Woman in Wine: Cheryl King

The most valuable resource in any business or organization, regardless of industry, is the people. By definition, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the term “Human Resources” simply means personnel. Human Resources is a term with a simple definition yet a complex meaning. It is used to describe both the people who work for a company as well as the department responsible for managing all matters related to these employees. The human resource department, in a way, is the glue that keeps it all together, and every company needs one.

It would be difficult to celebrate a month of Women’s History and Women in the Wine Industry without recognizing Frank Family’s own Human Resource Manager, Cheryl King. With a background in Psychology and the first 10 years of her career spent in social services, working with severely disabled children and young adults, Cheryl has built a career that she is deeply passionate about. “I want to do all that I am able to help improve and encourage people’s lives,” she says.

This past year has shown unique challenges in the world of HR due to the Covid-19 crisis. Educating employees on new safety protocols, helping them through the furlough and remote work process, securing routine Covid-19 testing, and ultimately securing a vaccine for all Frank Family employees has consumed 30-50% of Cheryl’s and her team’s job in the past year. “At times it can be tricky, especially in a smaller winery, to manage employee relation matters when you are seen as a friend and then you must wear the “HR” hat,” she explains. However, Cheryl uses skills that she learned from more than 10 years in the Hospitality industry working as Director of HR at hotels such as Intercontinental, Hilton, and other small luxury private hotels, to encourage employee appreciation and engagement.

Not only has Cheryl been able to build a set of fantastic “people skills” in the span of her career and transfer them to her role in the wine industry, she also uses them at home. In fact, she claims the best “job” she has ever had was raising her two children, Nick and Alexis. When she’s not busy with the employees of Frank Family, she’s playing a round of golf with her family, whipping up something tasty in the kitchen or playing with her new puppy, Hobson, an English Lab.

Q&A with Cheryl King, Human Resource Manager

FF: What advice would you give to someone who wants to build a career in HR?

CK: It is the BEST job if you love working with people and want to be part of a great place to work. HR is not boring there is so much to do in the areas of legal compliance, benefits, payroll, compensation, workers comp, recruiting, training and development, performance management and more. It is not a career for everyone as you must be able to manage the occasional employee relations matters. I am happy to say that I have successfully mentored 6 HR professionals who love their career choice. 

FF: What was the most rewarding part of your job during the past year and Covid-19?

CK: Seeing everyone get through this healthy and safe; so many employees shared their sincere gratitude for all the testing we put in place for them to keep them safer.

FF: What is your favorite wine and food pairing?

CK: An amazing filet mignon and a bottle of Winston Hill!

FF: If you could only drink one bottle of wine for the rest of your life, what would it be?

CK: Winston Hill!

Thank you, Cheryl, for all you do for the employees of Frank Family! Cheers to you and all the other Human Resource Managers working hard each and every day!

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