A pair of proven executives has been promoted to helm the forthcoming Southern Glazer's Wine and Spirits LLC as Southern Wine & Spirits of America revealed key structural changes recently from its headquarters in Miami, Florida.
Gene Sullivan will succeed John Wittig — who moves on to serve as the future Southern Glazer's Eastern Region President — as the new EVP, General Manager of Florida; while Ernie Castro — current VP/general manager for the firm’s Florida chain division — will become VP, General Manager of Southern's Coastal Wine & Spirits sales division for the State of Florida.
Referring to Sullivan as a “consummate professional and a proven leader,” Wittig expressed confidence in the future as the two continue to work together. Sullivan has served with Southern for 26 years, including his most recent five-year stint with its Coastal Wine & Spirits Division of Florida.
"I would like to thank all of the Coastal Florida team members for a great five years — it has truly been a tremendous experience. Together, we accomplished many goals and far exceeded expectations," Sullivan said. "I am extremely honored to be entrusted with the role … I look forward to continuing the great work of John Wittig and the entire Southern team."
Gerry Rivero, EVP, Managing Director of Coastal-Pacific Wine & Spirits and the North American Spirits & Wine Brokerage, praised Sullivan for his consistency and accountability, and Castro for his strong leadership and ability to rise to challenges.
"We are committed to adding value every day, everywhere and on every account call to ensure that we continue to exceed expectation and become the go-to team for our valued customers and strategic suppliers," Castro said. The 25-year veteran also played a key role in building the Florida Coastal Chain Division for the company, the nation’s largest wine and spirits distributor.