Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas announces new Chair and Vice Chair of the board

Andrew McNamara and Drew Hendricks Assume Chair and Vice Chair Positions
on the Board of Directors for the Court of Master Sommelier, Americas

(Napa Valley, Calif.) December 29, 2014—The Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas today announced Andrew McNamara as the new Chair and Drew Hendricks as the new Vice Chair of the Board of Directors. McNamara is the Director of Fine Wine/ Master Sommelier for Premier Beverage Company and Hendricks is the Vice President of Vintage Marketing and Fullbook and General Manager of Wichita for Standard Beverage Company.

Devon Broglie and Matt Stamp were named new members of the Board, and Matt Citriglia, Doug Frost and Tim Gaiser were re-elected. Other Board members include Keith Goldston, Laura Maniec, Brett Zimmerman, Wayne Belding, John Blazon, James Tidwell and Emily Wines.

Andrew McNamara—McNamara is the Director of Fine Wine/ Master Sommelier for Premier Beverage Company, a member of the Charmer-Sunbelt Group. He works to help maintain Premier’s "put the customer first" initiative, while broadening the company’s scope through education and training. McNamara also directs the Premium Account Development Specialist team and Augustan Wine Imports.

Prior to joining Premier Beverage Company, McNamara was a member of the sommelier team at the Breakers in Palm Beach, Florida. While at the Breakers, Andrew passed the Master Sommelier Exam in 2007, where he became the 10th person to win the Krug Cup – awarded to the individual who passes the Master Sommelier Exam on the first attempt with the highest score; there are now just 13 other individuals who hold that accolade. At the Breakers, McNamara oversaw the beverage operations of L’Escalier, a winner of the AAA Five Diamond award and the Wine Spectator Grand Award since its inception in 1981. He was named one of the "Best New Sommeliers of 2008" by Wine and Spirits.

McNamara got his start in the wine business at Arthur’s Wine Shop in Charlotte, North Carolina. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Davidson College in Davidson, NC.

“I am honored to lead this prestigious organization as Chairman and I look forward to the privilege of representing our 140 Masters during this period of unprecedented growth. The Court is well-positioned to continue our mission as the preeminent beverage examination and education organization in the world.”

Drew Hendricks—Drew Hendricks is the Vice President of Vintage Marketing and Fullbook and General Manager of Wichita for Standard Beverage Company.

Prior to joining Standard Beverage, Hendricks was the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Rudd Oakville Estate and Distillery No. 209 Gin. Before that, he was the Corporate Director of Wine for Pappas Restaurants in Houston where he oversaw wine and education in more than 60 restaurants. Under Hendricks’ direction the prestigious Wine Spectator Grand Award was awarded to both Pappas Bros. Steakhouses. He was named one of the "Best New Sommeliers of 2005" by Wine and Spirits, in 2007 he took first place International Chaine des Rotisseurs Young Sommelier Competition and in 2008 went on to pass the Master Sommelier exam.

Recognizing there was a need for more camaraderie and education in the sommelier world, Hendricks co-founded, with James Tidwell MS, the TEXSOM Conference, which in 2014 celebrated its 10th anniversary.

“We are enthusiastic about the future of the Court, and we are in a dynamic phase right now. Serving on the board has been a great honor and I am looking forward to serving with Andy and the board for the next three years.”

The Court of Master Sommeliers was established in England in 1977 to encourage improved standards of beverage knowledge and service in hotels and restaurants. The first Master Sommelier Diploma Exam to be held in the United States was in 1987. The title Master Sommelier marks the highest recognition of wine and spirits knowledge, beverage service abilities, and professionalism in the hospitality trade. Education was then, and remains today, the Court’s charter.

There are four stages involved in attaining the top qualifications of Master Sommelier: 1) Introductory Sommelier Course; 2) Certified Sommelier Exam; 3) Advanced Sommelier Course; and 4) Master Sommelier Diploma. There are 140 professionals who have earned the title of Master Sommelier as part of the Americas chapter since the organization’s inception. Of those, 119 are men and 21 are women. There are 220 professionals worldwide who have received the title of Master Sommelier since the first Master Sommelier Diploma Exam. For more information, please visit