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Sonoma Valley’s Muscardini Cellars GM wins North Bay Forty Under 40 award

Natalie Owdom

29

General Manager

Muscardini Cellars

9380 Sonoma Highway, Kenwood 95452

707-933-9305

www.muscardinicellars.com

Read other profiles of North Bay Business Journal’s 2021 Forty Under 40 Awards winners.

Responsibilities with your company: Financial planning and analysis; budget development and sales forecasting; inventory management and product planning; marketing and public relations; licensing, compliance and sales tax; human resources and employee benefits management; investor reporting; wine allocations and orders; office and technology management; shipping and logistics; DTC channel strategies and management; wholesale account management.

How do you exemplify the spirit of being a top Forty under 40 professional?

I take pride in my position and for the company I work for. I have a true passion for what I do, and am both fortunate and thankful that I am in an industry where I am able to continue to learn things every day.

Years with company: 5

Length of time in current position: 1

Number of companywide employees: 10

Number who report to you: 4

Greatest professional accomplishment: My greatest professional accomplishment would be keeping a core management team and beating sales targets during 2020. We faced countless obstacles in 2020 but our team managed to strategize new and innovative ways to generate revenue even with 18+ weeks of closures.

Greatest professional challenge: My greatest professional challenge would be keeping up with the ever-changing environment we are currently facing in the wine industry. With so much competition, and now, with business having to operate differently than before and/or with limitations, you really must be on top of your game to keep your business thriving.

Best advice received: It is important to be open minded and take the time to consider other people's perspectives. If you go through life expecting everyone to do things and see things the way you do, you will go through life being very disappointed.

Single most important event in your professional life in the last 12 months: The single most important event in my professional life in the last 12 months was accepting the promotion to the general manager position at Muscardini Cellars.

What’s the biggest change COVID-19, the restrictions and the economic impact has had on your work and personal life?

The biggest change COVID-19, the restrictions and the economic impact on my work has been adapting to the ever-changing environment we are currently facing in the wine industry.

With so much competition, and now, with business having to operate differently than before and/or with many limitations, you really must be on top of your game to keep your business thriving.

Learning how to maintain personal relationships has been a challenge I have faced personally. Like many, I have had to change the way I maintain my personal relationships to sustain social distancing.

And what’s the biggest lesson you’ve taken from that experience?

For work – collaborating and brainstorming is key. Our owner's mentality is to try anything once and see how it goes.

Personally, the biggest lesson I've taken from my experience in dealing with COVID-19 is to remember that you aren't always going to agree with your friends, family, neighbors, or loved ones on everything - and that is OK. We can respect and support one another without having to agree on everything.

What steps is your company taking to sustain your organization and morale in the current economy?

We have a small team at Muscardini Cellars so each person plays an important role in the organization and morale is extremely important.

We have continued to have staff meetings and tastings (while sustaining social distancing) and communication is a key focus of our meetings.

We prioritize the needs and safety of our team and guests so we can continue to operate successfully in the current economy.

Next professional goal: My next professional goal is to travel and work a harvest season somewhere abroad. I'm interested in learning more about harvest by participating in a hands-on experience to get a better understanding of all that harvest entails.

My primary interest in doing this in another country is to get a sense of the differences between how wineries here and in other places around the world operate.

Education: Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration at Sonoma State University

Hometown: San Mateo

Community/nonprofit activities: Donor/volunteer at Redwood Empire Food Bank

Mentor/admired businessperson: Liz Thach

What is your most disliked industry buzzword?

Natural

Typical day at the office: When you are a general manager and are responsible for a team and all aspects of a business, there isn't really a "typical day" at the office. Every day is different which keeps you on your toes.

In a business sense, what is the greatest thing about being under 40; and then what is the worst?

The best thing about being under 40 is there is still so much life and experience ahead. The worst part about it is that many think you are too young and do not have enough experience.

Hobbies: Running, Hiking, Cooking, Traveling

What you wanted to be when you grew up: Nurse

#1 thing you want to accomplish by the time you turn 40: Complete a full marathon

First job: Target

Social media you most use: Instagram

Favorite book: “The Widow Clicquot”

Favorite movie: “The Devil Wears Prada”

Favorite App: Fitbit or AllTrails

Favorite after-work drink: Iron Horse Sparkling Wine

Last vacation: Enjoyed a wintry weekend getaway to Mendocino over President's Day Weekend.

What does your mom or dad brag most about you?

My parents love my passion. I put my heart into everything I do.

Natalie Owdom

29

General Manager

Muscardini Cellars

9380 Sonoma Highway, Kenwood 95452

707-933-9305

www.muscardinicellars.com

Read other profiles of North Bay Business Journal’s 2021 Forty Under 40 Awards winners.

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