GOVERNOR RENDELL APPLAUDS PROMPT, UNANIMOUS CONFIRMATION OF JONATHAN NEWMAN AS LIQUOR CONTROL BOARD CHAIRMAN|
HARRISBURG – Governor Edward G. Rendell said today that the prompt and unanimous confirmation of Jonathan H. Newman as Pennsylvania’s Liquor Control Board chairman is reflective of his successful track record and means the agency can move forward in adopting many of the innovative reforms he has proposed.
This will be Newman’s second consecutive term as PLCB’s chairman. His first term began in August 2002.
“Anyone looking at the PLCB four years ago would find an entirely different operation today,” said Governor Rendell. “During his first term, Jonathan has revolutionized how we operate Pennsylvania’s wine and spirits retail sales business, implementing many of my initiatives with strong results.
“Today, customers can find a broader product selection and more knowledgeable employees when they visit any of our 646 stores. Additionally, extended hours and online shopping options have translated into increased sales and more money for the commonwealth’s General Fund, which benefits all Pennsylvanians.”
At Governor Rendell’s direction, Newman managed the implementation of the One Stop Shop concept—full-scale wine and spirits stores within Pennsylvania supermarkets. In the past two years, the PLCB has opened 19 One Stop Shops, with 22 additional shops expected to open by the end of the next fiscal year.
The board has also incorporated many initiatives to improve services to customers and to increase information on the harmful effects of alcohol consumption through its Web site, www.lcb.state.pa.us. The site provides e-licensing services, product and inventory searches, store locator, and allows legal age users to shop online, with product being delivered to their local wine and spirits store. The site has also been nationally recognized as a resource center to address underage and high-risk college drinking.
“I sincerely appreciate the vote of confidence Governor Rendell has cast by nominating me for a second term as chairman of the Liquor Control Board, and thank the Senate for its quick confirmation vote,” said Newman. “I’m proud of my tenure as PLCB chairman over the past four years, and look forward to guiding the board’s future growth and success in the four year to come.”
Newman is often credited with the growing popularity of wines in the state. He initiated the Chairman’s Selection Program, which offers consumers highly-rated, premium wine at deeply discounted prices. The program has generated more than $48 million in sales since its inception and has received national acclaim.
In total, the PLCB is expected to generate sales in excess of $1.56 billion this fiscal year—the third consecutive year where sales growth exceeded 7 percent. The state has not sustained that sales level since the end of World War II.
Together, Newman and fellow board members Patrick J. Stapleton and Thomas F. Goldsmith, adopted the “The Customer is King” philosophy. Under this approach, the agency has aimed to produce a more enriched shopping experience for its patrons through enhanced employee training, expanded accessory sales, in-store temperature control for fine wine, in-store wine samplings.
The PLCB is an independent government agency that manages the beverage alcohol industry in Pennsylvania. It is responsible for licensing the possession, sale, storage, transportation, importation and manufacture of wine, spirits and malt or brewed beverages in the commonwealth, as well as operating a system of liquor distribution (retailing) and providing alcohol education about the harmful effects of alcohol consumption.
The board is comprised of three Governor-appointed members. Members are appointed to staggered four-year terms ending the third Tuesday in May, and are subject to a two-thirds confirmation vote in the state Senate.
Goldsmith and Stapleton were reappointed to the board by Governor Rendell in 2003 and 2004, respectively.
For more information on the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, visit www.lcb.state.pa.us.