MIAMI--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc., (Southern), the nation’s largest wine and spirits distributor with operations in 35 states, today announced the retirement of Steve Power as Executive Vice President, General Manager of Southern’s Florida division. The effective date is December 31, 2013.
A 37-year veteran of the company and a senior executive who is widely praised within and beyond Southern for helping grow the division into the state’s pre-eminent wine and spirits distribution operation, Power said, “I am extremely proud of my career-long association with Southern and all the wonderful colleagues, suppliers and customers I have had the honor of working with. At the same time, beginning in January, I very much look forward to spending more time with my family, working more with my favorite charities, enjoying my love of boating and working with Southern in a consulting capacity.”
Paying tribute to Power, Harvey R. Chaplin, Southern’s Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, said, “On behalf of all of Steve’s colleagues here at Southern and countless industry leaders who know and respect his professionalism, record of accomplishment and truly kind way, we will all miss Steve. We extend to him and his family our heartfelt thanks for his years of outstanding service to our company, our supplier partners and our customers throughout Florida. We all wish him the very best and thank him for his loyalty, work ethic and ‘steady-hand-on-the-rudder’ leadership style.”
Wayne E. Chaplin, Southern’s President & Chief Operating Officer, added, “I have known Steve my entire professional career, and he has not only been a great personal friend, but also an extremely important factor behind our company’s growth and leadership in Florida. His efforts mentoring people and building strong trading partner relationships have established a strong foundation for continued success in the Florida division for years to come.”
Mel Dick, Southern’s Senior Vice President & President, Wine Division, commented, “I am proud to say that I hired Steve nearly 40 years ago, and over this time period, he has not only been a trusted associate, but also a huge contributor to our company’s successful growth across Florida, which is our home base and where so many of our colleagues first get their start selling wine and spirits. Steve is among the greatest I have been privileged to work with over all these years. I wish Steve and his entire family only great health and happiness—and thank him for the special assistance he gave to me throughout his career.”
Brad Vassar, Southern’s Executive Vice President, General Manager, continued, “Steve is truly one of the great guys in the business, and I wish him well in the next phase of his life. He was instrumental in building our statewide operation into its leadership position today—as he has also nurtured many current Southern leaders who got their start in Florida. On a personal note, I have worked closely with Steve since coming to Miami nine years ago, and I know first-hand of Steve’s integrity, expertise and talent development skills. He truly brings out the best in others and evokes enduring loyalty among those he has touched during his career.”
Lee F. Hager, Southern’s Executive Vice President, Secretary & Chief Administrative Officer, concluded, “Steve has been the true ‘backbone’ to our Company, serving as a tremendous example to our entire national enterprise for almost four decades. Being the host market for Southern headquarters, Steve was always willing to test and try new approaches before we rolled them out to other markets. Steve and his Florida team have always been in the forefront of implementing change at Southern.”
Steve Power is a St. Petersburg, Florida native who joined Southern in 1976. His distinguished career is characterized by a steady series of increasing sales and management responsibilities that is emblematic of Southern’s longstanding practice of promoting talent from within its organization.
Following a short, six-month stint as a wine salesman for a national wine marketer, Power was hired by Mel Dick, and started as a Sales Representative covering off-premise wine accounts in the Miami market. Two years later, Power was moved to the Company's On-Premise Wine Sales Department in the Miami market, working on a variety of national domestic and imported wine brands. Then, in 1980, Power was promoted to District Manager, On-Premise Wine Sales in the Miami market. Next, in 1984, Power was appointed Sales Manager, On-Premise Wines for the Miami market. In 1986, Power was named Assistant to the President, Wine Division—Mel Dick. In that position, Power assisted Dick with the Florida division. Then, in 1989, Power was appointed Vice President, General Manager for the Southern Florida division. Three years later, in 1992, Power was promoted to Executive Vice President, General Manager of Southern Wine & Spirits of Florida where his responsibilities included overseeing all sales and supplier relations for the State of Florida.
In his lead role in Florida, Power was instrumental in streamlining the geographical divisions in Florida from four regions down to two. This new organizational sales structure allowed the Company to better align itself with some of the state's largest on- and off-premise customers. He also intensified his division’s already heavy commitment to product knowledge and employee education. Last but not least and with the support of the Chaplin family, Power proudly led the company’s involvement with state-level charitable efforts.
An announcement regarding Southern’s future management structure in Florida 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 also holds operating licenses and permits in Nebraska and Texas. On a national basis, Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. employs nearly 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: http://www.southernwine.com.