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  • Jeremy Nedelka 1:34 am on February 12, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: adam rogers, beverage, handbooks, information and insights, research   

    Employee Profile: Adam Rogers 


    Adam Rogers, Manager of Information Services, Beverage Information & Insights Group

    I recently sat down with Adam Rogers, the Manager of Information Services for the Beverage Information & Insights Group, to find out a little more about his work history and home life. For those of you who haven’t met Adam, here’s a little glimpse into what makes him tick.


    How did you come to work with the beverage research team?

    I was previously at Millward Brown, a global advertising research company. At that job I became comfortable with the vast amounts of data I have to sift through on a daily basis. I started here as a research analyst in 2007, before moving into my current position a couple years ago.

    Before working in research, I got myself through college working a lot of trade jobs like landscaping, HVAC and painting – so I also have that going for me.


    What exactly do you do on the research team?

    I work in the handbooks division, which puts out 10 data books and 2-3 additional reports each year on every part of the beverage industry, including liquor, wine and beer sales. We track twelve categories in the spirits market alone, and every handbook contains tens of thousands of data points and historical data, sometimes going back many decades.


    What’s your favorite part of working in your current position?

    Identifying trends in the industry.


    What’s your life like outside of work?

    I live in the coastal community of Milford, CT, with my wife, our three-year-old son and six-year-old Border Collie. My hobbies including chasing my son around, but I also enjoy the outdoors – especially going hiking. I also have a passion for cooking great food and entertaining.


    What do you like to drink when you go out?

    I’m a typical Millennial consumer, since I drink based on the occasion. I like craft beer, Bourbon and red wine, depending what the situation calls for.


    What’s one thing people would be surprised to find out about you?

    I can wiggle my ears.


    There you have it. If you’re curious about the handbooks division (and who wouldn’t be?) and want to find out more, visit http://www.bevinfostore.com. You can also reach Adam at arogers@specialtyim.com. If you’re lucky, maybe he’ll send you a video of himself wiggling his ears.

  • Jeremy Nedelka 12:06 pm on November 14, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Division Spotlight: Beverage Group Magazines 

    The three magazines in the beverage group (Beverage Dynamics, Cheers and StateWays) have a long history of covering the beverage alcohol industry.

    Beverage Dynamics has been around for 85 years, starting less than a year after the repeal of Prohibition as Liquor Store & Dispenser magazine. In the 1950s the name was changed to Liquor Store, then to Beverage Dynamics in the late 1980s. Other than a few years when it was called Beverage & Food Dynamics, the name has remained constant since then.

    Cheers is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2015, and StateWays has been around since the 1970s.


    Why Three Separate Magazines?

    In order to understand how the three books serve the readers, first you need a little history about the alcohol industry.

    The U.S. retail market is divided into two parts: control states and open states. In general, control states (Pennsylvania, Oregon, Michigan and Ohio among them) only allow spirits and wine sales at state-owned stores. The control states make up about 25% of the retail beverage alcohol market (18 states and two counties in Maryland). StateWays is written for control state personnel, who work in state-owned stores and who handle the purchasing, merchandising and responsibility programs in those states. In nearly all controls states, some portion of the tax dollars collected from alcohol states is used for responsible drinking campaigns and code enforcement.

    Open states sell licenses for retailers to operate off-premise stores (called off-premise because alcohol is consumed outside of the store, generally at home). State laws vary – for example in Colorado licensees can only own one location, so there are no chain stores, and whether beer can be sold only in licensed stores varies greatly among open states. Beverage Dynamics serves the owners, managers and employees of open state retail locations.

    The other half of the beverage alcohol market is on-premise bars and restaurants (called on-premise because alcohol must be consumed within the bar/restaurant). Cheers serves the on-premise market, which includes bartenders, restaurant managers, and chain executives. Stories focus on hospitality topics, drink recipe creation, marketplace trends, and of course the new product announcements and category updates contained in the other two magazines.


    What We Cover

    Over the course of a year, the beverage magazines need to provide updates on every category in the beverage alcohol industry. The major ones include spirits like vodka, rum, whisk(e)y (American, Canadian, Irish, Scotch and international), cordials and liqueurs, gin, tequila, and brandy/Cognac; wines like Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Pinot Grigio, Malbec, and Sparkling/Champagne; as well as domestic, imported and craft beers.

    Yes, we do receive sample bottles of new products. Part of our job as editors is to taste-test products on a regular basis to help us stay on top of emerging trends. As you can imagine, the conferences and other events in our industry are also heavily focused on enjoying a cocktail, glass of wine or pint of beer.


    Updated Look and Feel

    Over the past year, the beverage group publications have undergone some major changes. Both Cheers and Beverage Dynamics magazines were redesigned, as were their corresponding email newsletters and websites. Be sure to check out http://www.cheersonline.com and http://www.beveragedynamics.com, especially if you haven’t visited those sites recently. StateWays will be next to receive similar updates in the coming months. Richard Brandes, who had edited Beverage Dynamics for nearly 25 years and StateWays for more than a decade announced his retirement in August, adding to the long list of changes within the group.


    Who Creates the Content?

    The staff that works on the three beverage titles includes:


    Amy Collins – Publisher

    Melissa Dowling – Editor of Cheers

    Jeremy Nedelka – Editor of Beverage Dynamics and StateWays

    Bruce Kostic – Senior Sales Manager

    Mark Marcon – Senior Sales Manager

    Debbie Rittenberg – Senior Sales Manager

    Dodi Vessels – Managing Art Director

    Adam Lane – Art Director, Beverage Dynamics and StateWays


  • Jeremy Nedelka 11:25 am on November 14, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Corporate Announcements: November 2014 

    For 2015, the schedule of pay days will be as follows:


    January 15, 30

    February 13, 27

    March 13, 31

    April 15, 30

    May 15, 29

    June 15, 30

    July 15, 31

    August 14, 31

    September 15, 30

    October 15, 30

    November 13, 30

    December 15, 31


    If you have any human resources questions, please contact Gerald Winkel at gwinkel@specialtyim.com or Mary Jo Tomei at mtomei@specialtyim.com.

  • Jeremy Nedelka 3:00 am on October 1, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    Corporate Announcements – October 2014 

    There are a number of corporate announcements in this edition of the company newsletter. See below for information on employment verification, a name change for the 401k plan, deleting old email addresses and the upcoming holiday schedule. If you have any questions about these announcements, please email Gerald Winkel (gwinkel@specialtyim.com) or Mary Jo Tomei (mtomei@specialtyim.com).

    Employment Verification

    Human Resources is receiving many verifications of employment (VOE) as homeowners are taking advantage of ongoing low mortgage interest rates. We usually turn them around the same day, but please allow up to 24 hours for processing. As a special note for our EPG associates, please keep in mind that we can only verify employment and income for EPG Media LLC, which started on 3/27/13. For prior information, you will have your lender send a separate VOE to Good Sam.

    401k Name Change from ING to Voya

    ING U.S. has changed its name to Voya Financial. All EPG employees should read this notice from ADP describing what that change means for you. Since SIM employees have their 401k through Transamerica, they will not be affected by this change.

    Old Email Addresses No Longer Supported

    Some SIM employees are still having email forwarded from their adamsbevgroup.com and m2media360.com email domains. Those will be shut down by the end of this year. Any employees who still receive regular email from those addresses should update third parties on their new addresses as soon as possible.

    Holiday Furlough

    As a reminder, both Friday, December 26 and Friday, January 2 are designated as furlough days. Therefore, the company will be closed on those dates to provide two four-day weekends over the holiday season. Employees may choose whether to work or vacation from December 29-31. As always, please check with your supervisor to ensure all deadlines and customer expectations are met.

  • Jeremy Nedelka 2:00 am on October 1, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Employee Profiles   

    Employee Spotlight – Debbie Rittenberg 


    Debbie Rittenberg – Senior Sales Manager, Beverage Group

    Her jobs have included organizing an invitation-only luxury trade show in Geneva, Switzerland, trying on and testing diamond jewelry, and selling Lenox china and crystal. Now she often samples alcohol in the middle of the day.

    Debbie Rittenberg has worked in a variety of luxury industries on both the sales and publishing sides, including jewelry, crystal and china, and now beverage alcohol. She’s worked at our company for the past 10 years, starting out as associate publisher of Jewelry Quarterly, a trade magazine for the high-end jewelry industry.

    “During the seven years I was involved with JQ we transformed the publication by bringing in new business from international designers and forming partnerships with trade shows,” she says. “My favorite thing about working on JQ was the opportunity to take a product to new levels and see it become the number-one magazine in the industry.”

    Following the recession in 2008, which hit high-end goods especially hard, JQ ceased publishing and Debbie moved into the beverage group as a sales manager full-time. Fortunately, she began selling advertising for the beverage magazines almost a year prior to the closure, which helped ease the transition into a new industry.

    Moving from Jewelry to Beverage

    “That was quite a transition!” she says. “Being in the luxury industry, jewelry was a natural fit – because what woman doesn’t love jewelry! The transition from publisher to sales manager was a bit smoother because I gradually moved into the new role – the biggest difference was letting go of the decision-making authority I had as a publisher, but since I’d been involved in sales for much of my career it wasn’t difficult.”

    Once she learned the layers of the beverage industry (which includes suppliers, distributors, and retailers just to name a few) and developed relationships with the industry veterans, things began to click.

    “So many of the people working in the beverage industry have been around for many, many years and have all worked together at some point in their careers,” she says.

    Her favorite part of working in the beverage group is the sense of camaraderie among the team.

    “Everyone is so supportive of each other, open to ideas and genuinely caring about one another,” she says. “I enjoy a ‘sharing of the minds’ and have learned a great deal from our seasoned sales team (which includes Mark Marcon, Bruce Kostic, and recently-retired Tony Bongiovanni). Spending time together is always fun because everyone has a wonderful sense of humor!”

    Now that she’s a part of the industry, she’s enjoying the rewards those of us who work with beverage alcohol enjoy. Her drinks of choice? Depends on which client asks, but they include pinot grigio, margaritas made with Patron Silver, mojitos made with Don Q Cristal and Zonin prosecco.

    Personal Life

    Outside of work, Debbie lives with her 22-year-old daughter Alexa, who is going to school to become a radiologist, and spends time with her two cats, Jay Jay and Lacie. She spends a lot of time decorating, gardening and visiting her mother in Connecticut.

    She’s also an avid concertgoer, with a goal of attending as many concerts as she can over the past two years. Recently she also planned her high school reunion, which gave her an opportunity to reconnect with old friends.

    And if she didn’t have to work, how would her life be different? “I could say I’d be on a beach and go to the gym every day,” she says, “but I would probably want to work even if I didn’t have to.”

    Tune in next issue when we turn the spotlight on another EPG/SIM star!

  • Jeremy Nedelka 4:16 pm on August 11, 2014 Permalink | Reply

    Cocktail Recipe – August 2014 

    At Cheers Magazine, we receive hundreds of cocktail recipes each year – ranging from holiday and specialty recipes to new spins on classic cocktails to trendy new drinks. Below are ten of our favorite cocktail recipes we’ve published so far in 2014. Click through to see the list of ingredients and mixing instructions. Feel free to try these at home and visit http://www.cheersonline.com for more tips and tricks to creating delicious drinks.


    The Irish Goodbye


    The mixologists at Bar 54 in New York’s Hyatt Times Square created this recipe.


    Gateway to India


    The mixologists at Thali restaurant in New Canaan, CT, created this recipe.



    Spicy Sparkling Mimosas


    The mixologists at Voga created this recipe.



    Salted Caramel Coffee Maritini


    The mixologists at RealBeanz created this recipe.


    I’m Into Ginger


    The mixologists at Crystal Head created this recipe.


    Spa Day


    Dave Porcaro, mixologist at Bigalora Wood Fired Cucina in Detroit, created this recipe.


    Captain Shipwreck


    This drink was created by the staff at the Courtyard by Marriott Isla Verde Beach Resort in Puerto Rico.


    The Unusual Negroni


    The mixologists at Hendrick’s create this recipe.


    Loose Planks


    Adam Lockridge, cocktail curator at Prepkitchen Little Italy in San Diego, created this recipe.


    Brown Betty


    Tim Riley, beverage director of The Bagby Restaurant Group created this recipe in honor of the Preakness Stakes in Baltimore and the Maryland State flower, the Black-Eyed Susan or “Brown Betty.”
  • Jeremy Nedelka 3:54 pm on August 11, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    Corporate Announcements – August 2014 

    The company’s affiliation with ADP Total Source comes with a number of advantages – including various perks and discounts available because we are part of a large buying group.

    To access these discounts, take the following steps:

    • Sign on to the Total Source website.
    • Under the heading “Featured” on the far right side of the homepage, click “ADP Discounts.”
    • Clicking that link will take you to the LifeMart homepage, which lists all the ADP discounts available.

    There are literally millions of products and services offered at reduced rates for ADP members, including flights, hotels, restaurants, movie and concert tickets, electronics, health and beauty products, and groceries, just to name a few.

    ADP’s Employee Purchase Program also offers discounts on computer products, including 30 percent below retail on Hewlett Packard products and no-interest financing through Apple.

    Take a few moments to browse the page and discover if you can save money on items you normally use or buy, or on specialty items that might be on your wish list!

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