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2014 Executive of the Year Award

Rob Sands 200x280 The Executive of the Year Award honors a business person who has made a groundbreaking contribution to his or her organization, who exemplifies the spirit of leadership, demonstrates a deep respect for our nation's fiscal health, and has a significant pattern of public service and philanthropy.

This year, Rob Sands, president and CEO of Constellation Brands, will receive the 2014 Executive of the Year Award, to be presented by University of Rochester President Joel Seligman and Edmund Hajim '58, chairman of the University’s Board of Trustees.

Rob began his career as an associate with the Rochester law firm of Harter, Secrest & Emery. He joined Constellation Brands in June 1986 as general counsel overseeing the legal affairs of the company, in particular its acquisitions. In 1993, he was appointed to the position of executive vice president and general counsel. In 1998, upon acquisition of the company’s U.K. division that Rob spearheaded, he was appointed to the role of chief executive officer of Constellation International, with responsibility for oversight of this division. From early 2000 through most of 2002, he served as group president with responsibility for Canandaigua Wine Company and the U.K. Division. In December 2002, Rob was appointed to the roles of president and chief operating officer with responsibility for the company’s two divisions, Constellation Wines and Constellation Beers and Spirits. In July 2007, Rob was named President and Chief Executive Officer of the company and serves as a member of Constellation’s board of directors.

In 2013, under Rob’s leadership, Constellation acquired the remaining portion of the Crown Imports beer joint venture along with a state-of-the-art brewery in Mexico and perpetual rights to produce the Grupo Modelo brands in the U.S. With the completion of this acquisition the company’s gross sales reach close to $6 billion, further cementing Constellation Brands as the largest multi-category supplier of beverage alcohol to distributors and retailers in the U.S.

Rob is chairman of the board of the New York Wine and Culinary Center, a member of the board of trustees of the Rochester General Health System, a member of the board and executive committee of the Rochester Business Alliance, and a member of the board of trustees of Thompson Health. In 2008, Rob was named an inaugural member of the Federal Reserve Bank (FED) of New York’s Upstate New York Regional Advisory Board. The 10-member board provides the FED with business insights for upstate New York.