Get to know Clark Schifani, VP of Sales, Old Dominick and Greater Memphis chamber 2019 Young Memphis Honoree.
What event or accomplishment has been the most impactful for your career so far?
Chris Pratt and Robert Dean of West Tennessee Crown giving me a chance to break into the hyper-competitive wine and spirits industry right out of college was a huge life event that set the tone for my career path early on. That opportunity opened up a lot of doors for me professionally. Quite honestly, I was under qualified but eager to learn the industry and passionate about the products I was selling. In true Memphis fashion, a connection through my high school alumni association (CBHS) was one of the only reasons I believe I was able to secure an interview in the first place. When you stay involved in your community it can pay off when you least expect it. I tell people all the time to never stop developing your network, it can be a true asset in your professional life.
What motivates you to be active in your community or profession?
Creating and building connections with my city and it’s people is the driving force behind why I stay active in my community and profession. I am always looking to make connections with Memphians of all walks of life, whether it is in a professional setting or while serving the community.
What does “being a young professional in Memphis” mean to you?
It means constantly striving to leave a mark on the city of Memphis and hopefully making it better with every endeavor I’m involved in, whether small or large. While traveling across the United States, I have had the opportunity to sell not only Old Dominick Distillery’s portfolio of products, but also Memphis. I take great pride in changing the preconceived notions about Memphis, Tennessee. We Memphians have chips on our shoulders at times but that’s what drives the city and its people to change for the better.
What do you like about living in Memphis?
Wherever they are pouring Old Dominick Spirits- In all seriousness, Memphis has a culture unique to only Memphis. The local business scene is absolutely thriving-- you can find local art on any given corner or building, the music is second to none, and I love our athletic teams. Most of all, I like to check out our food and beverage scene. Being in the industry I am in, I couldn’t be any prouder of the talent we have here in the kitchens, behind bars, and in our service industry. From Russ Graham and Tom Powers running world class restaurants, to the talented Felicia Suzanne, Kelly English, Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman, elevating the culinary game, our dining experiences are top notch. Also, talents like Jacob Leonard, Mary Oglsvey, Daniel Masters and David Hacking creating cutting edge cocktail programs city wide. Because of these talented folks behind the scenes we are finally getting the notoriety we deserve.
What advice do you have for new young professionals interested in starting or building their career in Memphis?
You get back what you put in here in Memphis. So, get in the mix early and often! It will pay off in your professional life and better your community life for years to come. Get out there and learn your city-- learn the people, the culture, and the history and decide what is that you want to contribute to this wonderful place. Reach out to other young professionals or seasoned professionals alike and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Memphians genuinely enjoy helping others and bettering our community.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Expanding the Old Dominick brand to a national stage that shines a positive light on the great things happening in Memphis, Tennessee.
What’s your favorite thing about being a young professional in Memphis?
My favorite thing about being a young professional in Memphis is the opportunity to grow in my profession as the city grows. There is no shortage of opportunities around the city, enough to keep me busy for many years. Memphis respects the hustle, so go hustle.
Interested in getting plugged in? Learn more about the Chamber's Soundcheck Young Professionals Council here.