The year “in the big chair” has flown by! Since Sieg Mueller handed me the gavel in Albuquerque in 2018, a great amount of work and effort by the team has gone into delivering BevTech 2019 in Charlotte. Judging by the turnout our members liked what they saw, as attendance was at a record high. Special thanks to Larry, Manus, Sal, Ron, Don, and Carol for all your hard work in helping make this BevTech such a successful one.
I would like to thank all our member delegates who contributed in every way. Thanks to our exhibitors for putting on a great show on Monday evening. There was a lot of diversity – the spectrum of products and services was impressive, to say the least.
We experimented with a bottler invitation day, and while bottler attendance numbers met our expectations, what we learned will be channeled into making the event even greater next time. Thank you to the bottlers who attended; hopefully, you liked what you saw and will consider full ISBT membership.
We have a full year of international BevTech conferences ahead of us! First up was Canada on 5 June; Europe will be 25-26 September; and Latin America is 17-18 October. Please visit our website for more information, and please share with your colleagues in these regions.
A number of key events have highlighted the Society’s international growth. I was the Society’s first-ever President from outside of North America, and in Charlotte I handed the gavel and responsibility for 2019-2020 to Manus Mitchell of PepsiCo. You will know that Manus is from Ireland, and we share the same passion to further grow the Society internationally. We announced the launch of BevTech India, with a conference planned for February 2020.
Finally, I would like to say what a great pleasure it has been serving as your President. Two unforgettable moments for me were opening BevTech to a packed audience on Monday morning and presenting the Circle of Honor awards to two very shocked recipients – Larry Hobbs and Ron Puvak, I will never forget their faces! I look forward to seeing everyone in San Diego in 2020.