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Bridget Smith

Director of Operations

Tell us about your time at 31st and Wharton and your current position at Origlio. I was the Director of Operations at 31st, which is a much smaller, highly craft/import-focused operation. It was a great place for me to get familiar with how the Origlio organization is structured and run. I was also surrounded by a very talented group of coworkers who embraced a new set of eyes and opinions. In terms of transitioning to Origlio, it was a bit intimidating at first, but I like being forced out of my comfort zone.

As Director of Operations, what does your job entail? I manage the three essential teams that make up the lion’s share of the Origlio Beverage Operations machine: DSRs/delivery, picking/loading/warehouse and routing logistics.

What do you like most about your position? I like that I’m continually challenged. I’m also in a position where I have the authority and support to make necessary improvements. Ops might not be glamorous, but it can be really inspiring when we’re able to work together to solve problems and accomplish things like getting tens of thousands of cases of beer out to customers daily, despite some insane limitations we’ve felt during the pandemic. There were many rough days, but it opened our eyes to changes we could make to improve service.

What is the most challenging part of your job? Knowing you can’t win every battle. Sometimes things are just out of our hands, and that’s always been a tough pill for me to swallow.

What does it take to be a top-notch Director of Operations? Empathy, patience, determination, confidence, a sense of humor and a willingness to listen and learn from others. Being able to roll with the punches without getting overwhelmed and keeping a level head is crucial. Admitting you’re wrong and recognizing that you don’t know everything, or everyone’s experiences, sets a good example that you can only hope inspires others to follow.

What do you like to do when you’re not working? I love to travel, have friends over, go to comedy shows and spend time with my husband and son.

If you had your own talk show, who would your first three guests be, past or present? David Sedaris, Charlie Kaufman and KRS-One.

What are three things on your bucket list? I’d like to see The Forbidden City, live in London for a month and take my son to the Vasa Museum in Stockholm.

If you could be anywhere, drinking any beer… I’d be at an airport bar about to board an international flight, drinking a Stillwater Extra Dry.