Brien Fox, president and CEO of Grand Rapids-based Henry A. Fox Sales Co., is being named the new chair of Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America, the national trade association for wine and spirits distributors.
Fox is to be formally installed to his one-year chairmanship at the WSWA national convention in Orlando, Fla., on Tuesday, April 14.
“I’m honored to be selected chair of an organization that truly brings a unique cross-section of stakeholders, businesses and entrepreneurs together to help our companies, our employees and our communities compete, succeed and thrive across all 50 states,” Fox said.
Fox is the second person in his family to chair the WSWA: His father, Henry “Happy” Fox, was chair of the national trade group in 1996. Happy Fox is also the 2015 recipient of the WSWA’s Wholesaler Lifetime Leadership Award.
As the incoming WSWA chair, Fox said his priorities include bringing diverse parties in the wine and spirits industry together to develop new partnerships that can lead to continued growth, according to a press release. He said WSWA will also remain a strong advocate for common-sense, responsible regulations that balance economic opportunities with the need to protect public health and safety.
“Alcohol is a product that, by its nature, will always need to be regulated,” Fox said. “WSWA will continue to spread the message that alcohol is a special product that must be marketed and sold in a special way so only responsible adults of legal drinking age have access to them.”
Fox began working for the family business in 2000, as general sales manager. Before that, he worked at the famed E&J Gallo Winery and at a wine distributorship in Chicago. Fox is a current board director for the Michigan Beer and Wine Wholesalers Association, and vice chair at WSWA. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder appointed Fox to serve on the Michigan Grape and Wine Council.
Fox is the third generation to lead Henry A. Fox Sales Co., a business established in Grand Rapids in 1952. The company sells, markets, and delivers their products to all 83 Michigan counties with their hard working and dedicated team of just under 150 employees, according to a press release.