Institute of Masters of Wine in emerging markets drive

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Newly appointed executive director of the Institute of Masters of Wine, Penny Richards, has announced plans to develop the organisation in emerging markets.

 

Richards, whose first day at the IMW will be May 1, is currently director of global advocacy and research for Voluntary Service Overseas. She previously worked as chief operating officer for The Elders, a group of independent former world leaders, including Kofi Annan, and as head of communications and advocacy for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in India.

 

"Although wine is a different direction for me, I've worked in other well-renowned international organisations and am thrilled to lead this one," she told Harpers.

 

Richards admitted she had "little knowledge of the wine world apart from being an enthusiastic drinker of good wine", and said she had a more developed knowledge of the New World having lived in South Africa and Australia. "I've also lived in countries where it's difficult to get a decent wine, which made me aware of how important it is to get decent stuff," she said. "What I'll bring is a real understanding of how to run an international organisation and how to develop new markets."

 

Richards plans for the institute to hold more international activities so that masters of wine, whether in London or the southern island of New Zealand, feel engaged with the Institute.

 

"I'm very lucky that I'm joining an institute that already has global reach and members in different countries. I know the membership is keen to encourage people from far and wide to think about becoming a master of wine."

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