SWS Forms New Corporate Marketing Group

For Immediate Release                                     Contact: Brad Vassar
                                                                      Executive Vice President & General Manager
                                                                      Southern Wine & Spirits of America Inc.
                                                                      Telephone: (305) 625-4171 



Barghahn to Direct Enhanced Brand-Building Efforts and Consumer-Focused Programs For Company’s On- and Off-Premise National Accounts and Multicultural Consumers

MIAMI - October 18, 2005 – Brad Vassar, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc., the country’s largest wine and spirits distributor with operations in 19 states, and pending in two more, announced the formation of a new Corporate Marketing Group to serve in support of Corporate and Divisional executives to develop brand-building projects on behalf of suppliers, create and execute customer-focused marketing programs for the Company’s on- and off-premise National Accounts and design promotions that resonate with multicultural consumers. In connection with this announcement, Mr. Vassar said the Company appointed Lisa Barghahn as Vice President, Director of Corporate Marketing. The appointment is effective immediately.

     Mr. Vassar said, “The establishment of this new Corporate Marketing Group at Southern reflects our single-minded focus on serving and sharing with our supplier Partners—as well as our on- and off-premise National Accounts and multicultural Consumers—the most successful strategic and tactical marketing programs we have already successfully developed in the growing number of markets we proudly serve.” Ms. Barghahn will report to Mr. Vassar.

     Mr. Vassar added: “Lisa possesses more than 25 years of industry experience; her National Accounts reputation is unrivaled and her talent and innovative spirit is widely respected. We look forward to Lisa and her team assisting our entire organization to strengthen further our industry-leading record of customer service and marketing innovation.”

     Ms. Barghahn said: “Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. and its more than 10,000 team members is a first-class competitor with a top-notch reputation. I share the Company’s long-standing commitment to customer service as well as its dedication to maintaining its leadership position in the beverage and hospitality industries.”

      Ms. Barghahn added, “In my new role.  I look forward, along with the members of my team, to continuing to create innovative promotional concepts for our suppliers’ brands, design effective customer-oriented promotions and implement breakthrough tactical marketing strategies.  These efforts will be conducted in partnership with both our on- and off-premise National Accounts and multicultural consumers as well as in concert with all our supplier partners. I also look forward to working very closely with the
Company’s top Corporate executives as well as its Divisional leaders across the country.” 

     Before joining Southern in 1998, Ms. Barghahn spent 17 years at Joseph E. Seagram & Sons, Inc. As one of Seagram’s 31 General Managers, she was the highest-ranked female sales executive in the company, managing 20 people in a six-state region.

In her last assignment at Seagram, before moving to Southern Wine & Spirits of California, she was responsible for Arizona, Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii and New Mexico. Ms. Barghahn’s group will remain based in the Company’s California offices. To assist her in this new role, Southern Wine & Spirits of America recently promoted Leanne  P. Chau and Emily Olson to work as Southern Wine & Spirits of America's Corporate Marketing Project Managers. These appointments are also effective immediately and both executives are based in Southern California. 

     Ms. Barghahn received her education from the University of California, Santa Barbara and Denver University. An avid skier, the native Californian has been married for 18 years and has two teenage daughters. 

     Ms. Chau, an eight-year Company veteran, earned her Bachelor's degree in business from California Polytechnic, in Pomona, California, and her MBA from the University of Phoenix in Phoenix, Arizona. Ms. Olson graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in foreign language education.  In 2004, Ms. Olson joined Southern as a territory manager in San Diego, where she worked with high-volume customers. 
     Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. is the nation’s largest wine and spirits distributor, with operations soon to be in 21 states. The Company currently operates in: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Kentucky, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, and soon to be in Mississippi and West Virginia, pending regulatory approvals. On a national basis, Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. employs more than 10,000 team members.

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