Southern Glazer's Newsroom

Southern Wine & Spirits Of America And Glazer’s Announce Post-Combination Commercial Leadership Team

Thursday, March 24, 2016 9:02 am EDT
"Southern Glazer’s will have a world-class team leading its commercial operation from day one of the new company"

Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. (“Southern") and Glazer’s, Inc. (“Glazer’s") today announced leadership appointments for the commercial organization of the future Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits, LLC (“Southern Glazer’s").

"Our announcement today is another example of the positive momentum we have in building a world class organization with industry-leading talent," stated Wayne Chaplin, President and Chief Executive Officer of Southern. "We continue to make great progress in our integration planning for Southern Glazer's, and we look forward to a successful close of our transaction planned for later in the second quarter."

“Southern Glazer’s will have a world-class team leading its commercial operation from day one of the new company," said Brad Vassar, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Southern. “Each of these leaders will bring a tremendous amount of industry expertise, knowledge and commitment to drive continuous growth and value for our suppliers. The collective experience of these leaders is unparalleled in the industry—and together our team will deliver exceptional service and support to our trading partners, as well as leadership to each of our team members."

The leaders reporting to Brad Vassar include the following:

Ray Lombard, Executive Vice President, Supplier Management and Business Development. Lombard will be managing a group of executives who are responsible for leading certain spirit and wine suppliers. That group will establish companywide priorities regarding programs and promotions and ensuring consistent ways of working across Southern Glazer’s suppliers, selling regions and shared services.

Gerald (“Gerry") Rivero, Jr., Executive Vice President, Managing Director, Coastal-Pacific Wine & Spirits Division. Rivero will oversee Southern Glazer’s Coastal-Pacific Wine & Spirits, which is the dedicated division for the Diageo/Moët Hennessy portfolio in Southern’s current 31 states. Following the combination of Southern and Glazer’s, he will also oversee Glazer’s current Diageo/Moët Hennessy states, including Arkansas, Iowa (wine), Louisiana, Missouri, Ohio (low-proof and wine), Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas.

Rudy Ruiz, Executive Vice President, Emerging Spirits Brands. Ruiz will focus on identifying and spearheading potential new spirits brands throughout the marketplace and exploring potential new expansion opportunities.

Steve Taylor, Executive Vice President, Managing Director, Constellation Portfolio. Taylor will oversee Southern Glazer’s division for the Constellation Brands portfolio, which serves 12 states today through Southern. Following the combination, he will also oversee the Constellation business in five additional states currently served by Glazer’s, including Arkansas, Kansas, Iowa, Ohio and Tennessee.

Shawn Thurman, Executive Vice President, National Accounts. Thurman will manage an on- and off-premise team that will be responsible for driving the execution of programs and promotions across on- and off-premise national accounts, including the delivery of goals and objectives for Southern Glazer’s and its suppliers within these accounts.

John Trainer, Executive Vice President, Managing Director, American-Liberty Spirits & Wine Division. Trainer will oversee Southern Glazer’s American-Liberty Spirits & Wine division, which is the dedicated division for the Pernod Ricard USA portfolio in Southern’s current 33 states. Following the combination, he will also oversee Pernod Ricard USA in three additional states currently served by Glazer’s, including Arkansas, Kansas and Tennessee.

Tony Truzzolino, Executive Vice President, Managing Director, Beam Suntory Portfolio. Truzzolino will oversee Southern Glazer’s Beam Suntory business across Southern’s current 30 states. Following the combination, he will also oversee Beam Suntory in seven additional states currently served by Glazer’s, including Arkansas, Iowa (wine), Kansas, Louisiana, Ohio (low-proof and wine), Tennessee and Texas.

As previously announced, Steve Cohen will oversee Southern Glazer’s Transatlantic Spirits division as Executive Vice President, Managing Director, which will—upon closing—market, sell and distribute the Bacardi U.S.A. portfolio across the entire Southern Glazer’s footprint of 44 U.S. states plus Canada and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

“The wine business has been vital to our innovation, growth and overall business success for nearly a half century—and now we will extend this momentum as Southern Glazer’s," said Mel Dick, who will serve as Southern Glazer’s Senior Vice President and President of the Wine Division. “The future of wine in America is monumental—both for the tremendous domestic wines of America as well as the rich tapestry of imported wines from around the world. We know that, together, both companies have the most experienced and credentialed wine professionals in the industry who can and will expertly steward our broad-ranging portfolio of brands to bring unparalleled success to our family of leading wine suppliers."

Reporting to Mel Dick:

Steve Slater, Executive Vice President, General Manager, Wine Division. Slater will lead a team responsible for working with Southern Glazer’s portfolio of leading wine suppliers—with a high focus on further enhancing the fine wine capabilities of the company.

This group of leaders will work closely with the previously announced Southern Glazer’s Regional Presidents – John Wittig (Eastern Region), Mike McLaughlin (Central Region), and Patrick Daul (Western Region) – and Kevin Fennessey, Executive Vice President, Commercial Operations to develop and implement industry-leading supplier and customer strategies. All leaders will ensure a consistent execution across all regions, focused on driving value for suppliers, customers and trading partners.

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, North Dakota and South Dakota. 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

Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits

1600 N.W. 163rd Street

Miami, FL 33169

Phone:(305) 625-4171

14911 Quorum Drive, Ste. 150

Dallas, TX 75254

Phone:(972) 392-8200

Location Contact Information