Wine industry veteran Cheryl Durzy is leading a company unlike any other on the market. LibDib is a wholesale wine and spirits distribution company that specializes in small production brands and craft alcohol products. It’s the first alcohol distributor and technology company to offer a three-tier compliant web-based platform.
We caught up with her to ask her six questions about leadership, industry mentors, and more. Watch the video and read some highlights below.
1. If you could work for any company in the world, what would it be and why?
That’s a tough one because I really love what I’m doing here at LibDib. But if I absolutely had to, of course it would be a company where I could take learnings back to LibDib. I’m absolutely fascinated with Stitch Fix. They have an amazing female founder as a CEO and I love how they have added on to their services over the past few years, especially using data to make recommendations for clothing purchases.
2. As a leader, how do you epitomize your company’s culture?
We just had all of our 2021 planning meetings, and culture was a really big part of it. A really big part of what I’m doing to build this company is making sure that we have an excellent company culture. We have four different components that I like to focus on when it comes to our culture and how we define it by what we do every day. These components are a ‘work hard, play hard’ mentality, an ability to be continuously learning, a deep knowledge of the platform, and accountability.
3. If you could start one charity, what cause would it support?
If I could start one charity right now, it would support the hospitality industry. This pandemic has absolutely decimated our restaurants, bars, and hotels. These businesses are basically at a stand-still and they really need our help right now. There are about 11 million workers out of work right now because of what’s going on.
4. As you consider your career, who has had the most significant impact on you and why?
As I consider my career, the person who’s had the most significant impact on me is our CIO Rich Brashears. I met him while I was working at my family’s winery probably 7-8 years ago, about 3-4 years prior to founding LibDib. We reconnected and we started LibDib together. Without him pushing me, and without his experience when it comes to the technology side of the business and now on the distribution side of the business, I don’t think that we’d be where we are today. He’s extremely smart and he gets me thinking in the way I need to think, which makes us a great team.
5. What’s the most important leadership advice you’ve ever been given?
I don’t know that I’ve actually been given it, but I’ve been able to observe it. The CEO of RNDC, Tom Cole, just epitomizes the type of leader that I want to be. I’ve seen him in the wild, out there talking to warehouse workers all the way to top executive leaders at his company. He speaks and acts with empathy. He lets people know that their contributions to the company are important. He listens and he learns.
6. Who do you nominate to be featured next and why?
I would nominate Tracy Ariail, Sr. VP of E-commerce and Digital at RNDC.