How many years have you been in the business? Tell me briefly about your background and your current position today.
Almost four years in this magical business. I am a veteran of the restaurant industry, and have worked numerous positions across a wide genre of concepts. Today, I work on-premise at one of the top wholesalers in the state.
Did you have a particular “aha!” moment that propelled you into wine?
I fell in love with wine after I ran my first program at an independent restaurant in Athens. It was a small list, but I built it with enthusiasm. My general manager really invested in my training, and I think having a mentor really made a difference.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
I enjoy the variety in my day, the pace is fast and wild, and there’s always a challenge.
Can you describe any prejudices you’ve experienced in this industry?
So, it’s a tough question to tackle. I don’t have a specific incident to reference, fortunately. But… when you’re working with people, you experience so many different personalities both in the market and internally. I am proud of my company for making strides to promote a diverse, capable sales and management team, and I hope we continue in that direction.
When it comes to wine, what benefits do you think we’ll see as a community by advocating for diversity and inclusion?
We all win when we consider the vast array of experiences of our communities as a whole, whether we’re talking wine, tech, or whatever. We need people with different backgrounds and ideas to stay relevant, and evolve as companies. Everyone has value to add, and we need diverse teams to be effective in all areas of the alcohol market.
What changes do you hope to see in the wine industry in the next five years?
I hope we continue to aim higher when it comes to sustainability and responsible business practices. Biodynamic farming isn’t just malarkey, it’s understanding how nature creates balance, and I think we could all use a little more balance.
What does equality in the wine industry look like to you?
Qualified personnel are given a fair crack at a piece of the pie. That producers reflect the diversity of the consumers they serve.
In what ways would you say you are contributing to equality in wine?
Well, I’m a woman, with my sights set on growing within the company and industry. I try to encourage those who are interested and help them network.
What message do you have for anyone now entering the wine profession?
There are so many moving parts, but at the end of the day we are supporting farmers. That gives me the warm fuzzies and keeps me motivated.
What other industry heroes do you admire and why?
My area manager, Krista. She is confident, polished, the right amount of tough and compassionate, and just a general badass. My manager, Lee. He has overcome many challenges in the business and is open about his journey with gender identity. I think his courageous honesty is so damn admirable.