Southern Wine and Spirits of America, Inc. and The Weizmann Institute of Science
Motivated by a keen desire to "give back" and to help contribute to solutions to some of the most challenging scientific and medical challenges in the world, Southern Wine and Spirits of America, Inc. has shown a deep commitment to supporting the ongoing and critically important research undertaken by the world-renowned Weizmann Institute of Science.
The Weizmann Institute of Science is justly recognized as being at the forefront of research in a variety of fields ranging from microbiology and cancer to the origins of our universe. Located in Rehovot, Israel and founded more than 60 years ago, the Weizmann Institute of Science is a unique community of 2,500 scientists, graduate students and technicians that is internationally respected for its achievements and academic excellence.
Under the leadership of Mel Dick, Senior Vice President of Southern Wine and Spirits of America, Inc., and President of the Company's Wine Division, the Company has raised millions of dollars through a series of charitable dinners and events over the years. Since the 1980s, Mr. Dick has helped the Institute raise funds on numerous occasions, serving in recent years as Chairman of The American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science, South Florida Region.
On behalf of Southern Wine and Spirits of America, Inc., Mr. Dick said, "The Weizmann Institute of Science is considered by many to be the finest scientific and medical research center in the world."
Thanks in large part to Mr. Dick's encouragement, Mr. Harvey R. Chaplin, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Southern Wine and Spirits of America, Inc., agreed to be Guest of Honor at the South Florida Region's annual event in 2002. That evening, more than 700 wine and spirits industry leaders from around the country and the world attended, helping to raise a very large donation for the Institute. In accepting the award from Mr. Dick and the Weizmann Institute of Science, Mr. Chaplin said that evening: "I would first like to thank Mel Dick, whose commitment to Weizmann has brought us all together in support of this important cause. I also want to thank my wife, my children and grandchildren for joining me for this honor. Please let me also thank everyone at Southern Wine and Spirits of America and our Suppliers and Customers, all of whom have helped make Southern the leading Company in the wine and spirits distribution business in the world. Thank you all very much for your support."
According to Mr. Dick, in previous years other notable Company executives and wine and spirits industry leaders have generously contributed to Mr. Dick's and Southern Wine and Spirits of America, Inc.'s efforts in supporting this worthy cause. These include Mr. Jay Weiss, a Co- Founder of Southern Wine and Spirits of America, Inc., Mr. Sam Bronfman Jr., then President of Seagram Chateau and Estate Wines Company, the Sands Family and Constellation Brands, and Michael Mondavi of the Robert Mondavi Winery, among others.
In each of these charitable efforts, Mr. Dick credits his wife, Bobbi, for her generous support of his work on the Institute's behalf. In 1988, in recognition of their combined work for the Weizmann Institute of Science, Bobbi and Mel Dick were honored at Miami's Fountainbleau Hotel at a fundraiser that brought in more than $1 million on that night alone.
Overall, Mr. Chaplin and Mr. Dick are extremely proud of their Company's efforts over more than a decade to give back in some fashion and contribute to the important and ongoing research at the Weizmann Institute of Science. As Mr. Dick explains: "It is Israel's gift to the world."