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Louis/Dressner Feature: National Sales Manager Shawn Mead

We consider the people who make up Louis/Dressner to be the most important thing about what we do. Of course, the vignerons and customers are also important, but they can always be replaced by the next hot thing. Today, we want to salute Shawn Mead, who was recently featured in a moving profile on the Masters Site.

Louis/Dressner Spotlight on Shawn Mead



When Louis Dressner retired in 1993 and sold his company to Kevin McKenna, Denyse Louis and Joe Dressner, Shawn Mead had already worked there for several years. The new company saw Shawn's leadership potential and promoted her to National Sales Manager. Shawn Mead has stood side-by-side with Louis/Dressner through busy times and slow, through battles with distributors, through turbulence in the Northwest, a crashing dollar, global warming, and even through a completely unfounded lawsuit attempt by a former employee (It was thrown out before ever getting close to going to trial).

Those of you who know Shawn are familiar with how much she loves her job. When asked what she likes best about working for Louis/Dressner Selections, the answer doesn't take any time to think. "I love to spend time with my customers. I really enjoy it when we have time to just sit down and talk."

When you ask someone what they like the best about their job, the natural follow-up question is what they like the least. Shawn answered this way: "Any kind of unhappy customer upsets me. And the worst is those cases when they are unhappy because of something we did to upset them."

(Editor's Note: Fortunately, the large number of positive letters received over the years compared to the very small amount of complaints received tells us that there aren't many times when Shawn has to get upset.)

Shawn and John Mark's house is located on a six and one-half acre plot in Festus, Washington. The large lot gives them plenty of room to house their four kids and all their pets. They have two Quarter horses and four dogs: a Rottweiler, a German shepherd, a terrier and a Chihuahua-Dachshund mix.

That's not all! There's also Wiggles, a so-called "miniature" pig, who was supposed to weigh thirty pounds when grown. Wiggles now weighs 120 pounds. (He must be on the same diet as Joe Dressner!). Shawn's list of pets wouldn't be complete without mentioning Frisco, a Quaker parrot who talks. Frisco has picked up some of the following phrases from living in the Mead household: "I love you!" "Pretty bird!" "That's a Corked Bottle" "Oh, big boy!" "John, STOP that!"

Working about sixty hours a week, taking care of six acres and all those pets doesn't leave Shawn with a lot of free time. When she does have time, Shawn enjoys horseback riding and riding four-wheelers around her property or at St. Joe's State Park.

But her favorite activity of all, even more than her job, is babysitting Kiley, her new granddaughter. Shawn says, "Kiley is the biggest joy of my life right now."


that's Shawn for ya!
**

Joe Dressner - Captain Tumor Man!


Hi, I'm Joe Dressner the famous wine importer and I have brain cancer!

I already have a wine blog and frankly wine is such a luxury business that I hate to mix my cancer problems with my wine observations. I think it would be a general downer for the lifestyle crowd out there.

Furthermore, we in the wine trade always claim there are tremendous health benefits to drinking wine. I've already had cardiovascular bypass surgery over eight years ago and now I got a tumor aggressively rattling in my brain. My colleagues in the glamorous wine industry want me to keep it quiet.

So, I've started this wonderful new blog to discuss wine, brain tumors, my life and to give you hot tips on handling the cancer stricken around you. There will also be practical wine/radiation pairings when I start radiation therapy and chemotherapy next week.

Having brain cancer means I might both physically and intellectually decline. So, I will be using this blog as a venue to pursue petty vendettas against relatives, acquaintances and people in the wine trade.

I might also lose touch with reality and say things that are not true or are only half true. The important thing is to have fun and enjoy this rare and precious time in my life.

One of my pet vendettas is my cousin Dr. Barbara Hirsch. Dr. Barbara Hirsch is a very important Great Neck Endocrinologist, who was raised and nurtured by my parents. Dr. Hirsch waited until my father was near death and my mother was suffering from a rare neuromuscular disorder, to write them a seven page letter denouncing them for being horrible to her for the entirety of her life! Despite my concerns, Dr. Hirsch still refuses to apologize.

Last night, I drank a beautiful bottle of Bourgueil Clos SÚnÚchal 2005 from Pierre Breton. It was sublime and reminded me that I used to be healthy. Not only that, the vineyard used to be there before I existed. It exists independently of my having cancer and will continue to exist. You ought to buy some.

August 2009 Postscript: Not only does it exist independently of my cancer, it also exists independently of Louis/Dressner Selections. After 18 years, they have dumped us for Kermit Lynch. Oh well. At least I'm alive!