From Love of Wine to a Successful Business

Turrentine LogoOur August CEO Club speaker was Steve Fredricks, CEO of Turrentine Wine Brokerage.

Steven treated us to insights behind the veil of industry secrecy, personal insights on his career progression, lessons learned along the way, and what the future might hold for his industry and other consumer product firms.   We were also graced with the presence of his daughter, Haley, who was enjoying summer vacation and hearing her dad speak about his life and CEO career.

BACKGROUND: Steve shared many observations that support the need for the bulk wine brokerage business, and then listed the challenges in delivering consistently and profitably on that need.  He then shared his journey from growing up in LA to studying at U.C. Davis, and discovering the science behind making wines in a Viticulture class. He decided to combine his business major with the science of wine to create his own personal major.  After graduation he worked in wine production in the USA and in Australia, and then in sales/marketing for a winery.  Subsequently, he became a devoted reader of the Turrentine Wine Newsletter.

SUCCESS: Steve shared that his organized, regimented, and consistent work style served him well in the business world, especially when he started in an entry-level sales position with Turrentine Wine Brokerage.  (First he had to convince the owner to hire him, which took some persistent and consistent work on his part!)  He used these skills and characteristics to be successful as a bulk wine broker, working his way to the top over a 20+ year career with Turrentine Wine.  Today, Steve is the President and majority owner of the business.

Turrentine_Steve-FredricksLEADERSHIP SHIFT: As he became the leader of the organization he had to shift his thinking by learning to listen to his employees more, and not always putting the customer first, as was his training.  He also had to learn to use some quiet time, to BE the leader, to think globally, and to build relationships with his employees.  All elements of thinking long-term for the business, and not just closing a sale himself, which brought him his original success and recognition.  He also learned to read more: about business, psychology, and economics.  NUDGE and HABITS became some of his favorite books.  Today he is happier watching his brokers do satisfying deals for clients, than doing those deals himself.  He is looking beyond to future generations in his role as leader.

CHALLENGES: Steve then shared some of the challenges he faces leading the business into the 21st Century.   These include leading multi-generational workforces, with competing motives and different values.   Shifting cultures as the environment changes and the company needs to change to survive, adapt, and thrive.  He has invested in improving internal communications amongst all employees, create pathways for future partners/leaders, shape the future culture and nurture teams, and reinforce behaviors that build long-term client relationships.   Steve is challenged to know each employees’ needs and motivations, focus everyone on the ingredients for business success, establish operations globally, meets client needs to integrate more closely into their supply chains, and anticipate the next trend in the wine business.

SUMMARY: Steve summarized his comments by declaring that he is a lucky guy, able to travel the world, interact with people different cultures yet common interests, own his own business, and lead the company for the next generation to enjoy!

The CEO Club of Marin thanks Steve Fredricks for sharing with us as our August 2015 featured speaker!

Who do you know?…President/COO search.

Stanton Chase has been retained to recruit a President/COO for a new, publicly-traded business in Southern California.

Company Overview

  • Client is a leader in the development, sales, and service of automated, biometrically controlled dispensing and storage systems for medicine and merchandise.
  • Headquartered in Los Angeles, with offices in Arizona and Florida.
  • Client offers their patented systems, software and consulting services to pharmacies, dispensaries, and local governments in the U.S.
  • Publicly-traded company,  the company is generating sales of over $6mm, and has a staggering market cap of approximately $400mm.
  • Importantly the company has been successful in recruiting industry veterans with name recognition and credibility in the industry.

Position Overview

The President & Chief Operating Officer will be responsible for providing the organizational leadership and strategic planning to aggressively meet the company’s growth goals within the corporate marketplace. The President is responsible for hiring, assembling and orchestrating a top level management team capable of meeting and exceeding goals for new sales and renewal revenue across all product lines delivered to customers with the initial focus being municipalities and state governments and other markets to follow. The successful candidate will have 15-25 years of progressively more responsible experience leading to a  P&L leadership role within a well- regarded, market leader  in a relevant industry sector.  Prior experience leading a publicly-traded firm is highly desired.

Your Opportunity

If you are interested in disruptive and controversial businesses that have the potential of broad impact for our society, and the treatment of ailments from headaches to cancer, through prescription and non-prescription medications, you should investigate this opportunity.  Our Client is a small, public company seeking visionary, well-spoken, intellectually engaged, charismatic leadership to bring the organization to the next level; and the President/COO is going to have challenges and opportunities that will test a broad skill set.  The sprint is on for companies in this business space to establish market share and footprint before the technology and the medications go “mainstream” and mass market.

If interested, please contact us and forward your updated resume.  Paul Herreras, Managing Director, STANTON CHASE executive search.  Your Leadership Partner.