For Immediate Release: March 8, 2016
St. Louis, MO – Major Brands, Inc., the largest Missouri-owned statewide distributor of premium wine, spirits, beer and non-alcoholic beverages, is pleased to announce that Scott Johnson will become President of Sales, effective May 1, 2016. Johnson succeeds Barry O’Neil, who is retiring after a distinguished career of more than 40 years in leadership positions for both suppliers and wholesalers.
In his new role, Johnson will direct all sales management functions, including sales team performance and supplier and retailer relations. Major Brands serves 9,000 customers in Missouri and distributes the products of more than 400 suppliers. Major Brands’ largest suppliers include Missouri-based St. James Winery and St. Louis Brewing, along with Constellation, Pernod Ricard, Beam Suntory and Jackson Family Wines. Johnson will report to Sue McCollum, Major Brands Chairman and CEO.
Johnson brings 24 years of industry experience on both the wholesale and supplier side to his new role at Major Brands. His career began at the E&J Gallo Winery Co. in Oklahoma, then he moved to Missouri, where he worked at Paramount Liquor Co. in St. Louis, leading the Gallo Division. From there, he moved to Allied Domecq Spirits and Wine, progressing from Missouri State Manager to a National Accounts role in California and then to Florida State Manager Chain Division. His next move was to Beam Suntory/Beam Global, where he has spent the last 10 years in successive management positions. His career at Beam has included a series of increasingly demanding roles: from South Florida State Manager to Florida Division Vice President to Western Division Vice President to California Division Vice President to his current role as West Region Vice President, based in Los Angeles. The move from California back to Missouri is a homecoming for Johnson, who hails from Kansas City, attended the University of Missouri, and met his wife, Seanna, in St. Louis.
“Scott is a fortunate find and a great fit for our culture,” said McCollum. “He brings exceptional industry knowledge from both the wholesale and supplier level to our business. With his extensive background in wine and spirits sales, he will further position our company for growth. We are excited to welcome him home.”
Johnson will work closely with O’Neil during the transition. O’Neil retired effective January 31, 2016, but remains a consultant to Major Brands. O’Neil served as president of sales for more than eight years. He led Major Brands to record revenues in 2012, as well as through unprecedented challenges following the passing of former Chairman and CEO Todd Epsten.
“Barry served as President of Sales during the most critical period in our 80-plus-year history,” said McCollum. “He practiced Major Brands’ core values daily—performance, integrity, respect, teamwork and community. I will be forever grateful to Barry for his contributions and leadership.”
Major Brands is Missouri’s largest Missouri-owned distributor of premium wine, spirits, beer and nonalcoholic beverages, with offices in Cape Girardeau, Columbia, Kansas City, Springfield and St. Louis. It serves more than 9,000 customers throughout the state. It began operations in 1934 and remains family owned and operated.