We are pleased to announce that Sam McDaniel has joined Nutkrack as our Director of Community. This position encompasses the traditional work of a Business Development Director, with a special Nutkrack twist.

Sam is a lifelong hospitality professional, with more than 25 years of experience in food and wine production, sales and service. He is currently the Food Pantry Coordinator at the Goodman Community Center, right here in our neighborhood, and will continue in that role as he joins our team at Nutkrack.

In addition to his nonprofit work, Sam has been a key player in the development of many thriving companies, and shaped the path of those organizations, both as an employee and as an outside consultant. Sam has worked with large national restaurant and hospitality companies as well as independent restaurants, and has been directly involved in opening more than a dozen restaurant and food and wine retail outlets. He has worked in sales, supply and distribution in the wine and beer business, including creating the Pioneer wine brand as a collaboration between Standard Market in Illinois and the Barra Family Winery in Mendocino County, CA.

For those businesses, he has had a wide-ranging set of responsibilities: he has overseen the leadership structure and conceptualized and written the mission and culture documents; been responsible for company financial performance; and been heavily involved in business planning, including marketing, sales, labor and profitability projections and management. Most importantly, he has had the opportunity to take the lead in hiring, training and mentoring a large and diverse group of people and building a successful community of partners, customers and stakeholders with them.

This careerlong focus on creating community will be the key to Sam’s role here at Nutkrack, and it is the reason he is such a good fit for our team. Here at Nutkrack, everything begins with family, and our approach to our business is built on our commitment to not only produce the world’s best caramelized pecans, but also to provide the highest level of service to our entire family of stakeholders. Sam’s commitment to serving all of our community partners and our Nutkrack family with compassion and consistency will help us take the next steps in our growth as a company, and we can’t wait to share that success with all of you!