Vibe Vista Awards Announces New Judging Panel

Vibe is excited to announce the full line-up of its new judging panel for the 2024 Vista Awards, which recognize the top performers in the beverage industry through the creation, training, execution, management, and on-going positive results of beverage programs. Submissions are open now through November 13.

Led by Judging Panel Chair Brian Warrener, Associate Professor & Director of the Center for Beverage Education & Innovation at Johnson & Wales University, the panel will include four other judges:

  • Brian Van Gyzen, Associate Professor, Johnson & Wales University
  • Michael Sabitoni, Associate Professor & Dept. Chair, Food & Beverage + Travel & Tourism Studies, Johnson & Wales University
  • Donna Hood Crecca, Principal, Technomic
  • Courtney Schiessl Magrini, Editor-in-Chief, SevenFifty Daily and Beverage Media

Learn more about each 2024 Vibe Vista Award Judge, below!

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Brian Warrener

Professor Warrener began teaching adjunct at Johnson & Wales University in 1995. In 2002, he became a full-time faculty member in the College of Hospitality Management. His teaching focused on food and beverage operations and beverage operations and management. During this time, he has had the good fortune to teach classes across the University in the Center for Food and Beverage Management; the Center for Sports, Entertainment and Event Management; The International Hotel School; the Center for Travel and Tourism; the College of Online and the Alan Shawn Feinstein Graduate School. In 2018, Professor Warrener began teaching primarily in the College of Business and in 2022, transferred to the Department of Management there on a full-time basis. Professor Warrener has twice taught at Escola Superior de Hotelaria e Tourismo in Estoril, Portugal.


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Michael Sabitoni

Michael Sabitoni's insight and vigorous attentiveness to industry innovation make him a popular resource within the trade circuit, both locally and nationally. A frequent speaker at national and international conferences, as well as a consultant for major hospitality industry organizations, currently, Sabitoni is the department chairperson for both the International Travel/Tourism Studies and the Food & Beverage Management departments at Johnson & Wales University’s Providence campus. Prior to entering the field of education, Sabitoni worked in both of these fields, primarily in managerial capacities, for nearly 30 years. At last count, he had visited every country except Antarctica. He has taught at Johnson & Wales University since 1992. Michael resides in Cranston, RI with his wife, Dr. Karen Silva-Sabitoni and their rescue puppy, Casside.


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Brian Van Gyzen

Brian Van Gyzen joined the Hospitality College faculty of Johnson & Wales University in 2011. With 40+ years in the restaurant industry, including 19 years of management experience, his focus is on Food & Beverage Operations Management courses at the Center for Food & Beverage Management.



Donna Hood Crecca, Principal, Technomic

Donna Hood Crecca is Principal at Technomic Inc., where she leads the firm’s Adult Beverage Practice and Convenience Store Practice. As Principal, Donna develops research-based insights and recommendations for leading and emerging supplier and operator companies to enhance their go-to-market and product development programs and strategies. She is a veteran of the foodservice and drinks industries, having covered and consulted for the restaurant, foodservice, convenience store, beverage and beverage alcohol markets for nearly two decades.


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Courtney Schiessl Magrini, Editor-in-Chief, SevenFifty Daily and Beverage Media publications

Courtney Schiessl Magrini is a Brooklyn-based wine journalist, educator, and consultant who has held sommelier positions at some of New York's top restaurants. She is currently the editor-in-chief for SevenFifty Daily and Beverage Media publications. Her work has also appeared in Wine Enthusiast, GuildSomm,, The SOMM Journal, The Tasting Panel Magazine,, and more. Courtney holds the WSET Diploma in Wines.


Submit your nomination now for the 2024 Vibe Vista Awards! Categories include:

  • Best Beverage Menu
  • Best Adult Alcohol-Free Beverage Program  
  • Best Beer Program
  • Best Spirits Program
  • Best Wine Program
  • Best Beverage Limited Time Offer
  • Best Overall: Hotels
  • Best Overall: Casinos
  • Best Overall: Cruise Lines
  • Best Overall: Multi-Unit Chain Restaurants


Plan to Attend or Participate in the 2024 Vibe Conference, February 26 – February 28, 2024

To learn more about the latest trends, issues and hot topics, and to experience and taste the best products within the on-premise beverage community, plan to attend the Vibe Conference at Town & Country in San Diego, California. Visit

Contact us now to secure your program for 2024:

Donna Bruns, Sales & Sponsorships, (for companies A-L), Email: [email protected] Phone: 936-522-6932

Fadi Alsayegh, Sales & Sponsorships, (for companies M-Z), Email: [email protected] Phone: 440-454-0239

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