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COO - Confidential winery

Benchmark Consulting
Walla Walla, WA
Expired: over a month ago Applications are no longer accepted.
  • Full-Time
Job Description

The winery's Chief Operating Officer is an experienced leader that shares our company values of authenticity, reliability, integrity, quality, service, and passion. This position requires a person with entrepreneurial spirit, who manages a professional, results-driven team in a collaborative environment. These leadership qualities help continue our success in securing our brand as the most trusted choice in Washington State wine. The Chief Operating Officer serves as the primary face of the business as the Owner/President continues to move to a less active, part-time role.


The COO position reports directly to the Owner/President & Board of Directors.

Reporting to the COO are the Co-Directors of National Sales, Sales Logistics Manager, Wine Club & Direct to Consumer Manager, Retail & Hospitality Manager, Woodinville location Tasting Room Manager, Marketing Manager, Shipping & Inventory Manager, and Office Manager – 9 people in total.


Oversee all sales channels and respective managers

  • GM/COO directly responsible for collaborating with managers to assure operations are managed effectively and efficiently while meeting sales objectives and enhancing brand image.
  • Making all efforts to maximize and reflect the winery’s values of authentic, reliable, integrity, quality, service, and passion.

Relating to Distributor Sales Team (3FT)

  • GM/COO directly responsible for assuring sales focus is on Heritage Wine Portfolio and achieves case sales goal. WWV Estate wine focus for key distributors and accounts.
  • Participate in market visits and develop relationships with key distributors and accounts.
  • Participate in key distributor and account visits to winery.
  • Participate in WA Wine Commission and Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance trade events.
  • Mentor National Sales Team

Relating to Wine Club & Direct to Consumer Team (1FT + PT assistant)

  • GM/COO directly responsible for collaborating with WC/DTC Manager, Owner, and production team to determine special WC wines, quantities, and club shipment dates.
  • Assure case sales goals are met for online and Club shipment sales.
  • Face of winery for all WC events, including welcoming Club VIPs at schoolhouse when circumstances warrant.
  • Assure tight inventory procedures and protocols in place, ensuring adequate library stock, and proper vintage crossover dates (in conjunction with Tasting Room and Retail & Hospitality Managers).
  • Strategizing creative sales programming and taking necessary action as needed when monthly sales pace is lower than established goal volumes.
  • Mentor WC/DTC Manager.

Relating to the Retail & Hospitality and both Woodinville & Walla Walla Tasting Room Managers (referred to as “Hospitality Managers”) (3FT + PT staff)

  • GM/COO directly responsible for assuring sales focus is on small production, Walla Walla Estate wines to achieve established case sales goals.
  • Collaborate with Hospitality Teams to create a culture of exceptional customer service ensuring a positive visit experience.
  • Ensure that fine merchandise and packaged goods are offered as complementary to our wine tasting selections, reinforcing our image for quality at all touch points.
  • Work with Hospitality Managers to determine which metrics can be positively impacted by creative events & sales programming, i.e., average $s purchased per visitor, WC conversion rates, purchase conversion rates, etc.
  • Ensure that Hospitality teams have the opportunity for continuous growth and training, to improve their wine knowledge and sales acumen.
  • Mentor Hospitality Managers.

Oversee Marketing Manager (1FT)

  • GM/COO directly responsible for being the face of the winery for wine & lifestyle media and blogger contacts.
  • Assures messaging is professional and consistent across all channels and media outlets, coordinated with rolling Communication Planning calendar.
  • Direct efforts to targeted audiences who enhance the winery brand and provide inroads to expanded and new markets.
  • Assure website content is updated and fresh.
  • Support Marketing Manager in his work in managing relationships with all marketing vendors: designers, photographers, printer, social media consultant, etc.
  •  Mentor Marketing Manager.


Oversee Office Manager (1FT)

  • GM/COO directly responsible for ensuring property is in a proper state to carry on fundamental practices of wine production, wine shipments, hospitality activities and back-office operations.
  • Assure Office Manager is supported in evaluating and selecting vendors to care for buildings and grounds, as well as needs of internal staff (i.e., IT).
  • Evaluate extraordinary requests for charitable support/donations.

Oversee Shipping & Inventory Manager (1FT+1PT)

  • GM/COO directly responsible for ensuring DTC customers and Club Members receive shipments in good condition and in a timely manner and must ensure S&I Mgr has resources necessary to achieve this key goal.
  • Clarify (and periodically revisit) library wine guidelines, to determine if levels are sufficient, and to identify which wines can/should be featured or offered for sale.
  • • Evaluate and revise (if needed) approach to finished-goods inventory management, including stock locations, balance of goods held in various locations.
  • Ensure that sufficient materials for shipping, bottling, special packaging, etc., are held on-site.
  • Evaluate shippers annually to determine optimal balance between UPS & FedEx, working with S&I Manager for analysis and to revise target volumes by shipper.

Oversee Administration, Human Resources, Business Office

  • GM/COO directly responsible for cultivating teamwork, trust, and mutual respect. Foster a positive, productive, and empowering work environment. Hire, train, coach, mentor, and discipline direct reports, and supporting direct reports in their selection of team members and assistants. Resolving any employee disagreements or problematic relationships which may be hindering staff members’ or their colleagues’ productivity.
  • GM/COO directly responsible for setting example for staff in terms of frugal attitude and commitment to brand/company.
  • GM/COO directly responsible for being the face of the winery in all aspects of the business, a role shared by owner and managers.
  • GM/COO directly responsible for employee management, expense management, inventory management, reporting, and forecasting, in close conjunction with owner.
  • GM/COO directly responsible for directing key philanthropy efforts.
  • GM/COO directly responsible for considering special projects and initiatives, selecting those most impactful on brand image, and aligning resources and assigning personnel to achieve.

Collaborate with Winemaker and Winemaking Team:

  • GM/COO directly responsible for promoting and practicing cooperation between production and business divisions resulting in an inclusive, productive, and respectful environment.
  • Attaining knowledge and expertise about the winery's production methods and philosophy, so as to represent the same to external parties, internal staff, etc., and to establish example for other team members to gain similar understanding of te winery's production.
  • Participate in wine quality evaluation and blending trials
  • Manage all packaging/bottling components: labels, corks, capsules, glass, bottling schedule, label approvals.
  • Assure all winery grounds are safe, welcoming, and reflective of the winery brand.

Collaborate with Owner :

  • GM/COO directly responsible to establish strategic initiatives and lead team to assure positive results.
  • Work together to assure brand assets are optimally managed to retain and elevate luxury brand status.
  • Migrate high-level knowledge re: financial fundamentals, grower relationships, historical contexts, etc. from Owner to GM/COO.
  • Preparing agenda and materials for regular Board meetings.
  • Legitimate face of the winery providing authentic, knowledgeable, and passionate voice.

Daily Work Requirements:

  • GM/COO hours are not 8-5. The job demands daytime, evening hours and weekends. It is a high energy, multitasking job that requires management of unanticipated crisis (HR issues, IT issues, etc.)
  • GM/COO serves as the primary face of the business as the Owner/Managing Winemaker continues to move to a less active, part-time role.
  • GM/COO will be available to host and attend wine club events & wine dinners, at the winery and offsite (primarily in the Northwest but also national and international events).
  • GM/COO oversees the Woodinville Tasting Room which requires travel for staff training, site visits and direct work with the Woodinville Tasting Room Manager.
  • GM/COO will participate in wine quality evaluation and wine blending decisions. This requires a discerning palate and tasting wine.
  • GM/COO will participate in conferences which requires public speaking and presentation skills
  • GM/COO will travel alone to national and international markets to visit with key distributors and wine trade. This involves consecutive long day work and travel.
  • GM/COO will be required to travel by car, plane, climb stairs, lift and carry 40+ pound wine cases
  • GM/COO will work onsite leading the winery's team meetings, leading one-on-one meetings and hosting groups of visitors.


  • Bachelors 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.
  • Passion for and in-depth knowledge of wine and wine production. 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.
  • Strong management experience: problem-solving skills, attention to detail, organization skills, and multi-tasking skills.
  • Decisive – ability to take action.
  • Strong character with reputation for integrity and respect for confidentiality.
  • Understands family-run business.
  • Ability to accept direction and work as a team member.
  • 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.
  • Ability to lead, manage relations, and collaborate with key stakeholders within the Walla Walla Valley wine and business community, WA State wine community, and national wine community to include winery customers, industry, trade, and media.
  • History of responsible use of alcohol and other appropriate conduct as well as ability to be licensed, permitted, and or certified by state and/or local regulatory bodies.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • In addition, the selected individual will share the company’s values of authenticity, reliability, integrity, quality, service, and passion.

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Benchmark Consulting

Walla Walla, WA
99362 USA



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