- Asheville, NC
- January 1, 2021
With a career in wine spanning almost two decades, I have worked serving, selling and telling the stories of some of the greatest wines in the world. A native of New York City, my humble beginnings as a young teenager bussing tables and washing dishes blossomed into a spot as a sommelier at highly regarded Manhattan restaurants. From there I moved into the wholesale distribution world with a ten-year-long tenure as a salesperson at T. Edward Wines, where I had a hand in helping transform what was then a small upstart wine importer and distributor into a national presence. From there, I took to the mountains of Western North Carolina, where I first helped two startup distributors find their place in the market and enabled them to grow and thrive. All of this experience put me in a position to lead Sour Grapes, a ten-year-old importer and distributor, as their Director of Sales. Overseeing a team of 11 other sales representatives across three states, Sour Grapes their best year in revenue ever in 2019. The year 2020 has proved challenging for all of us, for a myriad of reasons. I have recently been working as a logistics sales representative and waiting for the right time and opportunity to reenter the wine world.
Increased the output of a sales force of eleven employees across NC, SC, and GA.
Coached and mentored frontline sales reps and regional sales managers in specific negotiation tactics, forecasting methods, and prospecting strategies.
Turned overall strategy and reputation away from selling a commodity to providing a service by offering staff training for restaurants, consulting in all facets of on-premise and off-premise wine programs.
Fostered a culture of accountability by requiring quantifiable sales activities and results
Led initiative to incorporate new software for inventory, sales, and vendor management, improving efficiency in purchasing, forecasting and inventory accuracy.
Enabled a wine distribution start-up featuring high-end, luxury wines from the US, France, and Greece to establish a footprint and viable sales presence in North Carolina by leveraging industry knowledge and fostering reputation as a service and education partner for our customers.
As initial hire of a small wine distribution start-up featuring small production artisanal wines from the US and Portugal, helped establish credibility and initial sales presence by targeting key customer targets and product placements.
Helped reclaim sales presence of portfolio of 600 fine wines and spirits concentrating on California, France and Greece.
Increased targeting in the lucrative New York City market, including several Michelin-starred restaurants.
Refocused efforts on product placements with greater profit margin and long-term market viability.
Opened a brand new sales territory covering four counties from zero to over one hundred active accounts with sales exceeding $1.5m per annum.
Became an expert in our portfolio of over 700 different fine wines and spirits from several different regions acquiring knowledge of all aspects of farming, winemaking, and distillation.
Travelled to and fostered relationships with our winemakers and distillers in order to better understand their philosophies, practices, and world views in order to be better able to act as their advocate in the market.
Conducted staff education with restaurants and retailers, run in-store tasting events educational classes for end users and coordinated winemaker dinners and special events.
Performed sales and presentation of wine from Wine Spectator Grand Award-winning Italian wine list, helping the team achieve over $2m in sales per year.
Maintained wine inventory of 1500 titles, including both on-site and off-site inventory and daily updating of wine list to ensure perfect accuracy. Helped refurbish wine room and revamp binning and inventory systems.
Order liquor and maintain liquor inventory by keeping proper par levels and reordering as needed, improving cost of goods sold and eliminating out of stock issues.
Was a closing key holder with duties including cash reconciliation and final walk- through to ensure the safety, security, and proper maintenance of site.
Managed floor staff of twenty captains, back waiters and bussers, ensuring impeccable levels of customer service through staff education and motivation.