Quality Assurance Manager

Virginia Dare Winery's picture
Job Description: 
The Quality Assurance Manager is responsible for establishing, maintaining and implementing a Quality Management System that ensures the highest quality of all products produced. The QA Manager is a “hands-on” role that also leads a small team of Bottling QA Technicians based at the Francis Coppola and Virginia Dare Wineries and ensures the same standards, policies and procedures are applied for all production line quality management processes. Bottling and canning production lines are located onsite in Geyserville, but production operations may also extend to contracted offsite co-packer locations. Production line products include but are not limited to Wine, Spirits & Cider. The QA Manager works closely with Purchasing, Bottling, Warehouse, Winemaking, and Cellar Teams. As a leader in this company, this position leads by example with a positive attitude, strong work ethic, good communication skills and inspires all that surround them.
Reasonable Accommodations Statement:
To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. Reasonable Accommodations may be made to enable qualified individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
Safety Statement
All employees shall follow safe practices according to the injury and illness Prevention Policy (IIPP), render every possible aid to safe operations, and report all unsafe conditions or practices immediately to any management employee or Human Resources.
Supervisors and Leads are fundamentally responsible for ensuring safety in their own departments and to uphold the following safety standards:
  • Demonstrate a positive attitude toward safety.
  • Ensure work is performed in a safe manner and all safety rules, regulations and instructions are in compliance.
  • Report and investigate workplace injuries in a timely manner; identifies ways to eliminate risk of reoccurrence; complete audits; conduct monthly safety meetings and trainings; maintain compliance with hazardous materials program; inform/train new employees on specific safety aspects and procedures with the department and location; participate in monthly management safety meetings.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
    1. Quality Management System: (75%)
  • Ensure that both winery’s Quality Management System conform to customer, internal, and regulatory/legal requirements.
  • Manage and perform monitoring, measurement, inspections, audits and review of production line processes and products, to ensure all products that reach the consumer are of the highest quality and confirm they consistently meet and pass set quality standards.
  • Devise and establish quality procedures, standards, controls and specifications in conjunction with others in the operations team.
  • Work with customers, employees, contractors, and outsourcing firms to develop production quality standards.
  • Monitors performance by gathering and maintaining relevant quality assurance data, analyze and produce reports which may reference statistical analysis.
  • Report daily, weekly, monthly to Production management on quality performance based on the QMS standards (e.g., results of quality audits, corrective actions), including the need for improvement and recommended action items.
  • Oversee inspection (examination) and quality testing of incoming packaging components/ materials such as glass, closures, labels and capsules ensuring that they meet correct specifications and established standards. Includes pre-acceptance testing.
  • Assist purchasing department with trials for product improvement and development of new packages.
  • Works with purchasing staff to establish quality requirements from external suppliers
  • Work with Purchasing department in the evaluation of, and reporting on the performance of vendor’s materials quality and quality management systems.
  • Keeps up to date with materials lead times and changes, availability, location & production schedules and ensures prompt communication of materials quality issues that may affect Production schedules.
  • Follow products through entirety of each process to ensure each step is completed correctly.
  • Performs and manages accurate recording of lab results into bottling reports & record keeping for Legal compliance.
  • Performs and evaluates microbiological plating of bottled product and record keeping of results
  • Issues Product Holds, non-conformance, non-performance notices, maintains logs and moves each to resolution and upon approval, timely release of holds. Conducts and co-ordinates bottled product inspections on “hold” lots.
  • Assists in Product Recall and Traceability exercises.
  • Point person for Consumer Complaint logs, analysis and reporting process. Other departments involved are Legal, Purchasing, Customer Service, Wine Family, and Tasting Room.
  • Assist bottling manager/ team leaders with performance of packaging supplies to understand from a technical stand point the behavior of materials and equipment.
  • Collaborate with management, line production staff and Winemaking Lab Team to achieve most efficient and accurate quality assessments.
  • Responsible for accurate and timely maintenance, calibration and troubleshooting of QA laboratory monitoring and measuring instruments.
  • Maintains a tidy, sanitary and organized QA Lab environment. Contributes to the general housekeeping of the laboratory.
   1. Personnel Management & Leadership: (15%)
  • Provides Management, leadership, supervision and guidance to the Quality Assurance team concurrent with the company values.
  • Since VDW rotates their Lab Techs into QA, the VDW Lab Manager will give the QA Manager a rotation schedule and whichever tech is working QA for that period, that tech will report to QA Manager during their assigned QA rotation.
  • Performance Management: Provides techs with written performance reviews annually, maintains disciplinary actions when needed, and maintains individual staff goals and objectives.
  • Training & Coaching: Trains all QA Techs in QA Standard Operating Procedures; Train Production line staff in basic quality assessment.
  • Personnel Development: Research & provide opportunities to ensure all in the QA team are empowered to increase skill and knowledge needed to keep up on standards, regulations/laws, issues, and news with respect to product quality. This should include continuing education outside of the winery as well as hands on teaching of trade skills.
  • Manage payroll time approvals for QA Techs.
  • Routinely review work in progress to assure that the jobs are being completed in a safe, timely, and professional manner.
  1.  Financial Management: (5%)                                     
  • Initiates spend within approved limits for supplies, maintenance, equipment and services needed to operate the QA Labs
  • Provides spend forecast to Bottling dept budget manager, and maintains spend within approved budgets.
  • Provides Capital expenditure requests.
  1. Other: (5%)
  • Create and implement changes to improve current processes and reduce costs
  • Looking at ways to reduce waste and increase efficiency
  • Making suggestions for changes and improvements and how to implement them
  • Good understanding of The Family Coppola’s employee handbook
  • Good understanding of The Family Coppola’s SOPs and wine & packaging standards
  • Other duties as assigned
Organizational Relationships:
  • Works in conjunction with Procurement and Production Teams, and any other department that influences the quality of the organization’s products.
  • Attend morning meetings with cellar & bottling supervisors and warehouse.
  • Communicate with suppliers and vendors to obtain raw materials and/or equipment.
Job Requirements, Qualifications & Experience:
  • Bachelor’s degree in Science, Engineering or related field preferred
  • 3+ years’ experience in a Food or Beverage quality assurance laboratory
  • 3+ years proven experience successfully managing & leading a diverse team of technicians in a Production environment.
  • Experience with implementation of HACCP, FSMA standards and certification required.
  • Project management experience is a plus.
Knowledge, Skills , & Abilities: 
  • Highly detail-oriented
  • Ability to travel to offsite facilities to oversee production quality, or for packaging evaluation & new product development
  • Must have strong administrative skills and experience with MS-Office (especially Excel, Word) is needed.
  • Excellent organizational, multi-tasking, time management and people skills for working in a dynamic fast paced environment.
  • Must have strong analytical and problem-solving skills.
  • Excellent communication skills, verbal and written. Fluent in English.
  • Ability to contribute to a positive work environment by behaving and communicating in a manner that works well with clients, customers, coworkers and management.
Physical Demands:
N (Not Applicable)-Activity is not applicable to this occupation.
O (Occasionally)-Occupation requires this activity up to 33% of the time (0-2.5+hrs/day)
F (Frequently)-Occupation requires this activity from 33% - 66% of the time (2.5-5.5+ hrs/day)
C(Constantly)-Occupation requires this activity more than 66% of the time (5.5+ hrs/day)
Stand-F , Walk-F, Sit-O, Handling/Fingering-F , Reaching Outward-F, Reaching Above Shoulder-F
Climb-O, Crawl-O, Squat or Kneel-O, Bend-O, Working at the computer-O
10 lbs or Less-F
11 – 20 lbs-F
21 – 50 lbs-O
51 – 100 lbs-O
Over 100 lbs-N
12 lbs or Less-F
13 – 25 lbs-O
26 – 40 lbs-O
41 – 100 lbs-O
Other Physical Requirements
Vision (Near, Distance)
Sense of Sound (i.e. Machinery/tractor sounds)
Sense of Touch
Ability to wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) (Steel toe boots, safety glasses)
Work Environment:
  • Occasionally required to lift 50 pounds.
  • Ability to work varying shifts

Our company is an Equal Opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, national origin, age, sex, religion, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status, gender identity or expression, or any other basis protected by local, state or federal law.

This policy applies with regard to all aspects of one’s employment, including hiring, transfer, promotion, compensation, eligibility for benefits and termination.