StateWays - March/April 2017

StateWays is the only magazine exclusively covering the control state system within the beverage alcohol industry, with annual updates from liquor control commissions and alcohol control boards and yearly fiscal reporting from control jurisdictions

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9 BRINGING A BUSINESS APPROACH TO THE INDUSTRY A Montgomery County resident for more than 35 years, Dorfman thinks his new role with the DLC is the next logical step in a very successful career in business. Most recently, Dorfman was a partner and franchisee managing two World of Beer locations in Virginia, which he sold in order to assume his current role with the DLC. Prior to that, he was President of TrustHouse Services Group, a contract food services company. Dorfman also owned and operated 35 Five Guys Burgers and Fries locations across Florida, Ohio and Texas. Dorfman has corporate experience in the hos- pitality industry. He spent 15 years with Marriott International, initially starting as Vice President of Global Purchasing and ultimately running all of the company's contract food services (including his role as President of Host International, the world's largest operator of food, beverage and retail duty-free shops in airports, toll roads, stadiums and arenas). A grad- uate of Rutgers University, Dorfman also holds an MBA from St. John's University. "My experience in the private sector gave me a good perspective on working with large and small businesses, and also with various government orga- nizations at local, state and national levels," Dorfman says. "At this point I've done all I expect to do in the business world, and this role at the DLC is a great fi t at this point in my career." Dorfman's diverse background will provide a fresh point of view for the uniquely positioned DLC at a time when the need for change is apparent, as in- creased calls for privatization have risen from vari- ous constituents in recent years. However, Dorfman stresses that he has no intentions of moving in that direction. He wants to signifi cantly improve things where he can to help the organization become more effi cient and service-oriented. His overall intent is to reposition, rebrand and restructure the DLC. "Marriott is one of the best companies in the world in terms of customer service, and that is some- thing that is now deeply ingrained in me," he says. "It's going to be the focus of everything we will be doing here at the DLC from now on." PUTTING CUSTOMER SERVICE AT THE FOREFRONT Montgomery County is one of few counties in the nation that controls all liquor sales. The DLC em- ploys approximately 40 staff members in its central offi ce location, and a total of 500 employees (300 full- time and 200 part-time) overall. Currently, the agency owns 26 of its own stores, with an additional store set to open later this year. There are also 160 Class A off-premise beer and wine stores, as well as 130 Class D on-off premise beer and wine stores (which are privately licensed) in the county. An additional 800 C ritics abound in the world of alcohol regulation, and it's not uncommon for control agencies to face opposition. In recent years, Maryland's Mont- gomery County Department of Liquor Control (DLC) has faced such crit- icism from opponents, who regularly call for privatization. However, the arrival of new DLC Director Robert Dorfman in January 2017 signals a shift in agency operations. Dorfman has been very vocal about his intention to reevaluate the agency's priorities, and his background in the private sector suggests that county executives support the idea of taking the department in a very new direction. "I'm in this for the long haul," Dorfman says. "And when I eventually leave, I hope I can look back and see that I've made the county stronger." "I'M IN THIS FOR THE LONG HAUL. AND WHEN I EVENTUALLY LEAVE, I HOPE I CAN LOOK BACK AND SEE THAT I'VE MADE THE COUNTY STRONGER." —Robert Dorfman, DLC Director

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