On July 18, 2008, Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc., the nation’s leading wine and spirits distributor and control state broker based in Miami, Florida, with operations in 33 states, and The Odom Corporation, a leading multi-state beverage distributor serving the Northwest since 1934 and based in Bellevue, Washington, announced the formation of a new wine and spirits joint venture to wholesale operations in the states of Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Alaska. According to the Southern-Odom agreement, the new company also incorporated the Southern Wine Spirits West existing six-state Control States operation in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. In addition, the new seven-state partnership encompassed a strategic partnership for the distribution of wine throughout the State of Washington and Northern Idaho; wine and spirits within the State of Alaska; and the immediate establishment of a fully operational wine distributorship in the State of Oregon.
In a related senior management move, Adam Hilpert was named Executive Vice President, General Manager to oversee the wine wholesaling division in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska. Mr. Hilpert formerly served as Vice President, Sales at the Odom Corporation.
At the time of the historic announcement, Wayne E. Chaplin, President and Chief Operating Officer of Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc., said, “We are excited about our expansion into the Pacific Northwest and joining with John Odom and his team at The Odom Corporation. Their established operations, experience and reputation in the Pacific Northwest marketplace are all well recognized within our industry and will serve as a foundation for our joint venture’s future growth and expansion.” Mr. Chaplin added, “Establishing a more optimized Pacific Northwest distribution system is a critical part of our overall supplier- and customer-centric growth strategy; John and his professional team are a perfect complement to our company’s capabilities.”
John Odom, President and CEO of The Odom Corporation said, “We are thrilled to work with the Southern family. Over the past ten years we have invested heavily to expand our territory and market share in the Northwest, which adds value for our suppliers and customer partners. Our agreement accelerates our strategic initiatives, as well as those of Southern Wine and Spirits.”
Mr. Odom added, “Across our Pacific Northwest markets, we look forward to expanding our industry-leading wine capabilities; for example, our announced entry into the Oregon wine market exemplifies the commitment and resources that Southern and Odom combined will bring together to benefit both our retail customers and suppliers alike. Moving forward, we will not only rely on Southern Wine & Spirits of America’s unrivalled regional and national supply chain expertise, but also Odom’s local market knowledge in order to build a world-class supply chain, sales and distribution organization.” Further describing the Southern/Odom vision, Mr. Chaplin emphasized: “Southern has been in the spirits brokerage business since early 2006 in the Pacific Northwest, setting the stage for this next phase of establishing a leading wine business with the Odom Corporation. Based upon Odom’s current portfolio, together we plan on adding to it with other strategic suppliers many of whom we already service in various key markets elsewhere around the country.”
Commenting on Mr. Hilpert’s new position of responsibility, Mr. Odom said, “Adam is an outstanding executive with more than 20 years of experience in our industry; his past service has prepared him to oversee the day-to-day Sales, Marketing and Management responsibilities of all alcoholic beverages of our expanded Pacific Northwest operations. Since joining The Odom Corporation in 2003, Adam has made many important contributions to our growing presence throughout the Pacific Northwest markets we serve. According to Mr. Odom, Mr. Hilpert has previously worked in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Alaska.
Referring to the experience and talent present in the combined entity today, Brad Vassar, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc., stated: “We have a strong bench of experienced executives from both organizations, which provides our partnership with an extremely effective sales and distribution operation. We will be drawing upon and looking to promote individuals from the Southern Wine/Spirits West group, the Odom Corporation as well as the Southern Wine & Spirits of America team to fill many of the new positions of responsibility throughout our Pacific Northwest venture.”
Reflecting on Wayne and John’s vision to draw upon the best of both organizations in building the leadership team, Mr. Vassar further noted that “Adam is a respected and highly motivated executives. Adam knows the entire region as well as anybody in this business, so we are extremely excited about the potential of our new venture.” In a related 2008 transaction, The Odom Corporation has agreed to purchase the beer distribution rights of Alaska Distributors in the state of Alaska and certain non-alcohol beverages in Washington. The ‘greenfield’ division in Oregon has been completely operational since September 2008.
The Pacific Northwest partnership between the two Companies is now known as Southern-Odom Spirits West.