WASHINGTON, May 15, 2002 – Distilled Spirits Council President Peter H. Cressy today announced the appointment of former Seagram North America President Steve Bellini as Vice President of Industry Relations, a new position designed to build closer relations with the wholesale and retail tiers of the beverage alcohol industry. Cressy said, at a time of great change in the industry, Bellini will be responsible for establishing and maintaining close relationships with wholesalers and retailers, and will work to build a common understanding of the industry’s and its consumers’ commercial needs. He will also work towards a common appreciation for social responsibility efforts throughout the industry. “Steve brings to this new position over 30 years of industry experience and close relationships throughout the industry,” Cressy said. “He is universally respected and is a proven leader who had a long and distinguished career at Seagram. Now there is the opportunity for the entire industry to benefit from his experience.” Bellini joins the Distilled Spirits Council from Seagram where he most recently served as president of Seagram North America. He steadily advanced to President after beginning his career with Seagram in 1972 as a sales representative for the General Wine and Spirits Company. “I have worked closely with the Distilled Spirits Council over the last several years and the strides the organization has made over the last few years have been enormous,” said Bellini. “There is no question that today, perhaps more than any other time, our industry has a genuine opportunity to broaden the cultural acceptance of our products. What we need to do now is to convince all three tiers to work together for the greater good of our industry. I am anxious to play a role in that challenge.” Before joining Seagram, Bellini was involved in the industry as a retailer in his father’s neighborhood package store. “I often look back on my time in retail as my best learning experience. From the retailer’s perspective you learn how the supplier, wholesaler and most importantly the consumer think. Regardless of what other positions you may have, if you are going to make good decisions, there’s no substitute for retail experience,” said Bellini. Bellini’s leadership of Seagram as President during its final 18 months as one of America’s leading spirits companies has been recognized for its excellence during a very complex period. During that time Bellini also worked closely with the Distilled Spirits Council, The Century Council, the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America and the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association to further advance the external affairs agenda of the company. Prior to being president of Seagram, Bellini was the Senior Vice President General Manager of the Atlantic Pacific region charged with covering the 18 control states. In this position he combined an outstanding sales performance with a new level of partnering with the control state directors and administrators. Bellini also served as Chairman of the Industry Steering Committee, a role in which he strengthened relationships between industry and the control states top executives. Bellini resides in Commack, New York with his wife Marie and two daughters, Antoinette and Danielle.