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Spotlight on ... Arizona

Forward Momentum in the Grand Canyon State ... new series featuring SGWS state business updates

Left to right: Ivan Fernandez, Vice President, Operations; Michael Jahn, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Arizona and New Mexico; Tom Boyle, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Sales

SGWS of Arizona – Forward Momentum in the Grand Canyon State

It's nothing but positive news and forward momentum for Southern Glazer's Arizona team, according to Michael Jahn, Executive Vice President, General Manager of the Arizona and New Mexico divisions.

"We keep growing and we're now up to almost 430 team members with the advent of the Transatlantic division, which represents our supplier partners including Bacardi, Patron, Heaven Hill and Campari," says Jahn. He adds, "The transition was surprisingly seamless," a development for which Jahn credits his senior team of Ivan Fernandez, Vice President, Operations, and Tom Boyle, Senior Vice President, General Manager, Sales.

Assessing the benefits of the new enterprise, Jahn comments, "The cultural transformation of our joint partnership with Glazer's has brought about a number of healthy best practices from both companies, which created in Arizona a 'super-company'." Moreover, in a state with a Hispanic demographic of almost 30%, Jahn is especially proud of the strides the division continues to make in talking to these customers locally during the increasingly frequent visits the sales teams make to both on- and off-premise accounts.

Commenting on such efforts, Francisco "Paco" Marquez, On- and Off-Premise Multicultural Key Account Manager, who joined the division last December after 25 years at a national brewer, says, "From SGWS's top executives to our sales force, everyone here has been super-supportive, and we're doing more than ever to reach out via social media to top Hispanic DJs and radio stations to help promote our suppliers' brands and portfolios."

Marquez is especially impressed with the multicultural outreach at the corporate level as well, highlighted by his attendance at the recent SGWS Inaugural Multicultural Symposium in Dallas. Organized by April Alejandro, Vice President, Multicultural, the two-day conference—which was attended by more than 50 team members from across the country—offered an array of best practices for working in a multicultural landscape through insightful presentations and via several panel discussions with industry experts.

Paco is also busy with a variety of customers from the African-American and LGBT communities as well, accounts with whom he has many longstanding contacts thanks to his previous sales experience across the state. And, as the division has always strived, Jahn notes, "We want to view our business in the market exactly like the demographic profile of the state we serve." He adds, "We are mindful and respectful of the consumption trends of the population, with the caveat that we have the expertise to introduce new and exciting products for all Arizonans."

Community and charitable outreach, long a priority, has been notably amplified under the leadership of Jahn and Michael Reina, Arizona's Director of Marketing. In the fall of 2016, SGWS Arizona became the exclusive wine and spirits partner of Food & Wine Experience. Held every November, the proceeds benefit the festival's official charity beneficiary, The Joy Bus, a nonprofit organization that delivers meals and companionship to homebound cancer patients.

Summing up the division's dedication to giving back to the communities it serves, Jahn is quoted in a recent cover story profile of the division in Arizona Food Industry Journal: "Arizona is our home. We touch as many local charities as we possibly can, with special focus on the needs of children and the underprivileged."

All told, SGWS Arizona's company-wide spirit, dedicated to service and community support, is every bit as big as the Grand Canyon. And, we can all raise our glasses to that!


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