Southern Distilling Co. Announces New EVP

Southern Distilling Co. of Statesville, North Carolina, announced spirits industry veteran Jay Finnigan as its new executive vice president and director of sales and marketing. With more than 27 years of experience in the beverage alcohol industry, the Texas native brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to further enhance the company’s sales strategy and expand its brand presence.

“From the moment I stepped foot on Southern Distilling Co.’s campus, I felt like I was home and part of a family,” said Finnigan. “Pete and Vienna’s passion for the history and heritage of Carolina whiskey is inspirational, and the opportunity to be a part of their team and continue to grow the Southern Star brand is an honor. I look forward to playing a role in their company’s future.” 

In his previous role as national sales director for Traverse City Whiskey Co., Finnigan spearheaded the introduction of new strategic products, which proved to be highly successful in capturing market demand. His ability to identify emerging trends and consumer preferences played a significant role in the brand’s growth during his tenure.  

Prior to joining TCWC, Finnigan served eight years as senior vice president of shared sales services at Republic National Distributing Co., where he successfully implemented various sales initiatives, resulting in improved efficiency and profitability for the company. Finnigan’s strong leadership skills and strategic approach were instrumental in driving sales growth and forging valuable partnerships within the industry. 

Finnigan also served as the director of supplier business development for RNDC, where he successfully oversaw a route-to-market initiative across 10 states, ensuring efficient and effective distribution of products. Additionally, he led the development of brand strategy and programming for the key supplier portfolios of Brown-Forman, Rémy Cointreau and Bacardi. His strategic vision and leadership were instrumental in driving growth and expanding market presence for these renowned brands. 

Before his time with RNDC, Finnigan spent seven years at Brown Forman in various leadership roles including vice president, group brand director for the company’s North American whiskey brands portfolio, and U.S. brand management director for Southern Comfort and Tuaca. With his deep expertise in growing iconic brands like Woodford Reserve and launching new ones like Collingwood, Finnigan brings invaluable insights into the world of beverage marketing and corporate communications. He is passionate about creating impactful campaigns that generate buzz and drive consumer engagement. 

With Finnigan’s extensive network and industry connections, he is well positioned to further strengthen Southern Distilling Co.’s market presence and drive sales in both existing and untapped markets.  

“We are thrilled to have Finnigan join our team as the EVP, director of sales and marketing,” said co-founder and COO Vienna Barger. “His passion for the industry and deep understanding of sales strategies will undoubtedly contribute to our continued success.” 

With Finnigan’s appointment, Southern Distilling Co. aims to continue its growth trajectory and increase its market share. The company remains committed to delivering exceptional products and expanding its reach to consumers across the country. 

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