WSWA Announces Doug Hertz as the 2024 Lifetime Leadership Award Recipient

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Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) just announced that Doug Hertz, Chairman and CEO of United Distributors will receive the 2024 Lifetime Leadership Award at Access LIVE next month. The WSWA Lifetime Leadership Award recognizes industry professionals who, during their lifetime, have made significant and lasting industry contributions that have led to the most successful alcohol marketplace the world has ever seen, the company states.

“A heartfelt congratulations to Doug Hertz as this year’s recipient of the WSWA Lifetime Leadership Award,” says WSWA Chairman Doug Shaw of M.S. Walker in a news release. “Doug is a great man and friend to so many of us over the years. He is also a terrific businessman, trusted partner and a fierce industry advocate. This award honors his contributions to the industry over many years and sets an example for generations of wine and spirits wholesalers to follow.”

“Doug’s service to our industry and to his community is exemplary,” says WSWA CEO and President Francis Creighton in the release. “His dedication to the U.S. marketplace is underscored by his continued engagement in his community and fierce commitment to the three-tier system and the public good.”

Hertz’s Accomplishments Throughout the Years

Hertz is a third-generation leader of United Distributors, a beverage alcohol wholesale distribution company headquartered outside of Atlanta and started by his grandfather in the 1940s, according to WSWA. Hertz became President and CEO in of United Distributors in 1984 and spearheaded an aggressive period of growth for the company, including expansion into Alabama and more than doubling the size of its beer distribution business.

In 2023, under Hertz’s leadership, United Distributors received the Industry Partner of the Year Award from the Georgia Restaurant Association – the first beverage alcohol distributor to bestowed this honor, WSWA states.

Here are some of Hertz’s other accomplishments:

  • He is one of the Atlanta area’s top civic leaders and philanthropists serving as the Chairman of Camp Twin Lakes
  • He is the past Chairman of the Board at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
  • He is the recipient of the 2012 Atlanta Rotary Club’s Community Service Award
  • He received the Jefferson Award in Washington, D.C. as one of the 20 men and women recognized for distinguished service to Children
  • He successfully co-chaired Atlanta’s bid to host the 2019 Super Bowl and Chaired the Super Bowl Host Committee

Hertz is a champion of the three-tier system having chaired the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of Georgia (WSWG) four times and is an active member of WSWA, serving on the Board of Directors including a 2013-2014 Chairmanship, according to WSWA. He also holds other executive advisory roles that help the Association better serve its members, including:

  • Executive Committee
  • Communications and Membership Committee
  • Finance & Audit Committee
  • Government Affairs Committee
  • Large Enterprise Council
  • Meetings & Convention Committee
  • PAC Chairman
  • Past Chairman’s Council
  • Strategic Investments Task Force

“I’m incredibly flattered and humbled to be recognized by my peers in the industry with this prestigious award. To have my name included alongside so many of my friends and mentors is particularly meaningful to me,” says Hertz in the release.


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