Responsibility.org has named Robert Hall, CEO of Ole Smoky Distillery, as the organization’s new Chair of its Board of Directors. Additionally, Tara Engel, Vice President, Public and National Affairs, Pernod Ricard, will serve as Vice Chair.
They assumed their positions beginning January 1, 2024, and will each serve for two years.
Responsibility.org is a national nonprofit that aims to eliminate drunk driving and work with others to end all impaired driving, eliminate underage drinking and empower adults to make responsible alcohol choices.
Hall has more than four decades of professional expertise in the food and beverage industry. He has been CEO of Ole Smoky Distillery since 2016. In addition to Hall’s work with Responsibility.org, he has also served on the board of The Boys and Girls Club of the Smoky Mountains.
“I am proud of my appointment and excited for the future of Responsibility.org,” Hall says. “I am committed to working together with industry leaders and advocates on our collective missions, and I am confident that Responsibility.org will continue to make a positive impact on advancing alcohol responsibility in 2024 and beyond.”
Engel, incoming Vice Chair, has more than thirty years of experience in public affairs, and almost twenty years at Pernod Ricard in leadership positions. With a background rooted in public advocacy, Engel played a role in leveraging the distilled spirits industry during the Covid-19 pandemic by transitioning distilleries to the production of hand sanitizer. She has helped lead Pernod Ricard’s engagement with Responsibility.org.
“Pernod Ricard is proud of the work that we do every day to embrace responsibility, and I am eager to take on this new challenge and help to advance the mission of Responsibility.org,” Engel says. “This is not just a job—the work we do saves lives. Responsibility.org has taken the role of industry seriously, and will continue to effectively engage leaders across the board to have a real impact on safety.”
Marc Bromfeld, Director of Corporate Affairs & Corporate Social Responsibility at Edrington Americas, will step down as Chair, having held the position of chair for two full terms beginning in 2019. During his tenure, Bromfeld navigated Responsibility.org through the challenges of the pandemic, supported the organization through both leadership changes and the development of a new five-year strategic plan.
Hall and Engel, along with the rest of the Board of Directors, will continue to receive guidance from Responsibility.org’s independent National Advisory Board, which is comprised of medical and educational professionals, a former state Attorney General and other experts in mission-related fields.
“The future of Responsibility.org is bright. The outstanding leadership of Marc Bromfeld left its mark, and now I’m excited to see the organization’s Board in the hands of Robert and Tara,” says Chris Swonger, Presidents and CEO of Responsibility.org and the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States. “I’m confident that we are primed for the further success of the organization as we move into this next phase.”
At the recent convening of the Board of Directors, Responsibility.org also approved a new strategic plan. Set to launch in 2024, it will define the organization’s role pertaining to growing mental health concerns, as well as form campaigns that will strengthen relationships with the hospitality industry to advance alcohol responsibility.
“We are excited to unveil our new strategic plan, which will allow us to dive deeper into our mission areas,” says Leslie Kimball, Executive Director of Responsibility.org. “Robert’s and Tara’s leadership, along with the work of our entire membership, will be key in ensuring that we continue to see declines in underage drinking and drunk driving and educate American adults about alcohol responsibility.”
Operational for more than 30 years, Responsibility.org is funded by Bacardi USA, Inc.; Beam Suntory Inc.; Brown-Forman; Campari Group; Constellation Brands; Diageo; Edrington, Mast-Jägermeister US, Inc.; Moët Hennessy USA; Ole Smoky, LLC; Pernod Ricard USA; and William Grant & Sons.
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