The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) honored distinguished industry leaders at a special awards dinner held last night during the DISCUS Annual Conference in San Diego. The awards dinner was held on the flight deck of the USS Midway, a historic U.S. naval aircraft carrier and museum.

The event, emceed by James H. Perry, senior vice president and director of global public affairs for Brown-Forman Corporation, celebrated the remarkable achievements of industry luminaries who have made significant contributions to advancing the spirits industry.

DISCUS Award Recipients:



Arielle Pierre, Associate Manager of Inclusion, Diversity & Equity (IDE) at Moët Hennessy USA


DISCUS Impact Award for Emerging Leaders 2024 


Brooke Glover, CEO and Co-Founder of Swilled Dog DISCUS Dave Pickerell Memorial Craft Member of the Year 2024 


Hillary Wirtz, Senior Director Culture & Inclusion, Breakthru Beverage


DISCUS DEI Leadership Award 2024 


Senator Bill Dodd, (D-CA) DISCUS Top Shelf Award 2024 


Jim Bareuther, Former Chief Operating Officer at Brown-Forman


DISCUS Lifetime Achievement Award 2024

“We are thrilled to celebrate these remarkable individuals for their impact and innovation within the spirits industry,” said Chris Swonger, president and CEO at DISCUS. “Their contribution permeates every facet of the spirits landscape and continues to shape our industry’s future in meaningful ways.”

Each recipient was presented with an award created by Vendome Copper and Brass Works, a leading manufacturer of handcrafted batch and continuous distillation systems.

Award and Recipient Information:

DISCUS Impact Award for Emerging Leaders – Arielle Pierre, Associate Manager of Inclusion, Diversity & Equity (IDE) at Moët Hennessy USA 

The DISCUS Impact Award for Emerging Leaders recognizes the achievements of an exceptional young professional who has made significant contributions to the industry and shows demonstrated potential for leadership and continued service.

Arielle Pierre (she/her) is a spirits professional who specializes in business growth opportunities at the junction of experiential programming, culture and people. With a passion for translating culture and heritage into impact, Pierre collaborates with key stakeholders to build and execute programs and experiences rooted in the principles of inclusion, diversity and equity while balancing business priorities and elevating Moët Hennessy USA’s (MHUSA) portfolio of distinguished Maisons. Pierre was instrumental in the launch of MHUSA’s Supplier Diversity program which aims to build an equitable and inclusive workplace by partnering with diverse suppliers.

DISCUS Dave Pickerell Memorial Craft Member of the Year – Brooke Glover, CEO and Co-Founder of Swilled Dog  

The DISCUS Dave Pickerell Memorial Craft Member of the Year Award is in memory of Dave Pickerell, the “Johnny Appleseed of craft distilling,” and is awarded to a DISCUS craft member who is a stand-out leader in craft spirits innovation, a champion for America’s craft distiller community and an ardent supporter of the association’s advocacy efforts.

Brooke Glover is the CEO and co-founder of Swilled Dog, a craft beverage brand launched in 2016 with the mission to make great beverages while helping support the company’s favorite animal causes. Glover serves as a member of the Craft Advisory Council at DISCUS where she represents craft distillers’ positions on key policy issues at the federal, state and local levels. Brooke has been instrumental in helping DISCUS advocate for  priority policies  including the permanent removal of retaliatory tariffs on American Whiskey and increased access and fairer tax treatment of spirits ready-to-drink products. Glover’s advocacy on spirits issues has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes Magazine, CNBC and Fox Business.

DISCUS DEI Leadership Award – Hillary Wirtz, Senior Director Culture & Inclusion, Breakthru Beverage  

The DEI Leadership Award acknowledges and celebrates exemplary leadership through demonstrated commitment and significant contributions to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion within the spirits industry.

Hillary Wirtz is a fourth-generation owner of Breakthru Beverage. She has served in leadership roles in sales, management, learning and development, and community relations supporting the company’s philanthropic efforts. In her current role as senior director, culture and inclusion, Wirtz oversees the strategy and implementation of talent initiatives to help shape an inclusive work environment that values the unique perspectives of all people and inspires them to thrive and reach their full potential. Wirtz is passionate about supporting the company’s philanthropic efforts and is involved in many charitable events in Illinois including No Kid Hungry, Equality IL for LGBTQ Rights, and Meals on Wheels.

DISCUS Top Shelf Award – Senator Bill Dodd, (D-CA) 

The DISCUS Top Shelf Award is given to an elected official for outstanding public policy work benefiting the spirits industry.

Sen. Bill Dodd represents California’s 3rd Senate District in the heart of the scenic North San Francisco Bay Area. The fifth-generation Californian grew up on his family’s small Napa farm and was a successful business owner for 25 years before being elected to the Napa County Board of Supervisors, the state Assembly and the state Senate, where he is now serving his second term.

Sen. Dodd is chair of the Senate Governmental Organization Committee, which oversees alcohol beverage policy for the state. During his tenure, he has established himself as the most prolific lawmaker in the Legislature, authoring 113 bills that have been signed into law. Notably, Sen. Dodd authored multiple bills in support of the spirits industry including measures on cocktails to-go and expanding access to ready-to-drink cocktails. He also supported direct-to-consumer shipping efforts in the state.

DISCUS Lifetime Achievement Award – Jim Bareuther, former Chief Operating Officer at Brown-Forman   

The DISCUS Distinguished Service Award is a celebration of an individual or organization who supported the spirits sector through promotion of the industry, advocacy or responsibility, and exemplary service contributions to their community and/or the hospitality industry. Recipients must have 10 years of documented accomplishments with a significant impact on numerous individuals and organizations.

Before retiring in 2010, James Bareuther covered Brown-Forman’s spirit and wine business in more than 140 countries across the globe. Bareuther served three terms as chairperson of DISCUS and chaired the Century Council, now known as Bareuther was also instrumental in DISCUS’ partnership with Mount Vernon and the restoration of George Washington’s distillery. Currently, Bareuther serves as an advisor for a leading multi-state distributor, a leading multi-generational family-owned winery, and on the advisory board for the college of business at his alma mater. He also serves on the board of two companies developing new, innovative spirit brands for the global market.