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Rodolfo (Rudy) Ruiz is the Executive Vice President/Spirits at Southern Wine and Spirits of America, Inc. Mr. Ruiz began his career in the drinks industry in 1979 at Bacardi USA, where his many professional accomplishments helped make Bacardi one of the world's premier alcoholic beverage suppliers, not only in the United States, but also around the globe. At Bacardi, Mr. Ruiz' previous positions have included President and CEO of Bacardi Asia/Pacific; President of Bacardi Global Brands; and most recently, President and CEO of Bacardi USA.

On a day-to-day basis, Mr. Ruiz will work closely with the Company's senior management team including Harvey R. Chaplin, Chairman and CEO; Wayne E. Chaplin, President and Chief Operating Officer; and Mel Dick, Senior Vice President and President/Wine Division.

Mr. Wayne E. Chaplin said: "We are pleased that Rudy has joined our organization at this very senior level. Rudy is helping our Company develop a greater, long-term strategic focus in partnership with our spirit suppliers, which currently make up about 50 percent of our nationwide sales."

Harvey R. Chaplin noted "Rudy has a great reputation in our industry for being a people person and having incredible knowledge of the spirits business in the United States. We look forward to him making a valuable and lasting contribution to our organization."

Mr. Ruiz said, "I am delighted and honored to work at this fine Company and I very much enjoy working with Southern's extremely talented senior management team as well as with our Company's diverse and performance-oriented group of some of the best-known spirits companies in the world."