Harvey Chaplin, Chairman of Southern-Glazers Wine and Spirits has been a mentor and friend of mine for the past three years steering us in the right direction.
I don’t always (at the time) understand why he suggests pivoting the L’CHAIM kosher wine and vodka ® and to life wine box brand’s position in one direction or the other but it always plays out 12 months later. We always look back and say: ‘he’s a year ahead of everyone’.
I am proud, grateful and incredibly fortunate to have him, Wayne Chaplin CEO of the newly formed Southern – Glazers Wine and Spirits company behind and in support of our project.
I respect the leadership team, Mel Dick, Steve Slater and Rudy Ruiz among others that now make up the most powerful wine and spirits distribution company on the planet. All have their fingerprints on and contributed to the complex process that it takes to build a brand like the to life wine box.
Navigating through markets and retailers and advising me as to how to compete and succeed against the market place dynamics and strategic/supplier-dominant forces among many other nuances is a debt that will be very hard to repay. If not for their attention and their advise along the way, the to life brand would have surrendered as many others have. Instead the to life wine box is touted as the first and only of its kind Imported Premium Italian wine certified OUP kosher for Passover. These descriptors are intentional and made by design. It’s no secret that because of our unique position in the market place we have been able to penetrate Wal-Mart, Whole Foods, Fresh Market, Publix, Total Wine among others.
How can a captain of industry and a leader in his field, extremely busy running the 25th largest privately held company in the USA ( according to Forbes ) consistently working on billion dollar deals still drill down and pay attention to startup stage brand like mine? Because it’s in his DNA – He loves it. He lives for it. He is driven to succeed and most importantly – He is generous with his time and experience and likes to help others succeed. That’s what makes a true mentor.
I am lucky to call Mr. Chaplin my mentor, very lucky. There have been other mentors in my life like my father in law and a handful of men which want nothing more than to see me, my family and my team benefit and succeed.
I encourage everyone who reads this to find your mentor.
This is a toast to my mentor Mr. Harvey Chaplin, to my mentors, to their selflessness, to their nature and kind heartedness, to their health, to their continued success, to life!
www.lchaimkosherwine.comWritten by Ralph Mizraji CEO @ to life – L’CHAIM Kosher Wine & Vodka