Southern Wine And Spirits Announces Appointments To New Transatlantic Spirits Division

One of the nation’s largest distributors of wine and spirits announced organizational appointments yesterday for a new division.

In advance of new role as a lead distributor for Bacardi, Southern Wine And Spirits formed Transatlantic Spirits. This will be “responsible for providing support to Bacardi USA-ensuring its portfolio of brands reaches its fullest potential in the marketplace,” according to a press release.

The division will be led by Steve Cohen, Executive Vice President and Managing Director, who recently joined Southern from Glazer’s Inc. to assume this new role. Both Southern and Glazer’s will serve Bacardi USA separately until the two companies combine to form Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits, LLC, which is planned to occur during the second quarter of 2016.

Cohen will report to Southern’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Brad Vassar. Transatlantic Spirits will begin operations when Southern begins dual distribution alongside incumbent Bacardi distributors on March 1 (where permissible by law).

Southern and Glazer’s will begin exclusive distribution for Bacardi USA on April 1.

Cohen recently served as Senior Vice President and General Manager for Glazer’s international business. He joined Glazer’s in 2012 as Senior Vice President Diageo/Moet/Hennessy (DMH) Texas, and later became Senior Vice President of Marketing and Performance – DMH Division.

Prior to joining Glazer’s, Cohen served in a number of high-level sales positions at Diageo, including Senior Vice President of Sales for Franchise States, Vice President of Sales for Diageo Guinness – USA, and Vice President of National Accounts.


Cohen will be joined on the Transatlantic Spirits leadership team by Chris Minielly, who will serve as Senior Vice President, Commercial Strategy, and Kathleen Procario, who will serve as the division’s National Talent Management Director.

Minielly joined Southern in 2005 from A.T. Kearney, where he had supported Southern’s successful NGG proposal with Diageo in 2001 – 2002. As a director within the newly established Strategic Programs Group (SPG), he initially focused on supplier alignment efforts, and in 2009 moved to the Supplier Strategy Group (SSG), where he oversaw the Deutsch and Sidney Frank relationships. He rejoined SPG in 2013 as Vice President of Strategy and Business Development

As part of his new role, Minielly will oversee route-to-market, business planning, trade development, business intelligence, multi-cultural marketing and overall business platform for Bacardi USA, according to a press release.

Procario comes to Southern with more than 15 years of experience working for Philip Morris, Diageo and, most recently, Glazer’s. In her new role, Procario will design and implement the division’s talent, recruiting and organizational development strategy, the company says.


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