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Current USBG Executive Director, Aaron Gregory Smith, to Depart After A Decade


USBG LogoLAS VEGAS, NEVADA, March 5, 2024 –  The United States Bartenders’ Guild (USBG) announces today that a nationwide search for the organization’s next Executive Director (ED) is underway.

The USBG seeks a new executive to build upon departing ED Aaron Gregory Smith’s capstone projects which brought the Guild’s operations into the modern age while navigating an industry in crisis during a global pandemic which effectively shut down the hospitality industry.

As the USBG heads into its 76th year, Smith and the USBG board of directors view 2024 as the optimum time for a fresh perspective at the helm of the Guild and it is why they have enacted the Executive Director succession plan that was created in 2017.

Staff, volunteer leadership, and all stakeholders have shared their enthusiasm for new perspectives which will continue to strengthen the organization and support the values of service, integrity, and sharing knowledge that make involvement in the USBG so beneficial for its members.

USBG President, Ingrid Rodriguez notes, “Never before in our 76 year history have we had the unprecedented chance for the organization's leadership to positively influence its future. Our board members eagerly anticipate evaluating Executive Director candidates who offer innovative perspectives, robust organizational abilities, and valuable insights gained from experience.”

The USBG executive committee has the authority to serve as the search committee or to delegate authority to an independent search committee. For this, the USBG’s first executive transition, the committee selected a unique search committee to execute the succession plan.

The passing of the torch to the next Executive Director is a transparent process that begins with the formation of the nine-member search committee comprised of seven industry leaders and led by Jess Pettitt and Marc Pitman as non-voting co-chairs, both of whom are outside consultants with years of association and philanthropic expertise. Committee members have been selected to provide the widest and most diverse swath of bartending, drinks, and hospitality industry professionals in order to maintain the organization’s commitment to a well-informed search.

Committee members are now kicking off the first phase of this process of finding a qualified candidate. Their first order of business is to make public the updated job description so that candidates can be sought via multiple outlets including professional search firms and recruiters, job boards, and personal referrals. The process includes multiple rounds of interviews and background checks before a candidate is selected by the board of directors and the job offer is extended by the executive committee. The new ED’s start date typically falls two to five weeks after that depending on existing personal and professional commitments.

While the search for a new ED is ongoing, operations at the Guild remain business as usual. Jarrette Moore, currently the Director of Membership and Marketing, will be named acting Executive Director effective July 1. Smith will be available to provide counsel and mentorship to the new Executive Director who may come from another field.

Departing Executive Director Aaron Gregory Smith notes, “My time leading the USBG has been one of the most rewarding decades of my life. I am proud of the work we have all done strengthening the financial and operational aspects of the Guild, building membership, taking care of members in need and, together, weathering the storm of the pandemic. We have all come through this together that much stronger. Having recently marked a significant milestone celebrating our 75th year, I am excited to see how the new Executive Director will serve our organization and industry, enabling the USBG to cement its place amongst the best and brightest professional associations in this country. The organization is currently led by an extraordinary board of directors and they have the skills, relationships, and dedication to guide this transition.”


About the United States Bartenders’ Guild

Founded in 1948, the United States Bartenders' Guild®️is the national, member-led not-for-profit association of bartenders and other hospitality professionals that unites and elevates the bar industry through education, community, and advocacy. Through its network, the USBG connects members with peer-to-peer learning, expert instruction, service projects, and skills-based competition, all while fostering a fun and healthy environment and reinforcing the importance of the ‘third place’ in neighborhoods across the country.


Executive Search Committee inquiries:

Jess Pettitt and Marc Pitman


Media inquiries:

Colin Baugh

Emblem Public Relations 


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