Mel Dick Receives WSWA’s Lifetime Leadership AwardApril 3, 2019
Southern Glazer’s executive Mel Dick, a driving force in the U.S. wine market for more than 60 years, has been honored with the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America’s (WSWA) Lifetime Leadership Award. The Lifetime Leadership Award recognizes a wholesaler whose career has been marked by exemplary contributions to the beverage industry, the WSWA, and the community.
“I am most appreciative to have been honored by the WSWA with their Lifetime Leadership Award,” Dick told SND. “I have been a member of our great industry for 62 years—50 of them with Southern Wine & Spirits, and the last three with the great Southern Glazer’s. We’re very fortunate for what this industry has given to us and our families.”
As president of the wine division at Southern Wine & Spirits and now in the same role at Southern Glazer’s, Dick has played an enormous part in shaping the modern wine market in America. He began his career in the wine business at New Jersey-based Gambarelli & Davitto Wine Company, then moved to E.&J. Gallo in 1958. In 1969, he joined Southern Wine & Spirits as general sales manager of wine, tasked with developing the company’s wine business. At Southern, Dick endeavored to introduce American consumers to higher-quality wines from both California and Europe, while championing educational programs to boost the knowledge of the Southern sales team.
In 1972, Dick became vice president of wine, then was promoted to president of the wine division in 1976. In 1984, he became a partner in Southern, and in 1991 he was named senior vice president of the company. Honors have rolled in for Dick over the years, recognizing his stature in the industry. In 2016, Dick was honored with Wine Spectator’s Distinguished Service Award, for his leading role in building the U.S. wine market and educating the wine trade. In 2001, he was awarded France’s Legion of Honor for his contributions to the country’s wine industry, and in 2014 he was elevated to Commandeur du Mérite D’Agricole.
Dick has also been a key driver behind the annual South Beach Wine & Food Festival in Miami, which benefits Florida International University’s Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management. The festival has raised more than $28 million for the school’s wine and service programs over the years.
“Mel Dick has tremendous passion for the beverage alcohol industry—it’s part of what has made him such an icon,” said WSWA president and CEO Michelle Korsmo. “The members of WSWA join his colleagues at Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits by recognizing his achievements in building brands, expanding their company’s wine portfolio, and educating and strengthening his teams. Mel personifies the WSWA Lifetime Leadership Award, and we’re grateful for his many contributions both to the wholesale tier and to the entire industry.”—Daniel MarstellerSubscribe to Shanken News Daily’s Email Newsletter, delivered to your inbox each morning.