The Bacardi Trade Advocacy Portfolio team has announced its newest additions, including 15-year hospitality industry veteran Chris Hopkins.
Hopkins is taking on the role of National Accounts Portfolio Ambassador. This will give him the opportunity to “develop, plan and execute national account trainings, brand programing, drink strategy creation as well as bartending advocacy building around the country on behalf of Bacardi,” the company says.
Hopkins, an Australian native, has been involved in every facet of the hospitality industry since he began his international career many years ago. From a start with catering and event management, to running the Bass Breweries in London, to overseeing the openings of two new venues for the Soho House Group, as well as running beverage programs in Las Vegas resorts, Hopkins has a resume of global hands-on hospitality experience.
Most recently, Hopkins was a part of The Cosmopolitan Hotel opening team and eventually became General Manager. He also worked as the Corporate Mixologist for Wynn Resorts in Las Vegas where he oversaw the development, implementation and training for 27 different bars and restaurants with a team of over 200 bartenders and apprentices.
“We are thrilled to have Chris Hopkins join the Bacardi Family,” says Adrian Biggs, Director of Trade Engagement at Bacardi USA. “From his outstanding spirits knowledge, drink creativity and his hospitality experience, he is a huge asset to have on our team and we couldn’t be more excited for what’s to come.”
Joining Hopkins, as new additions to the Bacardi Trade Advocacy Team, are Duane Fernandez Jr. — a mixologist who won New York’s Regional “Most Imaginative Bartender Competition” in 2007 — as the Texas Portfolio Ambassador, and Areina Thomas — a bartender who was previously a Brand Specialist for St. Germain— as the team’s San Francisco Portfolio Ambassador.
Both Fernandez Jr. and Thomas are joining the portfolio team in its efforts to build brand advocacy for Bacardi’s family of spirits.