NEW WINDSOR, N.Y. (Oct. 10, 2014) – More than 400 industry leaders and business owners from the alcoholic beverage industry gathered on Thursday, October 9th at the Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation’s (HVEDC) Hudson Valley Beer, Wine & Spirits Summit 2.0 at The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y.
The event, now in its second year, featured keynote speaker James W. Mariani, co-CEO of Banfi Vinters, America’s leading wine importer. There were also general session speakers from the New York State Liquor Authority and Department of Finance, the Empire State Development (ESD) and other major industry players.
“This event exceeded all of our expectations,” said Laurence P. Gottlieb, president and CEO of Hudson Valley Economic Development Corp. (HVEDC) and founder of the Hudson Valley Food & Beverage Alliance, the event’s organizer. “The speeches were world class, the breakout sessions were highly informative and the event was a complete sell out. This summit has quickly become one of the industry’s premier events of the calendar year.”
Mariani and Dr. Tim Ryan, president of The Culinary Institute of America, were recipients of the Hudson Valley Food & Beverage Alliance’s 2014 Visionary Award, a unique award created by artisans at SUNY New Paltz using state-of-the-art 3D printing technology as part of HVEDC’s HV3D initiative at the college — the Hudson Valley Center for Advanced Manufacturing.
In addition, New York State Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture and Markets Richard A. Ball served as the event’s featured speaker. In his role, Ball works with industry leaders to help New York agriculture reach its next level of growth. He is also the owner and operator of the 200-acre Schoharie Valley Farms.
The event also featured breakout sessions, including presenting sponsor First Niagara Bank’s “Putting More Fizz in Your Finances: Strategies for Growing Your Business from a Financial Perspective,” and “You Have a Great Product, What’s Next?” led by local law firm Cuddy & Feder and event sponsor, accounting firm Judelson, Giordano & Siegel. The Culinary Institute of America; Taste NY; Heineken; WineRacks.com; Empire Merchants North; Dutchess County Economic Development Corporation; Pamal Broadcasting; Today Media and Townsquare Media are the additional event sponsors.
“Firewalls between the beer, wine and spirits categories existed in the past but those firewalls are now breaking down and the category lines are getting much fuzzier,” said Mariani. “We are living in a different kind of world and now everyone is trying to attract the high spending, young consumers who are interested in trying new drinks.”
Ball said, “The differences between upstate and downstate New York have never been more stark yet the opportunities have never been greater. We need to connect the dots between the upstate farms and the largest appetite in the country in New York City. The energy in this industry is incredible and it has never had a better relationship with Albany. ”
“This event is a great opportunity for businesses, organizations and economic development agencies to meet, learn and grow from the best the beverage industry has to offer,” said Cathie Schaffer, tri-state regional president of First Niagara Bank. “We were very pleased to have the opportunity to share our insights on strategies for growing businesses for the long term.”
“It was an honor to again host the outstanding Beer, Wine & Spirits Summit,” said Dr. Tim Ryan. “As the world’s premier culinary college, we’re proud to support the excellence of the food and beverage industry in the Hudson Valley, and to enable this growing community to connect, share and celebrate in our new Marriott Pavilion conference center.”
Sam Filler, director of industrial development for ESD said, “This year’s summit highlights innovative ways for the beverage businesses and organizations to work together to boost the industry as a whole. ESD is pleased to participate in the summit and is dedicated to assisting local beverage producers and promoting the industry to grow the economy and create jobs.”
Marc Molinaro, the County Executive of Dutchess County, said, “The Culinary Institute is at the epicenter of the nation’s food service industry and is the perfect setting for this terrific event. This segment is growing very quickly and is creating new and exciting jobs in the Hudson Valley.”
Catherine A. Maloney, the President and CEO of the Dutchess County Economic Development Corporation, said, “The alcoholic beverage industry has generated great momentum across the country and in the Hudson Valley. This is a very exciting and innovative cluster and today’s summit was a great reflection of the industry’s spirit and sophistication.”
About Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation (HVEDC): HVEDC is the leading economic development agency for the seven-county region of Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, Rockland, Orange, Ulster and Sullivan counties. The public-private partnership markets the region as a prime business location to corporate executives, site selection consultants and real estate brokers. HVEDC helped start the organizational, branding and promotional effort for NY BioHud Valley, Hudson Valley 3D Printing and the Hudson Valley Food & Beverage Alliance. To learn more, call 845-220-2244 or visit http://www.hvedc.com.
About The Culinary Institute of America (CIA): Founded in 1946, The Culinary Institute of America is an independent, not-for-profit college offering associate and bachelor’s degrees with majors in culinary arts, baking and pastry arts, and culinary science, as well as certificate programs in culinary arts, Latin cuisines, and wine and beverage studies. As the world’s premier culinary college, the CIA provides thought leadership in the areas of health & wellness, sustainability, and world cuisines & cultures through research and conferences. The CIA has a network of 45,000 alumni that includes industry leaders such as Grant Achatz, Anthony Bourdain, Roy Choi, Cat Cora, Dan Coudreaut, Steve Ells, Johnny Iuzzini, Charlie Palmer, and Roy Yamaguchi. The CIA also offers courses for professionals and enthusiasts, as well as consulting services in support of innovation for the foodservice and hospitality industry. The college has campuses in Hyde Park, NY; St. Helena, CA; San Antonio, TX; and Singapore. For more information, visit www.ciachef.edu.