The Drinks Trust adds four new members to its Board of Trustees

The Drinks Trust has added four new members to its charity Board of Trustees, each of them highly respected and experienced leaders in the drinks industry and drinks-led hospitality industry. They are Nicky Forrest, Katy Keating, Jillian MacLean MBE and Laura Willoughby MBE.

Nicky Forrest has been at the forefront of drinks communications for over 20 years and is the managing director of Phipps Relations, the award-winning food and drink communications agency. She heads up Wines of Germany in the UK and her team handles campaigns for Wines from Rioja, Adnams, Lay & Wheeler, Marks & Spencer, Whitley Neill Gin, JJ Whitley, the International Wine Challenge, Koshu of Japan and The Portuguese Cork Producers Association.

Katy Keating has been managing director of fine wine merchant Lay & Wheeler since 2016. Previously, she spent four years running the service development team at onefinestay, a UK-based hospitality start-up, and before that a year at the wine sale site Lot18 in New York City. She holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and an AB from Princeton University, where she majored in French and Italian. Between university and graduate school, she was a Fulbright Scholar in Italy studying artisan cheese. She also holds a WSET Diploma.

Jillian MacLean MBE is chief executive and founder of the pioneering bar and restaurant group, Drake & Morgan, established in February 2008. Under her direction, the Morgan group has paved the way for other operators, focusing on stylish and contemporary environments that are constantly evolving in terms of innovation, design, customer play and food and drink. She has received an impressive collection of accolades and awards, including an MBE in 2013 for services to the hospitality industry as well as being named one of ‘The Most Powerful People in Hospitality’ by industry magazine, The Caterer.

Laura Willoughby MBE is co-founder of Club Soda, the Mindful Drinking Movement. Its aim is to help people drink more mindfully and live well. Club Soda works with the industry to support greater choice in venues and retail for consumers looking to change their drinking habits – including developing education courses, a guide to low- and no-alcohol drinks and research. She has over 30 years’ experience of working in charities, campaigning and the public sector in various roles including as Chief Executive, trustee and a Cabinet member in Islington. She was awarded an MBE when she was 30 for services to the community.

Following two four-year terms as a trustee, Pam Rowan, HR Director of Pernod Ricard UK steps down from The Drinks Trust Board of Trustees. Rowan has been an integral part of the board for eight years and championed the new guise of The Drinks Trust and its services. Her knowledge and background in HR have been instrumental in the evolution of the new charity.

Ross Carter, chief executive of The Drinks Trust, said: “We feel privileged to announce our four new trustees, all of whom have had a significant impact on our industry, each having developed and created highly respected businesses and organisations. The depth of knowledge they hold about our industry is a huge asset to The Drinks Trust, and we very much look forward to working with them on our board to develop and communicate our services to a wider audience, and in turn impact more careers and lives.

“I also want to thank Pam Rowen for her eight years as a trustee and for her time, insight, and generosity. Pam’s experience as an HR leader and her dedication to our industry has been a huge asset and will be missed.”

Forrest said: “I’ve been working with the Drinks Trust over the last few years and it’s exciting to see how it’s been evolving as an institution and offering more services and support to the trade. I’m delighted to be appointed as a trustee and to be able to get more involved.”

Keating added: “I admire the enormous impact that Ross and the Drinks Trust have had on the industry and am honoured to now join in this effort."

MacLean MBE said: “The Drinks Trust is an organisation I have long admired and now, more than ever, our industry needs support as it endeavours to navigate itself out what has been the most challenging of circumstances.  I am honoured to be one of its trustees and am committed to supporting our trade with vocational, well-being and practical support in collaboration with the Trust.”

Willoughby MBE commented: “I've got to know the work of The Drinks Trust over the past couple of years, and I'm excited to be joining the trustees at this critical moment. The hospitality and drinks industries are facing unprecedented uncertainty, and I hope my experience as a campaigner, charity leader and entrepreneur will strengthen the impact the organisation is already having.”

Rowan added: “I am incredibly proud of what the Drinks Trust has achieved during my time as Trustee. 2020 highlighted the importance of organisations like these and I’m thrilled Pernod Ricard UK was able to make a significant contribution during the most challenging time our industry has faced.”

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