Hundreds of employees have come and gone from von Stiehl Winery in the 30+ years that our family has held the reins. Some make it a week. Others are here for a few seasons. Just a very select few are built to withstand the tremendous seasonality and shifting sands of winery life. It requires a high amount of patience and flexibility. We have been fortunate to employ a select few that have been with us for a very long time. One of those is Shirley, who officially retired from full-time on December 15th.
Shirley started the last season of her career with us in spring of 2001. She was our second full-time employee. By August of that year, she put in her resignation. We convinced her to stay a little bit longer… which turned out to be 16 years! It’s doubtful that she would have stayed had we pitched the idea of managing the books three businesses. (Those included von Stiehl Winery, Captain’s Walk Winery, and Ahnapee Brewery up until February of 2017.) Some things are better left unsaid.
To describe what it takes to manage the books of two wineries and a brewery under one corporate umbrella would take much too long to spell out. Would you say yes to a job that included all of this?
Daily payables, receivables, deposits, deposit tracking, reconciliation, credit card management, answering phones, gift merchandise buying, credit checks, license procurement, liquor tax reports, state sales tax reports, county sales tax reports, state use tax reports, federal excise tax reports, property tax, personal property tax, invoicing, payroll, wholesale product management, common carrier scheduling, collections, 401k management, health insurance management, event cash management… and that’s all just on Monday!
So, we thank Shirley for sixteen+ years of dependability, flexibility, scrutiny, accuracy, astuteness, consistency and sacrifice. Oh, and let’s not forget the award-winning chili that she’d feed us in the middle of winter.
Hard workers never quit. Notice the article began with retiring from full-time. Shirley plans to stay with us on a part-time basis. Her expertise will come in handy as we grow into the next chapters.