Personnel note: Justin Hollis tapped as new Beer Industry of Florida president
Justin Hollis, as the new head of the Beer Industry of Florida, was able to fight off attacks from several fronts


The Beer Industry of Florida announced Monday that it’s bringing on Justin Hollis to replace exiting President Eric Criss, effective Dec. 1.

“We are looking forward to the energy, enthusiasm and expertise that Justin Hollis will bring to us in Tallahassee and around the state,” said Doug Cone, who chairs the beer distributor trade group and also runs Cone Distributing.

Hollis is one of Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam’s longtime strategists and served as the chair of the Bartow Republican’s political committee, Florida Grown PC, throughout Putnam’s gubernatorial campaign. With Hollis as chair, that committee reeled in more than $29.5 million in contributions.

Hollis also served as campaign manager for Putnam’s 2014 re-election campaign and as his deputy director of legislative affairs when Putnam was a member of the U.S. House.

“I imagine it’s rare for others to find professional opportunities that are so closely aligned with one’s personal passions. I’m thrilled to take the helm of an organization that’s goals are good business, excellent taste and pure enjoyment,” Hollis said. “I look forward to representing these Florida businesses around our great state and helping them advance their policy priorities.”

In announcing the leadership change, the Beer Industry of Florida also thanked Criss for his work during his time at the helm. Before joining BIF, Criss served as sta aff member or consultant to Fortune 500 corporations, state and national associations, political parties, and presidential, congressional, and gubernatorial campaigns

“All of the members of BIF wish Dr. Criss well as he embarks on his new endeavors, and we are grateful to him for his years of service,” the group said.

BIF said Criss is returning to private practice but will remain involved with BIF as a consultant going forward.

In the 2018 Legislative Session, the trade group worked to quash a bill allowing beer ads in theme parks and fought against a request to allow suds to be sold through vending machines in South Florida.

Drew Wilson

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for Florida Politics. He is a former editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and business correspondent at The Hollywood Reporter. Wilson, a University of Florida alumnus, covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools and The Florida Current prior to joining Florida Politics.


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