Southern Wine & Spirits of California Corporate Social Responsibility  

Jack Brennan, Executive Vice President, General Manager of Southern Wine and Spirits of California (Southern), commented on the markets commitment to giving saying, “Here at Southern, giving back to the community is something our employees and executives do on a daily basis. I am proud that many Southern team members in both the north and south divisions make contributions of time and money to more than 100 non-profit and community based organizations across the state.”

I.  University of California TIPS Program

At various university campuses across California, Southern’s two principal divisions—north and south—support the Training for Intervention Procedures Program (TIPS) to deliver educational programs to college students and athletes. TIPS for the University, is a dynamic, skills based training program, delivered on more than 450 campuses nationally and designed to promote student responsibility and prevent alcohol-related occurrences on campus. 

Students are taught skills to prevent alcohol-related problems such as intoxication, drunk driving, and underage drinking among their peers. The TIPS series is comprised of a practical three-part program that covers the essential knowledge and tools students need to address the issue of alcohol use in all aspects of student life:

  • Confidence to prevent alcohol related incidents on campus such as property damage, injury and drunk driving
  • Interpersonal skills that increase students’ abilities to effectively intervene in difficult alcohol related situations
  • Liability protection for both the school and its student organization
  • Respect and concern for others that lead to a more positive environment throughout the campus

Southern’s University/College Relations team is certified in the TIPS curriculum and hosts sessions across the state of California throughout the academic year. The program concludes with a trainer-administered multiple-choice exam— with students who pass the exam receiving a certification card that is valid for three years. 

For more information, please visit:

II. Entrepreneurial Action Through Us (ENACTUS)

Since 2013, Southern has cultivated a national college recruiting initiative through a strategic partnership with Enactus. The Enactus program brings students, business and academic leaders together in a competitive forum where students present business solutions that support their commitment to using the power of entrepreneurial action to transform lives and shape a more sustainable world.

Southern’s college-recruiting initiative has grown to include more than 20 university campuses in California. Our presence on each campus is designed to build relationships with a variety of campus leaders in athletics, the career center, marketing and professional associations, and with faculty and student leaders. The University/College Relations team is recognized on these campuses for our creativity, innovation and effectiveness in educating student and faculty leaders on the industry.

This past year, Southern executives across disciplines and markets judged regional and national competitions that featured student-designed business solutions to entrepreneurial challenges such as implementing sustainability goals and practices in start-ups as well as established companies. The skills and capabilities of participating students align with the skills needed to flourish as a future business leader. With strong public speaking and presentation skills, the competitive advantage, and a good work ethic— these students ensure success in a market leading organization like ours. Additionally, the National Association of Colleges & Employers and the Mountain Pacific Association of Colleges & Employers have recognized the Southern recruitment team for our efforts.

Additionally, Brennan had the opportunity to spearhead a panel discussion with industry experts from our supplier, retailer and distributor community in May 2013. Enactus delivered an exceptional networking opportunity for our California executive leadership team to showcase our commitment to nurturing professional development and attracting top university talent to Southern Wine Spirits of America.

For more information, please visit:

III. Join A Winning Team – Southern Recruits Next-Generation Leaders Via Internships

Southern has expanded their college recruiting initiative to include the development of internship opportunities. The process has been piloted in the north and south divisions of California—giving students access to a variety of departments and disciplines. The program has grown exponentially in the past two years with Southern hosting on average 20 or more interns annually in the market—of which 70% return to Southern upon graduation to pursue a career in the wine and spirits industry. Southern Wine and Spirits of California collaborated with our other large markets in Florida and the Pacific Northwest to institute a similar program. Southern is excited with the momentum and brand awareness for the company on core campuses as we attract and prepare students for exciting careers within our company.

IV. The Peninsula Outreach Programs (POPS) Annual Golf Charity 2014

POPS is an established non-profit organization that provides a variety of resources, assistance and needed advocacy services on behalf of children with disabilities. In Southern’s Northern California division, the 19th Annual 2014 Charity Golf Tournament is emblematic of our company's desire to help at the local level. The annual golf event is a sell out every year. We take over two courses at the Silverado Country Club in Napa and more than 250 golfers compete with all the proceeds earmarked for POPS. This year, we exceeded 2013’s donations by a generous margin.

Commenting on the event, Brennan added, “Each year POPS continues to touch the lives of many thanks to you and your involvement in the tournament. Through our efforts and contributions this annual golf tournament has kept the POPS doors open. With their dedication to the advancement of conductive education, we are all aiding children with motor disabilities and their families. The money we raised will be used to keep the Santa Rosa facility open year round and cover the scholarship for 5 new families, who had been waitlisted. Your participation has made miraculous advances within POPS. With the continued help of donations from supporters like you we will continue to see the lives of children change for the better.”

Ursula Miller, Founding President of POPS, thanked Southern for its ongoing support of POPS saying, “Offering a simple ‘thank you’ for your donation never quite feels like it’s enough. You have forever changed the lives of many who once had no hope. Frankly, we could not do it without donors such as you. I greatly appreciate your continued annual support.

“POPSKIDS and POPSCECC suffered massive losses as a direct result of 9/11 and the related financial fall outs for years following the event. This and the bursting of the Silicon Valley bubble caused huge difficulties for our cause and Educational Programs for special needs children in general throughout California. However, POPS is one of the lucky ones; we were able to pull through; there was this LIFELINE – our LIFERAFT – Jack Brennan and Southern Wine and Spirits,” Miller said of how critical Southern’s support has been to the POPS organization.

For more information about the 2015 POPS Golf Tournament, please contact Monica Maffei, Director of Executive Support at 510-477-5801.

V. The Collins College of Hospitality Management, University of California, Pomona

Southern is proud to support The Collins College of Hospitality Management, University of California, Pomona, known as Cal Poly Pomona. As one of only two polytechnic universities in the state, Cal Poly Pomona is known for academic excellence, hands-on learning and affordable tuition fees. Southern offers support to Cal Poly via its role as exclusive wine and spirits provider to the Los Angeles Times annual “The Taste” culinary event. The 2014 event is scheduled for August 29-31 and a portion of the proceeds donated to Cal Poly’s Collins College of Hospitality Management.

In addition, each year, Southern donates wine from participating suppliers to Cal Poly’s annual fundraiser, according to Ira Norof, Director of Education & Events at Southern. Norof, who is a Certified Wine Educator, is also a guest lecturer at Cal Poly Pomona’s School of Hospitality each semester.

Founded in 1973, the Collins College of Hospitality Management is the first and largest four-year hospitality management degree program in California and the only hospitality management college on the West Coast. Approximately 1,000 undergraduate and graduate students receive a superior education in the state-of-the-art Collins College facilities, where they learn to apply hospitality management theories and concepts to real-world settings. A customized curriculum prepares students for careers in restaurant management, hotel/resort management, club management, culinary product development, tourism management, and special events/meeting planning.

For more information, please visit:
To learn more about the Los Angeles Times annual “The Taste” culinary event, please visit:

VI. Pacific Symphony

Southern proudly supports Orange County’s Pacific Symphony as a contributor to the musical group’s series of Youth Concerts and traveling arts-X-press program. Each year, Southern donates wines from participating suppliers to their annual festival and fundraiser. The 2014 Pacific Coast Wine Festival was held on March 1 at the Island Hotel, Newport Beach.

Fostering artistic discovery and creative expression, Pacific Symphony’s art-X-press program provides 150 middle-school students with a sage and encouraging environment while exploring their love of arts.

For more information, please visit:

VIII. Community Outreach Activities

On a quarterly basis, Southern inspires employees to partner with the HR team and donate time, goods, or monetary support to members of the community who need our help. Southern has aligned with a variety of different organizations and audiences in the area. Several highlights include: Save the Bay Beach Clean-Up; Serving/Meal Preparation at Glide Memorial and The Society of St. Vincent De Paul of Alameda County; the Annual Dress For Success Suit Drive; The Foster Care (Back-Pack/Diaper Drive for local foster children); The Special Event Trivia Day with the Masonic Home in Union City; and the Alameda County Food Bank (Food Drive & On-Site Volunteer Efforts).

Southern Wine & Spirits of California also contributes to the Wounded Warriors Project, which gives money to wounded veterans, the Hong Kong Schools Alumni Scholarship Foundation, the Cheesecake Factory Charitable Foundation, the Nathan S. Arenson Fund for Pancreatic Research, the Ronald McDonald House at Stanford, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society MS 150 Bike Tour, the American Cancer Society, and the La Casita Verde School for their annual fundraising event.