Samantha Collins

Samantha Collins

Amanda Sellers

What was your first Job?

My very first job was in a café working as a Barista. My first job in the wine business was working for an auction house appraising fine and rare wines (mostly Burgundy and Bordeaux).

What was your favourite subject at school?

I loved economics and algebra.

Who have been some of your role models in your Career?

Probably one of the most influential has been Sandra LeDrew. I worked for DC&E when she was promoted to President of the company and I always admired the way she managed distributors and the company. Another person that I consider a role model in leadership would be Phil Gervasi who ran Diageo Spirits when I was working there. He had a way of making the whole team feel like we could and would win.

What’s one leadership lesson you’ve learned in your career?

The importance of direct and clear communication. Oftentimes people will not pick up on subtle clues or will not have time to read between the lines. The best bet is to always give very direct, clear instructions and feedback.

In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges women face in the workplace?

I think women undervalue themselves in the workplace. I often challenge myself to ask for more than I think I ought to with agencies, distributors, and internal people because it is surprising how often I will get what I requested.

How can women overcome these challenges?

Imagine the advice you would give to your friend who was negotiating a similar deal and then take that advice yourself. Also, feel good about raising your hand for tasks you may not think you are qualified for. Even if you don’t get the project or task assigned to you, you may find your name in the consideration set for future projects.

Favourite TWE wine?

There are so many good ones it is difficult to say, but I think that Gabbiano is my favourite right now.