Team will provide strategic guidance to growing platform to increase engagement and impact

WASHINGTON – The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) today announced the formation of the Spirits United Advocacy Team (SUAT) to further expand the growing platform and increase engagement and impact on policy issues at the federal and state levels.

The inaugural team is made up of thought leaders from across the spirits industry with diverse professional backgrounds and includes Chrissy Beaudette, General Manager at Sassenach Spirits, Michael Bender, President of Wholesale at Ole Smoky, Elizabeth Conway, Director of Brand and External Communications at Brown-Forman, Brian Facquet, Founder and CEO at Do Good Spirits, Katharine Jerkens, Chief Business Officer at Uncle Nearest, and Philip McDaniel CEO and Co-Founder at St. Augustine Distillery.

“Spirits United has seen tremendous growth in its first three years, and now we are looking to bring our grassroots community to the next level,” said Chris Swonger, president & CEO of DISCUS and “The Spirits United Advocacy Team is made up of influential thought leaders and change makers in the industry, who understand the importance of grassroots engagement in advocating for the industry and our consumers. Their expertise will help propel Spirits United forward. We are excited to build upon the successes we have achieved through our grassroots efforts and are grateful to the entire advocacy team for being strong Spirits United ambassadors.”

Spirits United was created in 2019 and currently has more than 60,000 spirits advocates who engage with lawmakers on issues important to the industry. Spirits United and its more than 25 partner members continue to underscore a strong commitment to responsibility.

The inaugural team will serve for one year.


The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States: The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States is the leading voice and advocate for distilled spirits in the U.S., advocating on legislative, regulatory and public affairs issues impacting the distilled spirits sector at the local, state, federal and international levels. DISCUS members are committed to responsibility and encourage adults who drink to do so in moderation.

Spirits United: Spirits United is the leading grassroots advocacy platform for the spirits industry with more than 60,000 advocates. The platform provides advocates with an easy-to-use online form to directly contact legislators on issues facing the spirits industry, hospitality professionals and consumers. Spirits United is a growing platform with more than 25 partner members.