News Announces Robert Hall as New Chair and Adopts New Strategic Plan

Today, announced Robert Hall, CEO of Ole Smoky Distillery, LLC, will serve as Chair of its Board of Directors and ­­Tara Engel, Vice President, Public and National Affairs, Pernod Ricard, will serve as Vice Chair. They assumed their positions beginning January 1, 2024, and each will serve for two years.

Robert Hall has over four decades of professional expertise in the food & beverage industry, consistently delivering results for the organizations for which he serves. As the CEO of Ole Smoky Distillery since 2016, he has forged ahead to make it the most visited distillery in the world while maintaining a passionate focus on responsibility. The company was just named Distillery of the Year 2023 by the PR%F Awards proving that it’s possible to deliver a great consumer experience while advancing the mission of alcohol responsibility. In addition to Hall’s work with, he has also served on the board of The Boys and Girls Club of the Smoky Mountains, continuing his dedication to supporting his community and embodying the “Responsibility Starts with Me” mantra.

“I am proud of my appointment and excited for the future of,” Hall said. “I am committed to working together with industry leaders and advocates on our collective missions, and I am confident that will continue to make a positive impact on advancing alcohol responsibility in 2024 and beyond.”

Tara Engel, incoming Vice Chair, is a dynamic and dedicated leader with over thirty years of experience in public affairs, and almost twenty years at Pernod Ricard in leadership positions. With a background rooted in public advocacy, Engel played a pivotal role in leveraging the distilled spirits industry during the COVID-19 pandemic by transitioning distilleries to the production of hand sanitizer, making a meaningful impact on the nation's safety and well-being during a time of national public health crisis, and has helped lead Pernod Ricard's engagement with

“Pernod Ricard is proud of the work that we do every day to embrace responsibility, and I am eager to take on this new challenge and help to advance the mission of,” Engel said. “This is not just a job—the work we do saves lives. has taken the role of industry seriously, and will continue to effectively engage leaders across the board to have a real impact on safety.”

Marc Bromfeld, Director of Corporate Affairs & Corporate Social Responsibility at Edrington Americas, will step down as Chair, having held the position of chair for two full terms beginning in 2019. During his tenure, Bromfeld was a valuable leader, navigating through the challenges of the pandemic, supporting the organization through both leadership changes and the development of a new five-year strategic plan.  Never wavering in his dedication to responsibility, his commitment to the missions has paved the way for the success of the new Chair and Vice Chair.

Hall and Engel, along with the rest of the Board of Directors, will continue to receive guidance from’s independent National Advisory Board, which is comprised of medical and educational professionals, a former state Attorney General, and other experts in mission-related fields.

“The future of is bright. The outstanding leadership of Marc Bromfeld left its mark, and now I’m excited to see the organization’s Board in the hands of Robert and Tara,” Chris Swonger, Presidents and CEO of and the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, said. “I’m confident that we are primed for the further success of the organization as we move into this next phase.”

At the recent convening of the Board of Directors, also approved a new strategic plan, to launch in 2024, that will define the organization’s role pertaining to growing mental health concerns, as well as form campaigns that will strengthen relationships with the hospitality industry to advance alcohol responsibility. The new five-year plan will elevate the organization’s current work and missions.

“We are excited to unveil our new strategic plan, which will allow us to dive deeper into our mission areas.” said Leslie Kimball, Executive Director of “Robert’s and Tara’s leadership, along with the work of our entire membership, will be key in ensuring that we continue to see declines in underage drinking and drunk driving and educate American adults about alcohol responsibility.”

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