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Recapping the 2024 Annual Board Retreat

Michelle Turner
Michelle Turner
January 30, 2024
2024 Board Retreat Recap

The USBG's Board of Directors convened at Westerbeke Ranch in Sonoma, CA at the beginning of the year to contribute to the shaping of the USBG's future. Throughout the retreat, members had the chance to foster stronger connections through nightly dinners and engaging team-building games. This event provided an excellent platform for meaningful discussions that ignited the formulation of a unified vision for guiding the organization and influencing the future of the hospitality industry.

Directors at the 2024 Retreat
Directors Attend the 2024 Board Retreat in Sonoma, CA

What did you enjoy most about the retreat?

"Being part of a community with a shared vision for the future of the industry."

- Jess Pettitt, Culture Consultant, 5 years with the USBG

"An inspiring few days of intense work with amazing colleagues. I'm excited for the future of the USBG and working towards our mission and vision of elevating the bar industry."

- Lisa Belczyk, Founder of The Fizzy Coupe & Bartender at Lucky Sign Spirits, Pittsburgh, PA, 10 years in the Industry

"It felt like we got a lot done, but at a more relaxed pace than years past."

- T. Cole Newton, Vice President Owner of Twelve Mile Limit, New Orleans, LA, 18 years in the Industry


What motivates you to serve in 2024?

"Being a confident representative to the needs of the members and doing what I can to aid leaders in this industry."

- Joseph Fredrickson, Secretary Cleveland, OH, Minority Owner of Society Lounge, 20 years in the Industry

"I am excited to face the new challenges the organization will be going through this year and to come."

- Jennifer O'Blenis, New Orleans, LA, Events Bartender, 30 years in the Industry

Sonoma, CA
The labyrinth at beautiful Westerbeke Ranch

"I want to make this org the best it can be."

- T. Cole Newton


Did you gain any new or noteworthy insights during your time at the retreat?

"That we each have a duty to serve as an unwavering champion of the organization and its members."

- Aaron Gregory Smith, USBG Executive Director, 25 years in the Industry

"The meetings entailed a clear and concise deep dive into all of the work USBG has done over the years and showed there is a clear path on how to move the organization forward. I found that inspirational."

- Anu Apte, Seattle, WA, 20 years in the Industry

"We have been going with the status quo for far too long and have the opportunity to shake things up and reexamine what the USBG will look like in the future."

- Jennifer O'Blenis

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