The Specialty Wine Retailers Association has appointed a new executive director.

The US body, which focuses on removing trade barriers for wine consumers and retailers, said yesterday (10 January) that Tom Wark will lead he association in its attempts to "build a national marketplace for retailer-to-consumer sales in the face of artificial and protectionist barriers to trade".

Wark started his career in the wine industry in 1990 in public relations, before moving on to establishing his own business to provide communications services to wineries and wine-related companies.

"Tom's long background in wine marketing and communications and his keen understanding of the issues that confront wine retailers and consumers put him at the top of the list to lead SWRA," said Leslie Bergland, SWRA president.

"We are excited because he brings an unquestionable commitment to creating open and fair trade for every sector of the wine industry from consumers and retailers to wholesalers and producers."