The president of Southern Glazer’s wine division has been given Italy’s highest ceremonial award for his contribution to the international growth of Italian wine over a career that spans more than six decades.
Mel Dick, senior vice president of Southern Glazers Wines & Spirits and its head of wine, has been made a Commander of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic (OMRI), following more than sixty years in the wine industry.
The OMRI is given to individuals in recognition for their achievements in the fields of literature, the arts, economy, public service, and social, philanthropic and humanitarian activities.
The award was presented by the Ambassador of Italy to the United States, Armando Varricchio, last week at Southern Glazer’s new state-of-the-art hospitality and education centre in Miami.
Ambassador Varricchio said that thanks to Mel Dick’s hard work, “Italian excellence, quality, traditions and innovative techniques in the wine industry are increasingly appreciated and valued throughout the US.”
Dick joined the wine industry aged 21 in New Jersey before joining Gallo Wines Distributors in 1958, where he worked in a number of different roles across the US. He joined Southern Wine and Spirits of America in 1969, as general sales manager of wine to develop the company’s wine operations, becoming vice-principal in 1972, and heading up the organization, sales, marketing, and supplier relations across the wine side of the business. He was appointed president of the wine division for Southern Wine and Spirits of America in 1976, was made a partner in 1984, and was named senior vice president of Southern Wine and Spirits of America in 1991.