The Tasting Panel magazine

May 2014

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may 2014  /  the tasting panel  /  97 EDUCATION A t the recent First Annual Women's Beverage Alcohol Symposium near Boston, several hundred women hung on every sentence uttered by the six women panelists. Eagerly attended by women of all ages from all aspects of the industry, the symposium was convened in March by Martignetti Companies, New England's leading distributor of wine and spirits (and the seventh-largest distributor in the US). The panelists distilled their experiences in the industry into specific, extremely useful advice for their colleagues. France Posener, Eastern Division Manager of Opus One Winery, detailed many techniques to "always be the one [person] they remember" in a meeting: an immediate way to accomplish this is by perfecting a very firm handshake. Other panelists offered personal phi- losophies, like Wente Family Estates' CEO Carolyn Wente's daily affirmation of "respect, integrity, sustainability and excellence." Most fascinating were the candid viewpoints the panel was encouraged to share by moderator Mary Masters, VP of Classic Wine Imports. One of the first issues that came up was, of course, work- life balance. Chef Jody Adams,founder of Rialto and Trade restaurants, quickly nailed it when she asked. "How many men on a panel like this would be asked this question?" After that there were no holds barred. The women spoke of the impossibility of balancing children and home and life while rising to the heights of their careers. Most of these very suc- cessful women credited their husbands' support- iveness—which meant they had initiated a seismic shift in traditional spousal roles in order to prioritize their own careers. Several of the women work in family-owned business where they are first- or second-generation leaders. This can be an advantage because they learn about the industry and the business from an early age. It's a disadvantage when their role models are men who tend to prioritize work over time with family. Andrea Pendergast, owner and Operations Manager of Cape Cod Package Store Fine Wine & Spirits, is taking over from her father and she related a recent conscious decision to not work such long hours. She advises: "Make time for life or you won't continue to love your work." Relentless work ethic was another common element. Joy Richard, Beverage Director of Franklin Restaurant Group reads multiple publications to stay current. She also travels and networks, often "muscling myself behind the bar" in other cities to discover new trends firsthand. Many of the women had parents who were role models and/or very sup- portive of their daughters. Julie Robillard, co-founder of Cabin Fever Maple Whiskey, summed up her best piece of advice from her mother: "Act like a lady, think like a man, work like a dog!" The panelists (left to right): Joy Richard, Beverage Director, Franklin Restaurant Group; Andrea Pendergast, owner and Operations Manager, Cape Cod Package Store Fine Wine & Spirits; Julie Robillard, co-founder, Cabin Fever Maple Whisky; Carolyn Wente, CEO, Wente Family Estates; Jody Adams, founder and Chef, Rialto and Trade Restaurants; J. France Posener, Eastern Division Manager, Opus One Winery; Mary Masters, Vice President, Classic Wine Imports/ Martignetti Companies. Balancing Act THE BEST ADVICE FROM SUCCESSFUL WOMEN IN THE INDUSTRY AT THE WOMEN'S BEVERAGE ALCOHOL SYMPOSIUM by Becky Sue Epstein TP0514_072-101.indd 97 4/24/14 11:01 PM

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