Q&A with Shae Frichette – Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business

Shae Frichette

Co-owner, Co-Vigneron

Red Mountain Winery Frichette

Shae Frichette

Number of employees you supervise: 5

Brief history of Frichette Winery:

Sweezea Financial Group is an independent investment and insurance agency backed by P

We are a husband and wife run winery that produces wines he loves and wine experiences she dreams of. Our expression of flavourful, creamy red wines and our “being in the moment” vibes are found in every sip of wine and every second of deliciousness in our cellar. We have a team of rock stars who are humorous, spectacularly knowledgeable and eager to wow every guest.

Our vision is simple, to be a destination winery known for stellar hospitality, gorgeous views and premium wines. Our mission is to cultivate wine grapes and produce excellent wine that will “wow” the palates of our customers. In doing so, we also strive to be good stewards of the earth and contribute to our community. Our tasting room on Red Mountain is open from noon to 5 p.m. daily.

How did you land your current role? How long have you been in it?

I transitioned from organizational development work to entrepreneurship in 2011. We opened Frichette Winery on Red Mountain in 2013.

For Frichette, I work in our direct-to-consumer side, business development and production.

Why should the Tri-Cities care about the wine and grape industries?

The Tri-Cities are blessed with the perfect conditions for growing many agricultural products, including wine grapes.

We compete with several other notable wine regions around the world. The wine industry provides jobs and opportunities for economic development and is a great place for recreation. The product, the wine, is fabulous for visitors as well as locals.

In your opinion, what is the characteristic that every leader should possess?


What is the biggest challenge facing business owners/managers today?

Being pulled in so many directions and following market changes.

You’ve played a big role in the chamber and other civic organizations. What roles have you held? Why is this job important to you?

I have served on three boards of directors. The Red Mountain AVA Alliance (Vice Chair), Visit Tri-Cities, Chairman of the Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. I also volunteer for the Benton City Giving Garden Project, Benton City Revitalization Organization, and eMERGE. A community can be great when every citizen who can will contribute. I am happy to contribute to my community.

What advice would you give to someone stepping into a leadership role for the first time?

Sit back and watch before jumping in to change things up. Create processes for open communication. Extend confidence.

Who are your role models or mentors?

I have a lot! My first formal mentor was at the last company I worked for, Eric Lewis. He identified leadership qualities I had that I didn’t realize, and I was able to be a more deliberate leader.

In wine, Kasee ​​Venohr hired me informally to show me the ropes of running a tasting room. She was instrumental in getting me started as a leader in the tasting room. Charlie Hoppes has been a mentor and inspiration since our early days in wine.

How do you keep your employees motivated?

We listen to their interests and ask for feedback on how to create a great team environment, then we act on it. We give them what they need to be great in their roles, tailor recognition to the individual, set expectations, and provide as much positive feedback as reinforcement feedback.

We celebrate successes (and always look for opportunities to celebrate team members) and step in to help keep the team on track.

How did you decide to pursue the career in which you work today?

Greg and I pondered careers that would give us goosebumps, and we landed on wine. We drank it back then, so maybe that had something to do with it as well.

How do you measure success in your workplace?

When we achieve our goals, improve and continually grow/learn, we succeed.

What do you think your leadership style is?


How do you balance work and family life?

I’m not doing it as well as I would like, but for now we have themes. Greg and I have lunch out once a week. We do donuts on Fridays and Dadmino’s (when dad does pizza instead of Domino’s). During the summer, we do Sunday brunch at Lulu’s. These are all non-negotiable, and we have them on the schedule. For work, we have work-oriented plans where we have to say “no” to events and hang out with friends because we have made commitments for work.

What do you like to do when you’re not at work?

Watch reruns of “Girlfriends”, visit wineries, chat with friends, and ride bikes with my family by the river.

What is your best time management strategy?

Put the most important things on the calendar. This includes time to plan a presentation and practice it, Donut Fridays, preparing for a meeting, etc. Turn off the phone when working on something you can’t do your best if you get distracted.

The best trick to relieve stress?


What’s your favorite podcast?
Most used apps?

Favorite podcast is “Social Media Marketing” with Michael Stelzner. The most used applications are LinkedIn, Instagram, Clubhouse, Calm and WhatsApp.

Do you have a personal mantra, phrase or quote that you like to use?

You are strong. You are courageous. You are fierce. You have the ability to create positive change in this world. So raise your chin. Push your shoulders back. And sashay, my daughter. Sashay!

About Michael Brafford

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