New Corporate Appointments Announced at Southern Wine & Spirits of America

For Immediate Release
Contact: Wayne E. Chaplin
President & Chief Operating Officer
Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc.
(305) 625-4171                                                                               

Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. Announces New Corporate Appointments

Brad Vassar named Executive Vice President/General Manager of Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc.

New, National Position to Enhance Both Internal & External Relations With Southern’s State Operations, Its Suppliers and Its Customers

Executive Appointments Also Announced for Southern’s California Division


     Miami - December 1, 2004 - In a move to enhance its already industry-leading management team, Mr. Wayne E. Chaplin, President and Chief Operating Officer of Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. announced the appointment of Mr. Brad Vassar, age 47, a 14-year employee of Southern and 20-year industry veteran, as its Executive Vice President,

General Manager for Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. According to Mr. Chaplin, this is a new corporate executive position for the country’s largest wine and spirits distribution operation, which employs more 8,000 team members nationally. The appointment is effective January 1, 2005.

     Mr. Chaplin said, “At Southern, we have always believed, if possible, to promote from within our ranks, so I am especially pleased to name Brad to this new position, where he will serve as an integral part of our national leadership executive team. Brad previously held the position as Vice President, General Manager of our Southern California division, where he managed with professionalism and leadership abilities that we believe qualifies him for the unique challenges that this new position will hold.”

      Regarding Mr. Vassar’s promotion, Mr. Harvey R. Chaplin, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are delighted that Brad is taking on these new responsibilities in our corporate headquarters, here in Miami. His long tenure with our Company has prepared him to be one of the next great leaders of not only our company, but also our industry. His dedicated work ethic and passionate commitment to serving our suppliers and customers alike is something that all of us at Southern are proud of.”

     Noting his specific responsibilities, Mr. Wayne Chaplin further added, “Brad’s new position will have all our State General Managers having direct responsibility to him, as well as Southern’s National On-Premise Account Group and the soon-to-be-formed National Account Off-Premise and Category Management Teams.  I am also delighted that Brad will be working alongside Mel Dick, our Senior Vice President and President of our Wine Division and Rudy Ruiz, our Executive Vice President of Spirits, serving as the core of our executive strategy and performance team.”

     Commenting on his appointment, Mr. Brad Vassar said, “I appreciate this tremendous opportunity to work alongside Mel and Rudy, as well as the very talented group of General Managers that we have throughout the country, this to continue to build on Southern Wine & Spirits of America’s industry-leading reputation and level of excellence in the years to come.”

Further, Mr. Vassar commented, “Having managed one of Southern’s largest business units in one of the most diverse states in the nation, I am totally confident that I am ready to assist in addressing the varied and ever-changing business challenges that our senior corporate management team is certain to face in the 12 states where we currently operate as we continue to grow.”

     Mr. Wayne Chaplin continued, “With Brad’s appointment, we are strengthening our senior management team both internally and externally. This will benefit not only our 8,000-and-growing team of employees and executives, but also our suppliers and customers alike. Moreover, this will help us fulfill our vision of building the most professionally managed alcoholic beverage distributorships in the United States. In addition, Brad’s promotion is representative of our abiding philosophy of promoting from within. We value those employees who rise through the ranks, and it is a hallmark of our company to cultivate and elevate our own people. ”

Southern Wine & Spirits of California Announces Following Appointments:

     Following the promotion of Mr. Brad Vassar, Mr. Wayne E. Chaplin further announced that Mr. Ted Simpkins has been promoted to Senior Vice President, Managing Director of Southern Wine & Spirits of California, American Wine & Spirits, and Pacific Wine & Spirits, all wholly owned divisions of Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. In addition, Jack Brennan, currently Vice President, General Manager, Northern California has been promoted to Executive Vice President, General Manager of California. According to Mr. Chaplin, Mr. Brennan’s responsibilities will now encompass the entire state of California for all supplier and sales personnel relations. In addition, Patrick Daul, currently Vice President, Director of Sales, Pacific Wine & Spirits of Northern California has been named Vice President, General Manager of Pacific Wine & Spirits for the State of California.  Mr. Daul will assume this statewide responsibility when a replacement has been selected for his current position.

     Noting these executive appointments, Mr. Simpkins said, “We believe the state of California is moving in a statewide direction and as the business boundaries between the north and south close, we believe that these promotions and realignment in our executive management team will allow us to work more closely with both our customer and supplier partners, and be more responsive statewide to their needs as well as the ever-changing requirements of our dynamic marketplace.”

     Southern Wine & Spirits of California is the largest statewide distributor of wines and spirits in California, and currently employs more 2,500 people throughout the State. Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc., which is the country’s largest wine and spirits distributor in the United States, operates in 12 states, including: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Kentucky, Hawaii, Illinois, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina.

 

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