Posted on | December 1, 2011
Written by | Fred Barnes
The 79th Annual Convention of the NJLBA was held on November 1-2, at the Tropicana in Atlantic City. The convention was once again successful and widely attended by members of the alcoholic beverage industry. This is an excellent sign. A strong and united voice is paramount as we battle against a long list of legislation that could harm our industry. The NJLBA has been at the forefront of this battle since 1933.
We were honored to have Senator Jeff Van Drew and Assemblyman David Rible attend our convention. Their commitment to the our industry is invaluable to the licensees in the State.
This year the NJLBA was able to honor our 50 Year Allied Member, Joseph DeMarco, Chairman of the Board of High Grade Beverage, whose “home office” is located in South Brunswick, serving Middlesex, Somerset, Union and Hunterdon Counties. The other distributorship services Morris, Sussex, Warren and sections of Passaic Counties and is located in Randolph, New Jersey. Mr. DeMarco has supported the convention for over 5 decades and we were proud to recognize his commitment both to the association and the alcohol beverage industry.
For the first time, we presented workshops on Hospitality Marketing, Fake I.D. Training and Working with Promoters. In addition, we had a special international guest—Cesare Martini, general brand manager of I Spirit vodka—and Maria Rose Pollara, brand manager. Mr. Martini shared his extensive knowledge on making the perfect martini and introduced the attendees to a new product. In addition, we were fortunate to have NJLBA Director Jerry Fischer and his staff present a seminar on ABC issues and new wine tasting regulations.
Once again we had an informative legislative session with our legislative agent, Jeffrey A. Warsh, Esq. Jeff explained that 2011 will end in the middle of a Lame Duck session that only comes around once in every ten years. Through January 10th, 2012, many of the members will be voting in their last legislative session before they leave office. History has demonstrated a high degree of volatility under these conditions.
As you plan your holiday season schedule, please mark your calendars for every Monday and Thursday (when the legislature meets during session) and be prepared to come to Trenton to protect your businesses. In addition, take every chance to meet with your elected representatives throughout the year to express your opposition to bad legislation. The NJLBA will continue to voice our strong opposition to the direct-to-consumer shipping legislation, the wine and beer license bills, the grocery and chain store dominations bills and the pocket license transfer legislation.
As a final convention note, we want to personally thank all of our members, industry partners, convention and journal sponsors and our Allied Members for making this year’s convention possible. To all of the convention attendees, thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedules to be part of this important event. Without your attendance the convention would not have been the success it was. Now more than ever, it is extremely important to become a member of the NJLBA. For membership information and an application you can go to our website at www.njlba.org or contact us at 609-394-6730.