The Tasting Panel magazine

May 2014

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98  /  the tasting panel  /  may 2014 S outhern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. (Southern), the nation's leading wine and spirits distributor with operations in 35 states, has announced the retirement of Jim Allen, who most recently served as Senior Vice President, Fine Wines. Allen's retirement was effective January 6, 2014, and his service to the company commemo- rated on March 12 at a celebratory dinner in Los Angeles. "Southern Wine & Spirits wouldn't be what it is today if it weren't for Jim Allen," said Mel Dick, Senior Vice President and President, Wine Division for SWS of America before an audience of hundreds at Jim Allen's retirement party in mid-March. At the dinner, held at the Four Seasons Beverly Hills, Allen's family and friends came in to herald him from all over the globe. A 35-year veteran of the company, Allen was widely respected throughout Southern, across all three tiers of the U.S. wine and spirits industry and by executives around the world. Noting his years of service, Allen, who has hired and mentored so many, gave his words of respect to his mentors. "Southern is truly a great company, and I have been privileged to serve in Florida, California, Hawaii, Colorado, New York and across the Pacific Northwest. It has been an amazing experience, and I want to particularly thank Chairman & CEO Harvey Chaplin and President & COO Wayne Chaplin—as well my mentor, Mel Dick, Senior Vice President and President, Wine Division—for their friendship and support over the years. Looking ahead, I am excited to spend time with my family in our home in Oregon." Harvey R. Chaplin, remarked, "I have always said that 'Southern's greatest asset is its people. In our wine business— along with his colleagues Mel Dick and Steve Slater—Jim is as well-respected an executive and human being as you will find. We will all miss him, and I wish Jim all good things for him and his family going forward." Wayne E. Chaplin added, "Jim and I go back many years, and time and again he has answered our call to serve in one key market after another, embodying the sensitivity, expertise and the entre- preneurial spirit we all strive for in our daily work. While we often talk about Jim's impact on the company's performance in new WHEN JIM ALLEN, SENIOR VP OF FINE WINES FOR SWS OF AMERICA RETIRED, INDUSTRY ROYALTY UNITED photos by Rob Brown Jim Allen (right) with Tom Eisenberg of Palm Bay International. A Legend Retires MILESTONES TP0514_072-101.indd 98 4/24/14 11:01 PM

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