The UKBG, the world’s oldest surviving bar guild, has appointed a female president for the first time in its 87-year history.
Claudia Carrozzi, formerly the UKBG’s chair of Maritime Division, has met her promotion to the top job at the Guild with a raft of pledges to accelerate its modernisation.
She replaces Salvatore Damiano, who instigated the first steps of the Guild's transformation during his tenure of just over three years. He remains with the UKBG as treasurer.
Head mixologist for the Cunard fleet of cruise ships, Carrozzi has served the Guild since 2013 - first as a London council member, going on to establish the Maritime Division in 2018 to represent the interests and development of bar workers and operators at sea.
Carrozzi will oversee the digital transformation of the UKBG, which will welcome a new online membership system, including on-demand resources, access to jobs and training opportunities, as well as partnership promotions.
Her vision is to see the UKBG become an online educator, while stepping up face-to-face events, giving brands and organisations of all shapes better opportunities to engage with bar operators.
In addition, Carrozzi is to expand the UKBG’s leadership team to provide more representation to workers, venues and events outside of the capital and ensure the Guild becomes less London-centric.
From Tuscany, Italy, Carrozzi’s career spans two decades, across multiple countries in both independent and corporate hospitality.
She is a WSET spirits educator and former associate educator at the Shaker Bar School and The Spirit Lab Bar Academy, and has worked as a beverage consultant in London.
Carrozzi said: “My goal is to align the Guild to serve its original purposes, but in a context that is relevant to solving the problems we face today as an industry - and that means being a little bit revolutionary.
“In the midst of the pandemic, we still have a need to be a trusted hub for the bartending community; to deliver efficient, accessible education and training; support our people to stay on top of their physical and mental health; setting up professional standards in all aspects of the industry, and being another voice of representation for the profession.
"Being part of a strong community is more important now, than ever. Our entire industry needs to rebuild. We need to support each part of the sector - from brand owners, bar owners, bar managers, right through to bartenders, waiters and bar backs. We have to pick up and use any tool we have - whether networking, education, or an exchange of opportunities. We need to be able to provide moral and financial support through working with our amazing network of partners such as The Drinks Trust.
"The UKBG is not just one person. It is not just one committee. It is the sum of nearly 100 years of history and culture; hundreds of active members, operators, brands and associates.”
Salvatore Damiano, outgoing president, added: “Claudia is the right choice to continue our project of re-modernising the Guild, an immense project that started in 2018. She has been a great ambassador and supporter of our work, as well as a fantastic and passionate professional.
“She understands the needs of modern hospitality - but moreover has a great deal of integrity. I look forward to sharing and supporting her future achievements. Claudia will be the new inspiration for many young bartenders around the world.”
The current UKBG leadership team is as follows: Claudia Carrozzi, president; Declan McGurk, vice president; Salvatore Damiano, treasurer; Edward Diuesaert, maritime developer officer; Neil Donachie communication manager, Amit Sood, educational officer; Nicolas Medicamento, events and digital executive; Ashwin Bolar, consulting digital officer; Sly Augustin, London chair representing independent bars; Lucia Montanelli, London chair representing the hotel industry; Tim Batchelor, Bournemouth and Hampshire chair, Sam Fish, Yorkshire chair, Adam McLellan, Glasgow and Scotland West; Luca Rapetti, curator; Jim Slavin, archivist, Peter Dorelli, International Ambassador.