A perfect meal requires the perfect pairing of wine to compliment any dish, no matter what. With the right pairing comes the right expert, Ben Salisbury ’82.
Ben graduated in 1982 from the Providence Campus and moved to Houston to help a good friend open a new upscale restaurant. During this time, he caught the “wine bug” in a serious way and decided to pursue a career selling wine to restaurants.
Shortly after pursuing this venture, he never looked back. For the last 24 years, Ben had 5 different positions within the wine business. He has also worked for two different wine distributors and two different wine producers. For the past 15 years, Salisbury has worked in the capacity of selling wine varieties to major chain restaurants.
Today, as the vice president of National Accounts for Constellation Wines, Ben is responsible for leading a team responsible for the company's distribution efforts in all of the chain restaurants and hotels across America. Constellation Wines is the largest wine company in the world with over 80 brands in the portfolio.
The list of wineries owned by Constellation includes Robert Mondavi Winery, Clos du Bois, Ravenswood, and Blackstone.
Ben previously served the role as vice president of Global Account Development at St. Michelle Wine Estates, where he managed and developed a team of eight directors who sell his company's products to all the major chain restaurant and hotel companies.
A career in sales provided Ben limitless opportunities for awards that he has been recognized for within his career. Ste Michelle Wine Estates has awarded Ben for qualities like integrity, dedication, commitment to excellence, and the ability to make a significant contribution to both the company and the community.
Aside from all of the individual recognition he has received over the years, the awards he is most proud of are the ones my team has won within the industry. Ben and his team won “Supplier of the Year” award from Cheers magazine four years in a row. His team has also frequently won “Supplier of the Year” awards from their individual customers.
Outside of the vineyard, Ben enjoys spending time in the outdoors and reading stories of successful people and successful companies. “I’ve read hundreds of books on business, marketing, sales, leadership, spirituality, and personal improvement," Ben says. "Some of my greatest inspirations have come from great minds like Steven Covey and Ram Charan.”
Ben offers this advice to alumni looking to expand their horizons: “On the practical side, my advice is to stay curious. Never think you know it all. Find a mentor, be a mentor, repeat. And lastly, have some goals. Write them down. Revisit them, update them often. Never underestimate the power of intention.”