Former Bacardi CEO To Speak at 2012 Spring Commencement on May 19

John Esposito ’69, former president and CEO of Bacardi U.S.A., Inc. and Bacardi North America, will deliver the keynote address at the College’s Spring Commencement on Saturday, May 19 at 3 p.m.

John Esposito ’69, former president and CEO of Bacardi U.S.A., Inc. and Bacardi North America, will deliver the keynote address at Manhattan College’s Spring Commencement on Saturday, May 19 at 3 p.m. He will also receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree.

The College’s Spring Commencement awards bachelor’s degrees to students from the school of continuing and professional studies, master’s degrees to those in the schools of business, education and engineering, and professional diplomas to students in the school of education.

Since graduating from Manhattan College in 1969, Esposito has spent more than 40 years building a career as an innovative entrepreneur in the beverage industry.

Esposito retired from Bacardi in 2011 after spending five years supervising and managing the company’s operations in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. During his tenure at Bacardi, Esposito’s leadership and commitment to the company initiated a vision to become the number one value-creating premium spirits company in the industry. In fact, MarketWatch Leaders recognized this leadership in 2009 by presenting him with the Industry Executive of the Year award.

Prior to his position at Bacardi, he was the president and CEO of Moët Hennessy USA, a leading wine and spirits importer in the United States. Esposito also served in a variety of key positions, including president and CEO of Shieffelin & Somerset, president of Premier Beverage Co. of Florida, vice president and director of sales at W.A. Taylor & Co., and vice president, national sales manager, at Seagram Wine Co.

Throughout his career, Esposito has remained dedicated to serving others and was honored with the Man of the Year award by The Boy Scouts of America and the United Jewish Appeal. He also received the American Cancer Society’s Dr. Louis Berger Memorial Award, which pays tribute annually to a leading figure in the wine and spirits industry, who is devoted to fighting cancer.

Esposito received a Bachelor of Science in business from Manhattan College and also graduated from Harvard University’s advanced management program for senior managers. In addition, Medgar Evers College awarded him a Doctor of Laws degree for his work in supporting education.