John Manfreda, the administrator of the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), died Saturday, May 25, from a heart attack. He was 73.
Manfreda had led the alcohol and tobacco industries’ regulatory agency since January 4, 2005. Prior to that, he served as TTB deputy administrator since the department’s founding in January 2003.
As administrator, Manfreda oversaw the annual collection of $23.5 billion in federal alcohol, tobacco, and firearms and ammunition excise taxes.
Before the TTB was established, Manfreda spent four years as chief counsel to predecessor agency, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF).
“He was a kind and honorable man, with a sincere belief in public service and, through his example, inspired us all to be better keepers of the public trust,” the TTB said via a statement. “In his nearly 50 years of government service, John left his mark on nearly all aspects of the federal laws and regulations related to alcohol, tobacco, and firearms.”
After learning of his passing, several industry trade group leaders shared their condolences on Tuesday.
“John’s service at TTB was remarkable,” Beer Institute president and CEO Jim McGreevy said via a statement. “He was accessible, fair, and I admire his many years of dedication to ensuring TTB enforced the laws with the highest integrity. John achieved what many of us can only aspire: a life of humble leadership. We will miss him, but his legacy will endure.”
For his part, Craig Purser, the president and CEO of the National Beer Wholesalers Association, called Manfreda a “true gentleman with countless professional accomplishments,” as well as a “consummate, effective professional and regulator.”
According to a biography on the TTB website, Manfreda was a recipient of the Meritorious and Distinguished Presidential Rank awards. He also received a lifetime achievement award from the ATF.
“John was one of those government officials who understood the importance of relationships,” Purser said. “As passionate as he was in his support for TTB, he was very committed to his family. I, along with NBWA members and staff, extend our deepest condolences to his wife, children, grandchildren, and family.”
Manfreda is survived by his wife Rosemary, his three children, and his nine grandchildren.
Memorial services are set for 10:30 a.m on Friday, May 31, at Our Lady of Lourdes Chapel at Georgetown Preparatory School (10900 Rockville Pike, North Bethesda, Maryland).
TTB deputy administrator Mary G. Ryan, who serves directly under Manfreda, also performs many of the same duties and oversees tax collection, according to the agency’s organizational chart.