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A CAPTAIN MUST BE A LEADER IN EVERY SENSE OF THE WORD

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FILE PHOTO/ALYSON DORIA
The D.G. Yuengling & Son Inc. brewery in Pottsville, where chief administrative officer Wendy Yuengling says that hard work, loyalty and passion are important.
FILE PHOTO/ALYSON DORIA The D.G. Yuengling & Son Inc. brewery in Pottsville, where chief administrative officer Wendy Yuengling says that hard work, loyalty and passion are important.

Training, time and attention to details are elements shared by top-performing leaders as they navigate their crew through fat and lean times and bring new talent into their organizations.

Hard work, dedication and passion are the keys to being an effective captain at America’s oldest brewery, according to Wendy Yuengling, chief administrative officer of D.G. Yuengling & Son Inc. in Pottsville.

Family owned and operated since 1829, Yuengling has navigated through two world wars, economic depressions and recessions, Prohibition and its repeal, increasing competition and changing winds in consumer tastes.

“Our company is driven by the commitment to keeping Yuengling an American-owned and family operated company and strong for future generations,” Yuengling said.

Consumer habits and appetites, which translate into sales, drive Pocono ProFoods, according to Drew Snyder, chief development officer.

“Ultimately a captain, first and foremost must be a leader in every sense of the word,” Snyder said.

“… By staying focused even in times of trouble, the team can continue to perform at high levels, and leading with passion always helps to motivate.”

 

D.G. YUENGLING & SON INC.

Wendy Yuengling, Chief Administrative Officer

Pottsville

< What are the keys to being a great captain?

My dad [owner Dick Yuengling] has been at the helm of the company for over 30 years since buying the brewery from my grandfather. He is the fifth generation to run America’s oldest brewery; and my three sisters and I are the sixth generation now actively involved in the company.

We’ve had many years to learn from his incredible passion for the beer industry, his unwavering commitment to the family business and strong work ethic in running the company.

Hard work and dedication are keys to him being a great captain. He’s instilled those values in the four of us, and so we’re on this voyage now to continue the legacy and traditions that not just our dad, but the Yuengling company, stands for.

< Besides you, what else steers the ship for your company?

In addition to the family values that steer the organization, our company is driven by the commitment to keeping Yuengling an American-owned and family operated company and strong for future generations.

We maintain a long-term view and have taken a disciplined and methodical approach to our growth. Despite expansion over the recent years, Yuengling is still a regional brewery sold in about 20 states.

We still have tremendous opportunity, and it’s exciting for my sisters and me to represent female leadership in a historically male-dominated industry. It presents a progressive perspective of women in business, and something we are very proud of.

< What’s the most important part of onboarding a new member of your crew?

Our culture is unique and very important to us. We work hard to protect the culture here, and we try to recruit talent into the organization that understands and appreciates it.

Teaching “the Yuengling way” to new hires is a big part of our onboarding process. As a family owned business for 188 years now, we want people who think for themselves, take pride in their work and keep things simple and entrepreneurial-minded.

Hard work, passion and loyalty are important – we want the brewery to be a fun and positive work environment for everyone.

< How do you encourage the crew when navigating in choppy waters?

As America’s oldest brewery, we have been brewing beer since 1829. We’ve survived world wars, Prohibition and through challenging economic times with growing competition and industry consolidation.

During Prohibition, the brewery made near-beer and opened a dairy across the street. That building was recently renovated into our new hospitality center, which serves as a reminder of our past and keeps current challenges in perspective.

Yuengling has proven to be an American success story and is rooted in perseverance and commitment.

< How do you define a successful voyage for your company?

We measure success around a number of pillars. Maintaining consistency and quality in our beers is our mission. Also, ensuring that we offer superior service to our wholesalers, retailers and consumers.

We vow to honor and respect the traditions that have kept this company strong and independent for six generations. And we measure success around our sustainability efforts to reduce our carbon footprint, reusing/recycling materials whenever possible, conserving water and taking care of the natural resources for generations to come.

POCONO PROFOODS

Drew Snyder, Chief Development Officer

Stroud Township

< What are the keys to being a great captain?

Communication is a key to being a good captain. You have to know when to push, when to pull back, when to go or when to adjust.

Captains need to be able to motivate their team and get the most out of every member by utilizing each member’s strengths and also recognizing their weaknesses.

A good captain needs to be firm but at the same time approachable to any team member.

Ultimately, a captain – first and foremost – must be a leader in every sense of the word.

< Besides you, what else steers the ship for your company?

All members in a management position help to steer the company. Those key personnel in leadership roles must manage their areas of responsibility while moving forward with the goals and missions of the overall company.

For our business, sales ultimately steers the ship. As sales move up or down, all team members must adjust as the business dictates.

Those managers must maneuver based on the sales direction of the company, and changes always seem to happen quickly.

< What’s the most important part of onboarding a new member of your crew?

Training and making sure the new team member understands the culture of the company.

For many years, new associates were able to adapt and pick up the requirements of the job with a sink or swim mentality. Most people had the time, determination and pride to be good at their job no matter what training they received.

However, today many people struggle with adversity. In order to remove as much of the adversity as possible, we need to train all new members as much as possible so that they fully comprehend and understand their role and how important it is to the overall mission of the company.

< How do you encourage the crew when navigating in choppy waters?

By showing them a steady hand and calm attitude no matter what is going on below or above the surface. No matter what the situation, you always need to show energy and excitement.

By staying focused even in times of trouble, the team can continue to perform at high levels, and leading with passion always helps to motivate.

< How do you define a successful voyage for your company?

By making sure our associates are in positions to be successful.

By servicing and taking care of our customers no matter what the need or how out of the box it may be. Without our customers, our company wouldn’t exist.

If we always make sure to put the customer at the forefront of the decisions we make, our company will always be successful.

And a successful voyage would also mean that the company is healthy and profitable overall.

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