Miami, Florida-based Southern Wine & Spirits recently announced the retirement of Tom Collins, executive vice president and general manager for the South Carolina division.
Although his retirement is officially set for Feb. 1, Collins will continue to support Southern as a consultant on legislative matters pertinent to South Carolina, his area of expertise for the last several years, following his retirement.
A 40-year industry expert, Collins first joined Southern Wine & Spirits of South Carolina (SWS-SC) in 1993.
"It has truly been an invaluable experience working at Southern and with the Chaplin family,” Collins said. “I'm honored to have spent much of my professional career with Southern, and know that the company has a wonderful future ahead in the State of South Carolina."
Southern's Chairman, Harvey Chaplin, conveyed gratitude to Collins, lauding his devotion and team spirit that extended beyond the office doors to the company’s South Carolina community of suppliers and customers. He was joined in congratulations by President and CEO Wayne Chaplin and EVP and COO Brad Vassar, both of whom wished Collins well.
"We are tremendously thankful for Tom's considerable length and high quality of service to the company,” Vassar said. “His loyalty and value to Southern will extend into his retirement as we look forward to continuing to leverage his industry knowledge and market insights. And, for that continued commitment, we are immensely grateful."
Collins did not leave the firm high and dry. He had developed a strategic plan for succession well before his imminent leave-taking. VP, General Sales Manager and Charleston, South Carolina native Steve Baker will become General Manager following Collins' retirement, having served with SWS-SC for 22 years and overseeing operations statewide.
“Tom was instrumental in laying the foundation for Southern's continued success in the market,” Harvey Chaplin said. “We wish him the very best in retirement."
Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. is the nation's largest wine and spirits distributor/broker, operating in 35 markets.