Construction manager and vineyard manager, Leslie Rudd Investment Company, 500 Oakville Cross Rd., Oakville 94562, 707-287-1026, ruddwines.com, oakvillegrocery.com, pressnapavalley.com, deandeluca.com
Education: Advanced-level physics, chemistry and mathematics in England
Describe the facilities you oversee: Retail stores such as Dean & Deluca and Oakville Grocery, vineyards at Edge Hill and Mt. Veeder, winery facilities at Rudd, Press restaurant in St. Helena and Rudd Farms.
Tell us a little bit about yourself: I come from a farming background, not necessarily vegetables, but corn and wheat in particular. I was driving a combine harvester at age 13, when every penny counted and through work and respect came friendship. I worked on a ranch with 300 horses.
Later, I worked on building the 1996 cross-country equestrian course for the Olympics in Atlanta.
In April 2000 I was working for a construction firm building the Rudd winery, and Leslie Rudd asked me to join his company directly. Since then, I've been a construction foreman, construction manager and vineyard manager.
What do you see as the role of the facilities managers within your organization?: Our properties are spread throughout Napa Valley and Russian River Valley. Each has its own attributes and challenges, but each is a labor of love. The owner believes in a philosophy of continuous improvement, and this most definitely applies to the gardens, grounds and facilities of each property.
What is the achievement you are most proud of?: The restoration of Edge Hill Estate. Established in 1867, Edge Hill was the first significant gravity-fed winery built in Napa Valley. By 1880, it was one of the four wineries responsible for over half of Napa Valley’s wine production. The property ceased wine production in the early 1900s, but we’ve now re-established the vineyards and continue to restore the property to its previous prominence.
What is your biggest challenge today?: Time management for me and the people who work for me.
What the next major project either under way or on the horizon?: A new Rudd winery tasting room located next to a 26,000-square-foot lake that we just installed.
What product or service is helping you do your job more effectively?: Laptop computer and robust cell phones are a must in this industry.
How do you think your profession will change in the next five years?: Buildings will become far more automated, which will require more people skilled in that type of repair and maintenance.
Most admired businessperson outside your organization: John Pierpont Morgan
Current reading: Financial Times, several books on old-style farming and cooking methods.
Most want to meet: If it were possible, Winston Churchill.
Stress relievers: Swimming and walking -- need to do more.
Favorite hobbies: Skeet shooting.
Words that best describe you: Never, never, never give up.