New board appointments at Retail Drinks

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10th March 2022: Retail Drinks Australia (Retail Drinks) today announces new appointments to its Board of Directors and Management Team.

Mr Michael James recently joined the Retail Drinks Board as a Chain Store Member representative in his capacity as Director of Operations & Supply Chain for Endeavour Group, whilst Mr Jonathan Russell was recently appointed to the Retail Drinks’ Management Team as Head of Policy & Advocacy.

Retail Drinks CEO Michael Waters congratulated both Michael and Jonathan on their appointments to the organisation, noting their significant experience in their respective fields gained over a number of years.

“We are delighted to confirm the appointments of both Mr Michael James as our newest Retail Drinks Board Director and Mr Jonathan Russell as our new Head of Policy & Advocacy.

“Both Michael and Jonathan will be tremendous assets to Retail Drinks, particularly given their extensive career experiences which will be of significant benefit to the Association as we continue the implementation of our three-year strategic plan and continue to build our momentum and on our solid foundation.

“We are extremely fortunate to have persons of Michael and Jonathan’s calibre join the organisation and we look forward to the contributions they will make in their respective roles.

Michael James said he was excited to be joining the Retail Drinks Board having spent the majority of his career involved in the Australian retail sector, including as Endeavour Group’s Director of Operations & Supply Chain since February 2020.

“I am thrilled to have joined the Retail Drinks Board and look forward to representing both Endeavour Group and the wider retail liquor industry in this very important forum.

“I have been fortunate to have spent several decades immersed in the Australian retail sector and I am grateful for the opportunity to bring the various insights I have gained throughout my career to the Retail Drinks boardroom.

Jonathan Russell also commented on his appointment as Retail Drinks’ Head of Policy & Advocacy, saying he looked forward to further advancing Retail Drinks’ various policy priorities in all Australian jurisdictions.

“I am very excited to be joining Retail Drinks Australia as the Head of Policy & Advocacy and working closely with the rest of the Management Team to continue the Association’s strong and effective advocacy.

“Having worked in policy and advocacy positions for more than 15 years, including at other national industry associations, I am intimately familiar with the challenge of delivering positive policy outcomes at both a national and state and territory government level and look forward to representing the Australian retail liquor industry.

Mr Michael James

Michael has over 30 years’ experience in the retail sector, having held senior leadership roles in both of Australia’s leading supermarket chains, liquor groups and was instrumental in the turnaround of department store, Big W.

After performing the role of Managing Director of BWS and then Dan Murphy’s, Michael is currently responsible for business operations, enhancing the customer experience and end to end supply chain for the Endeavour Group.

Michael succeeds former Retail Drinks CEO, Ms Julie Ryan, as Endeavour Group’s representative on the Retail Drinks Board in the Chain Store Member category.

Mr Jonathan Russell

Jonathan joins Retail Drinks from Engineers Australia where he has held senior management roles within their policy and advocacy team for over 6 years.

Jonathan is an experienced (and award winning) government relations professional, strategist and advocate for policy and legislative change with extensive experience both within government and industry and professional associations.

He has achieved his Master’s in legal studies, and is educated in public policy, government management and association management, and will commence with Retail Drinks from Monday 21 March.

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