Southern Wine & Spirits of America Announces Leadership Appointments in Florida Division

Mar 01, 2016, 11:00 ET from Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc.

MIAMI, March 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Following an announcement on several recent leadership changes as part of the preparations to launch the future Southern Glazer's Wine and Spirits, LLC (Southern Glazer's), its commercial structure and its regional president's leadership team, Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. (Southern) today announces two new leadership appointments in the Florida division. Effective immediately, Gene Sullivan will be promoted to Executive Vice President, General Manager of Florida to succeed John Wittig, the future Southern Glazer's Eastern Region President.

"I have had the pleasure to work alongside Gene on many cross functional initiatives in Florida. He is the consummate professional and a proven leader. During the past five years as the leader of our Coastal Wine & Spirits division, Gene has built a high-performing team while instilling a winning culture," said Wittig. "We look forward to Gene bringing his talent and best practices to the Southern Wine & Spirits of Florida team and I am excited to have the opportunity to continue to work with him in our future East Region endeavors."

Sullivan has 26 years of experience with Southern beginning his career in 1990. Prior to his current role as Executive Vice President, General Manager for the Coastal Wine & Spirits Division of Florida, he spent five years as Southern's Executive Vice President and General Manager for Central Florida. In the years leading up to becoming a General Manager, Gene has held many different roles with increasing roles of responsibility across all divisions.   

"I would like to thank all of the Coastal Florida team members for a great five years—it has truly been a tremendous experience. Together, we accomplished many goals and far exceeded expectations," said Sullivan. "I am extremely honored to be entrusted with the role of leading Southern's Florida division where I started my career 26-years ago. The Florida division will continue to be a high-energy, driven, professional selling organization that will provide great value to both our customers and suppliers. I look forward to continuing the great work of John Wittig and the entire Southern team."

Additionally, Ernie Castro will step in and lead Southern's Coastal Wine & Spirits sales division for the State of Florida as Vice President, General Manager. Castro is currently Vice President, General Manager of the Chain Division for Southern's Coastal Wine & Spirits Florida division. He is a 25-year veteran who has spent his entire career in the beverage alcohol industry. Castro joined Southern in 2004 following positions with Eagle Brands, Anheuser-Busch, Inc. and Diageo. Prior to the appointment to his current role in 2011, he was Vice President, Director of Sales and Marketing for four years and Director of Trade Development for two.   

"I have spent the last five years building a world-class selling division within the Florida Coastal Chain Division, and I look forward to continuing that momentum across the entire division," said Castro. "We are committed to adding value every day, everywhere and on every account call to ensure that we continue to exceed expectation and become the go-to team for our valued customers and strategic suppliers."

Commenting on these new appointments, Gerry Rivero, Executive Vice President, Managing Director of Coastal-Pacific Wine & Spirits and the North American Spirits & Wine Brokerage, said, "I am thrilled for both Gene and Ernie on their new roles. Gene has consistently delivered against both supplier and internal targets, while leading a culture of accountability and fiscal responsibility. Additionally, Ernie has developed into a strong leader by fearlessly undertaking new roles and challenges while investing in his own professional and personal development and those of his team members. The breadth of his experience and his strong supplier partnerships will allow for a smooth transition and continued growth of the division."

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 also holds operating licenses and permits in Nebraska and Texas. On a national basis, Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. employs more than 14,000 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:

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