Vice President of Sales
Dante Winchester is Baltimore born and bred, and as vice president of sales at Congressional Seafood, he hasn’t strayed too far from the homeland.
An early entrant into the family business, Dante is no stranger to hard work. After graduating high school, he labored long hours in the family excavating business as well as in his family’s other business – a cleaning service. Later, Dante began driving a truck for a local seafood company. From there, he worked his way up to warehouse manager and then broke into the more rewarding sales department.
For 20 years Dante has overseen the seafood procurement process from the cold ocean water to the hot kitchen stove. The last 10 years he has been with Congressional Seafood, which has grown tremendously since adding Dante to its team, with sales doubling during his tenure. Dante credits his success to his willingness to pay his dues and steep himself in every aspect of the seafood business. No part of the fishing industry has escaped Dante’s watchful eye – from the fisherman reeling in his catch to the chef serving his expertly prepared product.
Nowadays, Dante spends his time doing, as he says, “a little bit of everything.” As one of four key players overseeing the day-to-day operations at Congressional, Dante manages a sales staff of 12. Although he still maintains a number of clients whom he deals with on a daily basis, Dante leaves most of the client management and recruitment of new business to the new blood. The restaurant business is never stagnant — new places pop up every day headed by chefs just out of school, and Dante believes the best formula for selling to these young chefs is with a young sales staff. Dante hand-picks the best salesmen, turns them loose in Congressional’s territory, then devotes his time to mapping out and executing his vision of the company’s future.
Although Dante says his job is a seven-day-a-week commitment – talking to chefs, keeping an eye on weather patterns that affect the industry – whenever he gets the chance he can be found spending time with his son and daughter or cheering on his favorite team, the Washington Wizards.