Stephen Larson was confirmed unanimously this week by the Iowa Senate to serve a fourth term as the administrator of the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division (ABD). His new term will begin May 1, 2022.
The Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division serves Iowans through licensing, regulation and distribution of alcohol. Iowa is one of 17 “control” states in the U.S. that controls the wholesaling and distribution of alcoholic beverages, through ABD, the state sells spirits (hard liquor) to privately owned retailers. Beer and wine can be sold by private license holders in the state.
“I am very grateful to Governor Reynolds for giving me the opportunity to be a part of her administration and continue serving the people of Iowa. I’m also grateful to the Iowa Senate for their confidence in my ability to continue leading this important state agency,” Larson said.
Larson was first appointed by Governor Chet Culver in 2010 and was reappointed in 2014 by Governor Terry Branstad and in 2018 by Governor Kim Reynolds. During his 12 years of service at ABD, he has sought to modernize the agency in its dual role as both a licensing and governing authority and a wholesaler of alcoholic liquor to retail businesses across Iowa. He has also overseen year-over-year increases in revenues reverted by ABD to the State’s General Fund.
Larson announced that the key initiatives of his next term would be demonstrating ongoing improvement in the distribution of spirits to over 1,800 customers serviced by ABD; consulting with stakeholders on ways to improve the Iowa liquor wholesale model and the alcohol licensing process; working with Iowa Department of Revenue on the expansion of GovConnectIowa; and implementing a comprehensive education and outreach program targeted towards native manufacturers of alcoholic beverages and new alcohol licensees coming into business.
Larson is a West Burlington native. He graduated with honors from William Penn University in Oskaloosa with a B.A. in Business Administration. He has been in public service since 1984, and began his public service career in the State Treasurer’s Office. He currently resides in Polk City with his wife, Jane, has two sons and is the proud grandfather of two granddaughters.