Ed Shirley, Bacardi president and CEO, is fourth from left, pictured with members of his Global Leadership Team. *Photo supplied
Ed Shirley, Bacardi president and CEO, is fourth from left, pictured with members of his Global Leadership Team. *Photo supplied

FRIDAY, APR. 27: Global managers from the Bacardi Leadership Team became bartenders for the night on Wednesday, in aid of a Bermuda charity.

The executives served up Bacardi Mojitos, Cuba Libres and other famous cocktails at a fundraiser for Centre for Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention (CADA).

The cocktail party, at Bacardi’s global headquarters in Hamilton, raised $1,800 for the charity’s TIPS programme, which trains bartenders to serve alcohol responsibly.

The event was also the launch of the multinational spirits company’s 2012 Corporate Responsibility Month.

This year — the 150th anniversary of Bacardi — the company’s annual Corporate Responsibility Week has been extended to a month, in which staff around the world will volunteer for charities and good causes in communities in which they work.

CADA’s Training Intervention Procedures (TIPS) trains bar and restaurant staff in confronting potential underage drinking and in preventing drink-driving.

Bacardi has a long commitment to corporate and social responsibility, particularly when it comes to alcohol awareness and responsible drinking.

The managers of the Bacardi Leadership Team took part in the fundraiser as part of a three-day series of meetings in Bermuda.

Edward Shirley, the new president and CEO of Bacardi Ltd, also became a bartender for the evening.

Mr Shirley praised the TIPS programme, telling guests: “This is an important initiative we are committed to.

“It is one of the ways we can stay committed to the community.

“Bacardi in Bermuda has partnered with CADA for many years. Since its inception, the ‘Let Us Drive’ programme has transported more than 7,100 people — more than 1,000 individuals every year whose lives could have turned out differently if they hadn’t taken advantage of this programme.

“The local taxi community wasn’t crazy about the CADA initiative but today they are strong advocates and want us to do more.”

Mr Shirley added that serving drinks at the fundraiser was also “a great way for us (the Bacardi Leadership Team) to engage in the product and understand how these drinks are made”.

Bacardi was the first sponsor of ‘Let Us Drive’, which provides a free late-night taxi service on Friday nights in Hamilton.

CADA launched the scheme in May 2007 to discourage drink-driving on Bermuda’s roads.

The taxis are available from 3:15-3:45am on Saturdays, outside the LOM Building in Reid Street. Bacardi remains the lead sponsor.

As of June last year, TIPS certification became mandatory for managers of licensed premises in Bermuda.

Anthony Santucci said: “TIPS helps the trained person to understand the difference between people enjoying themselves and acting responsibly with alcohol, and those who are not.

“Bar staff who go through TIPS training can handle alcohol-related situations with greater confidence and use proven strategies to prevent alcohol-related problems.

“We would like to thank Mr Ed Shirley and the Bacardi Leadership Team for hosting us and for the ongoing support to encourage responsible alcohol behaviour in Bermuda.”

May 1 marks the start of Bacardi’s Corporate Responsibility Month.

Last year, 3,500 of Bacardi’s 6,000 staff took part in 128 different projects around the world, from planting trees to painting walls, to building bat boxes.

This year in Bermuda, employees will volunteer for activities with Meals on Wheels, Keep Bermuda Beautiful (KBB), the Red Cross, Eliza Doolittle Society, St George’s Historical Society, Bermuda Zoological Society, and the Lorraine and the Matilda Smith Williams seniors’ homes.