Operations

Millennial Affiliate Manager Stays The Course In Wine Region

Lexi Tucker
Posted on July 18, 2018

Christina Zanone, director of affiliate relations for Beau Wine Tours

Christina Zanone, director of affiliate relations for Beau Wine Tours

NAPA, Calif. — Christina Zanone, director of affiliate relations for Beau Wine Tours, is a perfect example of the kind of Millennial you want on your team. She’s worked her way up the ranks and has a genuine desire to ensure their clients have the best possible experience in the Napa and Sonoma area, whether they are a casual newcomer to the wine tour scene or a wannabe sommelier.

Never, Ever Give Up

Since she started hiring for the sales and concierge teams, as well as creating affiliate partnerships, Zanone has learned it’s vital to strictly vet anyone who will be representing your company, both inside and out of the office.

“Through trial and error you find if they aren’t vetted, it can be extremely damaging to your company,” she warns. “Don’t take any shortcuts; you have to feel like they would be a good extension of your brand.”

For fellow young professionals, she says no matter where you are, you will have to ride some waves. “There will always be ups and downs. If you jump ship the moment you feel a down coming, you’ll miss out on the reward of understanding what works and what doesn’t. You’ll miss finding a sense of accomplishment after you come back from it. Not only that, but a sense of loyalty makes you feel good and creates a way for you to build your own morale. Don’t give up and stick with it.”

Natural Talent

While the luxury transportation industry may still be a mostly male-dominated industry, women continue to pave their own way and are leaving a lasting mark. “We’re natural caregivers, which relates so well to this industry. Customer service

Beau has a very diverse fleet.

Beau has a very diverse fleet.

isn’t easy if you do it right. It requires a sense of calm urgency. Mothers are often tired and have their own problems, but we can transition into being calm, cool, and collected when we need to,” she says.

Zanone also mentions how the women of the industry are creating a stronger voice and have a unique perspective on the dangers TNCs present the public. “I personally don’t know one woman in my life who hasn’t dealt with some form of abuse or harassment. We have something to stand for, and a fierce passion behind what we do.”

Divine Intervention

Zanone graduated from college with the intent to become an interior architect…right as the Great Recession happened. Since no one was doing anything with their homes, she felt there was no place for her to grow. However, she had a natural-born love for sales. She managed a cigar shop where she would help clients pair cigars with wine and food.

Beau Wine Tours management, sales, and concierge staff.

Beau Wine Tours management, sales, and concierge staff.

“I loved that it kept me involved in food and wine culture, and it was always important for me to stay connected to that,” she says. She was also a general manager at a store called Oakville Grocery, but it didn’t give her the ability to do what she truly loved.

When Beau placed an ad in 2010, she interviewed and was hired as a reservationist. “I like to call it divine intervention. I was looking for a new path, and this allowed me to provide service in a destination where people come from all over the world to experience. You have to appeal to so many different kinds of people,” she explains.

This includes clients who are visiting for the first time that want to learn about wine, honeymooners, destination wedding guests, bachelorettes, and many others. “We have the ability to service clients in a more fulfilling way. We have a talented concierge team, our chauffeurs know the region and are helpful…we just take an above and beyond approach to everything we do.”

Investing In The Future

The company operates 64 vehicles, from sedans to SUVs, Sprinter vans, and minicoaches. They service retail clients as well as DMCs and corporate work. In the near future, they plan on getting into the motorcoach side of the business so they can accommodate bigger groups. Zanone will also continue building affiliate relationships to help grow the brand nationwide. “I’m training our staff to get into the mindset of ‘not just Napa Valley,’” she says.

The Beau offices are spotless, just like their service.

The Beau offices are spotless, just like their service.

She counts her biggest success as entering into an industry she knew nothing about and thriving. “I didn’t know until I had a few years under my belt how in love with it I’d be. I’m proud of myself for not giving up and being loyal to Beau,” she says.

Every time a new position would open up, she’d want to jump right in and experience it, and she thinks this has taught her a great deal in a short amount of time. “I have a drive to make the company something I grow with. I’ve never considered leaving or doing anything else; it’s like my baby.”

Related Topics: affiliate networks, California operators, customer service, LCTFast40, Millennials, TNCs, Uber, wine tours, women in the industry

Lexi Tucker Senior Editor
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