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WSWA convention comes to Las Vegas next week

Captain Richard Phillips and ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ author Jordan Belfort keynote at Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America show

March 31, 2014
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The 71st annual Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) convention and exposition will host wine and spirits distributors and suppliers April 8-10 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. The show gives U.S. distributors the opportunity to learn about new beverages in the marketplace, meet with existing partners, and discover services that enable them to enhance internal operations, according to the show’s website. Plus, a lineup of well-known keynote speakers will offer additional value for attendees.

The opening general session April 8 will be presented by Jordan Belfort, author of “The Wolf of Wall Street” and creator of the Straight Line System, which allows him to take virtually any company or individual and empower them to create massive wealth, abundance and entrepreneurial success without sacrificing integrity or ethics, he says. Belfort’s memoir inspired the recent film “The Wolf of Wall Street,” which features Leonardo DiCaprio. Additionally, W. Rockwell “Rocky” Wirtz, president of Wirtz Beverage Group, will be presented with the Lifetime Leadership Award, which is presented each year to a wholesaler whose contribution to the association, the community and the beverage industry defines excellence, inspires loyalty and exemplifies leadership. And, Max L. Shapira, president of Heaven Hill Distilleries, will be honored with the Sidney Frank Award, which is given to a person who has made exceptional contributions to the industry in addition to noteworthy philanthropic and community service contributions. The award is named for Sidney Frank, a leading innovator in the beverage industry who built a number of successful brands and set records for philanthropic contributions and service.

The following day, Senior Fellow at Duke University’s Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship (CASE) center and co-author of “Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard” Dan Heath will host the general session. In the evening, wholesalers are invited to attend a Wholesaler Reception from 5 to 6:30 p.m. After the reception, more than 125 exhibitors will offer samples of their wines and spirits to distributors and the media during a two-hour Taste of the Industry event.

On the last day of the convention, Captain Richard Phillips will lead the general business session and share his story of encountering Somali pirates on the high seas. His story recently was made into a major motion picture starring Tom Hanks. His keynote address will be followed by the Hot, New, Now, Media Award. From 12:30 to 4:30 p.m., the educational U.S. Beverage Alcohol Forum will provide attendees with information to help them succeed in the marketplace.

WSWA will feature two expanded exhibit halls, competitions, networking events, and multiple educational seminars spanning craft distilling, marketing and industry trends. For more information, visit

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