Profile of Steve Harden, Vice President, General Manager of Southern Wine & Spirits of Northern California
Steve Harden is responsible for the day-to-day operations of Southern Wine & Spirits and American Wines & Spirits divisions in Northern California. He has been with the company since 1989.
The former University of the Pacific quarterback got his start in the wine and spirits industry right out of college. A university booster who was starting a wine distribution business hired Mr. Harden to work as a sales representative in Stockton, California.
This professional foray was short-lived but invaluable: The distributor went out of business in just two years – “not because of my efforts,” Mr. Harden adds. Yet, he went on to capitalize on his work experience, eventually landing high-level management positions at Southern including: Sacramento Chain Account Manager; General Manager, Sacramento Division; and Northern California General Sales Manager, a job he held for 11 years. Mr. Harden assumed his current position in 2004.
At its core, Mr. Harden’s business philosophy is the Golden Rule: “Work hard and over-prepare,” he says. “And, most importantly, treat everyone as you would like to be treated. Manage out of love and respect – not fear!”
The self-described struggling golfer who works out regularly is active in the Special Olympics, Lodi Adopt a Child, and the 1199 Foundation. Yet his family – wife, Barb, and children, Kate and Joe – continue to be his “top priority.”