Stoli Group, the leading global ultra-premium spirits and wines company, today announced Damian McKinney, Global CEO, will be awarded the Harvey Milk Foundation Global Business Leadership Award. Only the second award of its kind, the honor will be bestowed at the 7th Annual Diversity Honors Gala which honors individuals from around the world who have made significant contributions to world peace and equality.
“The Foundation has long admired Stoli as an organization, and Damian McKinney, specifically,” commented Stuart Milk, co-founder and Board President of the Harvey Milk Foundation. “However, Stoli’s response to the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine whereby they boldly and unapologetically stood firm in opposition to Putin’s aggression set the organization apart. At the same time, Stoli Group under McKinney’s leadership has doubled down on their commitment to stand with all marginalized people globally.”
With a history of advocating for LGBTQ+ rights, Stoli first spoke out against Putin in 2013 in response to Russia’s so-called “ban on homosexuality” when the spirits business increased support for organizations, like The Harvey Milk Foundation, that fight oppression and work for global LGBTQ equality.
A longtime supporter of the Harvey Milk Foundation, Stoli has been a Diversity Honors Gala partner since 2016, and in years since has hosted LGBTQ+ refugees from Russia and satellite countries who have fled Putin’s oppression with the Foundation’s assistance. In 2018, Stoli introduced at the Gala their first LGBTQ+ commemorative bottle, the Harvey Milk Limited Edition, celebrating the 40th anniversary of Mr. Milk taking office.
This year’s event on April 1st at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida, will be well attended by leading LGTBTQ+ advocates from around the globe along with the “Liberate Your Spirit” Stoli team.
“Stoli, along with the Harvey Milk Foundation, will always fight for justice and equality,” commented Damian McKinney. Global CEO, Stoli Group. “With Russia’s invasion in Ukraine, we were quickly compelled to act. Throughout 2022, we worked aggressively to support Ukraine as they faced the horrors of war. While the work sadly continues, we are incredibly honored that such an esteemed organization as the Harvey Milk Foundation has recognized our contribution.”
In support of Ukraine, in 2022 Stoli released the Stoli® Limited Edition Ukraine bottle, which continues to raise money for World Central Kitchen (WCK) and helped serve more than 36,000 meals refugees. In addition to working with WCK, Stoli relocated many Ukrainian employees, partners and distributors as they faced extraordinary difficulties. For others who chose to remain, Stoli provided financial, emotional, and tactical support. By working with Ukrainian suppliers and investing in a regional distributor Stoli enabled regional business to stay afloat and contribute to the country’s economic stability and recovery.
Stoli Group was established in 2013 and is responsible for the production, management, and distribution of a global spirits and wines portfolio. Mainly known for the Stoli® Vodka brand, Stoli Group has expanded to appeal to luxury on-premise and more sophisticated global consumers. Signature brands are: Stoli® Vodka, elit™Vodka, Bayou® Rum, Kentucky Owl™, Villa One™, Gator Bite™ Rum Liqueurs, Cenote™ Tequila, Tulchan Gin™, Se Busca™ Mezcal and Stoli Group’s wine division, Tenute del Mondo®. With a presence across a network of more than 176 markets, Stoli Group works with a passionate team of 200 distributors around the world. Headquartered in Luxembourg, Stoli has production facilities in Argentina, Latvia, Spain, and the United States, some of which are steeped in history dating back to the early part of the last century. For more information, visit stoli-group.com.