SWS Expands Human Resources Team ~ Michael Head Named Senior Vice President, Human Resources
 For Immediate Release             Contact: Lee F. Hager
                                                   Vice President, Secretary & Chief Administrative Officer
                                                   Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc.
                                                   Telephone: (305) 625-4171




MIAMI - May 16, 2006 – Lee F. Hager, Vice President, Secretary and Chief Administrative Officer of Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc., the country’s largest wine and spirits distributor with operations in 21 states, and pending in six more states, today announced two senior Human Resources appointments. 
     In his announcement, Mr. Hager said the Company has named W. Michael Head to the newly-created position of Senior Vice President, Human Resources and named Mark Krauss to another newly-created position—Vice President, Human Resources/Corporate Policy & Integration.  The two appointments are effective June 1, 2006. 
     Mr. Hager said, “With these two senior management appointments, Southern Wine & Spirits of America continues to invest in its single most valuable asset: its people. Both Michael and Mark will help maintain and solidify our overall organizational excellence, enabling us to continue to achieve and deliver best-in-industry levels of service for our customers and supplier partners.” 
     Mr. Hager added, “Michael will be in charge of furthering Southern’s culture which is a unique combination of a welcoming ‘family-oriented’ environment  coupled with an unrelenting commitment to, and execution of, superior sales and service.” 
     Mr. Hager noted “Michael has more than 30 years of human resources experience.  For the last 20 years he has been head of Human Resources at a number of firms, leading innovative human resources teams.  With Michael’s skills and experience, I am confident that Southern  will be able to consistently offer leading-edge employee development programs and craft and implement a wide variety of best practices throughout our entire organization.” Mr. Head will report to Southern’s Executive Leadership Team. 
      In addition, noting Mr. Krauss’s appointment, Mr. Hager said, “Since joining Southern 15 years ago, Mark has worked effectively and successfully on a variety of critical tasks during this time of incredible growth at the Company.  We have asked him to assume a senior role on our Human Resources management team.  His responsibilities will include research, development, communication and compliance monitoring of Southern Wine & Spirits’ Human Resources policies across all markets.” 
     Mr. Hager added, “Going forward, Mark will be ‘the face’ of Southern’s Human Resources senior management team—welcoming employees when they join the company, training them on new policies and meeting with them to assess day-to-day compliance with all our corporate obligations—whether they be internal policies or external responsibilities. Mark’s responsibilities will include among other duties: the management and ongoing transformation of the Company’s internal and external communications.”  
     Mr. Head said, “I am thrilled to join this world-class organization and to work not only with Lee and the rest of the Company’s senior management, but also with Mark and all of my new Southern colleagues. 
I look forward to continuing to develop and to implement best practices and industry-leading policies throughout the entire Southern organization.” 
     Prior to joining Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Mr. Head served as Senior Vice President, Chief Human Capital Officer at Saxon Capital Inc., a national mortgage lending firm based in Glen Allen, Virginia.  Before that, Mr. Head headed the human resources function at Regions Financial and Ingram Industries, among others.  Mr. Head graduated from the University of Virginia and has an MBA from Vanderbilt University.
     In making these announcements and noting the Company’s ongoing growth and development, Mr. Hager said, “There will be other executive appointments pending as we continue to build a world-class Human Resources advantage within Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc.” 
     Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. is the nation’s largest wine and spirits distributor, with operations soon to be in 27 states. The Company currently operates in: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Kentucky, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia. Pending closing of its latest transaction, the Company will commence operations in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Utah and Wyoming. On a national basis, Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. employs more than 10,000 team members.

Posted on Tuesday, June 27, 2006 (Archive on Tuesday, June 27, 2006)
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