Southern Wine & Spirits of America And Glazer's Announce Post-Combination Regional Commercial Structure And Leadership

Feb 17, 2016, 16:30 ET from Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. and Glazer's, Inc.

MIAMI and DALLAS, Feb. 17, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- As part of the preparations to launch Southern Glazer's Wine and Spirits, LLC ("Southern Glazer's"), Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. ("Southern") and Glazer's, Inc. ("Glazer's") today announced the regional commercial structure that will take effect following the combination of the two companies, which is planned to close at the end of the second quarter 2016.

Southern and Glazer's also announced key leaders for the future Southern Glazer's commercial operation, each of whom will report directly to Southern Glazer's future Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Brad Vassar.

Brad Vassar commented, "We are pleased to announce today that Southern Glazer's will begin its work with the most experienced and talented group of commercial leaders in the industry. Our regional structure will empower our leaders and their teams to more effectively and efficiently serve our suppliers and customers, positioning the new company for growth and success. We congratulate these leaders on their appointments and look forward to communicating additional commercial leadership appointments as our integration planning process continues."

The commercial leaders for Southern Glazer's will be:

John Wittig: President, Eastern Region

The Southern Glazer's Eastern Region will include Delaware, Florida, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, Ohio (low proof and wine), South Carolina, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Washington, D.C.

Wittig has 31 years of experience in the beverage alcohol industry. He is currently Southern's Executive Vice President and General Manager for the State of Florida. Prior to that, he spent five years as Southern's Executive Vice President and General Manager for the State of Nevada. Before coming to Southern, Wittig was President of Glazer's Illinois division, spent four years at Brown-Forman as Vice President Division Manager for 14 states and 16 years at Seagram America in various management positions—including 10 years as a General Manager.

Mike McLaughlin: President, Central Region

The Southern Glazer's Central Region will include Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa (wine), Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas.

McLaughlin is currently Glazer's Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing. Previously Senior Vice President for the State of Texas, McLaughlin came to Glazer's in 2011 from Southern, where his last role was Vice President and General Manager of Pacific Northwest Sales. McLaughlin has over 25 years of experience in the beverage alcohol industry, including management roles at Alaska Distributors, Skyy Spirits and Frank-Lin Distillers.

Patrick Daul: President, Western Region

The Southern Glazer's Western Region will include Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho (wine), Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon (wine) and Washington.

Daul is currently Senior Vice President, Commercial Strategy for Southern's California division. He has more than 33 years in the industry, including 23 years at Southern with increasing roles of responsibility across three California selling divisions. Past roles included American Wine & Spirits, General Manager for Northern California; Pacific Wine & Spirits, General Manger for Northern California; Pacific Wine & Spirits, Statewide General Manager; as well as Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing for the California division.

Each regional leader will be directly responsible for the strategic goals of their geography, enabling rapid regional response, organizational alignment and the targeted deployment of programs to maximize efficiencies and effectiveness for Southern Glazer's supplier and customer trading partners alike. These leaders will support supplier and key account relationships, plan regional marketing, track execution of business initiatives and oversee regional and divisional talent management and development. Additionally, the General Manager for each state will report into the regional president.

Kevin Fennessey: Executive Vice President, Commercial Operations

In this role, Fennessey will drive sales operations, including oversight of business intelligence, category management and trade development, planning and forecasting, salesforce effectiveness and sales technology. In addition to these responsibilities, he will also continue to help lead the Integration Management Office.

Fennessey joined Southern in 2009 and is currently Executive Vice President of Commercial Strategy. He has more than 35 years of sales and marketing experience in the wine and spirits industry. Prior to joining Southern, he served as President and CEO of The Absolut Spirits Company, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Pernod Ricard USA and Senior Vice President of the North America Division at The Seagram Company.

Finally, the alcoholic beverage Control States—Alabama, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Montgomery County in Maryland, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming, as well as Canada—will operate as a group separate from the open states regional structure.

"We are excited about what Southern Glazer's will achieve with this regional structure," said Wayne E. Chaplin, President and Chief Executive Officer of Southern. "By positioning the combined company to better meet the unique needs of each geographical area, we will provide even better, more tailored service to our trading partners. This outstanding leadership team stands ready to take the helm and build upon our long history of world-class service."

Shelly Stein, President and Chief Executive Officer of Glazer's, added, "This is another example of how the Southern Glazer's combination will enable us to lead the way in our industry, combining quality of service with excellence in execution at all levels. We will have the right people and the right strategy in place from day one to help our suppliers and customers reach and exceed their business goals."

Announcements for the vacancies created by these appointments, as well as the commercial leaders for key trading partner relationships—including the leaders of strategic supplier divisions, Control/Canada, fine wine and national accounts—will be forthcoming.  

About Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc.

Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. is the nation's largest wine and spirits distributor and broker with operations in 35 markets. The multi-state distributor currently operates in: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Kentucky, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming. Southern will be operational in Nebraska by the end of February 2016, and operational in North Dakota and South Dakota by April 1, 2016. On a national basis, Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. employs more than 14,500 team members. Southern urges all retail customers and adult consumers to market, sell, serve and enjoy its products responsibly.

For more information about Southern and its responsible consumption program, see:

About Glazer's, Inc.

Glazer's, one of the country's largest privately held companies, currently operates in 15 states, Canada and the Caribbean, and is one of the nation's largest distributors of wine, spirits and malt beverage products. The company has operations in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Canada, and the US Virgin Islands. The third-generation family business was founded in Dallas in 1933. For more information, please visit our website at

Press Contact:
Mark Semer

SOURCE Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. and Glazer's, Inc.