The Society's full name is The International Exhibition Co-operative Wine Society Limited. It was founded in 1874 and from its inception has been a mutual organisation. It is governed by its Rules which, amongst other things, dictate that 'The Society, in carrying out its objects and powers, shall have regard to co-operative principles'. The Society is entirely owned by its members, each of whom holds one share.
The board of The Society is known as 'the Committee' and it consists of up to 13 members of The Society. Eight are elected by the membership; one is the Chief Executive, ex officio; and up to another four may be co-opted for limited periods by the eight elected members. The elected members appoint from their number the Chairman and Deputy Chairman of The Society (known as the Officers).
The Committee has responsibility to the members for the direction of the business, with day to day management in the hands of an executive team led by the Chief Executive.
The Executive Team takes the operational decisions and leads the staff in implementing the agreed goals and strategy. It comprises the Chief Executive and the Heads of Buying, Finance, Information Systems, Marketing, Member Services, and Operations.
The Committee's role includes discussing and deciding long term strategy, establishing policy, monitoring risk exposure and performance, approving the Annual Accounts and major capital investment projects, and appointing the Chief Executive. The Officers maintain regular contact with the Chief Executive and the individual expertise of each member of the Committee is also available to the Executive Team.
I bring expertise in accounting and governance and my job is to lead the Committee. I love that, as a mutual, we focus on members ahead of profit. My wine tastes are broad and my cellar is full of wines from the Rhône, Burgundy and the USA.
I have spent my career in retail and digital organisations. I am fortunate to have led all the major functions across a retail business and am passionate about joining together product, communications, experience and fulfilment. I am delighted to be the Chief Executive of The Wine Society and have real interest and enthusiasm across the spectrum of wine. If I had to choose, then it would be the wines of Tuscany, always an adventure and rarely disappointing.
I spent my career in an international law firm. The Society is the most wonderful institution; there is no better place from which to buy wines. Serving on the Committee is both a privilege and extremely enjoyable.
I have over 30 years experience in investment banking and accountancy, and board experience in e-commerce. I am passionate about the quality of wines our buyers select and the uniqueness of our proposition in the market, as a member-owned mutual, not driven by profit.
I have over 28 years’ experience in advising companies on strategy, financing and corporate governance. A member of The Wine Society since my early 20s, I am passionate about its values and the wide range of good and affordable wines.
I have been an enthusiastic and active member of The Wine Society for 26 years, exploring wines from all around the world at tastings and by buying from the regular mailings. Now an elected member of the Committee, I bring expertise in digital channels, governance and engaging with young audiences.
My background is in building and running consumer businesses at BT and the RAC, experience which I hope will help The Society as it looks to acquire a new generation of members. I love wine for its great variety and I continue to learn and experiment; where better to do that than The Society, the best source of high-quality, great-value wines you can find.
As a headteacher, with a background in school improvement and technology, I bring a range of experience and insight in the areas of organisational development, governance and member engagement. I am an enthusiastic explorer of the breadth and diversity of The Society’s offer.
As a classically trained marketeer I’m passionate about differentiation and the inherent strengths we have in our values as a mutual. I continue to learn about wine and I’m currently enthusing about the wines of Spain, and re-discovering the Rhône.
I have 20 years’ experience of international marketing with an emphasis on digital, primarily in education. Digital is vital to The Society’s future. Quality, value and mutuality are my favourite Society strengths. All good wine interests me, but I love Priorat, Rioja, Barolo, Rhône and Burgundy.
I have worked for over 35 years in retail and finance. My specialism is in human resources and I also have experience in corporate governance, pensions, finance, property and marketing. I have a longstanding love affair with the Roussillon area, its Catalan culture and, of course, its wines.
Eleanor de Kanter*
My background is in strategy, digital marketing and communications. I now own a Digital Strategy agency which helps organisations embrace the digital world. I hope to use my experience to help The Society reach the next generation of wine lovers. I became a member in 2014 and love the opportunity to explore wines from around the world.
Steve Finlan Chief Executive
Liz Cerroti Head of Service and the Member Experience
Tim Grist Operations
David Marsh Information Systems
Pierre Mansour Buying & Interim Marketing
Belinda Spies Finance and Interim Pensions Manager & Company Secretary