Southern Glazer's: Exclusive Sponsor of the Distinguished Leaders Lecture Series & Corporate Associate of the Month

January 07, 2019

By Rony Shir

Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, headquartered in Miami, is a hemispheric distribution powerhouse with over 22,000 employees operating in over 44 U.S. states, the District of Colombia, Canada, and the Caribbean. The company is proud of their team members, not only for their strong work ethic, but for their mission to donate countless hours of volunteer time along with significant monetary donations to a wide range of charitable organizations all over North America. This commitment to community is one reason why the company decided to become the Exclusive Sponsor ($100K level) for the Miami Business School’s Distinguished Leaders Lecture Series. Southern Glazer’s is a multi-generational, family-owned company.

Below, CEO Wayne Chaplin discusses the company’s exponential growth along with his personal relationship to the Miami Business School.

Can you share your background with Southern Glazer’s?

My father, Harvey Chaplin, founded Southern Wine & Spirits in 1968 and ultimately became Chairman and CEO in 1994. He has been an incredible mentor for me and is responsible for helping create the business we are today; he currently serves as our Chairman. I joined Southern in 1984, following a period practicing law at a Miami-based firm. After working in several roles across the company, I was appointed to VP of Operations and in 1989 was named First Vice President and COO, overseeing all divisions of company's distribution operations. By 1992, I joined Southern's Executive Management Committee and became an officer and director. In 1994, I became President and CEO. Then, in 2016, we combined with Glazer’s Inc. to form Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits and become North America’s largest beverage alcohol distributor. I was named CEO of Southern Glazer’s at that time.

What made you decide to partner with the Business School?

As an alumnus of both the Business School and Law School, and a current member of the Board of Trustees, I have a strong, personal connection to the University. The Miami Business School is one of the leading educational institutions in the country, and a great feeder of talent for our company, which is headquartered here in Miami. At Southern Glazer’s, we are committed to and have a history of supporting education because we believe education leads to opportunity. It is a critical stepping stone to future success.

Southern Glazers is now the Exclusive Sponsor for the Lecture Series, what makes this initiative of importance for you and Southern Glazer’s?

The Lecture Series attracts some of the most respected business leaders from around the country. Exposure to executives of this caliber is extremely valuable. It’s one thing to read text books and study business practices in school, but to hear in person how successful leaders navigate business challenges and strategies in the real world is a very important element for a well-rounded education, not just for students, but also for people already in the workforce who can learn from those experiences. We see the exposure to these leaders as adding value to the community as well as to our own leadership based here in Miami.

How do you think the Business School has evolved since Dean Quelch’s arrival?

The Dean has added a new level of excitement to the school with his brilliance and experience. Really, his engagement and enthusiasm is contagious - not just for the students, but for faculty and members of the local community. His global experience makes him a perfect leader and liaison for the business school as Miami has evolved from being viewed as only a gateway to Latin America, to earning a reputation as a truly global city. He has also done an excellent job reaching into the community and building relationships to secure more involvement in and support for the Business School.

Securing full time positions for our students is a top initiative within MBS, what skillset do you look for in potential candidates?

Like most businesses, the environment we operate in is changing quickly and dramatically, driven by fast-moving new technologies and changing consumer buying behaviors. We are very focused on innovation and growth, and are looking for future leaders of our industry who are passionate about service, have high integrity, are comfortable with change, and who bring new and diverse perspectives to our business.

Does SG have hiring needs?

We are fortunate to have a thriving, growing business, so we are always looking for new and diverse talent. While we are headquartered in Miami, we operate in 45 markets in the U.S., plus Canada, so we have fantastic opportunities at all levels, across North America. The range of roles available includes everything from sales and marketing, human resources, and finance, to information technology, logistics and operations.

Southern Glazer’s is also a Platinum Member of the Corporate Associates Program. The program includes close to 60 global and local businesses that have built long-term strategic relationships with MBS.

The vision of the Corporate Associates Program is to shape the corporate community and contribute to the prosperity of our corporate members by providing access to top-tier students, innovative programs, and thought leadership.

Click here to read the press release on Southern Glazer's sponsorship.  

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