Distilled Spirits Council Gives Back at Annual Conference

Conference Charitable Initiatives Raise Donations For Kiss the Ground and Turning Tables

NEW ORLEANS – Hundreds of attendees at the Distilled Spirits Council’s Annual Conference participated in DISCUS-sponsored charitable events aimed at giving back to the New Orleans community and protecting the environment.

The conference raised funding for two featured charitable initiatives, Kiss the Ground and Turning Tables:

Brother’s Bond Bourbon and DISCUS Present Check to Kiss the Ground for $10,000

Ian Somerhalder, the co-founder and Brand Guardian of Brother’s Bond Bourbon, and DISCUS President and CEO Chris Swonger presented a check for $10,000 to Kiss the Ground at the conference to support its mission to awaken people to the possibilities of regeneration and inspire participation in this movement through media, communications, education, workshops, immersive programming and advocacy.

Somerhalder, a Louisiana native and special guest speaker at the conference, underscored the importance of regenerative agriculture to the spirits industry during his “Fireside Chat” with the audience.

“As a long-time supporter of the regenerative movement, I am thrilled to support Kiss the Ground and its work to raise awareness that the solution to climate change is right under our feet,” said Somerhalder. “Rebuilding our soils can help bring prosperity to rural communities, while improving food and water security and strengthening our climate resilience for this generation and generations to come.”

The donation will support Kiss the Ground’s current effort stewarding Regenerate America™ – an unprecedented coalition of farmers, businesses, nonprofits and individuals from every corner of our country, who are working together to amplify the voices of farmers and ranchers in the 2023 Farm Bill.

During the conference, attendees also had an opportunity to make a special donation to Kiss the Ground through the purchase of the “Common Ground” signature cocktail at the popular Trend Bar featured in the conference trade showroom.

Tales of the Cocktail Foundation Cocktail Class Raises $7,500 for Turning Tables NOLA

Attendees of the conference also participated in a spirited and interactive cocktail class, sponsored by DISCUS members and hosted by the Tales of the Cocktail Foundation (TOTCF), to raise funding for Turning Tables.

“Turning Tables is changing the face of hospitality by cultivating leadership and creating a model for equitable access to career pathways,” said TOTCF CEO Eileen Wayner.

Turning Tables, a New Orleans non-profit career development organization for the hospitality industry, was launched in 2019 to create a bar training program that reflected the diversity of the city. Turning Tables advocates for equity in the hospitality industry by providing mentorship, educational tools and platforms for exposure for the black and brown communities of New Orleans.

“The distilled spirits industry has a long history of giving back to communities across the country, and we are proud and thankful that our conference attendees jumped in to support Kiss the Ground and Turning Tables New Orleans, two very worthwhile causes,” said Swonger. “These two organizations support those who support a vibrant spirits industry, and we are pleased to do our part to recognize and assist their efforts.”


Image of check presentation  (Left to Right: Erica Campbell, Kiss the Ground Policy Manager, Ian Somerhalder, the co-founder of Brother’s Bond Bourbon; DISCUS President & CEO Chris Swonger, Alison Leavitt, Managing Director, Wine and  Spirits Shippers Association)