September 2019 | Directors Corner
Executive Vice President & General Manager, ColumbusWhat is your background and career path at Heidelberg?I started in 1994 – 25 years ago! I guess the three biggest milestones during my career would be acquiring the Robert Mondavi portfolio, moving to Parkwest Drive and buying Hill Distributing’s beer business. Oh, and a fourth: Attaining the Mike’s brands.
What are your job responsibilities and priorities?
As GM of the Columbus Division my responsibilities and priorities vary from day to day. I strive to be a motivator and cheerleader!
Every morning I review the previous day’s bank deposit and check the current day’s load and delivery sheets. I’ll check to be sure the night crew was able to complete their job as planned and follow up to be sure all the trucks got out on time.
I review sales numbers and goals on a daily basis with the beer and wine sales managers and district managers. I’ll assist in reviewing inventory levels in order to match our sales goals. I oversee all aspects of the operation, approving the right number of employees and working with the operations team to be sure we have the correct tools to perform our jobs, like the right number of trucks and warehouse equipment.
The most enjoyable part of my job is working in the market – surveying stores and meeting with customers and market leaders.
Lastly, there are always “fires” to be dealt with, Associates to meet with and building concerns to solve.
I am also the company’s Director of Governmental Affairs, so I stay involved with our elected officials and Ohio’s regulatory process both at the State and National level. Heidelberg is part of three trade associations that are important to alcohol laws and regulations: The Wholesale Beer and Wine Association of Ohio (WBWAO), the Wine & Spirits Wholesaler of America (WSWA), and the National Beer Wholesalers of America (NBWA). I attend their meetings and one-on-one visits with state and federal legislators, in addition to meeting with officials from the Ohio Division of Liquor Control from time to time. I’m also the WBWAO Chair for the Wine Advisory Council.
Any recent accomplishments or notable projects?
From a sales perspective, I’m proud that Corona has become a partner with Ohio State Football, Basketball and Baseball as an” Official Sponsor.” This will make a big impact in the market for Corona and Heidelberg.
Accomplishments from a community partnership perspective was being a part of the new Mitchell Hall on the campus of Columbus State Community College. Mitchell Hall, which houses the School of Hospitality Management and Culinary Arts, was just dedicated on August 19, and I was proud to see the naming of the Heidelberg Distributing Beverage Lab! A big thank you to the Miller and Vontz families for their contribution and support.
From the legislative scene, I recently got to attend a private dinner with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell discussing WSWA’s national industry issues.
Who do you interact with on a regular basis – suppliers, retailers, management, HDC “wheel” teams?
As GM, I mostly interact with my management team and community leaders which include many key customers – Giant Eagle, Cameron Mitchell, Kroger and Ohio State. As Legislative Director, I work with the trade associations mentioned earlier.
What alcohol beverage trends are you seeing?
On a National basis, home delivery and internet sales are a big concern. Home delivery is too much outside the regulatory system.
How has the business and/or company changed since you joined Heidelberg?
The biggest change is statewide coverage. Heidelberg did not service a large part of the State of Ohio and each division was almost its own company, acting independently except for our accounting system. We had separate buyers, we did our own pricing, presentations to chain buyers, etc.
How do you like to spend time when you’re away from work?
Travel, golf, a little fishing and time with family.
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