' Hunt McKay - Karen Hunt

Karen Hunt, Partner

At the age of 6, Karen Hunt discovered her selling passion with her lunch money, a few Tootsie Roll Pops and willing customers in her classmates from elementary school.

Karen wanted a pair of red lace up Buster Brown shoes to better fit in with her first grade classmates, but felt badly asking her Dad for new shoes when she saw that he had a hole in the sole of his shoe where he put a dry piece of cardboard every morning.  So she used her $0.25 lunch money to buy 12 Tootsie Pops, each costing 2 cents plus 1 cent for tax. She sold them to her classmates for a nickel.  The next day, she took the $0.60 from the previous day’s sales plus her $0.25 lunch money and bought more Tootsie Pops, again buying them for 2 cents and selling them for a nickel.  She continued this with her lunch money and her profits, day after day.

Within days she had  worked her way into taking orders for specific candy that would fill special requests from the children at school.  Although she was called to the principal’s office three times and asked to stop selling her lollipops on school property, Karen continued the Tootsie Pop caper until she had $60 – and then a new pair of shoes for her Dad and the red lace up Buster Brown’s for herself.  This focused persistence is the defining characteristic of Karen’s career in sales management.

Selling has been the cornerstone of Karen’s more than twenty year career.  Since graduating from college in her hometown of Charleston, South Carolina, Karen has traveled across the U.S. and Europe selling everything from M&M’s and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, to coffee.  Following her passion, Karen moved to the Napa Valley in 2000, without a job in the wine industry but determined to find one so she could work and live her dream.

Karen has worked over ten years in the wine industry, as Vice President of Sales for both Charles Krug and Francis Coppola Winery and now as President of DAOU Vineyards and Winery.  She has not only solidified her love for wine, the wine business and the Napa lifestyle, but her broad sales responsibilities have allowed her to develop relationships across all channels of the business across the world.  She spends most of her time in the marketplace, with customers, seems to know everyone and continues to form new relationships daily.  As a founding partner in Hunt McKay, Karen looks forward to talking with customers, hearing their stories and in return, sharing the plans for building Hunt McKay – one bottle and one customer at a time.