SOURCE: Inertia Beverage Group

March 22, 2010 09:00 ET

Inertia Beverage Group Appoints Ray Chadwick to Board of Directors

Chairman of the Board of Wine Institute and a Director of Diageo Chateau & Estate Wines Brings Decades of Wine Industry Expertise

NAPA, CA--(Marketwire - March 22, 2010) - Underscoring its increasing business momentum, Inertia Beverage Group (IBG) announced today that Ray Chadwick, Chairman of the Board of Wine Institute and a director of Diageo Chateau & Estate Wines, is joining IBG's board of directors, effective immediately. In his role at Wine Institute, Chadwick initiates and advocates public policy that enhances the ability to responsibly produce, promote and enjoy wine. Chadwick, 59, was previously President and CEO of the wine division of Diageo, the world's leading premium drinks business company.

IBG (www.inertiabev.com) is the leading provider of direct sales technology and services to the wine industry and the wine industry's only fully integrated direct-to-market solution.

Joe Waechter, IBG's president and CEO, said that Chadwick was selected as a member of the company's seven-person board of directors because of his outstanding 35-year history as a wine and spirits industry executive. Until last July, Chadwick oversaw a collection of wine from California, Washington, Australia, New Zealand, Italy and France at Diageo and generated much growth and change during his eight-and-a-half year tenure in the post. The company's wine portfolio expanded significantly during Chadwick's tenure, including the acquisition of the Chalone Wine Group in 2005 and Rosemblum Cellars in 2008. Wine Enthusiast Magazine also honored Chadwick with its Man of the Year award in 2008.

Previously, Chadwick was Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the Seagram Chateau & Estate Wines Company, where his responsibilities included the overall direction of the finance function, long range and strategic planning, international sales, business development, information services and environmental affairs. Chadwick served concurrently as Managing Director of Barton & Guestier, S.A., and had functional responsibility for the finance function at Seagram Beverage Company.

"IBG is trail-blazing important new developments in the wine industry," Chadwick said. "I am very excited to be part of this organization, given its business strategy. The wine business, especially the high-end wine business, is under pressure because of the difficult economy, and the best way for wineries to succeed is by having a fully integrated direct-to-market solution. No company has nearly as broad or sophisticated a skill set as IBG in this area."

"We're very fortunate to attract someone of Ray's caliber to our board of directors," Waechter said. "His knowledge of the wine industry is deep and vast. There is no question he will be a valuable partner in the management of our strategic direction and in fine-tuning our core operations." 

Joe Waechter, a former president and CEO of DHL Worldwide Express, became IBG's new CEO early this month. In another recent IBG development, Foley Family Wines, the nation's twenty-fourth largest wine purveyor, announced that it has started using IBG's integrated platform for its direct-to-consumer fulfillment needs for seven of its brands, including Foley Estates and Sebastiani Vineyards and Winery.

IBG, which acquired the assets of New Vine Logistics last summer, now has more than 500 clients, including 41 acquired in recent months.

The company was founded by wine and technology veterans in 2002. It enables wine direct-to-consumer and trade sales. Last December, IBG announced that it had secured agreements for $14 million in new capital from existing investors Allegis Capital (www.allegiscapital.com) and Sid R. Bass Associates and new investor PEI Funds to support the vision of IBG to deliver a fully integrated direct-to-market solution. The funding is being used to further strengthen IBG's core services of fulfillment, winery-direct eCommerce and compliance.

About Inertia Beverage Group

Founded in 2002, Inertia Beverage Group (IBG) is the leading provider of direct sales technology and services to the wine industry. As the wine industry's only fully integrated direct-to-market solution, IBG provides wineries, retailers and wholesalers with eCommerce technology, compliance tools, logistics solutions and state-of-the-art shipping services that give them access to new markets, consumers and products. IBG is headquartered in Napa Valley, California. For more information, visit: www.inertiabev.com.

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