Parting Thoughts With Dave Newton of Odom Corp.
Account exec reflects on 35 years working in the beverage industryOctober 10th, 2019
Dave Newton has been with beverage distribution company The Odom Corp. for nearly 20 years, 15 of which he’s spent as senior chain account executive.
When Odom came to the Spokane-Coeur d’Alene market, Newton opened its first Coeur d’Alene distributorship, which he later merged with the company’s Sandpoint distributorship.
Newton’s role as senior chain account executive has involved maintaining Odom’s relationships with local chains, such as Yoke’s Fresh Market and Rosauers Supermarkets Inc., while managing Odom’s relationships with national chains such as Costco Wholesale Corp. and Fred Meyer throughout Odom’s footprint in Washington, North Idaho, and Alaska.
Focusing on relationships, Newton says, is the most important thing he learned in his career with Odom. “You can have all the data and spreadsheets and everything else you want, but if you don’t have a relationship with the person that you’re working with, it’s all for naught,” he says.
Newton retired from Odom on Oct. 4. During his final days with the company, he discussed his experience in the beverage distribution industry and what he plans to do next.
Journal: What would you describe as the highlights of your career?
Newton: Working with a lot of great people and watching the company I work for grow.
Journal: How has your industry changed through the years?
Newton: I am in the alcoholic beverage business, and it was a ton of fun 35 years ago. It is still fun, but it has become a different business. It has grown into a business like many others, with quarterly goals, management issues, supply issues, copious amounts of data, and trying to find good people that want to work.
Journal: How is it the same?
Newton: At the end of the day, we are still working with people and building relationships.
Journal: What advice do you have for people going into your field or assuming your duties?
Newton: Be prepared to work. If you are looking for a place where you can skate and hide and get paid, look somewhere else.
Journal: Any other parting words of wisdom?
Newton: Rewards are for the taking if you work for them. I think that can be said for any industry.
Journal: What is retirement going to look like for you?
Newton: I have a wood shop at my house where I have been playing for many years. It will now help subsidize my income to some degree. I don’t feel like I am working when I am in the shop.