Thomas McDevitt Appointed as VP, Category Management and Business Intelligence
For Immediate Release


Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. Appoints Thomas McDevitt As Vice President, Category Management and Business Intelligence
 

New Corporate Position to Strengthen SWS of America's National Research Capabilities to Serve Both Suppliers and Customers 

MIAMI, April 18, 2005 -- In a senior appointment designed to greatly strengthen the market research and category management capabilities of Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc.'s national operations, Wayne E. Chaplin, President and Chief Operating Officer of Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc., the country's largest wine and spirits distributor with operations currently in 12 states, and pending in seven more, announced the appointment of Thomas McDevitt as Vice President, Category Management and Business Intelligence.

The appointment is effective immediately.  Mr. Chaplin said, "As we seek to add value in our work on behalf of both our supplier partners and all our customers, we are determined to provide and utilize the very best marketplace information and intelligence we can gather and analyze in order to increase the sales of the brands we are honored to represent as well as help boost the profits of the on- and off-premise customers we are privileged to serve. That is why Tom's appointment is so important; it symbolizes our continuing efforts to maintain our leadership position in the market, for both our suppliers and our customers." 

According to Mr. Chaplin, Mr. McDevitt will report to Brad Vassar, Executive Vice President, General Manager of Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. Noting the importance of this new corporate position, Mr. Vassar said, "We are extremely excited to have a real industry professional like Thomas heading up our new Category Management and Business Intelligence group. Under Tom's leadership, this team will be responsible for developing a 'best- in-class' organization designed to provide our retail customers with significant data and consumer insights. This actionable research and marketplace intelligence will allow our operating divisions across the country to be that much more efficient in their product assortment and placement strategies, market by market, state by state. Our goal is to assist our customers in maximizing profits in their beverage alcohol departments."  Mr. McDevitt said, "Given its tradition of leadership and innovation, Southern Wine & Spirits of America is uniquely positioned in the marketplace to add incredible value to both its supplier partners and its retail customers. The opportunity to join an organization of the caliber of SWS and help in that process was just too exciting to pass up." 

Prior to joining the Company, Mr. McDevitt worked at Robert Mondavi Winery, where in 1999 he joined as Director of Market Research. There, Mr. McDevitt created a 20-person market research and business intelligence department modeled on Fortune 500 consumer packaged goods companies. Then, in 2001, Mr. McDevitt was promoted to Vice President, Strategic Insights and Analytics, where he assumed the added responsibilities of company-wide category management strategies, formulating depletion-based reporting and analysis, and strategic planning analysis. Previously, Mr. McDevitt worked at A.C. Nielsen Advanced Analytics group as an Account Manager. 

Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. is the nation's largest wine and spirits distributor, with current operations in 12 states and pending acquisitions in seven states. The multi-state distributor currently operates in: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Kentucky, Hawaii, Illinois, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania and South Carolina; and has pending acquisitions in the additional states of: Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Vermont and Virginia. On a national basis, Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. employs more than 8,500 team members.

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