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  The People
Jim Grinsfelder, Chiel Executive Officer
Jim excels at creating groundbreaking computer-based education and training, data mining and reporting tools. He’s been doing it for over 25 years – as a programmer, manager, and consulting-firm CEO – for clients as diverse as Ralston Purina, Medtronic, American Express Bank, Traveler’s Insurance, and 3M and GM.

That takes a special talent for complex data-matching – fitting the messy stuff of reality to the tightly defined and heavily organized structures of computer systems and databases. And it takes an intuitive understanding of how people actually learn and use computers.

Beverage merchants each have their own approach to the business of wines and spirits. And their customers come with a broad range of wines and spirits knowledge and buying priorities. That “messiness” of wine and spirits information and complexity of customer needs had stymied others who tried to create computer-based beverage marketing and management tools. But it was exactly the kind of terrain in which Jim had honed his professional skills. The result is WineConnect: a flexible, user-friendly information link between distributors, merchants, their customers and their inventory.

Gary Deaner, Chief Marketing Officer
Turning “WineConnect, the unique product,” into “WineConnect, the successful company,” is the aim of Gary Deaner. Gary brings over 30 years’ experience planning, developing, and marketing technology-based products and services, and managing the multi-million-dollar organizations behind them. Gary was Vice President of Marketing and Strategic Planning for J. River, Inc. And he was a key member of the team that took Digi International public and grew it to over $200 million in revenues. While there, Gary served as Vice President of Marketing, President of Arnet Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary, and VP and General Manager of the LAN Connect Group.

Gary’s expertise regarding wines and spirits are at a lower level than Jim’s extensive knowledge of wines and spirts. “I love wine and beers but when I am confronted with all the choices I’m a bit at sea. I knew I’d love to have some resourceful tools like WineConnect offers available to me… and that I wanted to get involved in making it happen.”

Sam Garber, Director of Sales and Support
Sam brings a lot of drive and energy at WineConnect. Sam manages our sales program as well as our client support department. He has continued to take on more responsibility as he has grown with the organization.

Much of Sam’s success is because he has one foot firmly planted on the technology side while the other is planted on the client side. With regard to our technology, he has a complete understanding of the nuts and bolts of the company, especially the need for quality images and data and the over-riding need for continuous quality control to insure accuracy and reliability. Sam says, “Our clients and the customers of our clients are depending on the information that we deliver. It is paramount that we deliver that information accurately, on time, and in a useable format”.

Sam uses his experience in a retail sales environment to assist his clients in getting maximum value out of the WineConnect images and data. To quote Sam, “We want our data and services to provide value to our clients”. Sam goes on to say that the only way that we can do that is by increasing our clients’ sales through making our clients’ customers more knowledgeable, more loyal, and more willing to explore the clients’ new product offerings.
Other Employees, Consultants and Advisors
The management team continues to recruit new personnel to match the company’s growth Jim Grinsfelder says, “We look for integrity, energy and intelligence in people that we want to bring on board. We want people who want to grow with us while continually challenging us with ideas on how to make WineConnect and our products and services better!” In addition, WineConnect draws heavily from a talented pool of experienced professionals who function as key advisors and consultants. These advisors come from such diverse areas as beverage distribution and retail services, food preparation, food and beverage matching, beverage tasting and review, systems development, graphics design and development, and finance. “This ability to tap these resources gives us exposure to a breadth of expertise that is unmatched”, said Jim.
Here are four ways we can deliver this data to your stores and customers.