For this installment of the Deutsche blog, we sat down with our very own General Manager, Ms. Marlowe Parker.
What’s your professional background?
I started my career in Public Accounting. I believed, at the time, that it was the best mesh of business and accounting. I started at a local firm in Charlotte and focused on providing customers the business side of taxes and accounting. I did my first controllership at an energy company here, in the area. At my second controllership position, I was promoted to international. It was after that experience that I found Deutsche.
Were you always passionate about beer?
My beer enthusiasm has increased significantly since working at Deutsche, but I’ve always been a beer lover. Stouts and sours are, hands-down, my two favorites, but lagers are great year-round.
Were you with Deutsche from the start?
I wasn’t one of the ‘OGs’ of Deutsche, as we say. I started here in 2017 and was among… maybe the first 20 employees. I was their first traditional controller.
How & why did Deutsche Beverage form?
Deutsche was formed in the original owners’ living room. They really wanted to take it to the next level. The wife, Sheila, was doing analytics work for another company. She combined her knowledge and experience with the solid foundation her husband had built and formed Deutsche.
It’s obvious that the people working for you and with you are very happy in their positions. Why do you think that is?
Management style always matters, but there is also a very personal level of relationship here. They know that I will listen to their comments, concerns, and ideas, but they also realize that the ultimate decisions that I make are made for a higher purpose. There is trust and understanding here, which is what makes Deutsche so special.
What does Deutsche do differently than its competitors?
I am a HUGE advocate of the ‘Deutsche Difference’. It runs throughout the business. Yes, we can provide the stainless-steel equipment. But, more than that, we really take the time to listen to our clients. We aim to provide customization, automation, and a true turn-key solution every time. As we like to say, “if someone says you can’t do it, we respond ‘hold my beer and watch me.’” We really want to be that hands-on with our customers because we really care about their success.
Beer or Seltzer?
Coffee or Tea?
Both. It really depends on the quality of the drink, but I honestly like both.
What keeps you so driven?
Fear of failure. That has kept me driven for a very long time. I personally hold myself to very high standards. I always expect more out of myself. I am an honest believer in the statement, “when you stop learning, you die.” So, when I reach a goal, I’m always looking forward to what comes next.
What’s still on your bucket list?
Professionally, growing Deutsche. I feel like we’ve only scratched the surface. We’ve been in business for over ten years, but when looking at the true life cycle of a company, that’s not really very long. I feel like we are, just now, hitting our stride. We have a phenomenal team now, and I want to continue to grow that. And, growing internationally, as well. We are on seven continents now, but there is a lot more territory to cover.
Personally… there are some travel spots that I would love to hit! My mom and I were able to go to Europe after I graduated high school and before I started college. We visited some of the popular cities, like Berlin and Paris, and I have such wonderful memories of that time. We’ve never been to Italy, though, and I think that would be an amazing trip… I would probably gain 25 pounds on that trip, but it’d be well worth it! I’d also love to go to the south of France—Nice, Monaco. A dream vacation, of course, would be to rent a boat and travel the coast from Monaco to Italy, and even the Maltese islands. The most feasible, and closest travel plans are just to explore the Caribbean more, and even mainland US. There is a lot to be seen right here.
What is your favorite customer-related story?
This is hilarious! Matt, Fred, and I were contemplating marketing strategies, when Fred got a call from a customer, Johnny. I hear Jonny ask Fred, “what’s your swimsuit size?” Fred answered and hung up. The next brew day, Jonny comes in with NoFo-branded swim trunks for Fred. THAT is the level of customer relationships we have! We had a great laugh, but we really pride ourselves on relationships like that one.
If your 12-year-old self could see you now, what would she think?
I imagine she’d ask, “what’s next, Marlowe?” A friend recently posted a picture of me, at twelve-ish, on Facebook, and it was such an odd thing to remember what it was like to be that young. So much has changed for me in more than twenty years, but the dreams are still there. That fire was always in me but, as they say, “with age comes wisdom.” I feel like I’ve learned better when to use the fire.
What advice would you give 12-year-old girls today?
You can do ANYTHING you put your mind to. Don’t take no for an answer. Don’t let your gender hinder you. Just keep working. You can do it!
If you could have dinner with any three people (dead or alive), who would they be and why?
Coco Chanel, because she is such an inspiration. She started her life in an orphanage and managed to grow an empire. Her legacy continues to be carried on. That is so powerful!
It’d be amazing to have dinner with Oprah. Her energy and vibe, and authenticity are so engaging.
Last, Grace Kelly, because she was beautiful throughout her life in so many ways. She maintained her poise always, even when life threw difficult challenges at her.
“You don’t get anything for nothing. Everything has to be earned, through work, persistence, and honesty.
I’m basically a feminist. I think that women can do anything they decide to do.”
What question didn’t we ask that we should have?
“What’s next for Deutsche?” We’re trying to make more of a footprint in our market because we can. We’re good at this. And, also, building a single platform that encompasses everything we can do in beverage and extraction; coffee and tea… Deutsche is not just brewing equipment. We’re really good at that, but we are so much more.