Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. (Southern), the nation's leading wine and spirits distributor with operations in 35 states, today announced the appointment of John Wittig to Executive Vice President-General Manager of South Florida. This appointment is effective January 1, 2012, and Wittig will report directly to Southern Wine & Spirits of Florida (SWS of Florida), Executive Vice President-General Manager Steve Power.
Commenting on the new appointment, Southern's Executive Vice President-General Manager Brad Vassar said, "On behalf of the senior leadership team at Southern, we have every confidence that John will apply his best-practice approaches from Nevada in our South Florida division--leading it to new heights of performance. John achieved remarkable results in Nevada, demonstrating strong vision, team-building skills and operational discipline. We know these capabilities will provide a strong basis for our Florida division to continue to meet and exceed our customer and supplier's expectations.
Wittig started in the wine and spirits industry 24 years ago with Seagram Americas in various sales management roles, and then worked as a Division Manager for Brown Forman. Most recently, Wittig has served as the Executive Vice President-General Manager, SWS of Nevada, managing the day-to-day operations of the Nevada division for the past four years.
According to Power, "John brings to this role a breadth of industry experience that bridges both the supplier and wholesaler tiers. He has had great success with SWS of Nevada--working alongside one of the most innovative minds in our industry, Larry Ruvo." Power added, "Concurrent with John's start as Executive Vice President-General Manager of South Florida, we will also be elevating Barry Zeidwig to Executive Vice President-General Manager of North Florida, effective January 1, 2012."
Regarding his appointment, Wittig commented, "I am grateful for the opportunity to lead the South Florida Sales and Marketing team. I look forward to building on the excellent foundation that Richard Booth has developed in the marketplace." Wittig added, "I plan to leverage my experiences from the past 24 years; however, I do realize that each market has its own unique characteristics and will require a fresh approach to succeed."
Wayne Chaplin, Southern's President & Chief Operating Officer, added, "John has proven himself to be a great builder and leader of high-performing teams. He has displayed that within the markets that he has led as well as across markets on corporate strategic projects. A key strength of John is his ability to manage the 'whole' business--not just one channel or one function. He has a full toolkit, and we look forward to seeing it put to use in South Florida."
A search is currently underway for Wittig's successor in Nevada, and the company plans on filling the role by the end of 2011.