MRB hires full-time ‘Sales Dude’

MRB hired a full-time ‘Sales Dude’

(and yes, he wears orange)

Leon Thompson joined us in the smokehouse to discuss the current and new happenings at MRB.

He later sat down with our newest member Corey Williams to talk about his new role with us as our full time “sales dude”

See Press Release below!

Mill River Brewing in St. Albans hires full-time ‘Sales Dude’ (and he wears orange)

ST. ALBANS, Vt. –– Citing business growth and big summer plans, Mill River Brewing BBQ & Smokehouse in St. Albans, Vt., has hired a Franklin County (Vt.) native and former Ben & Jerry’s leader to play a key role in its fast-growing operation.

Corey “Corbob” Williams started his position as Mill River Brewing’s (MRB) official, full-time “Sales Dude” on June 1. 

“I am the Sales Dude,” said Williams, 44, while seated in MRB’s biergarten, donning the bright orange shirt with the MRB logo that he proudly wears to sales calls and MRB events.

Williams’ last day at the Ben & Jerry’s St. Albans plant was May 31. A Highgate, Vt., native, Williams started his 21-year career at Ben & Jerry’s as a temporary employee in St. Albans, shortly after he graduated from Johnson State College in 1998 with a degree in anthropology. He ended his Ben & Jerry’s career as a manufacturing coordinator and was on the Ben & Jerry’s Foundation’s Grant-Making Committee for six years.

At Ben & Jerry’s, Williams worked with David Fitzgerald, MRB co-owner, who has been at Ben & Jerry’s for 27 years. Fitzgerald said he watched Williams “care a lot about” Ben & Jerry’s. Fitzgerald knew Williams could bring that same energy to MRB. Williams shares the same core values that are in MRB’s mission statement: family, Vermont and business/environmental impact.

MRB opened in July 2017 with less than a handful of in-house brews on tap. Today, MRB offers 10 in-house brews and distributes four beers to dozens of stores from Hinesburg to North Hero. (These are all of the stores that carry MRB beer: MRB is also a full-service restaurant that features local food. MRB grows its own veggies and herbs at its Beauregard Drive location, just off Lake Road. Fitzgerald’s wife, Joyce, is general manager.

“When we think about Mill River Brewing’s core values, Corbob is the perfect fit,” David Fitzgerald said. “Corbob’s values are our values, and that includes taking care of people. It’s not all about making money, and Corbob knows that.”
Williams wants to help MRB grow further by deploying several business philosophies he has adopted during his career, including: sustainability, and lowering MRB’s carbon footprint; treating employees well; and enhancing MRB’s social mission with more on- and off-site events. Williams, Fitzgerald and the whole crew at MRB are excited to make a big announcement, which will include a new brew and label, shortly before the Burlington Brew Fest in July.

“My main goal is to help the business grow and make it profitable, so that we can do all of the great, community-oriented things that we want to do,” Williams said. “Everything takes time and money, and we have the time. Now, we’re working on the other part.”

Williams’ passions are “great beer; awesome food; wonderful music; family, friends, and fun.” He has his own bumper sticker — “Friends of Corbob” — and is a lifelong lover of live music. He is a staunch supporter of Vermont musicians and is a frequent fixture at festivals, theaters and clubs. Higher Ground is his second home, and he literally loves New Orleans. He estimates he has seen 3,000 shows. He lives in St. Albans with his “partner in crime,” Candi Halme, an IT specialist for the State of Vermont.

And how does Corbob feel about taking the leap from Ben & Jerry’s to MRB? “It’s good. It’s nice to be outside a building for a large part of the day. It’s been beautiful, driving the gorgeous landscape of Vermont to help a great Vermont brewery grow.” He laughed and added: “But I might not be saying that this winter!”

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Madison Lamothe