MIAMI & DALLAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits (“Southern Glazer’s”)—the world's pre-eminent distributor of beverage alcohol—today announced that it is celebrating its 19th consecutive year as the host of the Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by Capital One (SOBEWFF®), a star-studded, five-day destination event, held February 19 – 23. SOBEWFF®, which benefits the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management at Florida International University (FIU), has raised more than $30 million for the School to date. Each year, Southern Glazer’s collaborates with its world-class suppliers to secure more than 300 top wine and spirits brands for more than 100 SOBEWFF® events across Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties.
“It has been truly gratifying to witness the growth of SOBEWFF® over the past 19 years,” said Lee Brian Schrager, Senior Vice President of Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility for Southern Glazer’s, and Founder and Director of SOBEWFF®. “It has become the premier event for wine and food lovers from around the world, all while supporting local hospitality students, who are so important to the future of the hospitality industry.”
Approximately 1,300 FIU students will volunteer to help produce this year’s Festival, where they will participate alongside event management professionals, world-renowned chefs, winemakers, spirits producers, and restauranteurs. Student volunteers support in a variety of hands-on roles that range from assisting chefs with the preparation of their dishes, to facilitating guest registration. A team of 18 FIU students aid in recruiting year-round through outreach, interviews, and on-site volunteer management, working closely with Festival event managers on event staffing details.
“SOBEWFF® offers our students a professional development experience unlike any other,” said Michael Cheng, Interim Dean, Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management at FIU. “Our students are able to get a taste for what it takes to pull off a one-of-a-kind, large-scale event, all while networking with some of the best professionals in the hospitality industry. SOBEWFF® also provides our students, many of whom come from low-income families, financial relief and motivation toward a timely graduation through its scholarship program. We can’t thank Southern Glazer’s enough for investing in the next generation of hospitality leaders.”
Scholarships, funded by proceeds from SOBEWFF®, are awarded to standout students annually. The Lee Brian Schrager Excellence in Leadership Awards—created nine years ago by Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits in honor of Mr. Schrager’s leadership and dedication to the Chaplin School—recognize students who commit a tremendous amount of time to volunteering at the Festival each year. SOBEWFF® proceeds have also funded the development of various instructional facilities at FIU, such as the School’s Wine Spectator Restaurant Management Laboratory, which houses the Badia Spices Food Production Lab and the Brew Science Lab—all of which strengthen the School’s focus on building students’ advanced management skills and its growing research in food, wine, beer, and spirits.
“In hosting SOBEWFF® each year, we continue to further our commitment to hospitality education, which is paramount to us as a Company,” said Wayne Chaplin, Chief Executive Officer, Southern Glazer’s. “Hospitality is what we do best, so by supporting FIU and its students, we help nurture a thriving hospitality industry here in South Florida and beyond.”
For the seventh year, BizBash named SOBEWFF® among the top 100 events in the U.S. for 2019 and ranked it first in the Food, Beverage and Restaurant Industry Events category. Between SOBEWFF® and its sister festival, the Food Network & Cooking Channel New York City Wine & Food Festival, $42.5 million has been raised to benefit each Festival’s respective charities.
From cocktail showdowns and rosé pool parties, to sit-down dinners and wine seminars, SOBEWFF® offers a host of wine and cocktail-forward events for every palate. For tickets and a full list of events, visit sobewff.org, or call 866-271-8540. Follow Southern Glazer’s on Instagram at @sgwinespirits to keep up with all things craft cocktail and wine-related at SOBEWFF®.
About Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits
Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits is the world’s pre-eminent distributor of beverage alcohol, and proud to be a multi-generational, family-owned company. The Company has operations in 44 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, and Canada, and employs more than 20,000 team members. Southern Glazer’s urges all retail customers and adult consumers to market, sell, serve, and enjoy its products responsibly. For more information visit www.southernglazers.com. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @sgwinespirits and on Facebook at Facebook.com/SouthernGlazers.