Categorized | News, People, Wines

Southern Promotes Schrager


Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc., the nation’s leading wine and spirits distributor, announced the promotion of Lee Brian Schrager from director of media relations and special events to vice president, corporate communications and national events.

“My father, Harvey R. Chaplin, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, and I consider the company’s corporate communication and social responsibility initiatives to be a key part of our continued growth and success,” says Wayne E. Chaplin, president and chief operating officer of Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. “We are confident in Lee’s ability to represent Southern Wine & Spirits.”

In his new position, Schrager will be responsible for expanding relationships in the local markets in which Southern Wine & Spirits operates and exploring large scale events that expose the company and its suppliers’ brands to both retailers and consumers alike. Schrager will also serve as the day-to-day point person for all corporate communication and media relations as well as for national meetings.

Schrager joined Southern Wine & Spirits in 2000, after being with the InterContinental Hotel Group for more than 15 years in various leadership capacities. Since joining Southern Wine & Spirits, his efforts have been concentrated on building goodwill for Southern Wine & Spirits and its suppliers’ brands. Under Schrager’s supervision, Southern Wine & Spirits has created two nationally-recognized charity events to expose the company, suppliers and brands to thousands of retailers and consumers alike.

Perhaps most recognized is the annual Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by Food & Wine, held each February in South Florida. Benefiting the Florida International University (FIU) School of Hospitality and Tourism Management and the Southern Wine & Spirits Beverage Management Center, the Festival is going into its ninth year and has provided vital funding for the school and its students. Each year, the Southern Wine & Spirits Beverage Management Center provides students with the opportunity to learn about the industry in this state of the art teaching laboratory, ensuring an interactive approach to their education. The school recently established the Lee Brian Schrager Excellence in Leadership Awards, three scholarship awards to be announced at the 2010 Festival in honor of Schrager’s contributions to the school.

Most recently, Schrager is recognized for launching the Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival presented by Food & Wine and Travel + Leisure magazines. Taking place each October over Columbus Day weekend, the Festival benefits the hunger relief programs offered by Food Bank For New York City and Share Our Strength. Festival activities encompass several areas of the city, and are a celebration with the chefs, culinary personalities, winemakers, and spirit producers who help make New York City one of the greatest dining destinations in the world.

Schrager also oversaw the creation of the company’s 40 for 40 campaign in 2008 to celebrate Southern Wine & Spirits’ 40th Anniversary, a program that aligned with Southern Wine & Spirits’ overall corporate social responsibility efforts and allowed the company to expand its relationships with nonprofit organizations nationwide. His recent promotion and continued work in the industry will help further Southern Wine & Spirits’ role as a socially responsible member of the communities in which it operates.

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Sunday, January 21, 11:55 pm

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