Charles Merinoff, Advisory Council, The Food Business School of the CIA.

Charles Merinoff

Co-Chairman, Breakthru Beverage Group; Trustee, The Culinary Institute of America

Charles Merinoff is the Co-Chairman of the Breakthru Beverage Group. Following his graduation from the University of Wisconsin in 1980, Charles joined the family’s business, working in various positions in operations, purchasing, and sales. In 1991, Charles was named president of Charmer Industries, the family’s Metro New York business.

In 1994, the family acquired Sunbelt Beverage Corporation, then operating distributorships in several Eastern states. Sunbelt continued to expand through acquisitions and partnerships, and in 1997 the wholesale companies in which the family had an interest became known as The Charmer Sunbelt Group. In 2011, he was named chairman of the board of Sunbelt Holding Inc.

Charles devotes a significant amount of time and resources to charitable organizations. Charles has been a member of the Federal Law Enforcement Foundation since 1999, and is currently its treasurer and an active member of its board of directors. He also sits on the board of trustees of The Culinary Institute of America and is on the board of directors of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, and in 2010 was elected to the board of trustees of the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health Systems and the executive committee of Lenox Hill Hospital. He has been honored over the years by the Boys Town of Italy, the Boy Scouts of America, and the UJA-Federation of New York. Charles spearheads the annual Wine and Wishes tasting and auction, which has raised over $4 million for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Metro New York. Charles is currently the chairman of the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers Association of America (WSWA), the national trade association for wholesalers in the wine and spirits industry.