Father's Day Reflections
Working with my father, Brice Cutrer Jones, can, at times, be (in no particular order): exhausting, inspiring, frustrating, hilarious and wonderful. I have had the privilege of working with my father for the past 3 +/- years, although I have been learning from him my whole life. There’s no better time than Father’s Day to reflect on our relationship – and working together has made that so much richer.
Brice is a perfectionist. He will take nothing but the best from everyone he works with, because he knows what people are capable of and won’t take less than their full potential. He passes out grammar and wine books, old seminar materials from his ‘Focus on Chardonnay’ events in the 80s and 90s, anything to encourage the people around him to learn, to better themselves and to make a better product. Brice inspires everyone around him – and that shows in the company he’s built and the wine that bears its name.
Not to say it’s always easy – many times we’ll go back and forth via email, text message, phone call, in meetings you name it for days on end. It could be about something as mundane as where to use an ‘em-dash’ or an ‘en-dash’ (most people have never thought about this), or something as important as the label on our bottle.
He is stubborn (a trait I inherited) but he’s stubborn to make you consider about all options, all possibilities and then to come to a decision together as to what is best. He won’t let you just go with the status quo or the ‘industry standard’. Brice’s stubbornness to not cut corners is one of his best qualities as a boss and a leader of a company. I learn from him every day (whether I want to or not) how to make better wine and how to be a better leader.
These are some of the qualities that made me want to work with him. To see his vision for this very special place and to push it even further, to push him in the way that he pushes me. And of course to keep him in line – anyone who’s met him knows he can be a handful! This is why the title he’s given me at Emeritus is ‘President of Fun’.