After 38 Years at One Company, Jim Beckert Makes Himself Home at Another
Jim Beckert knew he wanted to retire in Williamsburg after a visit to Ford’s Colony nearly 20 years ago.
He and his wife, Nanette, call it home today, though Jim is far from retired. The Ohio native is Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at The Williamsburg Winery.
It’s a position he’s held since a real retirement after 38 years at Verizon Communications. Jim held a variety of roles there, his last, Assistant Treasurer in charge of managing the financial aspects of the company’s $42 billion pension and benefits liability for employees, their dependents, and retirees.
“That’s 700,000 people,” he says.
His affinity for numbers led him to major in finance at the University of Notre Dame, also his father’s alma mater. He later earned an MBA at Loyola University of Chicago.
While he stayed with the same company, Jim crisscrossed the nation to work in its multiple offices in California, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Texas, Illinois, Arizona and New York. The last stop was New Jersey, before they moved into a house they had built that overlooks the 18th fairway on Marsh Hawk.
A causal conversation with a member of The Williamsburg Winery Board of Directors led to his initial meeting with Patrick Duffeler, founder of The Williamsburg Winery. “I interviewed and was offered a job the day after that. Three days later, I was here working,” he says.
Back when Jim worked at Verizon, a break during the day would send him to Starbuck’s. At The Williamsburg Winery, he uses the spare moments to learn from Winemaker Matthew Meyer, Vice President of Direct Wine Sales Kenny Bumbaco and Vice President of Food and Beverage Simon Smith.
Since his March 2019 start date, Jim prioritized understanding every aspect of the wine business, even the tedious details about filter pressures and evaporative loss.
“If I need to explain something to an external auditor, I want to be prepared to do it,” he says.
Jim and Nanette will celebrate 40 years of marriage in 2021. They have four adult children and two grandchildren.
In addition to a renewed interest in golf, Jim enjoys the 2017 Merlot, his favorite among The Williamsburg Winery selections.