SOUTHERN’S LONGSTANDING COMMITMENT TO FIU: THE SOUTHERN WINE AND SPIRITS BEVERAGE MANAGEMENT CENTER AT THE SCHOOL OF HOSPITALITY AND TOURISM MANAGEMENT OF FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY
Since its earliest days, Southern Wine and Spirits of America, Inc. has had a commitment to all aspects of the hospitality industry. Under the leadership of Harvey R. Chaplin, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Southern Wine and Spirits of America, Inc has forged a particularly close relationship over the years with one of the nation's leading and most respected centers of culinary education: now known as the Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at the Florida International University, located in Miami, Florida.
In 1999, founded with generous grants from Southern Wine and Spirits of America, Inc. and many other supplier partners, The Southern Wine and Spirits Beverage Management Center was inaugurated at the now re-christened Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at Florida International University (FIU). The Center is widely considered to be the most advanced beverage appreciation and evaluation facility in the world. The 4,500-square-foot facility is living evidence of the Company's commitment to furthering the professional and educational standards of the hospitality industry.
At the time of its opening, Mr. Chaplin said: "We have worked closely with Florida International University to help provide their students with the tools needed in the study of beverage management, while also contributing to our community." Noting its uniqueness, Mr. Chaplin added, "This center will revolutionize the hospitality industry. It is the only one of its kind in the U.S. and will be available to students and industry leaders alike."
Thanks to Southern Wine and Spirits of America, Inc.'s leadership and support, the Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management's overall beverage program is now at the educational forefront, nationally and internationally, regarding the commitment to the study and analysis of wine, spirits and other beverages.
Among other notable features, the new Center houses a fully-equipped 2,000 bottle temperature- and humidity-controlled wine cellar, newly endowed professorships, and the Herbert S. Joseph Lecture Hall, a state-of-the-art tasting classroom named after a former Southern Wine and Spirits of America, Inc. Senior Executive.
Featuring 76 seats, the lecture hall was designed for a wide array of users, including FIU students, wine society members, beverage industry executives, visiting winemakers, master sommeliers, wine stewards, distinguished wine and spirits retailers and educators from across the country and around the world.
To further support the opening of the Center, FIU also announced the endowment of the First Eminent Scholar Chair in Beverage Management Studies in the United States. The Chair, which represents a prestigious University appointment, is named in honor of Harvey R. Chaplin.
Today, The Southern Wine and Spirits Beverage Management Center at FIU is one of the most respected and admired facilities in the country. In considering the Company's role in this educational enterprise at FIU, Mr. Wayne E. Chaplin, President and Chief Operating Officer of Southern Wine and Spirits of America, Inc., who along with his father, Harvey, is an active supporter of FIU, said: "Southern Wine and Spirits has continuously been committed to the advancement of higher education in this community. We are pleased to play an integral and continuing role in the expansion of FIU’s Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management's beverage management program as well as its entire educational and academic programs."