Tanya Lawson - Wine Specialty with United Distributing
How many years have you been in the business? Tell us briefly about your background and your current position today.
I have been in the industry for almost 30 years. I waited tables at bars and restaurants in the Atlanta area while attending college before moving to work at one of the largest distributors in Georgia. I have worked in On Premise Sales for 22 years selling liquor, beer, wine and non-alcoholic beverages. The last 7 years have been in a more wine focused account base.
Did you have a particular “aha!” moment that propelled you into wine?
I have enjoyed selling all commodities over the years but definitely have always leaned towards wine as my favorite.
What is the most rewarding part of what you do?
When a customer describes what they are looking for and I am able to bring them products from our portfolio that fits their needs.
What do you do to create wellness balance in your life? Any particular activity, practices, etc that are meaningful to you?
I schedule time to work out.
What changes do you hope to see in the wine industry in the next five years?
Opportunity, accessibility and education for everyone.
What does equality in the wine industry look like to you?
More women and different ethnicities represented across all levels-Winemakers, Sommeliers, Senior Managers, Sales Managers, Salespeople, Shop Owners, etc. Different points of views allow us to learn and grow.
How do you feel you’re contributing to creating a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive wine industry?
Wine is fun! I want people to feel comfortable tasting and talking about wine without judgement. I want to talk to anyone who wants to talk about wine.
What advice would you give to someone starting their career in the same sector of the wine industry as you?
Find your passion-whether it’s selling wine, making wine or teaching about wine. Do what makes you happy!
Name some people who inspire you in the wine industry and please explain why.
There are so many awesome ladies that I work with day in and day out that are creative and innovative in the wine category whether it’s selling, teaching or creating their own beverage program to list only one. I hope we can all thrive and succeed in the coming years.