BATTLE CREEK — Bud Dunn, a Battle Creek businessman and vice president of Atlas Sales Inc., has been appointed chair of the national beer distributors’ Next Generation Group, made up of young leaders who will chart the course of the beer distribution industry’s future.
The 300-member group is an initiative of the National Beer Wholesalers Association, which represents nearly 3,000 beer distributors nationwide, including the more than 50 members of the Michigan Beer and Wine Wholesalers Association.
“I’m honored to be selected by my peers in the beer distribution industry to lead a group that will help chart the road ahead as the beer sector evolves, with large brewers consolidating, locally made craft beers increasing market share in Michigan and around the world, and technology closing the gap between brewers and consumers,” Dunn said. “This is an exciting time in the beer industry, and I’m honored to be working with energetic young leaders from around the nation to share best practices and identify opportunities for local beer distributors to compete, support small businesses and succeed well into the generation after ours.
” Dunn was officially appointed to the position at the National Beer Wholesalers Association’s 78th annual convention in Las Vegas, Nev., in October. Dunn will be responsible for planning and driving the agenda at Next Gen conferences, including the next one in August 2016.
As chair, Dunn said he plans to expand and encourage participation in the Next Generation Group. He hopes to provide further education about a range of new trends, developments and opportunities within the industry with his peers. He also sees more networking and educational events with state legislatures, policymakers and fellow group members in the near future.
With the exponential growth of the craft brew industry in recent years, Dunn said local distributors will play an increasingly important role in supporting and sustaining that growth.
Dunn, 29, graduated from Tiffin University in Ohio with a bachelor’s degree in Supply Chain Management and a Master’s degree in Business Administration. He began working at Atlas in his teens in all capacities as a part-timer, from landscaping to warehouse duties and sales. In 2009, he began working full-time as business development manager. Dunn is a volunteer teacher at Junior Achievement of Southwest Michigan. He graduated from Lakeview High School in Battle Creek.
In addition to his expertise in sales, portfolio and logistics management, Dunn also spearheads many of Atlas’ charitable and community projects.
Dunn is the third generation in the family business. He is married to Sara and is the son of Greg Dunn and Calhoun County Commissioner Kathy-Sue Dunn. Bud Dunn’s grandmother, Frankie Fagan, ran the company for many years and is still a partner.
About Atlas Sales Inc.
Atlas Sales, Inc. has been in operation as a family owned beverage distribution company since 1933, serving the Battle Creek and surrounding areas. The company was founded by Theron (Pick) Fagan. Atlas Sales was one of the first companies organized to distribute beer and wine when Prohibition ended in Michigan. During the past eight decades, the company has been located in five different warehouses that were ever larger and more modern. After Fagan’s death in 1983, Fagan’s wife Frankie Fagan took over. She then passed the business down to her son, Greg Dunn.
In addition to providing quality beverages and services, Atlas today is a major employer in the Battle Creek area, with 26 employees, and is actively involved in numerous community charities, events, programs and other humanitarian causes.