USA: eVineyard Expands Executive Management Team
"Brett, Tom and Robert bring significant experience and impeccable credentials to our company," said Larry Gerhard, President and CEO of eVineyard. "Their addition to our management team leverages our ability to continue our rapid expansion worldwide."
Launched in May 1999, eVineyard has become the front-runner in the online wine B2C retail market segment. The only legally licensed web-based wine retailer in the United States, eVineyard possesses a number of competitive advantages, not the least being the current regulatory environment. As the only pure-play online wine retailer -- featuring the web's largest selection of competitively priced, high quality, well known labels -- the company is ideally positioned to establish a long-term leadership position in this space.
As CMO, Lauter is charged with expanding and retaining eVineyard's 50,000+ customer base with a sophisticated menu of marketing programs. He leads a team of marketing, customer service and technology experts drawn from a broad range of disciplines. Under his direction, the group plans immediate implementation of a series of direct marketing tactics enhanced by multi-media approaches from innovative outdoor to on-line advertising and guerrilla marketing. Lauter is also accelerating eVineyard's epicurean events sponsorships around the nation.
Heller plans to double the on-line wine e-tailer's "virtual inventory" with the further development of eVineyard's winery and wholesaler partnerships by year end 2000.
Lauter most recently served as Director of Customer Relationship Marketing and co-leader of marketing for Outpost.com, where he spearheaded marketing efforts for the online electronics products retailer. During his year-long tenure, he developed data-mining and market research mechanisms, enhanced customer retention, and designed the company's e-business services plan. Previously, he served for 11 years in a series of management positions at First Union Bank, introducing a series of innovative customer focused strategies and marketing research mechanisms to the financial services industry. Lauter holds a Bachelor's degree in marketing from the University of Georgia.
Heller brings more than 25 years of experience in the fine wine industry. For the previous two years, he oversaw e-commerce sales and marketing efforts for the American Wine and Spirits Division of Southern Wine and Spirits of Northern California. Prior to that, he was for 22 years principal and owner of California Wine Marketing, Inc., a wine brokerage company renowned for the introduction of some of California's best known artisan wineries including Caymus, Hess, Sanford, Burgess Cellars, Clos du Val and Signorello. Heller holds a Bachelor's degree in Political Theory and Economic History from the University of California, Berkeley.
Lawson most recently served as Vice President, Finance, CFO & Treasurer of Chrome Data. Previously, he held the position of VP Finance, CFO and Treasurer with a national provider of local dial exchange, implementing finance and systems structure to handle substantial business growth. He has held management positions at The Greenbrier Companies and PacifiCorp. While at Greenbrier, he helped grow revenues from $200M to over $500M and helped prepare the company's initial public offering. Lawson is a licensed CPA in the state of Oregon and holds a Bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Oregon.
eVineyard, a licensed retailer, currently serves 23 states, accounting for more than 63% of the domestic market for off-premise premium wine sales. Utilizing five logistics centers, and with the imminent opening of five additional centers, the company will increase its access to 75% of an estimated $6 billion market, and have a presence in each of the country's top 10 wine markets. By 2003, online wine purchases are projected to exceed $1.8 billion. With its superior selection and delivery capabilities, eVineyard is positioned to capture more than 14% of this market, or some $245 million in revenue.
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