Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits announced that Lee Brian Schrager has been promoted to the position of Chief Communications Officer, continuing to report to Chief Executive Officer Wayne E. Chaplin. In his newly created role, Mr. Schrager will continue to oversee the Company’s corporate communications functions, including public relations, employee communications, the Company’s corporate website, as well as its Intranet-based communications. In addition, Mr. Schrager will continue to oversee the in-house SG Creative services group, which has evolved to be the Company’s center of excellence for creative services, as well as his vital role overseeing many of Southern Glazer’s corporate social responsibility programs. Mr. Schrager will also maintain his position as the Director of both the Food Network South Beach and New York City Wine & Food Festivals presented by Capital One (SOBEWFF and NYCWFF), two of the world’s most recognized hospitality events, which he is widely recognized for having created.
In his most recent position of Senior Vice President, Communications & Corporate Social Responsibility, which he has held since 2016, Mr. Schrager has helped significantly strengthen and expand the Company’s communications capabilities. This includes the recent creation of SGWS Top Shelf PR, an internal agency that provides strategic public relations services to Southern Glazer’s suppliers. In addition, Mr. Schrager helped to support the national expansion of Southern Glazer’s VolunCheers employee volunteering program in 2018, enabling it to evolve from a local program in Florida to one that has empowered employees across North America to complete tens of thousands of hours of volunteer activities.
Under his leadership, the signature South Beach and New York City Wine & Food Festivals have raised nearly $50 million for their respective benefiting charities, the Florida International University Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management and hunger relief organizations No Kid Hungry, Food Bank For New York City, and God’s Love We Deliver. In addition, Mr. Schrager led fundraising initiatives resulting in tens of millions of dollars raised to help the hospitality industry businesses and workers to recover from the devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On the promotion, Wayne E. Chaplin commented, “Lee has been an outstanding leader at Southern Glazer’s throughout his career, developing creative programs that truly drive value and engagement for our employees, customers, and suppliers. His tireless passion for giving back is like no one I’ve known, and his charitable work has helped contribute to our Company’s reputation as a leader in corporate social responsibility.”
Mr. Schrager joined Southern Wine & Spirits in 2000, after being with a leading international hotel group for more than 15 years in various leadership capacities. He studied at the Culinary Institute of America and at the School of Hospitality & Tourism Management at Florida International University. He serves on the Board of Trustees for the Pérez Art Museum Miami and Board of Directors for Food Bank For New York City, as well as a judge for Forbes’ annual 30 Under 30 list and Celebrated Living’s annual Platinum List Awards. In 2011, Mr. Schrager commemorated the 10th anniversary of SOBEWFF® with the release of his first book, Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival Cookbook. Mr. Schrager’s second cookbook, Fried & True was released in May 2014 and third, America’s Best Breakfasts, in April 2016.
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