The SOMM Journal

April / May 2016

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12 { THE SOMM JOURNAL } APRIL/MAY 2016 { notebook } Mel Dick, President, Wine Division and Senior Vice President of Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc., has been elevated to the rank of Commandeur in the Order of Agricultural Merit. Mel Dick joined Southern in 1969 and is an early founder and leader of the company. On December 17, 2015, Philippe Létrilliart, the Consul General of France in Miami, officially presented Mel with the recognition and medal for the Order of Agricultural Merit—an honor bestowed by the French Republic for outstanding contribution to agriculture. Philippe Létrilliart, Consul General of France in Miami, said, "A great ambassador of the French Art de vivre, Mel Dick has dedicated his life to sharing the enjoyment of wine and fine products. For his constant efforts to promote French wine and the French culture through Southern Wines and Spirits' development, and for his unfailing friendship with my country, I was glad to award him with the collar of Commandeur de l'Ordre National du Mérite Agricole, as a new token of France's gratitude and appreciation." Regulated by the France's Ministry of Agriculture, this prestigious order consists of three levels—Chevalier (Knight) in which Mel Dick received in 1984, Officier (Officer) and Commandeur (Commander). As a recipient of the Mérite Agricole, Mel received a certificate commemorating the honor as well as a medal during an official decoration ceremony at the Consul General's office in Miami. Mel is the recipient of numerous service awards from the Champagne, wine, spirits and water industries throughout the world. In 2000, he received the prestigious Legion of Honor, France's highest honor, in Paris for his outstanding contribution to the French wine and Champagne, spirits and water industry and was elevated to Officier de la Légion d'Honneur in October 2010. Promotions and Honors TWO INDUSTRY VETERANS MAKE NEWS Rocco Lombardo to Lead New York–Based Wilson Daniels Wholesale Rocco Lombardo, currently President of Wilson Daniels, Ltd., assumed expanded leadership responsibilities for affiliate Wilson Daniels Wholesale, headquartered in New York City, in February. Rocco Lombardo, a 20-year industry veteran, joined California-based fine wine importer Wilson Daniels in June 2015. Prior to joining Wilson Daniels, Rocco led imports and wholesale operations for Frederick Wildman and Sons, and successfully strengthened the company's distribution division in New York and New Jersey. In his new role, Rocco will work closely with longtime colleagues Kevin Murphy, Vice President, Operations and Benjy Kirschner, Vice President, Sales, who will con - tinue to lead local market growth and portfolio operations. Rocco will lead Wilson Daniels Wholesale as it begins exclusive distribution in New Jersey on March 1 for a portfolio of more than 80 brands representing the world's most famed wine regions, including Burgundy, Champagne, Piedmont, Tuscany and Napa Valley. A new five-person sales team will be charged with driving brand growth in New Jersey. "Rocco brings a depth of experience in commercial wholesale operations, and his strong rela - tionships in the New York and New Jersey markets will prove valuable to partners of Wilson Daniels Wholesale," said Chris Underwood, Chief Executive Officer. "Infinium Spirits is excited to partner with Wilson Daniels Wholesale in New Jersey," said Steve Brecher, President, Infinium Spirits. "Our premium spirits portfolio is growing rapidly and Rocco has a proven track record of accelerating growth in that region." Mel Dick (left), Senior Vice President of Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. and President of the company's Wine Division, is elevated to Commandeur for the Order of Agricultural Merit— an honor bestowed by the French Republic. Philippe Letrilliart (right), Consul General of France in Miami, presented the medal and recognition. Rocco Lombardo, President of Wilson Daniels, Ltd. The French Republic Elevates Mel Dick to Commandeur in the Order of Agricultural Merit PHOTO: PRNEWSFOTO/SOUTHERN WINE & SPIRITS OF AMERICA PHOTO COURTESY OF WILSON DANIEL C M Y CM MY CY CMY K

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