Our people bring Constellation Brands to life in unique and special ways. Sarah Foster, Human Resources Generalist, is based out of our Woodbridge Winery in Acampo, California. Hear her story on how she's made her mark.
A lot of my peers struggled with their next steps after college, jumped around from job to job, and worked places where they weren’t fulfilled or appreciated. I’ve always felt so lucky that I was able to start my career here and continue with such an awesome organization.
I was first drawn to Constellation Brands as an employer because I grew up in Canandaigua, NY and always heard it was such a great place to work. When I was nearing college graduation, Constellation was high on my list of hopefuls. I knew it was a stellar company, close to home, and of course, a really fun industry!
I began as a temporary employee in the Customer Resource Center (CRC) at the Canandaigua office and was soon offered a full-time position as a Customer Service Representative where I managed orders for Southern Wine & Spirits and Republic National Distribution Company, as well as several smaller customers.
After a few years, I transitioned into a similar role on my department’s International team, which had the added aspects of export and compliance. I enjoyed the new challenge and worked with a great group of people in the San Francisco office, as well as our field sales managers and customers all over the world.
When I eventually started looking outside the CRC for what was next, someone suggested Human Resources. I job shadowed to see if it was something I was truly interested in and sure enough, it was. I kept my eye out for openings and in a few months I landed a Benefits Administrator role at our High Point office in Victor.
I was happy and yet didn’t want to stop growing, so I started an Individual Development Plan (IDP) to lay out what formal steps I would take to keep learning and advancing. After talking to several people, I realized being an HR Generalist would be a great next step, exposing me to a variety of areas within HR and providing valuable experience.
In 2015, I visited California for benefits presentations in Napa and Sonoma. I met some awesome people who seemed to be loving life out there. I had been thinking I wanted to move away to another part of the country, experience a new place and have some adventures, not to mention maybe escape the upstate NY winters. So when I saw an opening for an HR Generalist in the Lodi region I knew this could be the perfect opportunity for me. I was fortunate to be offered the position, and everything fell into place very quickly after that. I was packing up to move to Sacramento within a month! I’ve been out here for over a year now and it’s been a fabulous experience. Of course I miss family, friends, and colleagues back home but I’m very grateful for the opportunity and can’t wait to see what’s in store for my future with Constellation.
My family and friends cannot say enough great things about where I work. Everyone thinks it’s the coolest thing that I’m in the wine/beer/spirits industry, especially the way our brands continue to grow. With the wide variety of products in our portfolio, it makes it very easy to be a brand ambassador at every occasion with almost any group of people. Whether it’s a beer on a Friday after a long work week, a glass of wine catching up with an old friend, or cocktails to enhance a special occasion, we always find a way to enjoy our products in some way. In my opinion, taking the time to relax and have fun with family and friends is what life is all about.
I’m proud to be a CBI employee because of the way we give back and care for the communities where we live and work. I’m grateful to participate in Nourishing Neighbors and I’ve seen the program carried out with success on both coasts now. On our most recent Employee Match Day, I was impressed to see how many amazing causes our employees donate to around the world. Additionally, I understand that sustainability is crucial for not only our business, but for our future as humans on this planet, so I love learning about all of the innovative solutions we’ve implemented for renewable energy use, reducing our carbon footprint, water conservation, etc.
I’ve learned that dedication and hard work will really pay off with persistence and won’t go unnoticed, but also it’s important to advocate for yourself to achieve your goals. I feel that I have a lot to offer and stepping out of my comfort zone to move across the country has taught me things about myself that I could have never imagined. With continued development and experience, as well as the support of so many fantastic colleagues, there are really no limits to what lies ahead.