November 10, 2020


HENDERSON, NV (NOVEMBER 10, 2020) - Yesterday, on the final day of the United States Bartenders’ Guild (USBG) Leadership Conference, Membership Committee Chair Summer Jane Bell announced that the Columbus, Ohio chapter, led by president Christina Basham (also founder of Bubbles + Agave) has won the USBG’s second annual award for “Chapter of the Year,” following the Dallas chapter, which won the inaugural award. The Columbus chapter also received the award for Best Education Week.

To qualify for the awards, which ranged from “Best Small Chapter” to “Best Health & Wellness Commitment” to Chapter of the Year, individual USBG chapters were required to share information on their activities for the year.

Chapters were evaluated by the five-person Membership Committee.

Among the most notable achievements by the Columbus chapter included the execution of 12 events over the seven days of USBG Education Week. Seminars highlighted the week with subjects such as, "How to Learn" with James DeFrance sponsored by DIAGEO; "Sobriety in Restaurants" with Andy Smith of Ben's Friends; "Brand Relationships Happy Hour" with Tammy Slebodnik sponsored by Bacardi; a tour of Columbus-based Watershed Distillery; "Making Membership Magic Happy Hour" with the USBG Board of Directors sponsored by Jameson; "Middle West Distillery Tour" with Middle West Spirits; and "Money, Money, Money: All Things Finance" with Steve LaBarre sponsored by Botanist Gin. 

Columbus also excelled at budgeting, which led to a surplus of funds enabling the chapter in 2019 to keep the majority of chapter events accessible for members to attend and to offer up to $500 per applicant in education and competition grants. And while 2020 limited such grants, the Columbus chapter has a standing offer to reimburse completed online education wine and spirits education programs up to $100 without prior approval.

Said Smith, “I am so proud of the chapter board in Columbus as well as all of our chapters for putting so much thought and effort into the betterment of their chapter and their communities. It can’t be overstated how challenging this year has been for our industry as a whole, and yet these incredible people took ownership of the situation and made the most of it.”

Other award winners included:

  • "Best Small Chapter" - Baton Rouge (LA)
  • "Best Education Week” - Columbus (OH)
  • "Best Health & Wellness Commitment" - Dallas
  • "Best Chapter Swag" - Oregon
  • "Best Pandemic Response" - Los Angeles

Tune into the USBG Weekly on IG Live @usbg on Wednesday, November 11 at noon Pacific/3 p.m. Eastern as Smith welcomes Summer Jane Bell and Christina Basham to discuss the award.

Follow the USBG through multiple social media channels: IG/FB/TWITTER: @usbg/@TheUSBG/@TheUSBG.

About the United States Bartenders’ Guild

Founded in 1948, the United States Bartenders’ Guild®️ is a non-profit professional society of bartenders and other hospitality professionals uniting the hospitality community to advance professional bartending. The USBG believes that every U.S. bartender achieves greater personal and professional success by connecting to diverse local and national hospitality communities. Through our network of over 40 communities nationwide, the USBG connects members with peer-to-peer learning, expert instruction, community service projects, and skills-based competition. Learn more at

Media inquiries:

Colin Baugh

Emblem Public Relations