For Immediate Release Contact Wayne E. Chaplin
President and Chief Operating Officer
Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc.
Telephone: (305) 625-4171
Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. Announces Establishment of Southern Wine & Spirits of Delaware and Strengthens its Position in Ohio with the Acquisition of Postiy Wine & Spirits of Ohio
Steven Dick Appointed Executive Vice President, General Manager in Delaware
Brad Waxman Named Vice President, General Manager in Pennsylvania and Robinson Cooper hired as Vice President, General Manager in Ohio
Delaware Move Boosts Company’s Mid-Atlantic Coverage, Brings Total to 29 States in which Company Operates
MIAMI - January 8, 2008 – Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc., the Nation’s Leading Wine and Spirits Distributor and Control States Broker with a tradition of service excellence since 1968, announced the establishment of Southern Wine & Spirits of Delaware, the result of the acquisition of the former Delaware Importers LLC of New Castle, Delaware, which was a joint venture between Ed Stegemeier and Roger Hart, the company’s founders, and Eber Bros. Wine & Spirits Corp., Rochester, New York.
In a related transaction, Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. announced it had acquired Postiy Wine & Spirits of Ohio, which is based in Columbus, Ohio.
Commenting on the significance of the Delaware and Ohio announcements, Wayne E. Chaplin, President and Chief Operating Officer of Southern Wine & Spirits of America, said, “The Delaware acquisition solidifies our position as one of the major players in the Northeast Corridor of the United States, a region where we feel there is still strong opportunity for future growth. All told, this latest news brings Southern Wines & Spirits of America’s coverage to a total of 29 states. These states represent 68 percent of the total wine and spirits business in the U.S.”
Mr. Chaplin added, “This latest acquisition in Ohio will allow us to make an immediate impact and benefit from the synergies of our previously announced acquisition of Paramount Wine & Spirits’ Brokerage operations in July. The combined effect of these acquisitions will allow us to add significant value to the brokerage business in Ohio.” [The Company’s latest Ohio acquisition follows the July 16, 2007 Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. announcement of its purchase of Paramount Distillers Brokerage operations in Ohio from Paramount Distillers, Inc. – For more information, log onto: www.southernwine.com, and click on News.]
Southern Enters Delaware
In connection with the Company’s entry into Delaware, Mr. Chaplin said, “We are proud, excited and look forward to working with the family of quality Suppliers that Delaware Importers now represents and we are confident that we will be able to grow that business in typical Southern style by increasing resources and bringing new ideas to marketplace.”
Brad Vassar, Executive Vice President, General Manager of Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. said, “We are pleased to begin operations under the name of Southern Wine & Spirits of Delaware and are excited to have Ed Stegemeier with us, who will be active going forward not only during the transition, but also in our overall relations with the Delaware State Government and its regulatory agencies.”
Mr. Vassar announced that Steven Dick, Executive Vice President, General Manager of Southern Wine & Spirits of Pennsylvania, has been promoted to Executive Vice President, General Manager of Southern Wine & Spirits of Delaware, effective January 1, 2008.
Mr. Dick, a 22-year veteran of the Company and who previously worked in the Company’s Florida operation as General Sales Manager, Wine Division and as well as for the former Seagram Chateau & Estate Wines Company as Vice President, Southern Division Manager, said: “I am extremely honored to be joining our Company’s Delaware team and look forward to working with Ed and the entire Delaware team to further strengthen our overall efforts to expand the business of our Supplier partners, all of whom we are proud to represent.” He added, “Based on my diverse experiences both in Pennsylvania and Florida with Southern and, prior to that with Seagram Chateau & Estate Wines Co. (now Diageo Chateau & Estate Wine Co., part of Diageo Plc.), I have managed an extensive portfolio of different wine and spirits brands, gained expertise in operations as well as in a wide variety of product categories, and developed proven skills in successfully motivating a diverse and aggressive sales force – all of which will be indispensible to our lasting success in Delaware.”
Mr. Vassar, added, “I have every confidence in Steven’s success as he takes on his newest challenge in assuming the leadership of the sales and operational teams in Delaware. The team we have in place represents an unbeatable group of talented executives who will no doubt fully leverage our Company-wide resources and best practices. The result of their efforts will be the delivery of the highest levels of service to all of our supplier partners and customers across the state.”
Given Mr. Dick’s new responsibilities in Delaware, Mr. Vassar announced that Brad Waxman has been named Vice President, General Manager of Southern Wine & Spirits of Pennsylvania. Mr. Vassar said that Mr. Waxman has more than 30 years’ experience in the beverage alcohol industry, previously serving as President of Superior Wine and Spirits from 1993 through 1995. Next, Mr. Waxman joined Southern Wine & Spirits of Pennsylvania in January 1999 as General Sales Manager of the Company’s Pennsylvania Wine and Spirits Division; then, in 2004, he was appointed General Sales Manager of SWS of Pennsylvania. Noting his new responsibilities, Mr. Waxman said: “I look forward to further strengthening our already strong ties to the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board and its dedicated employees across the Keystone State on behalf of all our Supplier Partners. I also inherit a tremendously strong team that Steven Dick has built over the years and I look forward to working closely with all my colleagues at Southern Wine & Spirits of Pennsylvania.”
Strengthening Southern’s Ohio Presence
In connection with the Ohio announcement, Peter M. Hickey, Executive Vice President, General Manager-Control States Division of Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. said that Robinson Cooper has been appointed Vice President, General Manager of Southern Wine & Spirits of Ohio. The appointment is effective January 1, 2008.
In noting Rob Cooper’s appointment, Mr. Hickey said: “I am delighted that Rob is joining Southern. He will start in his new role on January 1, 2008 and report to me. Rob comes to us from Beam Global Spirits and Wine, where he last served as Regional Marketing Director for the Control States. Rob has been an exceptional performer in the spirits industry throughout his career. He brings an extensive experience level and dynamism that will be key as we look to drive the business in this important new market. Rob has held sales and marketing roles with major suppliers such as Beam, Bacardi, Allied Domecq and Seagram in regional positions, as well as in key markets such as Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey. He has delivered superb results in each. Rob also has early distributor/broker experience with Margolis and Superior in Pennsylvania.”
Mr. Cooper said, “I am thrilled and extremely honored to join this world-class organization and look forward to all of the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in overseeing the Southern Wine & Spirit of Ohio’s operation. In doing so, I will maintain the single-minded goal of meeting and exceeding the expectations of all of our trading partners.”
Mr. Hickey added: “Following the news of our entry into Ohio earlier this year with the acquisition of Paramount Distillers Brokerage operations and recognizing the strength of both individual sales organizations, we are extremely confident about the prospects and opportunities of working in Ohio and we are more prepared than ever to grow market share for all our Ohio Supplier Partners.” He added that: “I am confident that Rob will add a great deal to our continuing success in Ohio. I also want to acknowledge Don Postiy’s continuing role in assisting our entire team and helping us during this period of transition and growth; we are excited that Don has agreed to stay on and help us build Southern Wine & Spirits of Ohio.”
About Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc.
Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. is the nation’s leading wine and spirits distributor and Control States broker with a tradition of service excellence since 1968, with operations in 29 states, including this transaction. The Company currently operates in: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Kentucky, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia. The Company has a strategic partnership with Alaska Distributors Co. of Seattle, Washington, called Southern Wine/Spirits West, a joint venture that has wine and spirits brokerage operations across the Northwest Control States of Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. On a national basis, Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. employs more than 10,000 team members. For more information contact: www.southernwine.com.