Our mission is to guide our retailers and manufacturers as they navigate through the purchasing, promotional, and customer service process.

What We Do


We specialize in building new brands and launching private label programs.

Maintain Key Relationships

Relationships are the secret to our success.When challenges arise, we have the right connections to get them resolved quickly and deliver a win-win for everyone involved! Merchants are constantly changing to new positions and moving to new retailers. We make it our job to stay on top of all these changes and know who is managing what desk.

Private Brand Management & Product Launches

With our Item set up experience our team protects your brand and reputation with on-time item creation. Decades of experience with 1WorldSync, Retail Link, and Aspect. Post Line Review Modular and Replenishment Analytics allows us to provide best in class category management and replenishment expertise. WIth a weekly analysis we provide each client a customized weekly KPI report, a “starting point” of our weekly analysis process. Understanding the bigger picture is one of our core strengths. We will guide you while we help grow your brand.

Advanced Analytics

With Forecasting Recommendations our method includes and incorporates all steps of the supply chain, production process, and timelines. We also supply our clients with “recommended” forecast for production planning. Our Price Elasticity Analysis takes the guess work out of the impact of price changes. Our proven method will give you a greater degree of confidence on how a price increase or decrease will impact unit volume. Our Goal is to help you make the most informed decisions in every situation.

Content Management

We work with the dot-com retail teams to upload new items, maintain current images and product description. Online sales continue to grow and it is important to provide up-to-date information and messages to the customer.

Retail Analysis

Demographic Information Leverage – Our category management leader will be able to analyze “who” our customers are by using Walmart’s Retail Link extracted data to aid in growing store points of distribution.

Customer Insights

We have a depth of experience and knowledge in the retail industry to help give you the proposal advantage over your competition. We have over 20 years’ experience with Walmart/Sam’s Club and over 50 years’ experience with Discount Stores.

Marketing & Promotion

With years of valuable experience and service in the retail industry, we are able to provide excellent recommendations and counsel to our clients in order to maximize in store sales.

Local Contact

We provide buyer and support team immediate response for questions and needs. This is a critical element to secure major import or domestic business with Walmart. Every sample you send to the Buyer will be hand-delivered by a member of our Team.

Administrative Assistance

Includes uploading Certificates of Insurance into ClearTrack system, Managing Vendor Non Compliance concerns,  Generate Quote Sheets, Transportation claims, and many other issues that arise during daily operations. We provide assistance in managing certifications, Vendor Non Compliance concerns, and Transportation claims. Additionally, we assist in managing service issues and help manage PO’s.


Let Us Help You Get your Product In Stores

Southern Professionals, Inc. is a full-service brokerage firm partnering with manufacturers and retailers since 1979. We are a team oriented company that works very closely with our buyers and manufacturers to ensure our clients achieve excellent results and substantial business growth.

Retailers we specialize WITH

Years in business and experience with these retailers


Southern Professionals is here to help grow your business. We are passionate about providing the most outstanding service possible and since 1979 we have built our company on strong relationships and providing the best service possible.

Southern Professionals have consistently provided us with exceptional service, always handling our requests with a sense of urgency and professionalism. Their guidance and expertise have been instrumental in the growth of our business at Walmart, and I would highly recommend them to anyone looking for a reliable and dedicated retail broker.
Shay Fisher
Diamond Cosmetics
I've had a great relationship with southern Professionals for 20 years now. I have had fantastic results with Southern Professionals over the years in a lot of different categories and Southern Professionals has represented me very well in the marketplace.
Marc Rynn OraLabs Inc Headshot
Marc Rynn
OraLabs Inc.
What I can tell you is Southern Professionals works fast, really fast. So I spoke with Bert and said, "we have energems, here's the idea. We think this is a great fit". Bert looked at us, look at his customers, said "I definitely see the fit" and two weeks later we had an appointment. Four months later, we were in over 10,000 stores, so pretty darn good results.
Joe Fairleigh Energem Headshot
Joe FairLeigh
NRG Innovations, LLC
We've been working with Southern Professionals for probably over 20 years. I'd say about 22 years. The main thing I think about when I think about Southern Professionals is their follow-up is excellent whenever we have appointments and things like that, they make sure that the things that are asked for get taken care of. The great relationships that they have with the buyers. That's really valuable in our industry; to make sure that you got somebody you can trust and that they have a solid relationship with the buyers. So that's really important for us too. Results have been great. I would say that the one that's most exciting for us, we've been in Dollar General now for about three years, but it took us a few years to get that put together. But with Southern Professionals help, with Al, we just started working where we kept going and kept pushing and eventually got it in there. and Bert has such a great relationship there that that solidified the whole process and now we've been in there three or four years and it is a great piece of business for us that was totally nonexistent before, so we really appreciate that.
Larry Burris Tec Labortories Headshot
Larry Burris
Tec Laboratories, Inc.

Our Team

Bert Blackburn of Southern Professionals Headshot

Bert Blackburn

Bert has three daughters, and his world revolves around them. When he isn't working or with the girls, he tries to exercise in the outdoors. Bert's passion for serving others and providing the best service possible to our clients sets the tone for our entire team. When asked what he loves most about being part of the Southern Professionals team he simply said, "I truly care for our people, I love serving our clients, and I love that we can support organizations who are making a difference in this world.

Waylon Smith of Southern Professionals Headshot

Waylon Smith

Waylon and his wife Katey have 2 little girls. Waylon’s personal hobbies include grilling, hunting, fishing and projects around the house. What Waylon loves the most about being part of the Southern Professionals team – I love being part of a team that is so close and works together to provide the best service possible to our clients. Also, our vision to make a positive impact on the world brings real purpose to my career each day.
Photo of Dr. Hayes Wade, Sales for Southern Professionals

Dr. Hayes Wade

Married to his wife since 2004 and they have two boys, Dixon and Harris. Hayes’s favorite hobbies are fishing and hunting with his boys and family camping trips. What he loves the most about being a part of the Southern Professionals Team is their willingness to give back and a sincere drive to deliver a premium service for each individual client.
Lisa Akers of Southern Professionals Headshot

Lisa Akers

Married to Marshall, mother of 2 and grandmother of 3, Lisa enjoys gardening, reading, singing in her church choir and spending time with her family and new terrier, Jack. What Lisa loves most about being part of the Southern Professionals team – I love being a part of a team that has such an excellent culture of professionalism, integrity and faith. We give back to our local communities and to the larger global communities in ways that are very meaningful to me.
Rick Sailing of Southern Professionals Headshot

Rick Sailing

Rick Salling has been married to his wife Leila for 33 years. They have one daughter, Katie Stude, who is an elementary school teacher in Bentonville, AR. Rick and Leila live in the mountains of western North Carolina (Brevard). They are both active tennis players and Rick also likes to hike, camp and fish. What he loves most about working at Southern Professionals is the team. We have excellent leadership, we are dedicated to delivering high quality service to our clients, and we constantly challenge each other to learn and grow.
Dena Harris of Southern Professionals Headshot

Dena Harris

Dena and her husband Gary reside in Bentonville, have been married since 2001, and have 2 teen boys. They are all avid animal lovers with 2 dogs, Sam a sweet rescue dog and Zoey Grace the goldendoodle, plus a kitty named Finn. Both her boys love to fish and her oldest fishes on the high school fishing team. Her youngest loves to play the guitar and alto saxophone. Dena and her family love to spend time outdoors in the pool, at the lake or fishing the local rivers and creeks. She also loves to entertain family and friends as well as work on a multitude of home projects. Dena has been calling on Walmart and Sam’s for 20 years in various roles and is very excited to join Southern Professionals.
Oriel Jones-Stanley Southern Professionals Headshot

Oriel Jones-Stanley

Oriel and her husband have one daughter. Some of her hobbies include playing games and solving puzzles, reading, listening to music, and spending time with her family. What she loves most about being a part of the Southern Professionals team is the amazing leadership and commitment to excellence to our clients and peers.

Rachel Newman

Rachel and her husband Josh have been together for 15 years & have 2 young children Ava Kate & Tripp as well as their 4-legged kiddos Stella the Great Dane & Maggie the Goldendoodle. They love spending their free time with family & friends while boating on the lake. They also enjoy home renovation projects & traveling anywhere that has a beach! Rachel is a Nashville Native (which is rare to find these days) & is ecstatic to bring her years of retail experience to the Southern Professionals family.
Jodie Peterson of Southern Professionals Headshot

Jodie Peterson

Jodie and her husband, David, live in SC and have been married for 37yrs. They have 2 children and 1 grandchild. They love spending time with their family, church and watching their Granddaughter play softball. They also love the beach, Outer Banks and the mountains. Jodie has been in the Broker Business for 30 years in various roles. What Jodie loves about working with SPI is the focus on staying connected as a group, and their commitment to excellence and professionalism.
Dhei Cruz

Dhei Cruz

Dhei Cruz is a bibliophile who enjoys traveling and watching sitcoms in her free time. She also likes doing karaoke with her friends and loves spending time with her dogs. She joined Southern Professionals in mid 2022 as an admin. She loves the collaboration and team culture of the SPB team.
Justine Cruz Headshot

Justine Cruz

In 2020, Justine Cruz and their partner solidified their commitment to each other in the face of global uncertainty. The couple enjoys taking long drives, streaming shows on Netflix, and engaging in karaoke during their downtime.

Professionally, Justine Cruz is distinguished by an expansive understanding of the digital landscape, particularly in Digital Advertising. They have adeptly leveraged this knowledge across various roles, demonstrating versatility and proficiency.

At Southern Professionals, Justine values the collaborative spirit and the supportive culture that prevails. Here, the team works in unison towards shared goals, fostering each other's development, and ensuring superior service to their clients.

Bree Cannon

Bree Cannon

Bree is from Bentonville, Arkansas where she lives with her spouse and two pets. She loves the vibrant culinary and art scene and enjoys indulging in nature walks across the Northwest Arkansas region. Bree has amassed valuable experience across diverse fields in communications, technology & innovation, merchandising, and marketing during her tenure at Walmart and in non-profit. She is excited to leverage her expertise on the Southern Professionals team to support you and your business!


One of our core values at Southern Professionals is to serve and give back. Each quarter we donate a portion of our revenue and personal time to serve people in our community and throughout the world who desperately need our help.

Our Roots.

"We’ve been serving the value channel since 1979. It has been great to build distribution for our clients and work with such great companies along the way."
Al Blackburn Founder of Southern Professionals Headshot
Al Blackburn

Contact Us Now to get started

Southern Professionals has convenient locations in Bentonville, Arkansas and Atlanta (Woodstock), Georgia to better serve you.