Craig Purser to take top spot as David Rehr moves on

Board Chair Phillip A. Short, president and CEO of P.A. Short Distributing Co. in Hollins, Virginia announced that interim president Craig A. Purser, CAE, has been selected to fill the top spot for the National Beer Wholesalers Association.

“Craig is well-respected throughout the beer industry and brings years of experience with alcohol policy and regulatory issues to the table,” said Short. “The NBWA officers, board of directors and staff are excited to have Craig taking the helm at the Association, as we continue to work tirelessly to protect and defend the interest of beer wholesalers on Capitol Hill and in the public arena.”

Purser is no stranger to the Association; he joined the staff nearly ten years ago, and was named vice president in 1999. Most recently Purser served as interim president following David Rehr’s departure.

As vice president, Purser oversaw a variety of programs including membership development and services, education, technology and issues related to strengthening the three-tier system of beer distribution, in addition to his role as a lobbyist on numerous alcohol issues. Purser has also managed the Association’s relationships with large and small suppliers and retailers.

During his tenure at NBWA, Purser has led a number of successful association initiatives, including increasing membership dues revenue by nearly 80 percent despite a consolidating base of members. He has been instrumental in the strategic positioning of the Association in the areas of government, public and political affairs, and has led the charge on NBWA action to strengthen the beer distribution system and state-based regulation.

“It is truly an honor to be selected to serve as NBWA president,” said Purser. “This is a great industry with a great story to tell. I look forward to working closely with all our members, state associations and industry partners to continue to promote the role of beer distributors and the beer industry for a long time to come.”

NBWA was not Purser’s first foray into the beer world. Prior to joining the beer wholesalers in 1996, Purser worked for the public affairs firm Fleishman-Hillard on behalf of Anheuser-Busch and its distributors. A veteran of Capitol Hill and numerous political campaigns, Purser also spent nearly five years on the staff of former U.S. Senator Don Nickles (OK), and in 1994, he managed the successful election of Jim Inhofe (OK) to the U.S. Senate.

A native of Oklahoma, Purser grew up in Tulsa and is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma where he earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree, double-majoring in Communication and Political Science. In 2003, Purser earned the designation of Certified Association Executive (CAE) from the American Society of Association Executives. He and his wife Gretchen and their three children live in Alexandria, Virginia.