Patrick Baker, a seasoned wine industry executive working in sales, business development, marketing, finance, viticulture and winemaking joins VECKTA as Director of Business Development. His focus in the Food & Beverage (F&B) realm stems from his 20 years of industry experience, starting as a winegrape grower in Sonoma CA.
He moved his family to Sonoma while exiting a long-term prior career in corporate America finance, and revving up an interest in wine, winemaking and the ‘business of wine’ as a new grape grower. Luck would have it that he sold a majority of his grapes to a boutique winery and rockstar winemaker – Betsy Spann, who agreed to teach him winemaking in exchange for a break on grape price.
Director of Business Development
Patrick parleyed his budding winemaking skills, grape growing knowledge and prior business acumen to secure a position at a new (then) custom crush winemaking facility that was taking shape in Carneros, running it as GM for three harvest seasons. He went on to lead other California wineries, spearheaded the majority market wine operations software Vintrace, taught wine business at Sonoma State University and led sales of innovative sustainable agriculture equipment across the US & Canada.
“It’s like a sci-fi movie scene – the unforgettable eerie phenomenon when the whole winery ‘hum’ suddenly stops due to a public-safety-power-shutdown (PSPS). After enduring more frequent PSPS’s and other business impacting power shut downs in PG&E territory, I started to delve deep into the energy sector and specifically distributed energy resources and microgrids, landing on VECKTA as a pathway to navigate resiliency during PSPS’s and also to mitigate quickly changing energy rate increases and business uncertainty.“, said Baker.
Baker’s passion for changing energy norms grew from college environmental studies and early exposure to a burgeoning solar PV market that was just gaining traction as an ‘alternative’ energy supply in US commercial & industrial (C&I) applications. His exposure to early solar underpins his personal maxim of adding “dash currently” as a suffix to established industry norms and operations, e.g. Natural gas powered ‘combined heat and power’ systems are the most cost effective for C&I applications – currently, or batteries and charging are insufficient to replace internal combustion or commercial trucking – currently, etc.
“I’ve always benefited from keeping an open mind, willing ear, and hunger to learn new things across industries, even if on the surface they don’t meld. Often times, it’s amazing what happens when you can apply cross-industry knowledge and exposure to new problems and challenges. It’s what drives me.“, said Baker
In his new role at VECKTA Baker brings unique and diverse business and F&B operational insight, having managed across siloed teams, instituting real change management and pursuing revenue in every effort to earnestly benefit his colleagues in those industries.
“We’re incredibly excited to welcome Patrick to the team. His passion for accelerating the Food & Beverage, and namely Wine, industry’s energy transition is inspiring. Gaining energy sovereignty, whether to control costs, carbon emissions or outages is critical for all businesses and even more so for our food supply chain. His industry expertise, deep operational knowledge, and focus on placing the Winery owners in control is the perfect fit here at VECKTA” says Dan Roberts, VECKTA’s Head of Sales.