Benchmark Consulting

General Manager - Phantom Creek Estates

Okanagan-Similkameen, Okanagan Valley, Canada - Full Time

THE CLIENT

The client is a family-owned winery in the Okanagan Valley. Their vision is to be recognized as one of the leading family wineries in the world.  They own estate vineyards in the best locations in the Southern Okanagan including the Black Sage Bench and the Golden Mile as well as in the new and exciting Similkameen Valley.  They are focusing on Bordeaux and Alsatian varieties and have world class consultants in each discipline.  The 80,000 sq. ft. winery is under construction.  For more information please click on https://phantomcreekestates.com/

THE OPPORTUNITY

This is a unique opportunity to get in on the ground floor as the General Manager of one of the most exciting new wineries in the North America.  The Okanagan has been described by some as a cross between the Napa Valley and Yosemite in its beauty.  It’s located in South Eastern British Columbia - in Canada’s only desert.  The Okanagan has soils and a climate very well suited to Ultra-Premium Bordeaux varietals.  The Similkameen is an exciting new vinicultural area where Alsatian varietals are expected to do extremely well.  

LOCATION

  • Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada

REPORTING RELATIONSHIPS

  • This position reports directly to the Chairman (Owner) and Board of Directors monthly.
  • Reporting to the General Manager is the Winemaker,  Vineyard Manager/Viticulturist, Marketing Manager, Hospitality Manager, Sales Agency Manager, Controller, Facilities Manager and Administrative staff.  

RESPONSIBILITIES

Strategic Planning

  • Formulates long- and short-term strategies and operation direction that are suitable for the Canadian market and international market to ensure continuous generation of revenue
  • Establishes appropriate goals and objectives, including development of the brand’s DNA, etc. in coordination with the Proprietor and consultants

Operations

  • Responsible for materializing policies and directions into daily operations to ensure all decisions made and actions taken are aligning with the Estates strategies
  • Reviews annual budgets of each department; anticipates expense reductions or increases
  • Monitors marketing campaigns, sales growth, and customer/VIP feedback
  • Presides over quality control of wines, services and experiences from vineyard to consumer.  

Management

  • Conducts performance reviews for all employees reporting to him and guides this review process for all staff.  
  • Directs staff in aspects of organizational structure, professional development, motivation, discipline, compensation, personnel policies, and procedures.
  • Oversees overall budgets and ensures resources are properly allocated and appropriately utilized
  • Anticipates expansion or reduction of employee population
  • Presides over management meetings and team meetings at regular intervals 

Public Relations

  • GM directly responsiblefor being the face of the winery for wine & lifestyle media and blogger contacts.
  • Seek and utilize independent PR firm when necessary.
  • Represents the Estate in community activities
  • Maintains membership in professional organizations within the wine industry e.g. British Columbia Wine Institute
  • Attends wine industry conferences when schedule allows
  • Maintains healthy relationship with media to build up brand names; or to ease crisis management procedures
  • Maintains healthy relationship with government officials 
  • Oversees internal PR operations.

Oversee Marketing and Public Relation Manager 

  • Assures messaging is professional and consistent across all channels. 
  • Direct efforts to targeted audiences who enhance the winery brand and provide inroads to new markets. 
  • Assure website content is updated and fresh.  
  • Working relationship with all marketing vendors: designer, photographers, printer, etc.  
  • Mentor Marketing Manager.

Oversee all sales channels and respective managers:

  • GM directly responsiblefor collaborating with managers to assure operations are managed effectively and efficiently while meeting sales objectives and enhancing brand image.
  • Oversee Distributor Sales Team 
  • GM directly responsiblefor assuring sales focus is on on-premise sales in the main Canadian markets as well as a small amounts of strategic export around the world.  
  • Participate in market visits and develop relationships with key distributors and accounts.
  • Participate in key distributor and account visits to winery.
  • Mentor Director of Sales.

Oversee Wine Club & Direct to Consumer Coordinator 

  • GM directly responsiblefor collaborating with WC/DTC Coordinator, Owner, and production team to determine special WC wines, quantities, and club shipment dates. 
  • Assure case sales goals are met. 
  • Face of winery for all WC events. 
  • Assure tight inventory procedures and protocols in place.
  • Collaborates with TRM and WC/DTC to assure wine sales are in line with vintage-turn timeframes, taking necessary action as needed. 
  • Mentor WC/DTC Manager.

Oversee Hospitality Manager 

  • GM directly responsiblefor hiring Hospitality Manager and for assuring sales focus is on small production, Okanagan Valley wines and achieving case sales goals.  
  • Collaborate with HM to create a culture of exceptional customer service enabling a positive experience at all points of contact.  
  • Collaborate with HM to create high value brand equity through quality merchandise and packaged goods. 
  • Mentor TRM.

Oversee Administration, Human Resources, Business Office 

  • GM directly responsiblefor cultivating teamwork, trust, and mutual respect. Foster a positive, productive, and empowering work environment. Hire, train, coach, mentor, and discipline direct reports. 
  • GM directly responsible for being the face of the winery in all aspects of the business, a role shared by owner and managers.
  • GM directly responsiblefor employee management, expense management, inventory management, reporting, and forecasting.
  • GM directly responsiblefor directing key philanthropy efforts.

Collaborate with Winemaker, Viticulturist and Vineyard and Winemaking Team:

  • GM directly responsiblefor promoting and practicing cooperation between production and business divisions resulting in an inclusive, productive, and respectful environment. 

Supply & Demand Management (30%)

  • Logistics management and product availability (MIP to bottle)
  • Manage the marketing aspects of the wine process
  • Work with design to ensure accurate label information 
  • Manage the packaging meetings
  • Manage logistics for new tiers, new packages or brand launches
  • Update and maintain vintage release calendar

Brand Plan Development Support & Analysis (20%)

  • Process Pricing Change Forms and ensure state compliance
  • Support of the QBR process for volume forecasting, inputting into financial database, etc.
  • Trend analysis, prediction, and ability to recommend changes in courses of action
  • Assist with plan content development, ideation, etc.
  • Assist with the content development, ideation, formatting, accuracy and consistency, etc.…. of brand plan

PROFESSIONAL REQUIREMENTS                    

  • Bachelor’s Degree. 
  • MBA preferred. 
  • 10 years or more experience in 3-tier winery sales and marketing. 
  • 5+ years in a senior management position of a winery with proven ability to be an effective, innovative, and enthusiastic leader. Collaborate with key stakeholders within the Okanagan Valley wine and business community, Okanagan Valley wine community, and national wine community to include winery customers, industry, trade, and media.
  • Passion for and in-depth knowledge of wine and wine production. BC Experience, WA State and WW Valley a plus.  
  • Significant exposure to and proven success in the areas of:  employee management, sales management, expense management, inventory management, reporting, and forecasting.
  • Significant experience in strategic planning. Ability to formulate a plan for long-term success and gain support for the vision and plan implementation.
  • Understands family-run business with a corporate culture and organizational structure.
  • Ability to accept direction and work as a team member.
  • Ability to work with Consultants when necessary, ability to be humble and collaborate with others.
  • Strong communication skills – being a good listener, concise communicator, and understands the importance of open and direct conversations.
  • Boardroom quality, polished public speaking and presentation skills.
  • Strong human resources experience including compensation, benefits, employee recruitment, hiring, coaching, discipline, and termination.
  • Valid driver’s license; physical ability to travel both by car and plane, ability to climb stairs, ability to sit and operate a computer, and ability to lift and carry 40+ lbs. 
  • Must be able to perform other duties as assigned.

Recommended Skills: 

  • Specific understanding of luxury retail environments and their operations. 
  • Specific understanding of managing the many facets of an estate including vineyards, a winery, homes, landscaping, gardens etc.
  • Comprehensive analytical, strategic, and tactical skills (i.e. must be able to both create and execute ideas). 
  • Proven P&L responsibilities with in-depth understanding of winery finance and operations.
  • Entrepreneurial management style with experience in a structured environment. 
  • Adaptability and open to change. 
  • Well-rounded interpersonal skills including ability to coordinate with multiple departments.
  • Excellent analytical and creative skills. Keen attention to detail with effective time and project management skills. 
  • Passionate about wine and the varying dynamics specific to the wine business. 
Apply: General Manager - Phantom Creek Estates
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