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T. Schnell Blanton, Presidentschnell_1.jpg
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 155 members.

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 Entrepreneur Award
2008 Named Super CEO- Business Assistance Center Inc.
2007 Trailblazer Award from The Dallas Business and Professional Women’s Club
2006 Women of Visionary Influence- Business Award
2005 Vision Maker Award - Southern Dallas Development Corporation

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