Meet the Commissioner

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 Enforcement Agent and later to Enforcement Supervisor and in January 2017, newly elected West Virginia Governor Jim Justice appointed Mr. Wooton to serve as Commissioner of the WVABCA.

Since his appointment by Governor Justice in 2017, Mr. Wooton has been very active on and chaired several National Alcohol Beverage Control Association (NABCA) committees, which include: Finance; Governance; Public Affairs; Internal Affairs; Pension Plan Trustee; Chairman's Task Force; Brokers Advisory Committee; Regulatory Advisory Committee; and Public Health Advisory Committee.  In January 2022, Mr. Wooton was chosen by fellow board members as chair-elect of the NABCA Board of Directors and he began his tenure as Chairman of the Board in May 2023, an honor that will run through May of 2024. ​

Mr. Wooton also serves on the Commission for Drunk Driving Prevention and 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 resulting in 182 Retail Outlets across the state. 

In an effort to increase new opportunities for emerging businesses in West Virginia, and 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”. Continuing throughout the COVID-19 pandemic with dozens of new license types, expanded product availability resulting from Sunday sales for retail liquor outlets, extended hours of operation for on and off premises licensees, and West Virginia moving from having 13 “dry'' areas to only 1 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 have been completed and additional modernization, safety improvements and other long-term projects are in various stages of completion. 

Working with partners throughout the public and private sector, the WVABCA continues to seek creative and effective solutions to protect the public and our youth with educational programs such as the DUI Simulator, the NO School Spirits PSA contest and statewide alcohol prevention, enforcement, policy and education initiatives.

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.