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Moët Hennessy exec takes over as Discus chair

The Distilled Spirits Council of the US (Discus) has elected Moët Hennessy North America CEO Jim Clerkin as chairman of the trade association.

Discus has voted Moët Hennessy North America CEO Jim Clerkin chairman of the trade body

Clerkin replaces former Campari America chairman Gerard Ruvo, who has held the position since 2013.

“We look forward to Jim’s leadership and guidance as we seek to advance the interests of the distilled spirits community in an ever increasingly complex public policy environment,” said Discus president and CEO Kraig R. Naasz.

“Given his considerable professional experience, record of innovation and strong commitment to social responsibility, Jim is ideally suited to serve as chair of the council.”

Clerkin’s experience spans more than 30 years of domestic and international experience within the alcohol industry.

The newly appointed Discus chairman first joined Moët Hennessy USA in 2008 as executive vice president and chief operating officer, looking after brands including Hennessy Cognac, Grand Marnier, Glenmorangie Scotch and Belvedere Vodka.

He was appointed CEO of the US division in 2010 and CEO for North America in 2015.

Clerkin revealed the ‘Council’s Vision 2025’ project at his first board meeting last week, which will seek to explore and help shape “critical, over-the-horizon” issues the spirits industry faces.

“I look forward to working with my fellow members and council president Kraig Naasz to further enhance the council’s public policy leadership in a rapidly changing marketplace, as well as advancing our commitment to moderation and responsibility,” commented Clerkin.

Discus members also re-elected Sydney Frank Importing Company Associate General Counsel, vice president Michael J. Rudy, as treasurer, and Kraig R. Naasz as president.

Peter Cressy stepped down as CEO of Discus at the end of 2015.

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