Jay Wright, our very own Managing Director , has been named as “Man of the Year” at the Drinks Business Awards 2013. The announcement was quickly followed with celebratory drinks and high fives all around (as well as some spilled drinks as a result).
The award was announced at the Drinks Business Awards ceremony held at the London International Wine Fair yesterday lunchtime. At 43, Jay is reported to be one of the youngest ever recipients of this award.
The Drinks Business Man of the Year award aims to recognise individuals whose contribution to the wine and spirits industry over the last year had set them apart from the rest. Judges were looking for unparalleled leadership and business acumen.
Speaking at the awards ceremony, Jay said:
“I am delighted to win this award. Working at Virgin Wines is my hobby and my passion as well as my job and I feel incredibly fortunate to spend every day doing something that I genuinely love. As the old adage goes ‘you are only as good as the people you surround yourself with’ and at Virgin Wines I am surrounded by some of the best, most dynamic people in the trade”.
Jay’s career in the wine industry started in 1997 when he set up World Wines Direct, a new mail order wine business for The Greenalls Group plc. Jay managed this business for three years before leaving in 2000 to start his own business, Warehouse Wines. By the summer of 2002 Direct Wines had spotted the potential of Warehouse Wines and purchased a majority shareholding, before buying the business outright in 2006. In 2008, Jay took on the role of Managing Director at Virgin Wines where he currently has direct responsibility for 145 colleagues across two locations and has achieved a record turnover of in excess of £38 million. In addition, he has spearheaded many major business innovations which have placed us in a powerful position, with consistent profits and steady growth in a challenging business climate.
Also at the Drinks Business Awards, we were shortlisted in the Best Consumer Campaign and the Best Drinks Company of the Year categories.
Make sure you follow Jay on twitter @jaywright1969