George Washington Spirits Society Inducts 3 New Members Including U.S. Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee

WASHINGTON, DC –  The Distilled Spirits Council’s tenth annual “Spirit of Mount Vernon” heritage dinner and rare spirits auction held last night on the lawn of Mount Vernon raised $214,000 for education programs at Historic Mount Vernon, bringing the grand total for the history of this event to $2.4 million.

“It has been a great honor for the spirits industry to work so closely with Mount Vernon to support its important education programs,” said Peter Cressy, President and CEO of the Distilled Spirits Council, which sponsored the gala event.  “It has also been a wonderful opportunity to showcase George Washington’s role as a leading distiller and entrepreneur of his time.”

During the live auction, bottles #1 and #2 of the limited edition aged George Washington Rye Whiskey sold for $12,000.  Distilled at the George Washington Distillery in 2009 according to the exact recipe found in Washington’s mansion records, the remaining 300 hundred bottles will go on sale to the public for the first time at Mount Vernon Saturday, October 22 for $185 for each 375 mL bottle.

The gala dinner was attended by over 680 guests including members of Congress, industry leaders and the media.  Co-sponsors included the International Dairy Foods Association, the American Bankers Association, the National Restaurant Association and spirits wholesalers.

George Washington Spirits Society Inductees Honored:

During the event three new members were inducted into the George Washington Spirits Society.  The 2011 inductees include: The Honorable Hal Rogers, Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee; the Honorable Dan Gwadosky (posthumously); and Douglas Hertz.

“The George Washington Spirits Society exists to celebrate, manifest and uphold the noble traits and high standards exhibited by our Founding Father,” said Distilled Spirits Council President Peter H. Cressy.  “The spirits industry is honored to celebrate the outstanding contributions of these four exemplary leaders who have each in their own way helped to enrich and inspire their communities, the spirits industry and the country.”

The Honorable Harold D. Rogers

U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY) from Kentucky’s Fifth Congressional District has distinguished himself by his leadership and his remarkable service to his state and the nation.  A 16-term Member of Congress, Rogers serves as Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.  During his 27-year tenure on the Appropriations Committee, Rogers has served on eight different Subcommittees and has been Chairman or Ranking Member on three, including the recently established Subcommittee on Homeland Security.  He has worked tirelessly to bring jobs and better education to his district while simultaneously providing tough oversight of the federal budget, curbing wasteful government spending and reducing the country’s budget deficit.  Rogers served in both the Kentucky and North Carolina National Guard.

The Honorable Dan A. Gwadosky (posthumously)

Gwadosky has distinguished himself for his extraordinary service to his state and leadership of the beverage alcohol industry.  An 18-year Member of the Maine House of Representatives, he served as both Majority Leader and as Speaker.  Gwadosky was chosen as Maine Secretary of State in 1997 and remained in that post until 2005, when he was then appointed Director of the State Bureau of Alcohol Beverages and Lottery Operations.  He served diligently and with great innovation in this post until his passing in August of this year.  As immediate past Chairman of the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association, Gwadosky provided national leadership with a special focus on social responsibility and modernization.

Mr. Douglas J. Hertz

Hertz has distinguished himself by his service to the city of Atlanta and the state of Georgia and his dedicated leadership of the beverage alcohol industry.  He has been the President and CEO of United Distributors since 1984 and is Vice Chairman of the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers Association.  He has been a member and chairman of numerous boards, including the Marcus Foundation, Georgia Research Alliance, Westminster Schools, Tulane University and the Woodruffs Art Center.  Hertz is Chairman of the Board of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, the largest pediatric health care system in the country, and also Chairman and founder of Camp Twin Lakes, a facility designed for chronically ill and disadvantaged children.  He has received several awards, including the Jefferson award for distinguished service to children and Philanthropist of the Year by Business to Business Magazine.

“Guardian of His Spirit”

Each honoree was inducted as a “Guardian of His Spirit.”  Honorees were selected by the Board of Trustees of the George Washington Spirits Society, which is made up of representatives of America’s leading distillers and Historic Mount Vernon.

Previous inductees of the “George Washington Spirits Society” include: Ambassador W. L. Lyons Brown, Jr.; General Alfred M. Gray, USMC (ret.); A. Raymond Tye; Charles Bailes, Jr.; Harvey R. Chaplin; The Honorable Jim Bunning; Herman R. Merinoff; Harold A. “Hal” Gershman; Bill Samuels, Jr.; The Honorable Tommy Thompson; The Honorable Ron Lewis; Raymond Herrmann; Paul S. Walsh; Marvin R. Shanken; William Goldring; Sidney E. Frank; The Honorable James E. Clyburn; Baroness Jean Coussins; Thomas J. Donohue; Robert Epstein; The Honorable Tom Harkin; The Honorable Frank Keating; Patrick Ricard; Esther Vassar; Bennett Glazer; The Honorable Shelley Berkley; Red Cavaney; The Honorable John E. Jones, III; Vern Underwood; Apolo Ohno; James L. Bareuther; Jeff Becker (posthumously); and The Honorable John Yarmuth.