NEW YORK, June 15, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Stoli® Vodka, the original premium vodka with uncompromising quality since 1938, today announced "Raising the Bar," a platform dedicated to reinforcing the brand's 35-year commitment to the LGBT equality movement by championing individuals and organizations central to advancing diversity and originality within the community. Raising the Bar kicks off just as the brand closed out the fourth Stoli® Key West Cocktail Classic, the world's largest annual LGBT bartending competition, which will now become a pillar of this dedicated initiative. ABC Cocina's Kayla Hasbrook emerged victorious from the field of 17 finalists and brought the title to NYC for the first time in the Classic's history.
A new website, HeroesRaisingtheBar.com, launches alongside the program and will encompass all of Stoli's LGBT activities from events and partner programming to the newly minted "Heroes of Diversity" video series, which looks to inspire action by rolling out interviews exploring the personal journeys of extraordinary people who became community leaders, including:
- Twiggy Pucci Garcon, ballroom runway legend, actor and diversity educator
- Laith Ashley, transgender model and entertainer
- Stuart Milk, global equality leader
- Jai Rodriguez, TV and film personality
In addition to the above episodes, Stoli is calling for online nominations of Heroes of Diversity nationwide. A short description (500 words or less) explaining why someone is deserving of being highlighted on HeroesRaisingtheBar.com is the only requirement of the panel, led by the brand's North American LGBT manager and ambassador Patrik Gallineaux.
"LGBT bars and bartenders really were leaders in the modern equality movement, serving as original community centers and safe spaces," offered Gallineaux. "Raising the Bar is our vow to the community to not only continue our support, which started in the 1980s, but to amplify it. This is our purposeful mission of recognizing our current incredible network of partners and of scouting out new ones who can take their local programs from great to game-changing with our help."
Over the last five years, Stoli has donated more than $1,000,000 and offered product and on-site event support to over 30 national and local LGBT and ally associations, including pride organizations across the country, CenterLink, the Harvey Milk Foundation, the National Lesbian and Gay Journalist Association (NLGJA), and the Los Angeles LGBT Center in support of its leadership lab, which educates individuals on how to create change for global equality. Last month, Stoli Group USA CEO Patrick Piana received a Diversity Honors Award from the Harvey Milk Foundation for outstanding corporate contributions towards equality.
About Stoli Group USA, LLC
Stoli Group USA is the proud importer and marketer of the Stolichnaya® brand of premium vodkas and Stoli® Ginger Beer, ultra-premium elit® Vodka, Louisiana-distilled Bayou® Rum, Kentucky Owl® Bourbon founded in 1879, Achaval-Ferrer™ from Argentina, and Arinzano wines of Spain. Formed in 2013, Stoli Group USA is headquartered in New York City and is a subsidiary of SPI Group in Luxembourg.
Patrick Rizzuto, Golin for Stoli Vodka
SOURCE Stoli Group USA, LLC