WSET Creates Team Based in U.S.

The Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET), the world’s largest provider of wine and spirits qualifications, has appointed a dedicated team in the USA.

The U.S. is WSET’s fastest growth market and one of its top three markets in terms of total candidate numbers, the organization says. WSET has appointed a team here to support and develop the growth of candidates for WSET’s suite of qualifications, offered in 50 Approved Programme Providers (APPs) across the country.

(WSET Chairman Ian Harris recently spoke with Beverage Dynamics about staff education and recognizing trends.)

David Rudman has been appointed as the new USA Business Development Director and Rob McCaughey has been announced as USA Business Development Manager – Spirits Both have experience in WSET, as students and as Certified Educators. Rudman joins from Brescome Barton Inc, the largest distributor of spirits and wine in Connecticut, while McCaughey joins from Palate Partners School of Wines and Spirits in Pittsburgh.

WSET reported a record 85,487 candidates globally in the academic year finishing July 31, 2017, an increase of 19% on the previous year, the organization reports. The U.S. saw the greatest growth in candidate numbers amongst the top 10 markets, up 48% to 11,487. Spirits qualifications in particular saw triple digit growth in U.S. candidate numbers last academic year.

The new recruits join London-based WSET International Development Manager, David Wrigley MW, who has been responsible for WSET’s development in the U.S. to date. The team will focus on engaging with existing Approved Programme Providers, whilst developing new opportunities for WSET to provide more courses and qualifications across the country.

The U.S. team marks WSET’s second on-territory function outside of the UK, following the establishment of its first international office in Hong Kong in 2016.

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