RALEIGH, N.C. – December 12, 2018. Merrilee Kick, Owner and President of Southern Champion and BuzzBallz, won the Enterprising Women of the Year Award, joining the 2018 class of honorees. Kick was selected from a global field of nominees representing hundreds of entrepreneurs from across many industries and countries. She joins a select group of winners in the $10 to $25 million annual revenue category.
The award, widely regarded as the most coveted prize for women business leaders, recognizes women who steer fast-growing businesses, actively mentor and support other women in business and show leadership for good in their communities. Monica Smiley, publisher and CEO of Enterprising Women said, “We could not be more proud to recognize their accomplishments as CEOs of fast-growth companies, community leaders, and role models and mentors to other women and girls.”
Kick built a thriving wine and spirits empire from her own backyard. She continues to create opportunities for her employees, for her fellow Texans and others worldwide with Southern Champion brands now expanded to Asia. Her drive, dedication and business acumen is evident in her success and stature in her industry and community.
Kick and all the Enterprising Women of the Year will be honored at a gala on March 6, 2018 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Miami marking the end of the 16th Annual Enterprising Women of the Year Awards Celebration & Conference.
Carrollton, Texas – August 8, 2017. Southern Champion proudly announced the naming of Blair Casey as their Vice President of Sales and Marketing. The seasoned industry veteran joined the company in May and hit the ground running, developing and executing innovative sales and marketing strategies to drive company growth, build consumer relationships, and strengthen the sales team.
Blair brings a wealth of talent and industry relationships to his role at Southern Champion. He started in the industry in 1990 as a Sales Representative for Julius Schepps Wholesale Liquors based in Dallas and moved up to Gallo, first as Field Marketing Manager and then as Director of Customer Development. Following the merger of Southern Wine & Spirits of America and Glazer’s, Blair was named Corporate Vice President of Supplier Management. In that role, he managed E&J Gallo Winery and supported regional suppliers to meet aggressive goals for both suppliers’ businesses and Southern Glazer’s.
With 27 years of experience, 13 years at Gallo and a combined 14 years in wholesale, Blair is passionate about leveraging his expertise to build a dynamic team at a young, hungry company that thrives on winning. Although he formally joined Southern Champion in May 2017, his history with founder Merrilee Kick dates to her start in the spirits industry. In 2010, when Merrilee was launching her first line of products, Blair saw a fun, driven spirit with a great business plan, and helped her move 40,000 cases of product in just one year. His energy and ability to bring out the best in both people and product is already paying dividends for the sales team and the company as a whole.
In addition to his role at Southern Champion, Blair is a champion husband and father of three. He enjoys hitting the links, exploring the outdoors, and playing and coaching a variety of sports. Blair holds a BBA in marketing from Rawls College of Business at Texas Tech University.
Southern Champion, producers of BuzzBallz and five new lines of premium spirits, took on the world’s finest spirits producers in the ring at the International Wine and Spirit Competition – and won. The company will sport six new medals in all, five for excellence in a double-blind tasting competition and one for outstanding packaging.
Crooked Fox Bourbon Whiskey and XIII Kings Vodka each won Silver Outstanding medalswhile Pelican Harbor Dark Rum, Pelican Harbor Light Rum, and Andrew John’s Gin took home Bronze medals in their categories. Pelican Harbor Light Rum was also awarded the Packaging Bronze for its crowd-pleasing sunset bottle design.
The International Wine and Spirit Competition is widely recognized by both industry and consumers as the world’s premiere spirits competition. The 2017 IWSC welcomed thousands of entries from over 80 countries and required nearly 400 expert judges to evaluate each in a double-blind tasting. With six shiny new metals, Southern Champion premium spirits continue their winning streak with judges and consumers alike.
6 Degrees Deep
PR. Brand Development. Event Production.
Austin, TX—November 26, 2016. BCD stands for Brad, Chelsea and Danny, the voices of prostate cancer, multiple sclerosis and the local YMCA respectively. As a Texas-based company, BuzzBallz and Southern Champion are always honored to be asked to participate in events with local charities. The event was held at a lake house in Austin, TX and raised awareness and donations for local charities.