Merchant du Vin Announces Leadership Shakeup

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Kyle Skinner has been hired as Controller, taking over from Tanya Yelkin, who will begin a long happy retirement in July, after 24 years at Merchant du Vin. Kyle, CPA and MPAcc, served as Senior Auditor with Merchant du Vin’s accounting firm Bader Martin PS before joining us, bringing broad knowledge of accounting and information systems.

John Staunton has been promoted to Eastern US Sales Manager. In this capacity, John will be responsible for overall sales activity in the eastern 22 states and Washington DC, working closely with our current sales staff. John began working for Merchant du Vin as a Regional Manager ten years ago, after serving as sales manager for large regional brewer Great Lakes Brewing Company.

Jim Blockinger has been promoted to Western US Sales Manager. Jim will be responsible for overall sales activity in the western 28 states, working closely with our current sales staff. Jim started as an MdV Regional Manager in 2011, after selling many cases and kegs of Merchant du Vin’s beer at our wholesale partner Louis Glunz, Inc.

Ryan Maher has been hired to fill a newly-created role of General Manager, operating out of Merchant du Vin’s Seattle headquarters. In this capacity, his responsibilities will include overall day-to-day operations, with a focus on sales. Ryan entered the beer business as an intern at Brooklyn Brewery, and was the Mid-Atlantic Regional Manager for Merchant du Vin from 1997 to 2003. After that, Ryan’s career led him to national account sales for benchmark family-owned spirits companies: Ketel One, William Grant & Sons, and Tito’s Handmade Vodka.

Joe Lipa, longtime Merchant du Vin National Sales Manager, has decided that effective August 1, he will step back into a role that will allow him to spend more time at home and to make an attempt at pursuing a few leisure activities. Joe has been a part of the Merchant du Vin success story for more than 30 years. We will continue to benefit from his unparalleled passion and determination in his new role as mentor and beer sage. He will also be responsible for a sales territory in western Massachusetts and upper New York state. Joe says, “The true visionaries in 1978 were Charles & Rose Ann Finkel, founders of Merchant du Vin, and Moe & Elise England, founders of Merchant du Vin East. I joined MdV in 1985 after being one of their first distributors, beginning my magical mystery tour selling the finest beer portfolio in the USA. Working alongside the most passionate and dedicated sales and support staff in the business is why Merchant du Vin is so successful. Longtime MdV President Rich Hamilton gave me the autonomy to help build a remarkable company. My baton is now passed to our new senior sales staff and MdV will be even stronger. Merchant du Vin is not a job – it is a lifestyle.”

There’s a .pdf of this announcement with pictures linked to our home page:

Merchant du Vin imports Samuel Smith’s from England; Traquair House from Scotland; Ayinger and Certified   Organic Pinkus beers from Germany; Lindemans lambics, Green’s Gluten-Free, Du Bocq, and the Trappist beers of Orval, Westmalle, and Rochefort from Belgium.