Currently Searching for President

Title President
Company Dutton Goldfield
Location Sebastopol, CA
Job Information

In conjunction with the Cypress Group;

For over 15 years, Dutton-Goldfield Winery has produced distinctive wines that display the brightness, complexity, structure and balance that are reflective of the cool Sonoma climate. The company was founded in 1998 with a handshake in a vineyard and a shared pioneering vision between veteran winemaker Dan Goldfield and fifth-generation farmer Steve Dutton. Dutton-Goldfield has garnered consistently favorable recognition by numerous critical audiences through the years and is acknowledged amongst the very best producers of cool climate Pinot Noir. In addition to the portfolio of top echelon blended and several small lot, single vineyard Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays, the company also crafts a hillside Syrah, old vine Zinfandel, Pinot Blanc and Riesling. The winery has been included among the top 100 wineries of 2014 and other years by Wine & Spirits Magazine and noted as a top destination by Food & Wine Magazine and USA Today.

The partners are long-time Sonoma devotees and evangelists. Steve Dutton’s much-respected family owns and farms more than eighty of the best vineyard parcels in Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast appellations. Steve is co-owner and President of Dutton Ranch working alongside his mother and brother in running the business. At Dutton-Goldfield Winery, Steve supports the business through his vineyard expertise and insight with other high-level business contributions. Dan Goldfield has outstanding winemaking credentials including Robert Mondavi, Schramsberg and La Crema. When La Crema was acquired by Kendall Jackson, Dan moved with the brand continuing to produce award-winning wines; he was subsequently named the founding winemaker for the Jackson family’s Hartford Court winery. At Dutton-Goldfield Dan works with Associate Winemaker, Jeff Restel to handcraft the portfolio of blended and small lot, single vineyard wines; leads day-to-day business operations and supports marketing and sales efforts for the company. Dan and Steve met when Dan used Dutton Ranch fruit for the La Crema program, and they established a collegial working relationship that continues today. The partners are well respected within Sonoma County and beyond and are admired for their passion for the region. They are sought out and actively participate in numerous community and professional associations promoting Sonoma appellations.

The wines are a favorite of consumers, trade and many sommeliers – sought out for their representation of site, drinkability as well as age worthiness. Dutton-Goldfield currently produces, depending on vintage, 10k – 15k cases and retail for $30 – $80. The wines are sold through wholesale domestically and internationally as well as direct to consumer. The Dutton-Goldfield tasting room is located in Sebastopol on the Gravenstein Highway and offers a variety of creative tasting experiences at the welcoming venue. The wine club offers four options with a variety of choices and benefits for members to consider. Dutton-Goldfield Winery is a Sonoma County gem – always true to it Sonoma roots. Well-known and well regarded, the future is bright for this winery and business.

PRESIDENT: The Opportunity

Rev 2.0 Dutton-Goldfield Winery…. Steve Dutton and Dan Goldfield have built a leading and profitable Pinot Noir and Chardonnay brand recognized for its distinctive wines showcasing the region in which they have shared a passion and belief in from the beginning of their partnership. The Sonoma centric company is well positioned for evolution and growth. This is a unique opportunity for an innovator with vision, leadership, and strategic and tactical expertise to now take the reins to hone the fiscal picture, assess current sales and marketing initiatives and efforts, and organize to drive future brand relevance, case volume growth, greater profitability and company value. The President will work directly with the partners to chart the future course for Dutton-Goldfield.

This is a new position that has been created as a result of the two partners’ alignment in their desire to arm the business with the professional leadership, processes and new ideas necessary to direct short and long term planning for growth and then successfully lead the team and execution of the plan. Possessing strong sales and marketing acumen with strategic, operational and financial business savvy, the President will lead a small team and optimize the portfolio and company to grow the business in both direct and wholesale channels. Steve is not involved in day-to-day management, and Dan will step away from day-to-day once this individual is brought on board assuming lesser involvement in other activities over time. The ideal candidate will build trust and confidence through their actions, results, communication, and collaboration with ownership and the team and will guide Dutton-Goldfield to new heights of financial success. The President will be empowered and largely undirected to fluidly run the business once the plan has been developed and approved by the partners.

This is a company that is primed to swing for the fences and revolutionize its business model and approach while building a winning company culture. The desirable and well-regarded portfolio of blended and small lot Sonoma appellated Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays provides the platform upon which to build, and there is inclination to create and grow an approachably priced and scalable second label. The business is quality and brand equity rich, asset light with little debt, currently owning no vineyards or facilities. The fruit for the wines is sourced primarily from Dutton Ranch vineyards in Russian River and Green Valley. Additional fruit is sourced from other cool climate vineyards in Russian River, Sonoma Coast and Marin County Vineyards.

The partners are seeking a President who can creatively utilize and build upon the reputation and strengths of Dutton-Goldfield to drive bottom line results while maintaining wine quality and the Sonoma ethos. For a builder, it is an exciting opportunity, and one that will afford an opportunity to directly influence the marketing, sales, operation and production achievement that will fuel growth and success. All avenues are open to discussion from buying or building a permanent winemaking facility, vineyard sourcing management and contracts, various means of reducing cost of goods, unique approaches to direct and wholesale sales channels, etc. There is tremendous receptivity and open mindedness to current and relevant recommendations, having demonstrated proof of concept, and new ways to do business that contribute to increased profitability. The compensation model will be generous and will include upside potential and sharing in the financial success of the Dutton-Goldfield Winery business.

The President will office at the Dutton-Goldfield offices and tasting room in Sebastopol and will report directly to partners Steve Dutton and Dan Goldfield.

PRESIDENT: Role & Responsibility

The President will assume the leadership responsibilities in creating and building a strategic plan, running of day-to-day operations, driving vision, nurturing corporate culture, applying rigor to existing business practices, and monitoring and measuring performance. The primary role of the President is to meet or exceed the revenue, profits, and other qualitative goals of Dutton-Goldfield, in concert with the values of

the company. Reporting to partners Steve Dutton and Dan Goldfield, the President will be empowered and given creative license to develop and communicate key operational, marketing, wholesale and direct-to-consumer sales strategies and tactics directed toward optimizing brand excellence, generating high demand, driving growth, and increasing profits.   The President will:

  • Drive the sales and marketing aspects of the created short and long business plans that are instrumental in driving the business to the next level
  • Provide leadership, with the support of ownership, to the organization to secure business success – promote company core values, mission and vision resulting in a highly enjoyable business environment where all team members feel they are working toward a common purpose
  • Complete the strategic planning process and conclude the short and long term business plans and budgets to achieve strategic goals
  • Devise and implement programs that improve the sales results of Dutton-Goldfield wines through all channels – wholesale, direct and eCommerce
  • With laser focus, build and deliver against strategies concentrated on continued development of direct-to-consumer programs focused on driving revenues through this important channel and on increasing customer loyalty and advocacy through enhanced visitation and wine club acquisition and retention
  • Review and refine sales and marketing plans and identify and advance key account/trade and distributor relationships
  • Identify new market opportunities and make product recommendations including the development of a second label with awareness of general market conditions, competitive activities, general economic conditions and governmental legislation and regulations impacting the business
  • Continue to refine and execute the financial, operational and organizational plan to maximize performance consistent with the company’s goals to achieve targeted growth, revenue, profitability and quality objectives and develop risk mitigation scenarios to ensure that results are met
  • Act as an ambassador and “face of the winery,” actively representing the winery to the outside world, including the local community, wine industry associations, account and trade, and consumers, building relationships in all directions
  • Participate in the review of wines, styles, pricing and make recommendations
  • In concert with winemaking develop and execute a timely, detailed budget that includes all production and case volume plans
  • Lead the team in successfully executing against plans and goals to meet or exceed current financial and non-financial performance targets for the business
  • Identify, hire and develop key individuals as needed
  • Establish and monitor key performance indicators
  • Build team skills and strength and establish sound business performance systems to drive accountability and manage risk, and drive focused execution
  • Develop leadership team through feedback and coaching
  • Ensure proper staffing to maximize, productivity, profitability and quality
  • Manage and resolve conflicts with vendors and customers

PRESIDENT: Experience

Candidates will be evaluated on their track record in increasingly responsible leadership positions, wine industry knowledge and experience, and familiarity with how all aspects of the business contribute to business success. Professional experience ideally includes:

  • Ten (10+) years of executive experience and responsibility for managing a team of eight or more people. Appropriate backgrounds would include executive leadership with general management, sales or marketing responsibility, ideally with organizations recognized for innovation and market leadership
  • Experience with a privately and or family owned, luxury wine business of comparable size or larger, pedigree, quality and complexity with demonstrated ability to build a trusting relationship and gain the confidence of business owners-additionally, prior experience with a larger wine company is beneficial
  • Verifiable success in brand positioning with a demonstrated understanding of current competition, competitive climate and future market trends
  • Deep understanding of premium and luxury brand winery operations and management resulting in growth and profitability
  • A track record of successfully growing a brand
  • Demonstrated business acumen and an independent, entrepreneurial and hands-on approach (family owned business large institutionalized corporate environment)
  • Proven success in solid strategic planning and implementation ability
  • Demonstrated ability to manage for change and restructuring, instill a sense of urgency in the organization
  • Understanding and experience leading winemaking and vineyard teams
  • P&L responsibility with demonstrated operational savvy and strong bottom line orientation
  • Demonstrated ability to think creatively about market opportunities
  • Demonstrated ability to deal persuasively with key customers and vendors
  • Ideally, experience with a team and brand whose wines are receiving outstanding scores from critical audiences
  • Verifiable success building and developing well honed executive teams and demonstrated ability to hire well
  • Ideally, experience with a team and brand whose wines are receiving outstanding scores from critical audiences
  • Verifiable experience successfully leading an organization through revolutionary change; forward thinking visionary with track record of identifying “where the puck is moving”
  • Ideally, broad knowledge, experience and demonstrated results growing profitable, direct sales channels through diverse direct marketing strategies
  • Quantifiable results executing and building upon ecommerce strategies and tactics including website, ecommerce, and private mailing lists resulting in significant annual sales
  • Successful relationships with key distributors, including Young’s, RNDC, Glazers and Breakthru Beverage, in key markets with experience reviewing and realigning distribution when necessary
  • P&L responsibility with demonstrated operational savvy and strong bottom line orientation
  • Demonstrated ability to think creatively about and act upon market opportunities
  • Participation in transactions such as acquisitions, divestitures, primary and secondary financing ventures, etc. a plus
  • A proven record for building and executing short and long term strategic and financial business plans with expertise working collaboratively with business owners
  • Verifiable success building and developing well honed teams and demonstrated ability to hire well
  • Demonstrated ability to articulate and message exceedingly well
  • Proven success working within an entrepreneurial environment
  • Demonstrated ability to deal persuasively with key customers and vendors

PRESIDENT: Attributes & Values

Coupled with one’s experiences are the personal qualities and or expertise, which determine an individual’s ability to make an impact and to be credible with internal and external audiences:

  • Unquestionable degree of integrity in all of his/her business dealings
  • Creative and passionate about business and growing a meaningful business
  • Willing to prove oneself and earn trust in a soft way
  • Appreciation and enthusiasm for Sonoma wines
  • Entrepreneurial, smart and confident with a willingness to ask tough questions
  • Proven leadership with mature judgment, stability and a seasoned general management mentality-ability to make sound intelligent and rapid business decisions
  • Persuasive, unflappable and comfortable working with strong ownership personalities
  • A business athlete comfortable tackling new challenges
  • Passionate about wine and wine quality with a sophisticated palate
  • High energy and intelligent with self motivation and a results driven orientation
  • Dynamic and polished personal style, highly articulate and at ease with presentation and public speaking skills; sophisticated yet unpretentious
  • Ability to think strategically and execute tactically; able to make hard decisions and defend those decisions
  • Flexible, quick to learn and adaptable, bringing creative new ideas and the personal power to implement them
  • Very well connected and respected within the wine business community and maintains a strong professional network
  • Effective verbal, presentation and written communicator

PRESIDENT: Compensation

The successful candidate will receive a competitive base salary and will participate in all corporate incentive and/or profit sharing programs and will receive company benefits. Emphasis will be placed on connecting incentive compensation to the results achieved.

PRESIDENT: Educational Requirements

An undergraduate degree is essential – in addition, an MBA would be a plus.

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