Anthony Von Mandl and A.G. Lafley Receive the 2011 Warren Bennis Award for Leadership Excellence

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Prestigious Award Honours the World’s Most Influential and Inspirational Leaders

Anthony von Mandl, Founder and CEO of The Mark Anthony Group of Companies and Proprietor of Mission Hill Family Estate winery and A.G. Lafley, former Chairman & CEO of Proctor & Gamble are the 2011 recipients of the Warren Bennis Award for Leadership Excellence. The awards were presented at Linkage’s Global Institute for Leadership Development (GILD) in Palm Desert, California.

Anthony von Mandl is the first Canadian business leader to receive this award which has been bestowed on some of the most influential leaders in the world. Past winners include Mikhail Gorbachev, Benazir Bhutto and Howard Schultz, among others.

The award’s namesake, Warren Bennis is a pioneer in the field of Leadership Studies and Founding Chairman of The Leadership Institute at the University of Southern California. Today, in his early 80’s, Bennis continues to serve as a highly-respected organizational consultant and personal coach for some of the world’s most influential business leaders, including Jack Welch and Howard Schultz.

Each year, GILD presents the Warren Bennis Award for Leadership Excellence to two leaders who exemplify the traits of Linkage’s High Impact Leadership Model. Sharing the spotlight with von Mandl is this year’s other recipient, A.G. Lafley, former Chairman of the Board, President, and CEO of Proctor & Gamble.

In his acceptance of the award, Anthony von Mandl delivered a 90-minute address to the audience of more than 500 business leaders from global organizations such as BMW, Boeing, Deloitte, Dow Chemical, Kraft Food, Microsoft, Nike, Nokia and Pfizer. He spoke to his humble origins as an independent wine merchant and his unwavering commitment to his vision: To build one of the world’s 10 most recognized wineries in the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia, Canada. This commitment to his vision enabled him to overcome obstacles by innovation in order to self-finance his dream by creating a portfolio of distinctive brands and quality products including mike’s hard lemonade® which has achieved iconic brand status. He also shared several key learnings that have enabled his Company to evolve into a leader in the alcohol beverage industry and continue to underpin his personal leadership philosophy that guides his businesses today. The inspirational talk earned von Mandl a standing ovation in recognition of his professional accomplishments and an illustrious career spanning almost 40 years.

“To call this recognition an honour is an understatement," says von Mandl. "It represents a profound personal and professional achievement for everything our Company has accomplished. I proudly share this prestigious accolade with each and every team member at the Mark Anthony Group.”

A former Canadian YPO Chairman and International Board Member, von Mandl has served on the Advisory Boards of the Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario and the Sauder Schools of Business at the University of British Columbia. In 2005, he was awarded British Columbia’s highest distinction, the Order of British Columbia and in 2006 was inducted into the British Columbia Restaurateurs Hall of Fame. In 2008, he was presented with the Okanagan Wine Festival Society’s Founders Award for his leadership and unwavering support of the Okanagan Valley.

About The Mark Anthony Group of Companies
The Mark Anthony Group is the major Canadian owned company in the beverage alcohol business. It is a diversified, private business founded by company CEO Anthony von Mandl, and has been built from the ground through innovation not through acquisitions. In addition to being a leading importer of fine wine and beer across Canada, Mark Anthony is number one in the Ready-to-Drink category in North America, having founded the Premium Adult Beverage category in the USA and the spirit cooler category in Canada with the introduction of Mike’s Hard Lemonade. Mike’s Hard Lemonade®, an iconic brand which in 2010 earned the distinction of being named the ‘Company of the Year’ at The Beverage Forum, the annual global beverage industry conference. This prestigious award recognizes outstanding performance in the beverage industry for companies under $1 billion in revenue. Stanley Park Brewery, Canada’s first sustainable and technically most advance brewery producing unique Belgium style beers is a member of the Mark Anthony Group, who are also an exclusive distributor for SAB International Brands in Canada, including Grolsch, Peroni and Pilsner Urquell. Mark Anthony’s Fine Wine Division imports prestigious leading international wines from houses that include Antinori and Louis Latour and distributors of Mission Hill Family Estate winery in the Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada. Mission Hill is an internationally renowned landmark winery which has been called “the gold standard of wineries” by Condé Nast Traveler and in 2011 won the ‘Canadian Wine Producer of the Year’ award at the International Wine and Spirit Competition in London, United Kingdom.

About Linkage
Linkage works with leaders and leadership teams worldwide to build organizations that produce superior results. For over 25 years, we have delivered on this promise by strategically aligning leadership, talent, and culture within organizations globally. We do this by providing strategic consulting on leadership development and talent management topics and through our learning institutes, skill-building workshops, tailored assessment services, and executive coaching. Linkage’s Global Institute for Leadership Development (GILD) is a unique experience for leaders and leadership teams that provides transformational growth in areas proven to differentiate superior leaders from average leaders. The core of the experience is a five-day immersion program that integrates the best learning methods employed by university executive education programs, leadership academies, and large-scale, global conferences to deliver accelerated growth. This is accompanied by The Year of Learning, a year-long development process that combines peer learning with content-rich resources to sustain leadership growth.


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