Steve Raye

Steve has more than two decades of Drinks Industry experience, beginning with Diageo-predecessor Heublein where he managed Smirnoff and Finlandia vodkas and worked on the imported wine portfolio. As a Managing Partner of Brand Action Team for ten years, Steve honed his marketing skills providing PR and advertising services and was ahead of the curve developing cutting edge social media marketing in the U.S. wine and spirits business.

On the wine side he has worked on a wide range of individual brands and companies including Santa Carolina from Chile, McWilliam's and McGuigan from Australia, Javier Sanz from Spain, Puklavec & Friends from Slovenia, Vinkara from Turkey as well as the entire Pernod Ricard international wine portfolio (Jacob's Creek, Perrier Jouët, G.H. Mumm, Campo Viejo, Brancott Estate et al.) Steve also has significant experience working with country and regional wine trade promotion agencies including Austria, Australia, Chile, Spain, Santorini and Ribera del Duero and Rueda. He is also a consultant to Vinitaly and has managed U.S. trade PR for ProWein.

On the spirits side he directed the entire concept through design, launch, and execution for Pisco Portón from Peru and Singani 63 from Bolivia. He has also worked on the development and launch of Fuzzy's Vodka (golfer Fuzzy Zoeller) as well as Tanduay Rum from the Philippines. Steve has also managed Social Media and PR support for brand extension launches of existing spirit brands including Beefeater, Chivas Regal, and Kahlua.

Steve is a recognized thought leader who writes and speaks on the issues driving the American Drinks market. He has spoken at USA Trade Tasting, Vinitaly, Wine2Wine, Vino2016, London Wine Fair, WSWA, U.S. Drinks Conference, Tales of the Cocktail, the Australia Trade Tasting and guest-lectured at Hochschule Geisenheim University in Germany and Burgundy Business School in Lyon. Steve is also one of the organizers of the USA Trade Tasting event and publishes a popular industry blog titled OH-pinions, and is currently working on a book about the wine and spirits industry.

Steve is a graduate of Cornell University where he majored in Communication Arts.