The Florida Beer Wholesalers Association announced Sunday that its longtime CEO, Mitch Rubin, died this weekend after an extended battle with cancer. Rubin was 62.
Rubin led the Florida Beer Wholesalers Association for over two decades and had become the face and the spirit of the organization.
“The FBWA mourns the passing of its President, Mitch Rubin. Over his 20-plus year career, he applied his skill, intellect and foresight to the needs of the beer industry, and by direct extension, of the alcoholic beverage industry as a whole,” FWBA Chair Ken Daley said in a statement provided to Florida Politics.
“The entire alcoholic beverage industry in Florida owes a debt of gratitude to Mitch. Mitch’s dedication to our members and our mission will be impossible to match. He will be missed deeply by all who knew him.”
Rubin was known for his steel-trap memory, his incredible attention to detail (especially on beverage law and related issues), his frank honesty and his unflinching kindness to everyone he encountered.
Rep. Paul Renner, a Palm Coast Republican and future House Speaker, said in a Sunday evening tweet that he was “saddened to learn of Mitch Rubin’s passing.”
“He led the Florida Beer Wholesalers Association for two decades and accomplished much on behalf of the industry. He was a consummate professional, and most importantly, a good man. Prayers for his family,” Renner said.
House Democratic Leader-Designate Ramon Alexander said, “We are saddened to hear of Mitch Rubin’s passing over the weekend. Mitch was a leader in Tallahassee, a professional, highly informed advocate, and a friend to all who worked with him. His dedication, years of service, and sterling reputation are an inspiration to us. We offer prayers and condolences to his family at this time.”
Rubin had been involved in Florida politics for more than 30 years. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, he served as the director for the House Democratic Caucus and the House Victory campaign team.
“A 30-minute coffee could turn into hours of conversation on politics and policy. No one knew his issue, argued the law and served his members with greater gusto than Mitch Rubin. The Process lost one of the greats. We must raise a cold one in his honor,” said Justin Hollis, a lobbyist at The Southern Group.
FBWA said it is working with Florida State University, where Rubin earned his law degree, to establish the Mitchell J. Rubin scholarship with a $250,000 initial gift. The organization said it will provide details on how others may donate to the scholarship fund in the coming days.
Rubin, a Miami native, is survived by four siblings: Debbie Jordan, Janice Glowacki, David Rubin and Andrea Skinner.