Guy Lawrence appointed Chair of The Drinks Trust at The Wine Trade Lunch hosted by the Vintners’ Company

The Drinks Trust is pleased to announce that Guy Lawrence, CEO of Brockmans Gin, has been officially appointed the new Chair of the charity following Troy Christensen’s successful two-year tenure. Guy Lawrence has been in the drinks trade for over 30 years since 1988 in a variety of marketing, sales, and general management roles. He is currently CEO of Brockmans Gin, having previously spent 7 years as CEO & RVP Mast-Jaegermeister UK and Latin America, setting up the UK RTM, as well as 16 years at Bacardi.

Guy joined the charity’s Board of Trustees in 2016, and has been a long-standing supporter of The Drinks Trust both personally and through his company Brockmans Gin for years, he has pledged to use his extensive expertise and contacts to raise further the profile of The Drinks Trust within the UK drinks industry and encourage an increase in engagement and financial support from the wider trade. 

Guy commented on his appointment as Chair: “It’s a great honour to take on the responsibility of being Chairman of The Drinks Trust, in addition to my Brockmans duties. The drinks trade has given me everything I have, for which I am eternally grateful and only too pleased to be able to give something back.”

During his first speech as Chair, Guy prompted the event’s attendees and the wider industry businesses to support the charity with funding to allow The Drinks Trust to assist, restore and develop the drinks hospitality workforce so that they can have a fulfilling and productive career in the industry. 

Guy said: “The Drinks Trust provides an important part of the solution to assist in tackling the skills and staff shortage, the financial needs and the wellbeing of the industry staff, and in turn, the well-being of industry businesses like your own. But with greater levels of support, comes a greater need for funding. So in 2023, fundraising is our charity’s highest priority; we need you to invest in this charity you asked us to create. Most industry businesses do, but some do not, and I would call on those who don’t presently, to join us in our work and invest in the industry in doing so.”

Guy Lawrence’s two-year appointment as Chair was announced at The Vintners’ Company Annual Lunch in aid of The Drinks Trust, attended by 150 senior members of the drinks trade and held at Vintners’ Hall on Friday 13th January. The yearly event is a further demonstration of the continuing support of The Drinks Trust by its Founder Patron, The Vintners’ Company, exemplifying the spirit of the trade and showing how the drinks industry so generously supports its community.

Another highlight of the afternoon was the presentation of the Vintners’ Drinks Trust Award to Beatrice Keenan, National Account Manager at Chapel Down. 

In addition to the presentation of the Award, guests at the luncheon enjoyed a superb three-course meal accompanied by the finest wines from the Vintners’ cellars, whilst networking with fellow members of the trade. Guests at the luncheon enjoyed a superb three-course meal accompanied by the finest wines from the Vintners’ cellars whilst networking with fellow trade members. At the end of the lunch, a cheque for £12,000 was presented to The Drinks Trust’s Chair Guy Lawrenceby The Vintners’ Company’s Master Edward Berry. The generous donation will significantly aid colleagues from the UK drinks hospitality industry facing hardship.

Ross Carter, Chief Executive of The Drinks Trust said: “What better way to start the year than for the trade to come together at this wonderful event to raise money for a growing number of people in need in our industry. The support provided to The Drinks Trust from the Vintners’ Company, not just with this exquisite lunch, is fantastic throughout the year. We are extremely grateful for it and for the help and relief its proceeds will bring to many of our beneficiaries.”

The Drinks Trust would like to express gratitude to the former Chair on the Board of Trustees, Troy Christensen, for his outstanding guidance and support to the charity in the past years. 

The Drinks Trust would also like to express its gratitude to Andrew Hawes, MD of Mentzendorff, Andrew Reed, MD Events and Exhibitions. William Reed Business Media and James Rackham, Chairman of Emporia Brand who stepped down from The Drinks Trust Board of Trustees. Hawes, Rackham and Reed have been an integral part of the board for many years and championed the new guise of The Drinks Trust and its services. Their industry knowledge and passion for The Drinks Trust’s mission have been instrumental in the evolution of the new charity. 

Andrew Hawes said: “It has been a great privilege to serve as a Trustee, with particular satisfaction coming from the contribution of the Mentzendorff Charity Cycle rides to the Trust over the years. It has been wonderful to have been part of the development of the charity and its team which will now continue to go from strength to strength under the Chairmanship of Guy.”

James Rackham commented: “It has been a privilege to have served on the board of The Drinks Trust, during one of the most exciting periods in the history of our drinks charity, with the transformation into a proactive welfare-driven organisation relevant to the needs of our colleagues in the drinks industry across the country and in all sectors and occupations. Wishing Guy, the board and the hard-working management every success in the future”

Next A look at the year ahead…