Meet the Team – an Interview with Kathleen Riscili
What is your position, or role, at 12 Gates Brewing Company?
I don’t think I have an official title, but I’m responsible for sales and events.
How long have you been with the brewery?
My husband Matt is part of the ownership team, so I’ve been kinda hanging out since the beginning. Over dinner one night, he mentioned they needed a dedicated sales rep to help grow and I literally looked at him and said “HELLO!” Because I had worked from home for 11 years, I got to do part time in the beginning, and now just became Full Time in January 2017. I feel like they got to try me out for a few months, and now they are stuck with me!
Have you had any prior knowledge or experience in sales?
I’ve been in sales since I was 16 years old. Every single job I’ve ever had has been for a small business, I’ve never worked in a corporate structure. I was a retail manager in a highly competitive, high-end industry where I learned how to build relationships and take care of customers. After 12 years, I moved to a sales training role, where I worked for a sales training company where I learned so much about personal development, and literally training your brain to be more efficient. And then I had my son, so all bets were off! For the past 10 years I worked from home doing sales, recruiting, and team building. I truly feel like all of my experience has brought me to where I am to build 12 Gates!
Which beer do you sell the most of? Why do you think it sells so well?
That’s a hard question because we have so many amazing different restaurants and bars in Buffalo. Our West Coast Style IPA is our flagship beer and sells the most for sure, but I love our Buffalo Tripel that it is so different and so deceivingly smooth. Craft beer drinkers are always looking for new and different.
Do you have a personal favorite on tap?
This depends on my mood, the weather, and perhaps what homework my kids have brought home. For example, up late because your 5th grader procrastinated on a project? Coffee Porter the next morning will help. I love our Pale Ale because it goes with whatever you are eating. So no matter if I’m making mac and cheese or ordering a pizza for dinner it works. This is food pairing in my world right now. However, I am thinking about those gorgeous Buffalo summer days where a West Coast on the patio can’t be beaten.
What do you like most about your job?
I love that it’s different every day. I love that I’m constantly meeting new people. I love the passion at 12 Gates, from the owners right down to our hardworking interns. There’s something incredibly gratifying about a group of people all working their tails off toward a big goal!
*** Let’s Get Personal ***
You are a mother of 2 kids; how do you find a work/home life balance?
Yes, I have 2 amazing boys, Andrew (10) and Benjamin (6). So, let me first say you can’t define balance as equal. If you are constantly seeking this mythical “balance” you are just adding one more thing to feel guilty about. ‘Cause mom guilt is REAL. Just when you think everything is great, someone is puking. I have realized, that there are times you need to devote 100% to your job. Then there are times you have to devote 100% to your family. I run on a priority list of the top 5 things I NEED to do that day and fill in from there. My job is also unique that I can work nights, weekends, really whenever! So, If I have a sick kid or school event I can easily just shuffle around my schedule to be where I need to be.
Your sons play hockey; are you the crazy hockey mom, or more reserved?
Ummmmmmm…. No comment. Let’s just say I’m working on it. I’m always respectful, I will say that. I guess it depends on who you are comparing me to. I would never do/say anything I would regret doing in front of my kids if that makes sense. But, when a ref has the wrong number of players on the ice or blows offsides by 5 ft, or lets the kids get too chippy….I generally will make them aware.
When you travel for games, do you have the opportunity to try out new beers or breweries in other areas?
We certainly try. In Cleveland, we stayed an extra night so that we could check out Great Lakes. I like to call it, Research!
Do you have any post-game rituals such as always grabbing a pizza or playing a certain song?
First and foremost, I make sure that they had fun. My little guy is just learning, so he’s always happy. My 10 year old sometimes doesn’t want to talk about it. So yeah, he’ll blast music in the car. But I know he’s good when he’s singing the Killers in the shower.
Are there any upcoming events you’re looking forward to in 2017?
Everything, honestly. I learn something new at every event. Events are great because even if you’ve done it before, you’re thinking about how to improve it. I’m working Beerology for the first time next week. It’s going to be a blast. I feel like I’ll need to take notes!