Guest Column: Building Strong Partnerships with Michigan’s Liquor Retailers

Kristin Beltzer, Chair, Michigan Liquor Control Commission
Kristin Beltzer, Chair, Michigan Liquor Control Commission

Kristin Beltzer, Chair
Michigan Liquor Control Commission
Michigan Department of Licensing & Regulatory Affairs

The Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC) recently celebrated its 90th anniversary serving the business needs of the state’s 23,194 retail licensees.

Retail licensees are main contributors to the success of Michigan’s almost $2 billion beverage alcohol industry. Building strong relationships with retailers is vital toward future industry growth. We’re focused on direct communication, outreach, and customer service. This fall, the MLCC directors did site visits with licensed businesses, stakeholders, and industry associations to learn firsthand their needs, issues, and ideas. These visits also provide us with prime opportunities to educate people on the business-friendly approach of the MLCC. Our goal is to provide excellent customer service through easy accessibility, expert knowledge, and timely responsiveness to current or prospective licensees. 

MLCC is making it easier for licensees to do business with us. We are launching the Sales, Inventory and Purchasing System or SIPS+ in early 2024. This customized system will replace MLCC’s existing almost 50-year-old system. SIPS+ will streamline operations by consolidating liquor registration, beer/wine registration, and sales, inventory, and purchasing of alcoholic beverages. The new platform will support all 23,000+ retail licensees; 13,000 spirit products; and more than 217,000 beer, wine, and mixed spirit drink product registrations. 

I find great fulfillment in assisting others to succeed in starting or growing their business. Prior to my appointment as an MLCC commissioner by Gov. Whitmer in 2022, I served as the director of gubernatorial appointments for Gov. Rick Snyder. I also served as executive vice president and chief marketing officer for the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce where I led the advocacy, events, and business development divisions. 

The MLCC’s newest commissioner, Hoon-Yung Hopgood of Richmond, was appointed to a four-year term by Gov. Whitmer in June 2023. He is the first Korean American to serve in the Michigan Legislature, serving in the Senate from 2011-18 and in the House of Representatives from 2003 to 2008. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan.  

 On behalf of Commissioners Hopgood, Olshove, Gonzales, and Toma, and the entire staff at the MLCC, thank you licensed retailers for making 2023 another successful year. Happy holidays and best wishes for a bright and prosperous 2024.   

To learn more about the MLCC, go to