Beer Institute Names New VP of Public Affairs


The Beer Institute today announced it has hired Denise Dunckel as its new vice president of public affairs. Dunckel joins the BI — which represents America’s brewers, beer importers and industry suppliers — just three months after former VP of communications, Chris Thorne, departed the organization.

“We have a lot to do here and I am looking forward to having Denise on the team,” BI president Jim McGreevy told Brewbound.

In a statement, McGreevy described Dunckel — who previously served as senior vice president of external affairs with Blackstone’s Invitation Homes — as a “proven leader in strategic communications.”

“Her contributions will be critical in our efforts to tell the story of beer in Washington, DC and educate lawmakers and the public about beer’s $253 billion economic impact in the United States, our industry’s ‘Commitment to Responsibility’ and the quality of our products,” he said.

Dunckel’s hiring is the latest in a string of changes at the BI. At the time of Thorne’s departure in late May, the organization had simultaneously appointed a new chief economist, Michael Uhrich, as well as a new director of federal affairs, Joe Heaton. Earlier that month, the BI also hired Joy Dubose, a food scientist and registered dietitian who is helping to lead the group’s lobbying efforts and to develop regulatory positions.

“I’ve been here for just 14 months and we’ve hired a lot of new people,” McGreevy told Brewbound. “We have a group here that has a lot of passion for beer and I think the future is very positive.”

McGreevy said members can expect to see “more unity” around the Craft Beverage & Modernization Act and, in general, a more “proactive” BI.

“You will see us looking to lead on other regulatory issues,” he said. “We want to be a trade association here that finds allies and does good policy work. There will be a lot more proactive work out of this organization.”

Dunckel’s first official day is September 14. A full press release detailing Dunckel’s hiring is below.

WASHINGTON, DC – The Beer Institute, representing America’s brewers, beer importers and industry suppliers, announced today that communications veteran Denise Dunckel will join the trade association as vice president, public affairs on September 14. Dunckel, who brings a diverse communications background to the role, will lead the Beer Institute’s public affairs strategy directed at policymakers, the media, the alcohol beverage industry and other key stakeholders.

“Denise is a proven leader in strategic communications. Her contributions will be critical in our efforts to tell the story of beer in Washington, DC and educate lawmakers and the public about beer’s $253 billion economic impact in the United States, our industry’s ‘Commitment to Responsibility’ and the quality of our products,” said Beer Institute President and CEO Jim McGreevy. “Her unique experience in both the public and private sectors – and her hands-on experience working with the federal government – will be an invaluable asset to the Beer Institute. We’re thrilled to have her be a part of the team.”

“This is an exciting time for the beer industry. I am pleased to have the opportunity to work on behalf of an industry that helps put 1.75 million Americans to work and has such a great story to tell,” said Dunckel. “I look forward to working with our members to carry their compelling story to so many influential and critical audiences.”

Dunckel previously served as senior vice president, external affairs, with Blackstone’s Invitation Homes. In that position, Dunckel was responsible for managing external affairs for the nation’s largest single-family rental company.

From 2012 to 2014, Dunckel was a Senior Associate Director with the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), responsible for managing the Agency’s communications, public affairs, industry and congressional relations. As the chief communications strategist, Dunckel led the rebranding of the agency including a redesign of the agency’s website, launch of a national PSA campaign aimed at underwater borrowers and creation of the agency’s social media platform.

Prior to that, Dunckel worked in the DC office of Visa Inc. As a senior business leader of global corporate communications, Dunckel was responsible for protecting and enhancing the company’s reputation managing corporate, public policy and litigation communications strategy.

Dunckel has also held communications positions with the U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and The White House, as well as a number of presidential campaigns.

A new economic study released highlights how the U.S. beer industry – from brewers and beer importers to beer distributors to retailers – generates nearly $253 billion in economic activity, produces $48.5 billion in tax revenue and supports 1.75 million jobs.

Economic impact figures, tax contributions and job data for each state can be found here


The Beer Institute is a national trade association for the American brewing industry, representing both large and small brewers, as well as importers and industry suppliers. First founded in 1862 as the U.S. Brewers Association, the Beer Institute is committed today to the development of sound public policy and to the values of civic duty and personal responsibility: Connect with us @BeerInstitute and on Facebook.