Women in Hospitality: Bridget Albert & Julie Milroy

women in hospitality

Read all of our previous entries in the Women in Hospitality series.


Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits' (SGWS) Served Up podcast has come a long way since its creation in 2020. In fact, it's celebrating its 200th episode this year! Ranked in the top 5% of all global podcasts, Served Up continues to record inspiring conversations of radical change with celebrities, thought leaders, and those in the beverage community who are making a difference.

The podcast is co-hosted by industry experts Bridget Albert, Senior Director External Communications, SGWS, and Julie Milroy, Vice President Supplier Development Marketing at SGWS. 

Bridget has over 20+ years of hospitality and brand-building experience. She is also a Beverage Expert Contributor to the White House Historical Association, author of two top cocktail books, a James Beard Awards Top Mixologist in the Nation Honoree, Tales of the Cocktail Worldwide Mentor of the Year Top Contender, and winner of the United States Bartenders Guild (USBG) Lifetime Achievement Award.

Julie is an influential business growth strategist and DEI activist with over 15 years of experience in the beverage alcohol industry. In her current role, Julie is responsible for the overall direction of the sales and marketing strategy and execution of wine and spirit brands across the country, as well as a certified Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers; Level 2 Wine & Spirits, WSET; and Level 3 Sake, WSET. As a proud Korean American, she is also passionate about supporting the AAPI & marginalized communities and empowering women in their career journey.

We caught up with the two co-hosts to learn more about the Served Up podcast, how the hospitality industry has changed, and the difference women are making in it.


As you celebrate your 200th episode, how has the podcast changed since 2020?

Julie: The conversations on our podcast have truly evolved, reflecting the times and the dynamic world around us. Across all 200 episodes, we've managed to capture the essence of the moment—be it industry trends, brand movements, or social issues—making each episode unique. Despite this, we've stayed true to our original mission: To share the personal stories and passions of our guests, aiming to inspire.

Bridget: Served Up has expanded its range of topics to cover new trends, emerging issues, or listener interests within the beverage industry and related fields. We keep our guest lineup fresh and drop weekly episodes. Our format now includes Served Up recorded live at beverage industry events like Tales of the Cocktail and WSWA Access Live.


What are your favorite stories to tell?

Bridget: I love stories about people who are doing good in their community, or organizations that are making impacts through volunteer work or grassroots efforts. It is magic when a guest feels they can be vulnerable and share their life journey—only a story that they can tell. We are just fortunate to pass the mic.


The industry has gone through radical changes since you started the podcast in 2020. What are some of the top challenges you are seeing in the industry now?

Julie: Since 2020, the industry has faced significant challenges, primarily the aftermath of the pandemic's impact on supply chains. High demand met limited supply, exacerbated by international freight tariffs, overloaded trucks, and natural disasters. As the dust settles, we're seeing a shift towards healthier habits and more intentional consumption.

Another hurdle is talent acquisition. With many hospitality professionals seeking alternative income sources beyond the demanding front-of-house roles, it's crucial to incentivize passion and hard-work. Forward-thinking restaurateurs and hoteliers are competing for talent by offering better salaries, work-life balance, and benefits, recognizing the need to attract and retain the best in a competitive landscape.


What are some incredible things you’re seeing women do in the industry?

Julie: Women's contributions to this industry have been remarkable, driving significant commercial success and leading major teams and initiatives. Their leadership, passion, and dedication have been instrumental in driving change, from retail to national accounts, showcasing the power and impact of female leadership in hospitality.

Bridget: Women have always contributed to the beverage industry. Women have been making an impact with mixology and spirit brands, bringing innovation, creativity, and expertise to the industry. For example:

Lynnette Marrero is a highly respected mixologist and the co-founder of Speed Rack, an all-female bartending competition that raises funds for breast cancer charities.

Joy Spence is the master blender for Appleton Estate, one of Jamaica’s oldest and most esteemed rum distilleries. She made history as the first women to hold the position of master blender in the spirits industry.


Any advice for other women in the industry?

Julie: For other women in the industry, my advice is to persevere. Pursue your passions, excel in your strengths, and let your achievements be known. Stay humble, value every interaction, and remain open to opportunities—you never know who your next boss will be and which brand you’ll be representing. How you treat others is how people remember you.

Bridget: Be yourself, don’t try to be one of the boys. It is important to embrace your unique identity and perspective. Let go of the pressure to conform to stereotypes or expectations of what it means to be successful in a male dominated field. Instead, celebrate your individuality, strengths, and contributions as a woman in the industry. By staying true to yourself and your values, you can make a meaningful impact and inspire others to do the same.


Are you registered for our Crave and Crave on the Menu newsletters? Sign up today!

Plan to Attend or Participate in the 2025 Bar & Restaurant Expo, March 24-26, 2025

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 2025 in Las Vegas. Visit BarandRestaurantExpo.com.

To book your sponsorship or exhibit space at the 2025 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.