Townsend takes over from Chris Porter and has previously held senior roles at Matthew Clark, Constellation Europe and Louis Latour Agencies prior to his current role as general manager UK, Ireland and Western Europe at TWE.
He has pledged to use his extensive contacts and expertise to further raise the profile of The Benevolent within the UK drinks industry and encourage an increase in engagement and financial support from the wider trade.
His flagship fundraising initiative for 2015 will be The Thames Path Challenge taking place on the September 12-13. The 50-kilometre challenge can be walked, jogged or run and follows the Thames from Putney Bridge through to Runneymede. Townsend and his TWE colleagues will be taking part in the challenge but he is also encouraging members of the trade to join the Treasury team and raise funds on behalf of their trade charity, The Benevolent.
This year’s Vintners’ Benevolent Award recipient is Warren Adamson, sales director for New Zealand’s Craggy Range Vineyards. He completed the Deloitte ‘Ride Across Britain’ 969 miles cycle challenge in September 2014 and raised more than £4,000 for the Benevolent.
Townsend said: “I am really looking forward to working with Benevolent chief executive David Cox and the team over the next two years to raise awareness and engagement across the drinks trade.”