Bacardi bolsters US trade advocacy teamBy Annie Hayes
Bacardi has expanded its trade advocacy team with a string of appointments, including new national accounts portfolio ambassador Chris Hopkins.
Australian-born Hopkins joins the Bacardi Trade Advocacy Portfolio team with 15 years of hospitality experience under his belt.
He will develop, plan and run national account trainings, brand programming and drink strategy creation for Bacardi, at the same time building bartender support for the firm’s drink portfolio across the US.
Hopkins started his career in catering and event management; running Bass Breweries in London and overseeing the launch of two Soho House Group venues.
After running beverage programmes in Las Vegas resorts, Hopkins assisted the opening of The Cosmopolitan Hotel – where he later became general manager – before working as the corporate mixologist for Wynn Resorts, where he oversaw 27 bars and restaurants.
“We are thrilled to have Chris Hopkins join the Bacardi family,” said Adrian Biggs, director of trade engagement at Bacardi USA.
“I’ve been a huge fan of Chris since I meet him years ago. From his outstanding spirits knowledge, drink creativity and his hospitality experience, he is a huge asset to have on our team and we couldn’t be more excited for what’s to come.”
In addition, the team has welcomed two regional portfolio ambassadors.
Duane Fernandez Jr., a New York City bartender with seven years experience in the industry will represent Texas; and Areina Thomas, former St. Germain brand specialist, will take up the post in San Francisco.
In September this year, Bacardi hired former Diageo whisky ambassador Georgie Bell as its global malts ambassador.