Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Charles Merinoff is the chairman and chief executive officer of The Charmer Sunbelt Group (CSG). Following his graduation from the University of Wisconsin in 1980, Charles joined the family’s business, working in various positions in operations, purchasing and sales. In 1991, Charles was named president of Charmer Industries, the family’s Metro New York business.
In 1994, the family acquired Sunbelt Beverage Corporation, then operating distributorships in several Eastern states. Sunbelt continued to expand through acquisitions and partnerships, and in 1997 the wholesale companies in which the family had an interest became known as The Charmer Sunbelt Group. In 2011, he was named chairman of the board of Sunbelt Holding Inc.
Charles devotes a significant amount of time and resources to charitable organizations. Charles has been a member of the Federal Law Enforcement Foundation since 1999, and is currently its treasurer and an active member of its board of directors. He also sits on the board of trustees of the Culinary Institute of America and is on the board of directors of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, and in 2010 was elected to the board of trustees of the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health Systems and the executive committee of Lenox Hill Hospital. He has been honored over the years by the Boys Town of Italy, the Boy Scouts of America and the UJA-Federation of New York. Charles spearheads the annual Wine and Wishes tasting and auction, which has raised over $4 million for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Metro New York. Charles is currently the chairman of the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers Association of America (WSWA), the national trade association for wholesalers in the wine and spirits industry.
Ray Herrmann is chairman emeritus of The Charmer Sunbelt Group. His career, which spans more than five decades, is one of the most distinguished in the beverage alcohol industry today. Ray’s family ties to the beverage alcohol industry extend through three generations, beginning with his grandfather, who settled in Louisville, Kentucky, in the late 1800s and founded a wine and spirit importing company. This establishment was followed by the creation of the Herrmann Brothers Distillery in Bardstown in 1880.
CSG was founded in 1994 by the merger of Sunbelt Beverage Corporation, of which Ray was chairman and CEO, with Charmer Industries, led at that time by Herman Merinoff. CSG was co-chaired by both gentlemen until Mr. Merinoff’s death in 2006. Ray founded Sunbelt Beverage Corporation in April 1988 from a group of wholesale houses, known as McKesson Wine and Spirits Co. He was chairman and CEO of Sunbelt for its first three years, and then remained as chairman.
Prior to founding Sunbelt, Ray enjoyed a 13-year career with McKesson Corporation, who first recruited him in 1973 as a director of the corporation and president of the wine and spirits group. He was executive vice president, general manager, and a director with Schieffelin and Company and held a progression of posts at National Distillers Products Company. He began his career in the beverage industry as a salesman with two New York wholesale distributors after the end of World War II, where he served in the United States Army, 191 Field Artillery Group in the South Pacific Theatre (New Guinea and Philippine campaigns) from 1943 to 1946.
Ray served as director and executive committee member of the National Association of Beverage Importers from 1973 to 1985. During this time he also served as chairman of the executive committee for two years and chairman of the association for two years. He was a director and member of the executive committee of the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) from 1973 to 1986.
Ray’s passion for the beverage alcohol business and his advocacy for responsible marketing of its products have contributed greatly to the acceptance of spirit and wine companies among mainstream American business today. He has proudly worked for and with three great beverage companies during his career and believes that he has saved the best for last in The Charmer Sunbelt Group.
Ray was educated at Princeton University and received a bachelor’s degree in 1942.
Greg Baird, the president of The Charmer Sunbelt Group, oversees the entire Charmer Sunbelt corporation, including its local operations. Prior to becoming president in 2015, he held the position of chief operating officer, in which he worked closely with the CEO, board of directors and the executive management team to achieve our vision of being distributor of choice.
Greg joined the CSG corporate team from his position as president of Reliable Churchill LLP, Maryland’s largest distributor for wines and spirits and a member of the Charmer Sunbelt family. Greg was named president of Reliable Churchill in 1999, at the time when the company was formed through a joint venture of Churchill Distributors and Reliable Liquors. Prior to the joint venture, Greg was vice president of sales at Churchill Distributors. He began his career at EJ Gallo, where during the course of a 10-year period he held a variety of roles, including eastern regional manager of recruiting and training.
Greg graduated from the University of Virginia in 1981 with a Bachelor of Science degree in commerce and dual concentrations in marketing and management.
Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operations Officer
Gene Luciana is executive vice president, chief financial officer and chief operations officer of The Charmer Sunbelt Group, where he oversees the Shared Services, Operations, Logistics, IT, Risk Management, and Finance divisions. He also serves as a member of the Sunbelt board. Gene joined CSG in 1992 as executive vice president and CFO.
Prior to joining CSG, Gene spent a decade at Chase Packaging Corporation, serving as executive vice president, finance treasurer and board member. During his early career he also held positions at Rossville Industries and Deloitte & Touche.
Gene is a certified public accountant with a Bachelor of Science in finance from Franciscan University.
Executive Vice President, Human Resources
Ann Giambusso is the executive vice president, human resources, for The Charmer Sunbelt Group, a position she has held since 2002. Ann brings to CSG a strong legal background and in-depth experience in the fields of human resources and employment law, including outstanding negotiation skills and expertise in employment, labor, compensation, and benefits.
Prior to joining CSG, Ann served as senior human resources executive for a U.S. division of Vivendi Universal, responsible for 7,000 employees, and led a team of 10 human resource professionals. She has developed and implemented a broad range of HR policies and programs, such as talent development, rewards and recognition, and career transition, as well as retention, career support and resourcing programs. During her 28-plus-year career, Ann has held positions at companies that have included Universal Studios in Los Angeles and Joseph E. Seagram & Sons Inc., holding various positions in their Human Resources and Legal departments.
Ann has a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from New York University, where she also earned her Juris Doctor degree. In addition, she attended the Columbia School of Business in New York. Ms. Giambusso is a member of the New York Bar and was the recipient of the 1994 YWCA’s Salute to Women Achievers Award.
Executive Vice President, Strategy and Corporate Affairs
Andrew Crisses is the executive vice president, strategy and corporate affairs, of The Charmer Sunbelt Group, where he is instrumental in shaping the strategic direction of the organization. Andrew also oversees CSG's legislative affairs and leads the company’s government relations activities.
Andrew serves on both the executive committee and board of directors of CSG. Among Mr. Crisses’ many professional affiliations, he is on the board of directors and government affairs committee of the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America and serves on the board of the New York City Police Foundation.
In 1975, Andrew began his wine and spirits career at Renfield Importers, where he served as general counsel, and went on to become counsel for the Merinoff family’s businesses.
Andrew earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Union College, Albany, New York in 1971 and a juris doctorate from Albany Law School in 1974. The Crisses family supports a wide range of charities, including Minds Matter, the Frick Collection and the North Shore Health System.
Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing
Bob Catalani is the executive vice president, sales and marketing, of The Charmer Sunbelt Group. His responsibilities include overseeing sales and marketing, developing strategic and long-term initiatives, and solidifying supplier relationships.
Bob began his career in the beverage alcohol industry in 1977 as the South Texas district manager for Heublein, which is now Diageo. In 1985, he joined Schieffelin & Somerset as vice president of the Southwest region. In 1999, he became executive vice president of sales, with responsibility for the company's entire wine-and-spirits portfolio across the United States. He joined Southern Wine & Spirits in 2002 as its vice president and general manager.
Bob joined The Charmer Sunbelt Group as president and chief executive officer of Beverage Distributors Company in 2004. He began his current position in 2011.
Bob’s community involvement includes participation in the United Way and Wines for Life. He is also a board member of the Latin American Education Foundation.
Bob holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio.
Executive Vice President, Diageo/Moët Hennessy
Kevin O’Neil is the executive vice president of the Diageo/Moët Hennessy Division of The Charmer Sunbelt Group. He is responsible for managing the Diageo and Moët Hennessy businesses in the 10 markets where CSG represents the brands of these suppliers.
Kevin began his career in the beverage alcohol industry in 1979 at Joseph E. Seagram & Sons, where he held a number of positions, becoming director of finance and strategic planning in 1995. He joined Diageo North America in 2002 as vice president of commercial strategy, and went on to become president of national accounts and capability development. In 2010, he became president and chief commercial officer of the company, leading the commercial team and setting its strategic sales and route-to-market agenda. He joined CSG in 2011.
Over the past several years, Kevin has contributed to youth hockey programs in Wilton, Conn., and supported the Homes for Heroes initiative to create housing for returning female veterans.
Kevin holds a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from Boston College.
Executive Vice President, General Counsel
Arlyn B. Miller leads the legal department as executive vice president, general counsel, of The Charmer Sunbelt Group. In this role, she is responsible for all CSG legal matters. Arlyn also serves on the company’s executive committee, counseling senior management on strategic initiatives. As a 22-year industry veteran who has practiced law for over 25 years, Arlyn is integral in the development and execution of the company’s growth strategy.
Arlyn began practicing law in 1989 at Shearman & Sterling. In 1992, she joined Baer Marks & Upham, LLP, where she developed an active securities law practice and gained extensive experience in mergers and acquisitions. While at Baer Marks, Arlyn represented the Merinoff family in its 1994 acquisition of Sunbelt and was recruited to join CSG in 1998.
Arlyn has a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Binghamton University and a juris doctorate from Albany Law School, where she graduated cum laude. Arlyn is a founding director on the board of the Newark Police Foundation, which enhances the effectiveness of the Newark Police Department by raising funds in support of crime-fighting programs.