Los Angeles/Press Release -- First Beverage Group announced that James L. Bareuther has accepted the position of chairman of the company’s board of directors. Bareuther, who has been a board member since 2012, is the former chief operating officer of Brown-Forman.

“Since joining our board, Jim has brought invaluable wisdom and insight to our team, along with a tremendous amount of industry experience,” said William Anderson, CEO of First Beverage. “We are delighted that he has accepted a leadership position with our team, and we look forward to his leadership and guidance in all aspects of our company’s successes in the years ahead.”

Bareuther retired from Brown-Forman in September 2010 after serving as the company’s COO since 2003. At Brown-Forman, he was responsible for the company’s spirits and wine business in more than 140 countries across the globe. Prior to joining Brown-Forman as director of U.S. Sales in 1994, Bareuther was executive vice president of Sales and Marketing for the Seagram Classics Wine Company in New York and California. He previously worked for Beringer Vineyards, a wine firm in Napa Valley, California. He is a former three-term chairman of the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS), a national trade association based in Washington, D.C. representing producers and marketers of distilled spirits sold in the U.S. and around the world. He also chaired The Century Council, an organization designed to fight underage drinking and drunk driving.

“I am honored to be asked to chair the First Beverage Group Board,” said Bareuther. “Bill Anderson and his team of seasoned professionals provide a unique skillset in today’s dynamic beverage industry and I look forward to being actively engaged in a period of exciting growth.”