Finalists Announced for the 2024 Industry Impact Award

Bar & Restaurant Expo is pleased to announce the finalists for its Industry Impact Award, which will be presented at this year’s expo taking place March 18-20 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.  

The Industry Impact Award recognizes individuals who have been celebrated by their colleagues and other professionals, have displayed an immense passion for their craft and have helped make significant advancements to the industry. Considerations for the award include enhancing employee culture, raising the visibility of under-represented businesses and owners, implementing fair wage compensation, practicing sustainability, and supporting mental health, sobriety and addiction recovery initiatives. Finalists were nominated by Questex and the Bar & Restaurant Expo Advisory Board. 

This year’s winner of the award will be announced on-site at the Bar & Restaurant Expo on Wednesday, March 20 on the keynote stage. 

2024 Industry Impact Award Finalists:  

Tiffanie Barriere, The Drinking Coach  

Tiffanie Barriere is the bartender’s bartender, influencer and educator who has been awarded some of the beverage industry’s highest honors. As an independent bartender, she is known for creative and innovative cocktail menus for pop-up dinners and bar consultancy clients, hosting mixology classes around the world and connecting culinary and farm culture with spirits and history. Known as “The Drinking Coach,” Barriere has graced the demonstration stages of prestigious food and hospitality events such as the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival, Charleston Food & Wine Festival, BevCon, Tales of the Cocktail, Berlin BCB, Savannah Food & Wine Festival, Music to Your Mouth and more. Her reputation as a historian has opened doors for her to speak on panels at events like Fire, Flour & Fork, Southern Foodways Symposium and the Soul Summit.  


Derek Brown, Founder of Positive Damage, Inc. 

Author and Founder of Positive Damage, Inc., Derek Brown has been recognized as a leading beverage figure affecting positive change in the global bar industry by Drinks International in the 2020 “Bar World 100” list and as “one of the most inspirational people that will shape how we drink” in Imbibe magazine’s “Imbibe 75” for 2023. As one of the nation’s top bartenders, Brown owned Spirited Awards 2017 “Best American Cocktail Bar” winner, Columbia Room, in Washington, D.C. 


Erick Castro, Co-Owner of Raised by Wolves and Gilly’s House of Cocktails  

Co-owner of two acclaimed destinations for cocktails and spirts, Raised by Wolves and Gilly’s House of Cocktails, Erick Castro has worked in the hospitality industry from age 14 and his bartending experience spans both coasts. He was recently named one of the Bar World 100: Industry's Most Influential Figures for 2021 and 2022. Castro is a beloved figure and the creative force behind the highly influential podcast, “Bartender at Large.” Through his work, Castro is a mentor and inspiration to thousands of bartenders around the globe. Castro has also taken time to spotlight the bartending community by producing, writing, and directing the documentary, “Bartender at Large.”  


Tobin Ellis, Founder & Principal of Studio Barmagic  

Proud veteran, Tobin Ellis, is the founder and principal of Studio Barmagic, a strategic design and consulting firm established in Las Vegas in 1997 that focuses on specialty bar design, hospitality experience design and innovation for several industries including hospitality, retail, lodging, coffee, automotive and technology. His work as an innovation specialist and hospitality generalist over the decades has spanned from bar and beverage consulting to advertising and marketing for some of the largest brands in the world to designing and developing equipment, concepts, prototypes, brands, systems, and spaces. He has his own line of multi-award-winning commercial bar equipment manufactured by Perlick. He is a former six-time international bartending champion, a multiple-award-winning designer in many disciplines, and a passionate advocate for the hospitality industry. 


Amie Ward, Executive Director of Safe Bars  

Bartender, health coach and executive director of Safe Bars, Amie Ward has devoted her work to addressing health, equity and safety disparities in the hospitality industry by providing training, education and unrestricted access to wellness resources. While her primary work life revolves around health advocacy for the beverage alcohol community, she serves on the judging panel for the L.A. Spirits Awards, is the Beverage Director for Camp Runamok and finds joy and peace in executing high-volume cocktail events.  


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Plan to Attend or Participate in the 2024 Bar & Restaurant Expo, March 18-20, 2024

To learn about the latest trends, issues and hot topics, and to experience and taste the best products within the bar, restaurant and hospitality industry, plan to attend Bar & Restaurant Expo 2024 in Las Vegas. 

To book your sponsorship or exhibit space at the 2024 Bar & Restaurant Expo, contact:

Veronica Gonnello ​(for companies A to G)​ e: [email protected]​ p: 212-895-8244

​Tim Schultz​ (for companies H to Q) ​e: [email protected]​ p: 917-258-8589

Fadi Alsayegh ​(for companies R to Z)​ e: [email protected] p: 917-258-5174​

Also, be sure to follow Bar & Restaurant on Facebook and Instagram for all the latest industry news and trends.