For Immediate Release Contact: Mel Dick
President, Wine Division/Senior VicePresident
Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc.
Telephone: (305) 625-4171
Mel Dick, President of Southern Wine & Spirits of America’s Wine Division & Senior Vice President, to Join North American Board of Directors of Britain’s Institute of Masters of Wine
Appointment Underlines Company’s Historic Commitment to Professional Excellence in Wine Education and Wine Service
MIAMI - February 28, 2007 - Mel Dick, President, Wine Division and Senior Vice President of Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc., the country’s leading wine and spirits distributor with operations in 27 states, is pleased to announce that the Company is intensifying its historic drive to raise the level of professional excellence in wine service and wine education through a number of a new corporate initiatives.
In recognition of the Company’s longstanding commitment to wine education and service, Britain’s Institute of Masters of Wine (IMW), one of the wine industry’s most prestigious professional organizations in the world, has invited Mel Dick to join its North American Board of Directors, according to Mary Ewing Mulligan, MW, President of IMW’s North American Board and President of the International Wine Center, a leading school for wine professionals in New York City.
Noting the important role Mr. Dick will play on the North American Board of IMW, Ms. Mulligan said, “We have always thought as a North American organization that the key to raising the level of professional excellence in the American wine trade is through the distributor tier, and we want to include them in our overall efforts, so who else to invite to join us but Mel, a respected professional of great experience in the wine business.”
According to the organization’s website at www.masters-of-wine.org, “The Institute of Masters of Wine (IMW) exists to promote the highest level of educational achievement for the wine industry, culminating in the internationally recognized qualification of Master of Wine (MW). As a corporate entity it organizes all aspects of the Master of
Wine examination and education program, runs tastings and other events programs, provides membership services to the 250 MWs world-wide, and information and access to specialist advice for the wine industry in general.”
Commenting on his election to the North American Board of the Institute of Masters of Wine, Mr. Dick said: “I am deeply honored that the Board has invited me to join this prestigious worldwide organization whose overall aim is to promote excellence in the wine trade. I have dedicated my life to the enjoyment of wine, and only through education, training, and a passionate desire to deepen the public’s knowledge about wine, will we all be able to continue to enhance the level of excellent service in the wine business and the enhanced appreciation of wine by the public at large.”
Jean-Michel Valette, MW, a board member of the Council of IMW and former Chairman of the Robert Mondavi Winery, part of Icon Estates, which is a division of Constellation Wines, U.S, said: “The IMW’s overall objective is to promote excellence in the wine trade. We welcome Mel and, as a group, we are confident that his involvement will directly enhance our overall efforts to build a greater awareness of IMW and its relevance to the North American wine trade.”
Wayne E. Chaplin President and Chief Operating Officer of Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc., said, “All of us at Southern are very proud of Mel’s appointment to the North American Board of the Institute of Masters of Wine. IMW’s record of service to the wine industry over the decades has been instrumental in raising the professionalism in all tiers of the wine and spirits and hospitality industries in our country, not to mention around the world. And as a Company we remain deeply committed to its professional objectives, and we know that Mel passionately shares this educational and service-oriented commitment as well.”
About Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc.
Since its founding in 1968, Southern Wine and Spirits of America, Inc. (Southern) is the leading nationally-recognized wine and spirits distributor in the United States. Known for its historic commitment to delivering the highest standards of customer service, creative marketing programs and partnerships, the Company is also known for its industry-leading, professional and well-trained sales, operational and support staff as well as its ongoing investments in and contributions to hospitality and beverage education for its staff, its customers and many national educational institutions. In addition, Southern is justly respected for its deeply-held belief in the importance of giving back as a socially-responsible corporate citizen, including generous contributions to national, state and local charitable organizations.
Today, Southern operates in 27 states, including its original Florida market, where its corporate headquarters is located in Miami. Over the past 38 years, pursuing a determined strategy to expand through internal growth as well as through the acquisition of established wholesalers, Southern Wine and Spirits of America expanded its geographic footprint to include California in 1969, Nevada in 1976, Arizona in 1992, South Carolina in 1993, Pennsylvania in 1995, Hawaii in 1996, Kentucky in 1998, New Mexico in 2000, Colorado in 2001, Illinois in 2002, New York in 2004, and Maine, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia in 2005. In 2006, the Company began operations in Alabama; and, in a partnership arrangement with Alaska Distributors Co., now operates in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming as well. On a national basis, the Company employs more than 10,000 team members.