The Drinks Trust has welcomed a new Chair of the Board of Trustees, Troy Christensen, as well as three new Patrons, Ian Burrell, Becky Paskin and Jaega Wise.
Troy Christensen joined the charity’s Board of Trustees in 2018, having been a long-standing supporter of The Drinks Trust both personally and through his company Enotria&Coe. Christensen brings extensive expertise as an industry business leader who will look to build on the extensive work and repositioning the charity undertook in 2020.
In March 2020, The Drinks Trust introduced its Patron program, with the aim of raising awareness and increasing the charity’s reach and impact.
In 2021, the patrons will be joined by Ian Burrell also known as The Rum Ambassador. An ex-professional basketball player in the UK and international recording artist, he has now established himself as the world’s only recognised Global Ambassador for the rum category. He has conducted masterclasses and seminars, sipped cocktails and judged competitions on no less than 7 continents around the world. In 2014 he even broke the Guinness World Record for the largest organised rum tasting & masterclass.
Becky Paskin is a UK-based spirits journalist, whisky specialist and consultant who has been writing about drinks for over 13 years. Most recently she was editor of leading online magazine Scotchwhisky.com and global trade title The Spirits Business. She became the first journalist to gain a General Certificate in Distillation (GCD) with the Institute of Brewing and Distilling – a qualification usually reserved for distillery operators. Becky is an advocate for breaking down cultural misconceptions about whisky, and in 2018 co-founded the OurWhisky movement to promote whisky as a diverse and widely accessible drink.
Jaega Wise is a drinks expert, TV and Radio Presenter. Most recently she featured on Amazon Prime’s The Wine Show & Channel 4’s The Ultimate Shopping List. She is a regular presenter of BBC Radio 4’s The Food Programme. Jaega won the coveted title of Brewer of the Year in 2018 and Best Beer Broadcaster in 2020. Hailing from Nottingham City, Jaega holds a Chemical Engineering Degree and has worked in Water Treatment and International Chemical Trading. She is a member of the Institute of Chemical Engineers.
They will join existing patrons Matthew Rhys, Jancis Robinson MW OBE and Olly Smith as well as Founder Patron, Tom Yusef who said, “The help and time from our new patrons to further our causes whilst helping The Drinks Trust to reach new audiences is greatly appreciated. We are excited to be working with such dynamic and inspirational people in the drinks industry”.
Troy commented; “This remarkable charity has represented and defended employees of the wine and spirits industry for over a hundred years. After the unbelievable challenges 2020 presented to our industry through the impact of Covid and government policy, this is a very relevant time for The Drinks Trust. The support it offers can be life-changing and reminds us how we can give back through initiatives like The Drinks Community. Combined with the ongoing conversation about the creation of a Minister for Hospitality, the work of The Drinks Trust will be more important than ever in the next few years.”