Marketing Professional and Apprentice Winemaker
BS, Business Marketing, 2004
Having recently moved to Kentucky to further his career after growing up in Colorado Springs, Phil Mondy has been hailed as a “marketing expert” among his colleagues due to his experience and insight. And though he enjoys and is truly good at what he does, his passion is winemaking, a current hobby which he hopes to transform into a full-fledged business someday.
Following his graduation from the College of Business at UCCS in 2004, Phil’s marketing-driven career path has included stints at The Elevation Group, a marketing consulting and ad firm; Bigg City, an indoor family amusement park; and Focus on the Family, a faith-based, internationally present non-profit. Each position offered him the opportunity to hone his marketing skills, which include direct mail, marketing strategy creation and implementation, and demographic segmentation.
During his four-years at Focus on the Family, Phil was introduced to a marketing management software known as Aprimo. “Target, Honda, and tons of other companies use it, too. It structures your database so that it’s focused on marketing,” he said, adding, “and it makes it easier to see your ROI based on a number of indicators such as response rate.”
His experience with Aprimo opened the door for him at Rivera Group, a government contractor and IT research and development firm located within Fort Knox and the company he’s been with for two years. They assist in army recruiting. As the Aprimo Marketing Specialist, Phil facilitates email and list selection with the help of the software.
When asked how the field of marketing has evolved and changed since he graduated, Phil mentioned social media, how it changed everything and how its purpose is misinterpreted by marketers. “We are trying to use all of our old techniques in new social media communication channels, and it’s not working at all. It’s become oversaturated…I can’t say that I completely understand it, but everyone flooded social media, and the marketing community scrambled on how to react. It turns out that social media is great for the consumer, but it was bad for marketers. Consumers now have a lot more power, and it’s so much more important to provide a good product and service. It’s harder now to pull off bad business models because social media gives consumers so much power.”
Despite his in-depth knowledge of marketing and the software that goes with it, when asked what his long-term goals are, software has nothing to do with it.
Phil hopes to someday combine his business and marketing prowess with one of his passions, winemaking, to create a “custom crush facility,” which would focus on serving the 70 or so wineries throughout the state of Kentucky by providing them with wine in the event of a lapse in production. “The law states that [the wineries] can only purchase wine from another winery within the state, and there is no one who is currently servicing this need. Wine takes a solid year before completed, so if a winery gets behind on production and it has a tasting room, it will begin to lose money immediately,” he said.
In his spare time, Phil apprentices at Forest Edge Winery in Bullitt County, a small winery that operates next door to the Jim Beam Distillery, a large production facility housing 300 million barrels of aging whiskey. In contrast, he states that the winery he works at “runs out of capacity because they don’t have enough land;” therefore, he states that he plan to, “start with them as [his] first client, and hopefully afterward market to the other 70 wineries.”
Many of these other wineries Phil described as being “mom and pop” with small tasting rooms if any and limited production. With the burgeoning wine industry across sections of the United States, novice to connoisseur wine tasters value variety, and since wine is very subjective, offering less than seven or eight kinds of wine at any given time can lead to loss in sales.
Innately marketing driven, Phil envisions his crush facility to be at the forefront of wine trends. He said, “I knew last year that Moscato was going to be really hot. But many wineries didn’t anticipate the demand, and therefore weren’t able to deliver.” He says that many wineries “want to sell the wine, but they don’t have the capacity to meet the demand. They want to get into the business, but if they could get out of the wine making process, they would. I would supply the wine in bulk.”
After purchasing a building and fermentation tanks, he hopes this new business concept would blossom within three years. He is currently focusing on accumulating enough capital to move forward.
As an amateur home winemaker, Phil enjoys experimenting and is currently working on a fortified blackberry wine aged in oak. He describes “fortified” wine as being similar to Port wine, which is a trademarked sweet Portugal wine with higher than normal alcohol content. He says, “Blackberries have such a high acid content, and it ages for a while, so it has enough sour that it has a really fresh fruit flavor. There tends to be prune-like flavor that I get from most Ports, but this one doesn’t have it.”
Phil is also an accomplished home beer brewer and recently won a bronze medal in the national home brewer competition this year.
His Time at UCCS
When asked about how UCCS prepared him for where he is in his career, Phil stated, “I have an immense amount of confidence in my education. I never apologize for my school even if people don’t recognize the name.” He states that due to the variety of projects he had as a student, he believes he became more adaptable and in many cases was “forced to think in terms of an owner.” He specifically recalls Dr. Eric Olson’s marketing class studies and how he learned how to gather data and determine whether or not one’s audience was engaged with one’s brand.
When asked him what his education meant to him, he said, “It’s invaluable.”
His Personal Accomplishments
Phil and his wife, Katie, recently became the proud parents to a now six-month old baby girl named Adelaide. He stated, “Parenthood is crazy. I had to grow up a lot! I thought I was kind of an adult, and I don’t think that I was before. Now I think I’m getting closer. It’s more responsibility.”
The future is bright for Phil and his family, and he hopes to bring his dreams to fruition in the near future!
Please click HERE if you would like to connect with Phil on LinkedIn.
This Alumni Profile was featured in Open for Business, our monthly eNewsletter for the Alumni and Friends of the College of Business. To subscribe, please email Samantha Bruner by clicking HERE.