New Benevolent chairman urges senior industry figures

09 January, 2013

The Benevolent’s new chairman has called on leading lights within the drinks industry to join his mission to ensure the trade takes care of its workers.

Chris Porter, of JF Hillebrand’s Porter & Laker division, has provided the drinks business with logistics and transport for more than 25 years.

He pledged to use this expertise in connecting the industry logistically to unite the drinks business in support of its trade charity.

But as he begins a two-year stint heading the charity, he urged senior figures within the industry to set an example by actively involving themselves.

Porter, the first chairman in the charity’s 126-year history from a logistics background, said: “I am personally appealing to senior figures of our industry to be ambassadors for The Benevolent within their own organisations.

“It is the decision-makers within our community that can best support junior members of the trade becoming more actively involved.

“The ongoing development of a network of support for The Benevolent is critical to ensure the trade is still looking after its own in another 126 years.“

His stewardship of the charity begins on Friday, January 11, at The Vintners’ Company Wine Trade Lunch in aid of the Benevolent, which was attended by 120 senior members of the trade at The Vintner’s Hall.

At the luncheon, it will also be announced that the chairman’s flagship initiative for 2013 will see JF Hillebrand match every £1 donated to the fund.

All funds raised will benefit members of the trade and their families facing serious issues such as long-term illness, homelessness, poverty and disability.

As well as delivering much-needed funding it is hoped that the initiative will raise awareness of The Benevolent’s charitable work to those parts of the trade that are not currently engaged.

Paul Newman, chief executive of The Benevolent, said: “I am delighted that Chris is already taking such a hands-on approach to his Chairmanship.

“His unparalleled connections within the trade, combined with his fresh and innovative leadership style, is a winning formula. He is ideally placed to engage all branches of the trade and place The Benevolent at the heart of the drinks industry.”

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