Flint Township beer distributor raises glass to female leaders

FLINT TWP. — John P. O’Sullivan Distributing toasted the success and accomplishments of the women who work throughout Michigan’s alcoholic beverage industry on American Women’s Business Day, which was Sept. 22.

John P. O’Sullivan Distributing is one of a handful of female-run beer distributors in Michigan and employs more than a dozen other women.

“The beer distribution industry has evolved immensely since I first started working for the company while still in high school,” said Joanie O’Sullivan-Butler, president and CEO of John P. O’Sullivan Distributing. “There are now more opportunities in our industry for women than ever before, and I am thrilled to see so many women apply for job openings, whether it’s to fill roles in the warehouse, the front office or on sales routes.”

O’Sullivan-Butler is a member of the Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association’s newly created Women’s Advocacy Committee. The committee was created to highlight and amplify the important work women do at Michigan’s beer and wine distributors and to advocate for distributor interests in Lansing.

In 2018, O’Sullivan-Butler penned an op-ed for the Detroit News on the critical roles women are playing at beer distributors throughout the state and across the country.

“I have seen firsthand the strides women have made in the beer industry over the last several years, and there are more to come. While the beer industry still has work to do, I’m proud to have broken through the glass ceiling and hope my hard work, and that of women at beer distributors across the state, lays a foundation for future generations of women to find work in this exciting and rewarding industry,” O’Sullivan- Butler wrote.

American Business Women’s Day was first celebrated in 1982 and is held every Sept. 22. The honorary day is recognized every year and reflects on the contributions and accomplishments of the millions of women in the workforce throughout Michigan and nationwide and those who run or own their own businesses.

Last summer, under O’Sullivan- Butler’s leadership, John P. O’Sullivan Distributing expanded its warehouse adding additional truck bays and a new, state-of-the-art, energy efficient keg cooler. The warehouse now totals nearly 80,000 square feet.

The distributor is located in an industrial development district in Flint Township near Bishop Airport and all three major interstates. John P. O’Sullivan Distributing employs more than 100 people, from front office staff and warehouse workers to drivers and salespeople. — G.G.