456. Harvesting Her Napa Valley Roots
With her new teaching credentials in hand, she endured fruitless interview after interview, never getting a job offer. A native of California’s Napa Valley, Ann gave her surroundings a second look. Little did she know what a temporary harvest season job at a winery would bring.
Ann Reynolds has more than 20 years in the Napa Valley wine industry. Her background runs the gamut from wine retail through wine making. Since 1989 she has poured wine in tasting rooms, run a winery laboratory, worked in winery cellars, and assembled entire winery compliance systems at several Napa wineries. Beginning in 2006 she began offering courses in winery compliance.
How Did You Start Using Your Talents?
With a newly-earned Bachelor’s degree in social sciences, Ann took her advisor’s suggestion and earned her teaching certificate. “It was not a light bulb moment,” she recalls. “Teaching made sense, more or less, but it didn’t resonate with me. But, again, my work ethic said ‘here’s what you do next,’ so I did it. I went on many excruciating interviews and nothing took, so I took a pounding right out of the gate after finishing school. Essentially, that’s what led me to the wine industry.” She took a temporary winery job in the grape harvest season, intending to continue hunting for a teaching job when her temp job ended. “From there, the wine industry continued to offer me opportunity after opportunity after opportunity.”
The Most Impactful Turning Point?
Ann took on new responsibilities in 1998, using a new computer database that wineries were just starting to use in tracking their wines. “Essentially, that’s the work of compliance with federal standards. I looked around for training and couldn’t find any. There were no formal classes. Little by little I started piecing together a training program, reading the federal regulations.” Rising to the challenge, Ann created a compliance training program to benefit wineries across the United States.
The Most Powerful Lessons Learned?
“My independent nature and my get-things-done attitude served me well across my entire working life. I would be given opportunities and training in whatever work I was doing and I would pick it up very easily. From there, management would see my ability level and give me more opportunities. They would see a person who would take stuff on, get it done, follow through, and they would offer me additional responsibilities.”
Steps to Success from Ann Reynolds
1. A get-things-done attitude in any job will serve you well in whatever work you do. It is often the gateway to other opportunities and training within a company.
2. Take advantage of any training opportunities, formal or informal.
3. We are taught to keep going, going, going. But just a little stopping, thinking and reflecting can be huge.
4. Look for the Gap and develop a solution. Opportunities often lie in the gap–within a company, within an industry. Even a small gap could propel your career forward or be the start of a new business.
Connecting With Ann Reynolds
Free “5 Simple Steps to Wine Compliance.” Scroll down the Home page of her website to the sign-in on the right column of the page.
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Careers: Entrepreneur, Wine Industry