Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Thoughts

Autumn splendor outside my office window
Early this morning I was out for a walk with my family at the American River Parkway.  This is a scenic stretch of wildlife smack dab in the middle of the Sacramento Metropolitan area, and a frequent place for me to relax and refocus my thoughts.  Frequently I spot wild turkeys, and while this would be fitting for a Thanksgiving post, today I only spotted a jack rabbit.  He was running fast, hopefully avoiding capture by the dog running in the field.

While we often turn reflective in the winter months, I don't want to get too misty-eyed.   Back at my office I'm sitting in my chair, clicking away at my keyboard, getting through my inbox, and finalizing some details for a marketing program; not sitting by the fire, warming my wool sock clad feet while drinking hot apple cider.  But I am so thankful for the opportunity to do what I am doing.

Years ago I worked long hours, traveled across the US and sat in endless meetings.  I was a young manager for a large company.  I was making my mark--and missing out on what was going on at home to make it.  People always say that your kids grow up so fast and that you need to cherish every moment with them.  Years ago I thought I was doing a pretty good job juggling it all, and that I'd have time to slow down to enjoy things in a few years.  But when my travel and work commitments became too much, I realized I needed to carve out a new niche for myself and make my mark where I needed to make a lasting impression.  And so WineTalent was born.

Starting off doing what I knew, I worked on placing enology and viticulture professionals in Northern California wineries.  With that came additional requirements, and additional success placing management personnel at those wineries.  Now today I am working with wineries and related wine businesses throughout the world in an ever broader array of positions. 

Some days I am figuring out how to locate the best talent for my current openings, and others I'm brainstorming about how to reach potential clients.  Today I'm getting creative with my thoughts, while many other days I am doing routine maintenance to my databases.  Interruptions are the norm, and I take each one of them as they come.  Working in front of a computer for hours, I escape the monotony by meeting with clients and interviewing new job seekers.

And each morning I get up and give thanks that I'm doing it for myself.  Back in the day, I didn't have the option to take a nature walk before work.  I was so caught up in corporate world, I didn't even visit the river parkway regularly.  I remember often thinking I was living in a concrete jungle.  Now I think back at how close nature was for me, but how far off it truly was.  And today, I can create the schedule that works for WineTalent, my clients and my family.  I may miss the occasional school meeting or overlook a community event, but often I'm able to knit in those activities while meeting the needs of my clients.

Founding WineTalent was the opportunity for me to connect once again with nature and the people I had always enjoyed working with.  The wine industry is full of excellent stewards of the land, people who produce works of art from grapes, and people who create exceptional relationships with their customers and peers.  While I have had the privilege of working with extremely talented people, we all share a love of wine, food and travel and a thirst for knowledge.  Meeting with my mentors, clients and contacts routinely allows me to walk in beautiful fields, visit state of the art laboratories and talk with highly intelligent and accomplished people.  Really, there isn't much more I could want in my work life.

So I want to thank you for all of your support, and allowing me to make my mark with WineTalent.  Thank you for your business, your trust and your friendships.  I look forward to a wonderful holiday season, and wish you and your families a Happy Thanksgiving.

Amy Gardner

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Where's WineTalent

Where in the world is WineTalent now?  Just visited a wonderful winery in the Lujan de Cuyo region.  After a great tour and tasting I feel reborn.  Where am I?