MICHAEL C MATHEWS
Partner – Wine Business and Food & Beverage
"Make a plan, work the plan, and adjust the plan. Your focus determines your reality."
Mike helps clients by unlocking value and helping them reach their goals. He does this by asking questions, listening, and focusing on not just the “what”, but also the “how” and the “why”. So often conversations focus on the “what” of the business. Instead, Mike seeks to understand “how” those things were done. He then ties it all together by talking with the owners about their “why”. Why are they in this business? Why does it matter? Why do they want this to be a success? What would they like to say about their business or industry years from now? This information is the cornerstone of a relationship, and from there, amazing plans, actions, and results are possible.
He works with business owners to take a fresh look at their operations and reevaluate their strategies and overall operations. He performs department process reviews, evaluates commercial and operational strategies, optimizes cash flow, and introduces various tax credit programs to significantly increase cash flow without changing their operations.
Mike applies his 25+ years of experience in the CPG and beverage alcohol industry to show owners where value is being lost and where value can be gained in their organization. He earns the trust of owners and department leaders, while acting as a business partner and helping them to succeed. He supports sales and marketing teams to define their brand strategies, implementation, and execution. He trains, educates, and leads team members so they have the tools, support and knowledge needed to make great business decisions. He identifies core functional and leadership skills, capabilities, and behavioral traits in members of the organization to help them become high functioning teams.
Mike hails from the town of Naperville, IL. His family moved around quite a bit due to his father’s career in the steel industry, so he also lived in Boston, Detroit. He studied accounting and psychology at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA and, upon graduation, he took on his first job in the Pepperidge Farm business unit of Campbell Soup Co., joining their financial leadership program, based in Connecticut.
Following that, he held various financial leadership roles in Diageo’s spirits, beer, and wine divisions. Working in their internal consulting group took him to California to assist with their wine acquisition strategy. In additional to large, global, corporate environments, Mike worked closely with notable wine industry leaders in small to medium-sized businesses. Working with some of the finest wines in California, and the world, was a tremendous honor. In these family run wineries, Mike worked closely with sales and marketing teams to make sure they had the education, tools, and support to make good decisions and brought the supply and demand sides together so the wineries could optimize short and long term planning. All team members wore many hats, where he learned how to adjust quickly and do what was needed.
The two biggest influences on Mike are his parents. His father served in the Marines, working his entire career in the steel industry, starting at the bottom, and finishing at the top. His father championed the approach, “Make a plan, work a plan, adjust the plan,” which guides him to this day. His mother has a heart of gold, is true to her word, and is genuinely interested in everyone and everything around her. Mike values that natural curiosity in his work and life.
Mike lives in Napa, CA along with his wife, daughter and golden retriever Louie.