of a brilliant book, written a few years ago by Nassim Taleb, a writer/scholar/mathematician/financial manager, titled, "The Black Swan." To dramatically simplify his argument, he notes that there are completely unforeseen and unpredictable events that occur which have enormous impact on us, the overall culture and the economy. To recognize and understand that these apparently random events can and will exist is the first step to preparing for and dealing with them as best we can. Still, I remain certain about many things, and one of them is that The Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board continues to make great strides (see page 10): According to the latest figures, its total sales, both retail and wholesale, were projected to be over $378 million for the year, an increase, in dollar sales, of almost 5%. And its contributions to the state budget are on track to reach almost $210 million, an increase of 6.7%. As one of the ABC executives says, "The ABC is in good shape. The attitude is, we're operating a business, we have a modern warehouse and our employees really know their stuff. We couldn't be more pleased." Richard Brandes, Editor-in-Chief 4 ® Editor- in-Chief Richard Brandes Tel: 212-353-3832 Managing Editor Jeremy Nedelka email: Art Director Adam Lane Contributing Editor Cheryl Ursin Vice President of Sales, Associate Publisher Anthony Bongiovanni Senior Regional Sales Manager Mark Marcon Senior Regional Sales Manager Debbie Rittenberg Senior Vice President, Audience Development Joanne Juda-Prainito Senior Research Analyst Adam Rogers List Rental Manager Cheryl Naughton M2MEDIA360 President/CEO Marion Minor Vice President, Finance & Operations Gerald Winkel Vice President, Operations and Human Resources Mary Jo Tomei StateWays is published by The Beverage Information Group, a division of M2MEDIA360 Editorial and executive offices are at 17 High St., 2nd Fl., Norwalk, CT 06851 Telephone: (203) 855-8499 Fax: (203) 855-9446 e-mail: StateWays I I January/February 2013

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