Tacoma – The Association of Washington Spirits & Wine Distributors (AWSWD) today announced the appointment of Andrea McNeely as the organization’s new executive director, effective May 15. She will succeed current ED John Guadnola, who will continue to act as a senior advisor to the Association.
AWSWD represents Washington State’s spirits distributors at the state and local levels, as well as advocating for responsible laws and regulations relating to the distribution, sales and consumption of spirits and wines. McNeely succeeds retiring Executive Director John Guadnola, who has led the organization since its founding on January 1, 2013, after Initiative 1183 privatized the distribution and sale of spirits in Washington State.
“Under John Guadnola’s stewardship, AWSWD has become one of the important advocates for Washington State’s three-tier system for the distribution of alcohol, which remains a critically important safeguard in ensuring that alcoholic beverages are produced and consumed responsibly. AWSWD has been committed to working closely and cooperatively with the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board and other regulators to ensure the integrity of the alcohol distribution system, and I look forward to carrying on AWSWD’s advocacy for fair and responsible practices,” McNeely said.
The three-tier system creates clear distinctions in the roles and responsibilities of producers, distributors, and retailers, thus ensuring that alcohol sales are carefully tracked and regulated and public health and safety is protected.
“We are fortunate to have Andrea available to step up to fill John Guadnola’s shoes at the Association of Washington Spirits & Wine Distributors,” said AWSWD President John Klein, the Executive Vice President and General Manager of Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits. “Like John, Andrea has substantial experience with and a deep knowledge of the three-tier system, and she is a strong proponent of effective regulation and oversight of spirits sales in Washington State.”
Like Guadnola, McNeely is a partner at Gordon Thomas Honeywell, where she has practiced law since 2005. McNeely is a magna cum laude graduate of Seattle University School of Law, and has extensive experience in business and employment litigation.