Craig Wolf is President and CEO of the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America. He is the voice of the organization with elected officials, regulators, the law enforcement community and the media, advocating for legislation, regulation and public policy that promotes a responsible system for the distribution of beverage alcohol. Prior to that role, Craig held the position of General Counsel for just under seven years where he led the organization’s national litigation strategy and handled in-house legal matters.
Before joining WSWA, Craig worked as Counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, where he worked across party lines to gain consensus on the enactment of important legislation protecting children from sexual predators and protecting the public from the dangers of defective aircraft parts. He also advised the Chairman on constitutional and statutory interpretation and terrorism related matters.
From 1995-1998, Craig served as a prosecutor in the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice. There, he successfully prosecuted some of the first online child pornography cases arising out of the FBI’s “Innocent Images” investigation, supervised an investigation into the trafficking of women and children from Thailand and worked with U.S. Attorneys to coordinate the first prosecutions under the federal “Deadbeat Dad” statute.
From 1990-1995, Craig worked as an Assistant State’s Attorney for Allegany County, Maryland, where he quickly rose to become the senior prosecutor in the Circuit Court Division. While he specialized in the prosecution of child abuse, rape and domestic violence cases, his 78 jury trials included charges ranging from DWI to robbery, arson and murder.
In 2003, Craig joined the U.S. Army at the age of 40 in order to do his part to help defend America in the wake of 9/11. He earned the Airborne badge at 44, German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge at 47, Air Assault badge at 48, and is a Veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom where he served with the 2nd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division (Warhorse). During his tenure with the Army, he has served as a defense counsel, prosecutor, international, operational and detention law attorney and administrative law attorney, including a three year tenure with the 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne) at Fort Bragg, NC, and in 2016 participated in Ulchi Freedom Guardian, a military exercise in South Korea. He has been awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, Bronze Star Medal, Combat Action Badge, Army Commendation Medal and the Army Achievement Medal. He is currently assigned as an International Law Officer with the 354th Civil Affairs Brigade in Riverdale, MD.
Craig has also volunteered as an EMT with the Jefferson Volunteer Fire Company and the EMS Bike Team in Frederick County, and as an Ice Water Rescue and Recovery Diver with the Fifth District Volunteer Fire Department in Howard County. He also served on the Board of the Monocacy Scenic River Advisory Commission.
Craig received his bachelor’s degree in 1984 from Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania where he played football, served for two years as a Resident Advisor and was inducted into the National History Major’s Honor Society. He graduated Cum Laude in 1987 from the University of Baltimore, School of Law, was admitted to the Maryland Bar in 1987 and is admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, the 4th, 5th and 9th Circuit Courts of Appeal and the United States Supreme Court. He is also a Certified Association Executive and graduate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Organization Management.
Craig has received two “Special Achievement” awards and a “Certificate of Commendation” from the Department of Justice, as well as an FBI “Exceptional Service in the Public Interest” commendation. He received a Big Brother/Big Sister “Award for Outstanding Service” in 2001 for his successful pro bono legal defense of young man who had been wrongfully accused. He was also awarded a “Certificate of Appreciation” from the Frederick County Board of Commissioners for his work on the Monocacy Scenic River Advisory Board. Finally, Craig has been recognized by his industry peers through induction in the Sky Ranch “Hall of Fame” and receipt of the “Top Shelf” award from the American Beverage Licensees.
Craig grew up in Baltimore County, has also lived in Baltimore City, Allegany County and Frederick County, and currently resides in Howard County with his wife of 24 years, Sally. They have two children, Hannah (22) and Zachary (20).
He spends his spare time flying helicopters, riding his motorcycle and running with his dog Grace.