subscribe

Subscribe

ourdepartments

sitesearch

04.2011

Massachusetts Beverage Business

archivedAtPressTime

RIP WAABI

The World Association of the Alcohol Beverage Industries, Inc.’s (WAABI) Board of Directors has voted to dissolve the 67-year-old volunteer group, citing declining membership and corporate support. At a February meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, the Board reviewed several options for stemming a dwindling cash reserve and roster of local chapters. Several chapters had already closed while numerous others faced upcoming difficulties. Organized in 1944, the original name of the group was Women’s Association of the Allied Beverage Industries, Inc. Active membership was restricted to women – often the wives of industry executives but also including many women who worked at all levels of the industry. Men were admitted as Associate Members only until 199O when WAABI eliminated gender-based membership rules and changed its name to World Association of the Alcohol Beverage Industries, Inc. Throughout its history WAABI had active chapters in dozens of cities across America. It always placed a high value on industry unity and encouraged active participation by people from all segments and tiers of the industry. WAABI helped countless members develop leadership and organizing skills. It helped other industry groups such as the Century Council distribute literature and arrange public appearances in many communities. Its members wrote countless letters to the editors of local and national newspapers defending the industry against attack. WAABI also encouraged members to “Meet your Lawmaker” resulting in face to face meetings letting elected officials know that industry employees in their district were interested in public issues. WAABI was perhaps best known for extensive charity work, especially on behalf of Sky Ranch for Boys, as well as for dozens of other good causes. According to Ralph Aguera, President of Sky Ranch Foundation and an advisor to the National WAABI Board, “In the past 15 years alone WAABI has generated over $2.1 million for Sky Ranch and become the #1 source of support helping Sky Ranch give troubled kids a second chance.” Although Sky Ranch for Boys is closing later this year, like WAABI a victim of changing times, Sky Ranch Foundation is expected to continue the beverage industry’s tradition of concern for troubled youth through new programs now being developed. WAABI’s final act of charity and support for industry priorities will be to donate the remaining funds in the national and chapter treasuries to Sky Ranch Foundation. WAABI will cease operations at the end of its current fiscal year on May 31, 2O11. Remaining chapters will determine their own closing schedules, but the WAABI name should not be used after May 31. Questions should be directed to Executive Director, Duncan Cameron, at WAABI HQ in Fredericksburg, Virginia until that time. Information is also available at waabi.org.

Back to the top »