T. Schnell Blanton, President
Imperial Beverage Group, LLC
Schnell Blanton is the President and CEO of Imperial Beverage Group,
the only women-owned, African American wine and spirit distributorship in the United States. As the lead visionary behind the brand
that is Imperial, Ms. Blanton, a ground-breaking business woman and an
established civic and community leader, has evoked new life into the game of
wine and spirit distribution throughout the state of Texas. Imperial made its inaugural debut in
2004 with a stellar roster of wineries representing international and domestic
vintages primed and poised to compete for clientele looking for a dramatic
change and a new way of doing business.
The Company used Dallas Texas; the food and wine Mecca as its launching pad. Ms. Blanton who
devised the strategy to offer a unique pairing of “highly sought
after” boutique wines, limited in production, yet famed for its depth in
pleasing the most distinguished palettes, to an ever-thriving marketplace of
Four and Five star restaurant, hotel and sports and entertainment concepts in
all major metropolitan cities.
Her trade knowledge, as the founder of the African American Wine
Tasting Society (AAWTS), coupled with her experience in client and customer
relations, and her insider's grasp of the business, her vision to provide a new
level of service that surpassed her larger competitors, positioned Imperial to
secure accounts with Fortune 500 Companies.
Throughout this journey as a wine pioneer, Ms. Blanton has enjoyed the
challenge of building and growing not only a quality, cutting-edge portfolio,
but also expanding the reach of Imperial’s distribution beyond Dallas to the following major metros: Fort
Worth, Houston, Austin
and San Antonio.
She proudly employs an experienced sales and management team that is
responsible for ensuring that the Imperial Brand is top of mind for its
existing partners while establishing new avenues to secure new growth
opportunities for the business.
Prior to owning and operating Imperial
Beverage Group, Ms. Blanton served as Chapter Founder and Director of the
African American Wine Tasting Society (AAWTS), a non profit organization that
focuses on exposing individuals to an array of wines and educating them about
the wine industry. Under Ms. Blanton’s leadership, AAWTS grew into a
recognized and respected organization within the Dallas/Fort Worth and Houston
area. Ms. Blanton coordinated many highly visible events and activities for the
organization, which has proved to be a direct reflection of its growth. In the first
year alone, under her leadership, the organization membership base grew to over
Ms. Blanton’s savvy business acumen and her willingness to remain
committed to relevant and timely community causes, she has served diligently on
the following non-profit boards:
American Heart Association - Women with Heart Advisory Board Member
National Association of Women Business Owners – Director of
Outreach and Diversity
Robert E. Lee Park - Board of Directors
Women’s Business Council – Board of Advisors
Alpha Omega Literary Social Club- Board of Directors
As a result of her community and civic work, she has received numerous
honors and awards.
2008 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award Nominee
2008 Iota Phi Lambda Sorority- Dorethea N. Hornbuckle Business
2008 Named Super CEO- Business Assistance Center Inc.
2007 Trailblazer Award from The Dallas Business and Professional
2006 Women of Visionary Influence- Business Award
2005 Vision Maker Award - Southern Dallas Development Corporation
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