Jack Brennan, Executive Vice President, Southern Wine & Spirits of California

Jack Brennan oversees all aspects of the California division’s business operations, which include Southern Wine & Spirits, Pacific Wine & Spirits and American Wines. A consummate sales professional, Mr. Brennan has acquired wide-ranging experience over the course of more than three decades both in the field and as an executive.

"The position I hold today is one that I know,” he says. “I was a merchandiser. I was a salesman. I was a district manager and a general sales manager. These are the experiences that shaped who I am."

Shortly after graduating with a degree in business administration from Northeastern University, the Boston native launched his career in the wine and spirits business with Charles Gilman & Sons. He worked as a salesperson in the greater Boston area for two years before moving his family to Florida.

In 1976, Mr. Brennan went to work for Southern Wine & Spirits of Florida. After working as a sales representative for two years, he was promoted to sales manager, responsible for the west coast of Florida. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Brennan transferred to Southern California to manage the San Diego branch. Two years later, he became General Sales Manager responsible for all sales activities for the Southern California region.

In 1989, Mr. Brennan became Vice President and General Manager of the Northern California facility. He is responsible for building the sales force in San Diego, Southern California, and Northern California. He was promoted to Executive Vice President of California in early 2005. With more than 1,500 sales employees statewide, Southern Wine & Spirits of California constitutes the largest division of the parent company, Southern Wine & Spirits of America. 

Mr. Brennan has helped raise money for programs benefiting children and the elderly. He hosts a charity golf tournament on behalf of Peninsula Outreach Programs for children with motor disabilities. Under his leadership, Southern Wine & Spirits also contributes to Ronald McDonald House, Meals on Wheels, the American Cancer Society, Boy Scouts of America, and the California Highway Patrol 11-99 Foundation. He has been honored by the Anti-Defamation League for his commitment to the organization, which promotes ethnic and racial tolerance.

Mr. Brennan makes his home with his wife Lisa, in both Northern and Southern California, enjoys golf, and is active in the lives of his son Ryan and daughters Christian and Summer.



Southern Wine & Spirits of Pacific Northwest Corporate Social Responsibility

John Klein, Executive Vice President, General Manager of Southern Wine & Spirits of Pacific Northwest (Southern)—encompassing Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Wyoming, Utah, Idaho and Montana—is extremely proud of the large number of Southern team members across all seven states who have offered their volunteer time and donations to a wide range of national, state and local charitable groups. In 2013 and continuing through 2014, Southern has offered support to more than two-dozen different community-based, non-profit organizations across the region.

Columbia Winery Charity Run & Walk—Supporting Seattle Children’s Hospital

For eight years, Matt Haskins, Senior Vice President, Wine for the Pacific Northwest has participated in the Columbia Winery Charity Run & Walk, which benefits the Children’s Hospital in Seattle. In 2013, Southern was one of the single largest independent donor groups of the Charity Run to support families struggling with medical bills. In 2014, Southern employees raised more than $14,000 for the run. The need for uncompensated care grows each year and is expected to exceed more than $100 million this year. Of the 100,000 patients treated at Children’s each year, 65% need financial assistance.

The Columbia Winery Charity Run & Walk is hosted by The Run for Children's Guild. For more information, please visit: http://www.runforchildrens.org

Detlef Schrempf Foundation

In June 2014, Southern donated a selection of wines and spirits from its supplier partners to the 21st Annual Detlef Schrempf Celebrity Gala and Auction. The Detlef Schrempf Foundation serves as a fundraising entity for Northwest children’s charities, enabling organizations to expand their own fundraising efforts.  The foundation’s vision is to assist these organizations in their quest to provide children a better chance at succeeding in life.

Guests of the event included more than 500 local business leaders, celebrities, athletes and philanthropists. Proceeds raised from The Ripple of Giving Gala fund The Healing Center and Inspire Youth Project.

For more information, please visit: http://detlef.com/

Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery

In 2014, Southern donated to the Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery in Spokane, Washington. The mission of the Crisis Nursery is to provide immediate refuge for children and support to strengthen families. This mission evolved from the tragic story of Vanessa Kay Behan, a Spokane girl who died from child abuse injuries at the age of two. Following her death, a group of local business people established the Crisis Nursery so that parents would have a safe place to bring their children in the face of crises.”

The Crisis Nursery provides 24-hour child care for infants and children under the age of seven, parent education, crisis counseling for parents, and referrals to other community agencies. For more information, please visit: http://www.vanessabehan.org/

Covenant House Alaska 2014 Fire and Ice Ball

In January2014, Southern donated wines and spirits from participating supplier partners to the Fire and Ice Ball, with all proceeds going to the Covenant House Alaska. Covenant House Alaska has served thousands of homeless, at-risk, and trafficked youth in Alaska. Their sole purpose is to help youth in crisis 24-hours a day. Through three main programs—emergency shelter, street outreach and transitional living programs—Covenant House Alaska meets the basic needs of youth in crisis, while also providing them with the support to become healthy, self-sufficient, contributing members of our community.

This year's Fire & Ice Ball was a huge success. $500,000 was raised to benefit Covenant House Alaska. In just one night, guests provided funds to keep their doors open 24 hours a day for over 100 days. Thanks to this fun night of fundraising, hundreds of young men and women will have a safe, warm, loving roof over their heads.

For more information, please visit: http://ak.covenanthouse.org/fire-and-ice-ball

Anchorage Robert Burns Appreciation Society:

In 2014, the Anchorage Robert Burns Appreciation Society held its 22nd anniversary of the Anchorage Robert Burns Supper in honor of Scotland's greatest poet, Robert Burns. The charity event proceeds are earmarked for local charitable groups such as local Armed Services YMCA, Food Bank Alaska, and Breast Cancer Focus Alaska, among others.  Southern supported the event though an in-kind donation of wine and spirits.
 For more information, please visit: http://www.tarbas.org/index.php

Oregon Food Bank’s Annual Food Drive

Thanks to the active participation of Southern team members, the annual food drive collected several hundred pounds of non-perishable goods which was donated to the Oregon Food Bank in Portland. The Oregon Food Bank distributes emergency food to hunger-relief agencies throughout Oregon and Clark County, Washington. In addition, Oregon Food Bank’s metro and statewide services teams provide technical assistance and training to hunger-relief agencies and matches local donations to help agencies build capacity to better serve the community.

For more information, please visit: www.oregonfoodbank.org

One Warm Coat

One Warm Coat is a national non-profit organization that assists in the donation of coats. One Warm Coat helps individuals, groups, companies and organizations across the country collect coats and deliver them to local agencies to distribute to people in need.

Southern’s Oregon team partnered with local retail customers to collect and donate several hundred coats for One Warm Coat of Oregon. For more information, please visit: www.onewarmcoat.org

Additional Outreach Efforts

In addition to the charitable, health and community groups noted above, Southern supports City of Hope, Northwest Harvest, Toys for Tots, the YWCA, Boys and Girls Club, Cordova Sockeye Festival, First Friday Art, Cancer Society, UAS Alumni Association, March of Dimes Celebrity Chef event, Fur Rendezvous, Blue Line Youth Hockey, and AK Selects and the Sitka Seafood Festival, which in 2014 will once again feature a special appearance from the Head Winemaker of Rodney Strong Vineyards Rick Sayre. Southern charitably supports the Children’s Cancer Association of Oregon, the Lan Su Chinese Garden, and Elevate Oregon for urban youth.