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Joseph Dryer

Chief financial officer, Francis Ford Coppola Presents, LLC, 300 Via Archimedes, Geyserville 95441; 707-251-3201; franciscoppolawinery.com

Employees: 425

Education: BS in accounting, San Francisco State University

Age: 58

Professional background: CPA, certified insolvency and restructuring adviser (CIRA).

Joseph Dryer joined Francis Ford Coppola Presents as CFO in 2012 after more than three decades of experience in the financial industry.

After beginning in public accounting, he took his financial skills to an alternative energy business in 1984. That company became distressed, prompting him to join the treasury department of a Northwest utility.

Recognizing Mr. Dryer’s strong financial expertise, the alternative energy business lured him back after its bankruptcy, and he advised the company on liquidation.

That role developed him as a distressed-business consultant, and he became a certified insolvency and restructuring adviser. During these years, he also formed a company to provide professional-fee examination services to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

Among the projects he handled were a large mortgage bank and a real estate company in Texas, a charter airline and an Internet bank service provider in Virginia, a health care service provider in Massachusetts, a product distributor in New Jersey, an auto parts distributor in Ohio, an Internet data service provider in Maryland and a music retailer in California.

[caption id="attachment_78036" align="alignleft" width="200"] Joseph Dryer[/caption]

What do you see as the essential role of a financial leader in the current environment?: My essential role is to provide the required liquidity for the business and to mitigate risk.

What are the biggest changes you've seen in your industry?: Because I have only been in the industry for one year, I see this industry as it is now. I don’t feel that I can comment on the past since I just started.

Tell us about challenges and opportunities your organization has met in the recent past: In the past year, we purchased the Geyser Peak facility, embarked on a capital improvement program at Francis Ford Coppola Winery, and revised our long range forecast. All of which required work with our banking group to address these changes. The Francis Ford Coppola Winery expansion and the additional wine production capabilities from the Geyser Peak facility will provide for our expected growth over the next few years.

What advice would you give to young emerging financial leaders?: Expect change, understand it and learn to embrace it.

What's the best advice for weathering today's economic environment?: With the interest rate environment that we face, we have to attend to cash flow and debt.

How do you think your business will change in the next five years?: I think we will see more focus on our export market development.

What is a decision you wish you hadn't made?: I wish that I had not left California in 1995. Personally, you can always come back and professionally I could have stayed and accomplished the same things.

What is your most memorable business experience?: Selling a large asset on the phone while walking on a street in New York.

What is your greatest business success?: Selling a large asset portfolio at the right time.

What was your toughest business decision?: Going to work for a successful company because I was used to working in a distressed environment. 

What would your friends be surprised to find out about you?: That I am considered a professional fee expert by the Federal Bankruptcy Court.

Most admired businessperson outside the company: James Dimon, JPMorgan Chase chairman, chief executive officer and a director since 2000

Current reading: Business and Industry journals and reports.

Most want to meet: Benjamin Franklin

Stress relievers: Sleep

Favorite activities outside work: Walking