University of Vermont, Bachelor’s Degree, Psychology, 1974

University of North Carolina, Master’s Degree & Doctorate, Social Psychology, 1979


Richard Sands is a non-management member of the Board. Richard has been with Constellation in various capacities since 1979. He was elected as chairman of the board in 1999 and served in that role for 19 years. Richard led the company as chief executive officer from 1993 to 2007 and as president from 1986 to 2002. He served as chief operating officer from 1986 to 1993 and as executive vice president from 1982 to May 1986.

Richard serves as Chairman for the Education Success Foundation, Education Success Network, Friends of CMAC, and as the treasurer for the Canandaigua Area Development Corporation. He is currently an emeritus board member of both Rochester Institute of Technology and University of Rochester after having served many years on both Boards of Trustees.


2001 Rochester Business Hall of Fame

2001 HERBERT W. VANDEN BRUL ENTREPRENEURIAL AWARD, given by Rochester Institute of Technology’s E. Philip Saunders College of Business to an individual whose business improved the Rochester economy and/or whose innovative management skills have changed the course of an existing business

2002 WINE ENTHUSIAST MAN OF THE YEAR AWARD, given for outstanding achievement in the wine world, both within a given year and over time

2002 ANTI-DEFAMATION LEAGUE’S WINE ACHIEVEMENT AWARD, for working to secure justice and fair treatment for people in the wine industry

2005 MARKET WATCH INDUSTRY LEADER OF THE YEAR, given for exceptional contributions to the wine industry


2008 INTERNATIONAL WINE & SPIRITS COMPETITION LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD, for his legendary business prowess focusing on motivating and inspiring people to continuously strive for excellence as they work to achieve the organization’s strategic objectives, which include providing unmatched quality and value to customers and consumers around the world

2008 MEININGER AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN WINE & SPIRIT, presented by Meininger Verlag, the leading European trade publisher for publications on wine and beverages, based in Neustadt an der WeinstraBe, Germany. Richard was honored for the unprecedented expansion of Constellation Brands

2009 DECANTER MAGAZINE’S #1 MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSON IN THE WORLD OF WINE for having a direct influence over the style of wines consumers are drinking today

2011 BEVERAGE FORUM’S LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD, given to individuals who, through their lifetime efforts, have materially changed the beverage landscape

2013 MR. CANANDAIGUA AWARD from the Canandaigua, New York Chamber of Commerce, given to an individual who exemplifies a unique combination of citizenship and philanthropy

2015 Southern Wine & Spirits’ Lifetime Achievement Award for contributions to the industry