Our People: Holly Lukavsky Creates Her Future

Our people bring Constellation Brands to life in unique and special ways. Holly Lukavsky, Beer Strategy Director, is based out of our Chicago office. See what she has to say about her unique career path and participating in company culture.

I first came to Constellation Brands after a headhunter cold-called me. The recruiter didn’t initially share the company name but mentioned that the company sold the #1 imported beer in the U.S. I guessed it must be Corona and was able to Google my way into learning more. The interviews confirmed that it was an opportunity I should consider, even though I wasn’t looking for a new job at the time.

I remember that Crown had just launched a Talent Management initiative and was building an Employee Value Proposition. It seemed like HR actually had a strategic role at the company, which was very appealing to me as a bit of an HR geek. I had also just bought my very first 6-pack of Victoria the week of the cold call, so the stars were aligning.

I had spent about eight years in HR prior to coming here, had gotten a Master’s Degree in HR Management, and just completed an advanced certification in HR, so I was eager to contribute my skills in a totally new industry. I had previously worked for a consumer products company that had been struggling, so it was also refreshing to join a growing company. My first position was with Crown Imports as an HR Business Partner supporting Marketing, Legal, HR, Strategy & Revenue Management, and roughly half of the Beer Sales team.

After about two years in role, I was promoted to an HR Director supporting all of Beer Sales nationally. I had the opportunity to spend time in the field at their Business Unit meetings and really learn more about the Sales organization, experience different markets, and make friends across the country.

About a year ago, a Strategy Director opportunity arose to support Beer’s Chief Commercial Officer and executive team, which I applied for after encouragement from my manager. This role provides a broader exposure to the Beer Division, how our executive team works together on long-term strategy and makes decisions to drive our business. It seemed like it would be an amazing learning opportunity and it has been. I’m incredibly grateful to have had the chance to try something different and for the mentorship of my current manager - and prior managers - who supported me along the way.

As an HR professional, I didn’t necessarily expect that I would be considered for a role outside of HR, but the company took a chance on me – that’s incredibly affirming. The career and developmental opportunities I have been afforded certainly make me feel valued, as does the feedback from each of the managers with whom I have been fortunate to work. Key leaders have also made time to provide me career advice and encouragement that led me to challenge myself, support for which I’m truly grateful.

The people here are really exceptional. I had never before worked with a group that is so collaborative, engaged, driven to mutual success, and committed to helping others. Coming into a new role, I went from having confidence in my prior role and skill set to being “new” all over again virtually overnight. The generosity with which I’ve seen my colleagues extend themselves is really quite humbling.

“To elevate life with every glass raised” to me means turning everyday moments into special ones. It’s about being totally present in the here and now and enjoying this very minute with one of our amazing products, even if that moment is just watching Game of Thrones on the couch with your husband and two cats.

Most recently, I’ve been involved in the Women’s Leadership Network, which has brought women leaders together from all areas of the business for networking and development opportunities. I also recently took a Spanish Level 1 class that was sponsored by the company. I’ve never taken Spanish in my life; I was a French major in college and was fluent at one time – so it was a big transition for me to learn to pronounce all those e’s at the end of words! It was a cross-functional group in the class and everyone was supportive and learning together. There were a lot of laughs. Since there’s no “Holly” equivalent in Spanish, I now answer to “Olga” as well.

One of my colleagues recently said to me that by working here you get to take advantage of this amazing culture, but to do so you have to participate in the culture. I told her I was going to borrow that line, because it’s so true. There is something for everyone and a lot of options to participate. By doing so, you not only contribute to the great culture we have, but you benefit from it.