Each month, ForceBrands partners with The Tasting Panel magazine. The Tasting Panel offers an insider’s look at the tastemakers and trendsetters in today’s growing beverage industry. From winemaker profiles, to brands that are the bartenders’ best friend, this monthly publication gets up close and personal with today’s influencers and explores the products they love the most. With a readership of 85,000 professionals across all levels of the industry, The Tasting Panel maintains its position as a leading authoritative voice in the beverage industry. This article originally appeared in the January/February 2018 issue of The Tasting Panel.

As a Human Capital Executive at Total Beverage Solution, Holly Berry oversees the human capital strategy and execution for the full-service importer and supplier. With 20 years of experience in human resources, Berry is seasoned expert when it comes to hiring, inspiring, and retaining top talent. Read on to learn about her career, what she finds most exciting about the beverage industry, and more.

Holly Berry

ForceBrands: You joined Total Beverage Solution last year after working across various industries – what inspired you to join the beverage industry?
Holly Berry: I began my career as an Occupational Health Nurse for a luxury automobile manufacturer where I was initially responsible for workplace health, wellness, safety, and absence management. I was fortunate that the company valued employee growth and career development. My mentors encouraged me to obtain an MBA in Human Resources Management. This allowed me to take on additional roles in employee relations, training, development, talent acquisition, diversity, rewards and recognition, benefits and compensation, and more. From there, I was able to advance my career developing human capital strategies in industries such as finance and banking, retail, and healthcare. I was drawn to Total Beverage Solution because of the opportunity to work with people who are passionate about world-renowned beer and acclaimed wine and spirits from across the globe. Our portfolio consists of products with intriguing stories, incredible histories and generations of family heritage. For example, the Bavarian State Brewery Weihenstephan is the world’s oldest brewery, which began as a Benedictine monastery in 725 AD. It has been brewing beer in this same location in Freising, Germany since 1040 AD.

FB: What do you find most exciting about the state of the beverage world right now?
HB: It is exciting and rewarding to be involved in an industry that is not only rich in history and heritage, but is innovative and constantly evolving. Wineries, breweries, and distilleries continue to redefine and hone their craft, to create recipes and styles reaching a wide range of consumers – from novice to expert. Total Beverage Solution’s portfolio is an excellent example of this juxtaposition of tradition and innovation, offering selections like New Zealand’s Kono Winery, which honors its rich Maori heritage through sustainable winemaking practices yet is innovative in their methods to produce award-winning wines like Kono Sauvignon Blanc.

FB: How does your current role differ from your past roles in different industries?
HB: The difference in my current role compared to my previous roles at larger and older companies is that Total Beverage Solution is younger and still maturing its human capital strategy. The company has continued to grow year-over-year since inception. With that growth, our CEO, Dave Pardus, recognized the need to build bench strength. For 2018, we have a plan to hire, inspire, admire and retire our employees so we attract, retain and develop bright and talented employees.

FB: You attended ForceBrands’ HR Collective event in Fall 2017 where we discussed the state of the modern workplace. What do you foresee as the biggest hiring challenge for 2018 and beyond?
HB: I believe acquiring top talent in 2018 will be impacted in three major ways. First, it is a candidate’s market. Due to the low unemployment rate and skill shortages, star candidates will have multiple options, leading to the second concern: The time to fill an open position will likely increase due to competition. Identifying the candidate with the right fit (skills, aptitude, and personality) may be akin to finding a needle in a haystack. Thirdly, companies will need to differentiate themselves to be able to stand out as an employer of choice. Candidate expectations have changed, requiring companies to be agile and adaptable to win the war for talent.

Read the full article in the January/February issue.