02 Apr Qorkz Wine CEO Jill Hoffman
Jill Hoffman is the CEO of Qorkz Wine – a renowned company that generates sales and positive revenues in five different states and inspires every new entrepreneur who wants to step into the winemaking industry. Apart from this, she is also an attorney at law who practiced law around the globe with the Naval Reserve JAG. Hoffman’s journey from her time at UMKC School of Law to her service in the Naval Reserve JAG and ultimately finding interest in the wine industry is quite inspiring.
Time at UMKC School of Law
After spending two years of college in a small town, Hoffman returned to Kansas City and got admission in UMKC School of Law. The main reason behind her choosing UMKC was that she knew that it would allow her to create contacts during her time in law school as well as provide greater opportunities for summer clerkships. Her decision to stay at UMKC School of Law turned out to be great in the end.
Practicing Law with the Naval Reserve JAG
Hoffman was always interested in practicing law, particularly criminal law. The main reason she joined the Naval Reserve JAG was that she knew that it would present opportunities for her to use her Missouri Bar license to travel the world and practice criminal litigation anywhere. However, getting acceptance wasn’t easy but she came through. After taking and passing the Missouri Bar, she reported for active duty. Her three active duty tours include Naval Legal Service Office, Treasure Island (2 years), Naval Support Activity, Naples (2 years), and Naval Legal Service Office West, San Francisco. After leaving active duty, Hoffman has been in the Reserves.
Introduction to Wine Industry
Hoffman became interested in the wine industry in early 1990s during her tour in Naples, Italy. In addition to being an attorney at law practicing all over the Middle East and Europe, she tasted a lot of quality locally produced wine.
As a wine enthusiast, Hoffman started exploring the California offerings after returning to San Francisco. As a lawyer, she became fascinated by the regulatory challenges of new wineries and winemakers. At that time, the ecommerce was gaining popularity which presented great opportunities for winemakers to use it as a sales channel for boosting their sales and improving relationships with customers.
Hoffman started outreaching to the community of small wineries and winemakers and the idea for Qorkz Wine as an ecommerce platform to help limited production wineries connect with savvy wine connoisseurs evolved from there. She left the law firm to start Qorkz Wine in 2014. During the first two years into Qorkz Wine, Hoffman embraced three key lessons i.e. adding value and eliminating barriers, telling stories to make connections, and embracing the risks. In the end, her efforts bore fruit. Today, Qorkz Wine is a brand that inspires aspiring winemakers and wineries looking to enter the wine industry and its CEO, the wine enthusiast/attorney at law still practices with Naval Reserve JAG and makes time for serving on the Sausalito City Council, sailing on San Francisco Bay, and skiing at Lake Tahoe.