Robbie Whitham, account manager at Glopak Wine & Spirits, said he especially likes the customer service part of his job selling glass to wineries.
“I love a challenge, for sure,” said Whitham.
“If someone calls with an issue I’m on top if it right away.” When that customer goes away happy, “I’ve done my job right.”
1. How did you get into this business?
I had been looking for some time to find my perfect professional home. I have some background in the wine industry and wanted to get back into what I really enjoyed. I attended Glopak’s new warehouse ribbon cutting this past November. After talking to the group here, I found that home.
Selling glass to the wineries is really fun. I love the industry. I like competition, and there’s a lot of people selling glass out there. And I enjoy getting to know the winemakers.
2. What’s a common misconception you get about your job?
Usually, the misconception is our name — they think we sell wine and spirits, but we are a glass packaging company.
3. What was your childhood ambition?
I spent my entire childhood practicing and competing in golf. I worked for my dad, the head pro, at Bennett Valley Golf Course in Santa Rosa from 7 years old on, picking up range balls by hand.
My ambition was to play on the PGA Tour, but after missing it by THAT much a few times I had to hang it up. Senior Tour?
4. What’s your favorite golf course?
Locally it’s the Olympic Club in San Francisco. I love ocean courses. It’s just a gorgeous track and fun to play.
I did get to play Cypress Point, that was amazing. My go-to course is Chardonnay.
5. Which three people would you most like to have dinner with?
I think it would have been cool to hang out with Robin Williams in a large, FULL restaurant.
Marylin Monroe. Folks would definitely think I had it goin’ on.
Dean Martin. It’d definitely be cool hangin’ with that guy.
6. What job would you like to try/not try?
Try: Billionaire jetsetter traveling the world.
Not try: Porta potty cleaner.
7. What’s on your to-do list?
Half of my family is Irish. Someday, I’d like to visit the motherland. Hit a few pubs and cycle along the cliffs off the ocean.
8. Who do you most admire in the business world?
I’d have to say (Bill and Melinda) Gates. I admire how they are really making a difference in the world with their philanthropy.
9. What is one thing you hope to accomplish in your lifetime that you haven’t yet?
Be set for retirement. We are living longer. Which is great, but scary.
10. If you could be anywhere right now, where would you be?
On the 747 I bought with those billions from that jet-setting job I want to try, on my way to Ireland.