Marcus to step down from liquor board
Indiana attorney Robert Marcus, who has served as a Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board member during a period when the agency’s revenue grew significantly and the state-owned wine and liquor retail outlets were modernized, is leaving the government post.
Marcus informed Gov. Tom Corbett he does not want to be considered for reappointment to the three-member LCB when his term expires Tuesday.
Under state law, an LCB commissioner may continue to serve an additional six months after the end of a term to allow time for a successor to be appointed and confirmed by the state Senate, and Marcus has agreed to stay on under that temporary extension.
Marcus was nominated for appointment to the LCB by Gov. Ed Rendell in 2007 and was confirmed by the Senate in November of that year.
“After 6 1/2 years of service, it’s time to move on,” Marcus said this morning.
Marcus said he relied on his previous business background in Indiana when he joined the LCB.
“I grew up in the car business where customer satisfaction was key,” he said, and he helped institute customer satisfaction training for new hires in the state’s liquor business. “I really focused on that — serving the customer.”
Marcus said he was grateful for the chance to serve on the board and for the assistance of Senate President Pro Tempore Joseph Scarnati and state Sen. Don White, R-Indiana.
“You don’t always get an opportunity to be involved in a billion-dollar business,” he said.
The state’s liquor revenue grew from $1.6 billion when Marcus joined the agency to $2.2 billion now.
Marcus said it was also satisfying to be involved in the redesign of many of the more than 600 state liquor stores. The changes modernized their layout and retail presentation, made them warmer and gave the employees new direction.
“It really paid off,” Marcus said, adding that the annual transfer of money from the LCB to the state’s general fund has grown to an average of $530 million annually.
During the recession in 2008, the LCB also benefited from the hiring of some business executives with extensive experience in the food and beverage industries.
“We were able to get some tremendous executives at government rates,” and they helped create a business out of a government bureaucracy, he said.
Marcus said his time as an LCB member has been an enjoyable experience in improving the state’s network of wine and liquor outlets, providing better service to consumers and generating more revenue for the state’s general fund.