John Scribner Announces Retirement from 39-Year Career with Terlato Wine Group
Established in 1947, fourth generation family owned and operated Terlato Wine Group (TWG) today announced the retirement of John Scribner, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, after 39 years of dedicated service with the Terlato family.
Scribner began his relationship with the Terlato’s as a partner in the CPA firm responsible for auditing the family’s companies. Patriarch Tony Terlato, 44 at the time, appreciated his keen financial acumen and admired his legal prowess, ultimately hiring him in the late 70’s. As one of the company’s first Senior Executives, Scribner’s role was to help establish financial structure to drive growth for the businesses.
Anthony J. Terlato, Chairman of Terlato Wine Group noted, “John and our family have been working together since 1978. During those 39 years Pacific Wine Co evolved from a local bottler of California wines, to distributor, to Importer, to winery owner, to vineyard owner and finally into international sales. John wrote every contract that we signed over all 39 years. The role he played in assisting in the development of Terlato Wines is immeasurable. Though I'm Sorry to see him go, he has earned the right to enjoy life in peace and tranquility and I wish him many years of both”.
Bill Terlato, President and CEO of Terlato Wine Group commented on John’s announcement, “It was with mixed feelings that we accepted John’s retirement. It is a day we knew would eventually come, but we never fully expected it to happen. John has been a fixture of the family business for my entire career. I have learned a lot observing my dad and John over the last 37 years, and by working closely with them. John will continue to participate on the Terlato Wine Group Board of Directors and advise us on legal issues. He has a wealth of institutional information and we welcome his continued counsel and friendship. We obviously wish him very well on his retirement, but there will certainly be a void around here.”
Scribner’s role evolved significantly over the years and encompassed many areas; Finance, Legal Counsel, Regulatory Affairs, Tax and Compliance. He quickly became a close and trusted advisor and was involved in everything from the sale of the Terlato family’s 7 Illinois distributorships, the expansion of Paterno Imports and eventual name change to Terlato Wine Group, the acquisition of multiple wineries and vineyards, acting intermediary for several joint ventures and partnerships and intimate involvement in all contracts and negotiations over the years. From 1999 to 2017 he was also responsible for running the family’s multiple owned-brands and vineyards globally, and is the only nonfamily member to have a voting seat on the company’s Board.
In reflecting on his time at Terlato Scribner said, “It has been an exciting journey being part of a family company which has grown from a local wine bottler/distributor to a vertically integrated multi-national.
An inter-generational transition in a family business can be difficult, but for me it has been nothing but positive. In an age of the impersonal corporation, I joined a family where loyalty is still considered a two way street. I am sure the foundation that I helped build will leave the company in good stead for generations yet to come. While it is certainly with conflicting emotions that I leave, I will forever cherish the many friendships and the amazing experiences made along the way.”
John Terlato said, “What does one say about a man who dedicated almost 40 years of his life to one family and their business? John is an amazing individual; he is the embodiment of loyalty, honesty, integrity, intelligence, tenacity and problem solving. While his contributions were endless, what mattered the most to our family was his trusted counsel which was ultimately his greatest contribution. John’s friendship with our family and legacy within our business will endure for generations to come.”
TWG will be interviewing candidates to fill the role of General Counsel; while Scribner’s other myriad responsibilities will be shared amongst CFO Ed Pitlik and Sandra LeDrew, President of Winery Operations. Scribner will remain with the business day to day as long as needed to ensure a seamless
transition and will continue on the Terlato Wine Group Board of Directors.