SWS and the Odom Corp. Announce Strategic Partnership Across Seven Pacific Northwest States
For Immediate Release          Contact:  Wayne E. Chaplin
                                                                 President & Chief Operating Officer
                                                                 Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc.
                                                                Telephone: (305) 625-4171
                                                                John P. Odom
                                                                President & Chief Executive Officer
                                                                The Odom
                                                                Telephone: (425) 456-3510

Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. and The Odom Corporation Announce Strategic Partnership Across 7 Pacific Northwest States

Open and Control States Joint Venture To Create Leading Sales and Operations Capabilities For Both Spirits and Wine in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Utah, Washington and Wyoming

Adam Hilpert Named Executive Vice President, Sales of Pacific Northwest Joint Venture to Oversee Wine Wholesaling in Washington, Oregon, Alaska and Northern Idaho

James Allen Named Executive Vice President, Managing Director, Fine Wine, for Southern-Odom Partnership

Michael McLaughlin Appointed Vice President, General Manager of Pacific Northwest Joint Venture’s Brokerage Operations and Alaska’s Spirits Division

MIAMI - July 21, 2008: Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc., the Nation’s Leading Wine and Spirits Distributor and Control State Broker with a tradition of service of excellence since 1968, and The Odom Corporation, a leading multi-state beverage distributor serving the Northwest since 1934, announced the formation of a new wine and spirits joint venture to wholesale operations in the states of Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Alaska.  According to the Southern-Odom agreement, the new company will also incorporate the Southern Wine Spirits West existing six-state Control States operation in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. The new venture will encompass a strategic partnership for the distribution of wine throughout the State of Washington and Northern Idaho; wine and spirits within the State of Alaska; and the immediate establishment of a fully operational wine distributorship in the State of Oregon.

In a related transaction, the Partnership has agreed to purchase certain wine and the spirits distribution rights from Alaska Distributors in the States of Alaska, Washington and Idaho. 

In three related senior management moves, the Southern/Odom partnership announced that Michael McLaughlin has been appointed Vice President, General Manager of the group’s  Pacific  Northwest  six-state  brokerage  operations  as  well  as  Alaska’s  Spirits Division. Mr. McLaughlin previously served as Southern Wine Spirit West’s Vice President of the Control States division in the Pacific Northwest.  Additionally, Adam Hilpert has been named Executive Vice President, General Manager to oversee the wine wholesaling division in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska. Mr. Hilpert formerly served as Vice President, Sales at the Odom Corporation. Finally, James Allen, formerly Executive Vice President, General Manager, Wines, Southern Wine & Spirits of New York, has been named Executive Vice President, Managing Director, Fine Wine, of the Southern-Odom Pacific Northwest Group and will also work closely with all current and prospective wine suppliers and trading partners.

Wayne E. Chaplin, President and Chief Operating Officer of Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc., said, “We are excited about our expansion into the Pacific Northwest and joining with John Odom and his team at The Odom Corporation. Their established operations, experience and reputation in the Pacific Northwest marketplace are all well recognized within our industry and will serve as a foundation for our joint venture’s future growth and expansion.” Mr. Chaplin added, “Establishing a more optimized Pacific Northwest distribution system is a critical part of our overall supplier- and customer-centric growth strategy; John and his professional team are a perfect complement to our company’s capabilities.”

John Odom, President and CEO of The Odom Corporation said, “We are thrilled to work with the Southern family.  Over the past ten years we have invested heavily to expand our territory and market share in the Northwest, which adds value for our suppliers and customer partners.  Our agreement accelerates our strategic initiatives, as well as those of Southern Wine and Spirits.” Mr. Odom added, “Across our Pacific Northwest markets, we look forward to expanding our industry-leading wine capabilities; for example, our announced entry into the Oregon wine market exemplifies the commitment and resources that Southern and Odom combined will bring together to benefit both our retail customers and suppliers alike. Moving forward, we will not only rely on Southern Wine & Spirits of America’s unrivalled regional and national supply chain expertise, but also Odom’s local market knowledge in order to build a world-class supply chain, sales and distribution organization.”

Further describing the Southern/Odom vision, Mr. Chaplin emphasized: “Southern has been in the spirits brokerage business since early 2006 in the Pacific Northwest, setting the stage for this next phase of establishing a leading wine business with the Odom Corporation. Based upon Odom’s current portfolio, together we plan on adding to it with other strategic suppliers many of whom we already service in various key markets elsewhere around the country.” 

Commenting on Mr. Hilpert’s new position of responsibility, Mr. Odom said, “Adam is an outstanding executive with 17 years of experience in our industry; his past service has prepared him to oversee the day-to-day Sales, Marketing and Management responsibilities of all alcoholic beverages of our expanded Pacific Northwest operations. 

Since joining The Odom Corporation in 2003, Adam has made many important contributions  to  our  growing  presence  throughout  the  Pacific  Northwest  markets we

serve. In his new position, Adam will be working closely with the existing Odom team, Jim Allen and the entire Southern Wine & Spirits organization to continue building our industry-leading service and operational capabilities with both our customers and our supplier partners.” According to Mr. Odom, Mr. Hilpert has previously worked in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Alaska.

Noting the importance of Mr. Allen’s new appointment, Mr. Chaplin said, “In his more than 30 years of distinguished service at Southern in both established and emerging markets from California to Hawaii and from Colorado to most recently in New York, Jim has been a proven and skillful team builder—possessing remarkable capabilities to manage people and grow talent. Jim’s vast knowledge and experience gained in selling and marketing wine over three decades is respected and acknowledged by wine suppliers both in the United States and around the world. Jim’s appointment is evidence of our commitment to this partnership, our suppliers and our retail customers.”

Looking at the accord from the supplier’s perspective, Mr. Chaplin and Mr. Odom stated: “Both Adam and Jim will work closely with suppliers throughout the Pacific Northwest to strategically support them in those markets in order to provide the best customer service and the most comprehensive local go-to-market support.  We will also draw on the best people and ideas from both organizations to help implement these various initiatives, which will assure the future success of this agreement.  Working together, we also look forward to exploring other strategic opportunities across the Pacific Northwest.”

Referring to the experience and talent present in the combined entity today, Brad Vassar, Executive Vice President, General Manager of Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc., stated:  “We have a strong bench of experienced executives from both organizations, which provides our partnership with an extremely effective sales and distribution operation.  We will be drawing upon and looking to promote individuals from the Southern Wine Spirits West group, the Odom Corporation, experienced people working in the Pacific Northwest as well as from the Southern Wine & Spirits of America team to fill many of the new positions of responsibility throughout our Pacific Northwest venture.”

Reflecting on Wayne and John’s vision to draw upon the best of both organizations in building the leadership team, Mr. Vassar further noted that “Mike, Adam and Jim are three respected and highly motivated executives. Adam and Mike know the entire region

as well as anybody in this business, and Jim has a national reputation throughout the industry when it comes to wine; so we are extremely excited about the potential of our new venture.” 

In a related transaction, The Odom Corporation has agreed to purchase the beer distribution rights of Alaska Distributors in the state of Alaska and certain non alcohol beverages in Washington.

The new ‘greenfield’ division in Oregon is scheduled to be completely operational and fully staffed by September 15, 2008. All executive appointments are effective immediately.  Further management appointments to follow.

About Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc.

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 and proud to be celebrating its 40th anniversary, operates in 30 states, and is a licensed permittee in two more States, Nebraska and Texas. The Company currently operates in: Alabama, Alaska, 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 pending strategic partnership with The Odom Corporation of Bellevue, Washington, a joint venture that has wine and spirits brokerage operations across the Northwest Control States of Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming, as well as a fully-operational sales and distribution business in Alaska. On a national basis, Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. employs more than 10,000 team members. For more information contact: www.southernwine.com.

The Odom Corporation

The Odom Corporation (Odom) is one of the Northwest’s leading beverage distributors of foreign and domestic beers, wines, spirits and soft drinks, including Coca-Cola of Alaska.  Odom is a second generation family business founded in 1934—equally owned by John, Bill and Jim Odom and proudly celebrating its 75th year anniversary in 2009. The Company employs over 1,000 associates who sell and distribute more than 17 million cases annually.  For more information about Odom, please visit www.odomcorp.com .





Posted on Monday, July 21, 2008 (Archive on Monday, July 28, 2008)
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