Working at Rémy Cointreau since: 2017 (with Westland since 2012)
Current position: Distillery Manager, Director of Operations
How did you join Westland Distillery?
I joined Westland in early 2012. I have a degree in Environmental Chemistry but I was looking for a career that could balance my scientific knowledge with my passion for creation. I worked for several other distilleries before Westland, but when I came aboard I was blown away by Westland’s passion and determination to create something lasting and I knew I had found a home.
What does the role of Distillery Manager entail? What are your missions?
My job is to make sure everyone on the production team has the support, knowledge, and resources to create Westland’s award-winning and terroir-driven spirit. I am in charge of directing everything from long-term grain purchasing programs to bottling schedules to the shipment of spirit across the globe. I work closely with our master distiller to make sure his vision of where Westland should go can be accomplished.
As Distillery Manager, what challenges do you have to tackle? What are your main objectives for the upcoming months and years?
As I mentioned above, one of the largest challenges I face as distillery manager is making sure that our master distiller’s vision can be accomplished in the timeline and manner that is most successful for Westland Distillery. That can mean planning and preparing for goals or scenarios as far as ten to fifteen years in advance.
Currently, I am focused on two large projects at Westland: the pursuit of B-Corp certification as a distillery and the construction of a new rackhouse and bottling facility for Westland in the Skagit Valley.
Rémy Cointreau’s signature is “Terroir, People and Time”; how do you identify with those values through your work at Westland?
I believe Westland’s most valuable asset is its team, and I do everything I can do to make sure that everyone at Westland feels like they are active and contributing members. I write a weekly newsletter for distribution through the distillery, I organize competitions and get-togethers for the team. Additionally I create opportunities for Westland employees to give back to the local community through fundraising for local charities.
As I mentioned above, I am also leading the charge to bring Westland into B-Corp certification, a certification that embodies a positive effect on people and the environment.
How would you describe the working environment at the Seattle office?
COVID has certainly made this an interesting question to answer! I’ve been working hard to maintain the family environment that Westland Distillery typically fosters, but in a safe manner.
What advice would you give to a candidate who wants to apply at Westland or in any other Rémy Cointreau brand?
Be passionate in what you’re interested in! When I look to hire employees, I tend to hire those that have a true passion. You can teach someone how to distill, or bottle, or barrel correctly, but you can’t teach someone to care deeply about how they do that. And that’s the most important quality in an employee.