What You Don't Know About Craig Wolf
Title: President/CEO, Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America.
Job: Served as GC seven years and been in current position since 2006.
Organization: 350 member companies that represent over 80% of all wine and spirits sold at wholesale in US.
Strategy for recruiting members: Membership director Bob Wiggans developed extensive database of potential new members and coordinates visits to those companies to showcase WSWA benefits.
Board makeup: WSWA is governed by day-to-day executive committee, made up of seven officers and two at-large members. Group meets four times a year and communicates regularly by phone and email.
Best projects: Reinvigorated and reimagined core meetings. WSWA’s executive training conference for next-gen industry leaders broke attendance records with 66 attending last July. Annual convention hit attendance records for three straight years with over 2,500 attending this year. Also proud of recent office renovation, updated websites, renewed social media efforts, and intro of in-house video production.
Public policy focus: Tax increases, efforts to deregulate wine and spirits industry, and demonization of the industry from those favoring marijuana legalization.
Why association career: Had been in government 10 years as an assistant state’s attorney in Maryland, a DOJ federal prosecutor, and counsel to Senate Judiciary Committee. Then president of WSWSA encouraged me to come on as GC.
Best lesson: No matter how technologically advanced we become as a society, it’s personal relationships and friendships that matter the most.
Grew up: Baltimore.
Current home: Howard County.
Why DC: Job offer as prosecutor in DOJ’s Criminal Division.
School: Dickinson and University of Baltimore.
First job: Shining shoes door to door as a kid. First professional job was as litigator in Baltimore.
Other jobs: Joined Army Reserves as JAG Corps officer in 2003 because wanted to serve after 9/11 (only way to do it at age 40). Currently assigned to Special Forces Command and qualified (and still jump) as Air Assault and Airborne.
Person to meet: Leonidas.
Daily habit: Run, swim or other type of workout.
Favorite books: 1984 and Animal Farm.
Favorite series: Band of Brothers.
Favorite vacation: Honeymoon in Tahiti – went scuba diving every day and had a run-in with a humpback whale.
Favorite wine or spirit: Wild Turkey (shhhh).
Bucket list: Deploy for second time.
Family: Married 21 years to Sally; two children (daughter, college sophomore; son, HS senior).
Hobbies: Running, swimming, hunting, and rucking.
Startling fact: Quit first job as attorney to backpack in Nepal, India and Thailand for six months.