Fredric “Fred” L. Wooton
Mr. Wooton began his career with the West Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control Administration (WVABCA) on Oct. 16, 1991, as an Inspector in the Enforcement Division. Mr. Wooton was promoted to an Enforcement Agent and later to Enforcement Supervisor. In January 2017, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice appointed Mr. Wooton to serve as Commissioner of the WVABCA.
Working with elected leaders and other key stakeholders, the Wooton Administration has achieved significant transformation for the alcohol industry in West Virginia. Beginning in 2017, with the passage of the “Resort Bill”, which was the first major change in 50 years to the “Private Club Act”, and continuing throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the WVABCA has implemented dozens of new license types. New opportunities for emerging businesses in West Virginia have occurred based on the new license types. In addition, expanded product availability resulting from Sunday sales for retail liquor outlets, extended hours of operation for on-premises licensees, and West Virginia moving from having 13 “dry'' areas to basically a “wet” state for retail spirits sales has also contributed to growth in the state.
Under Mr. Wooton’s leadership, projects at the WVABCA Distribution Center that have been on the books for nearly two decades are nearly complete and additional modernization, safety improvements and other long-term projects are in various stages.
The WVABCA continues to seek creative and effective solutions to protect the public and our youth with educational programs such as the DUI Simulator, NO School Spirits PSA contest and statewide prevention, enforcement, and education alcohol conferences.
Mr. Wooton currently serves on the Commission for Drunk Driving Prevention and is secretary of the West Virginia Retail Liquor Licensing Board (RLLB). The RLLB successfully conducted bidding for the 2020-2030 licensing period and generated more than $53 million for the WV General Revenue Fund.
A 1984 graduate of the West Virginia University College of Business and Economics with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Mr. Wooton, prior to his career with the WVABCA, worked for nearly 12 years in the hospitality, food and beverage industry. Mr. Wooton resides in Beckley, WV with his wife Debra and enjoys hunting, fishing, golf and is an avid WVU sports fan.