Cody joined us this summer to help round out our HR (or People Operations) department, and from day one, he jumped in to help across different departments, including helping put together the shop shed in the Brewtanical Garden!
He’s been an invaluable member of our team ever since, and we’re so grateful to have such a positive, personable, and upbeat crew member on the team!
Meet People Operations Coordinator Cody Danks!
Cody is from the Lancaster, PA area, where he was born and raised. Nestled by the Susquehanna River and near the borders of Maryland and Delaware, it boasts as one of the oldest inland cities in the country.
He went to Columbia High School, in nearby Columbia, PA.
“I had a good time in high school, but I don’t feel like I peaked in high school,” he says. “I had a lot of really good friends. It was a small school; my graduating class was like 70 people or something crazy. Everyone knew everyone. It was a very close-knit community, not unlike Cape May.”
“I feel like I was more outgoing in high school than I am now,” he says.
(Ed. note: MORE outgoing?? Cody is one of our friendliest team members!)
“I ran cross country and track in high school. I was not that great at it, but I had fun. I was also a student government nerd, and was a big part of our student council organization,” he says.
(Ed. note: Honestly, we can totally see that.)
“My senior year, we did a ton of pageants and charity events. One of them was the Spring King contest. It was a bunch of guys in the senior class who got on stage and did a bunch of random things,” he says.
(Ed. note: Cue an anecdote that we’ve been sworn to secrecy about. If you want to find out, you’ll have to ask him yourself!)
“It was really fun. It was a good experience. If I’d gone to a high school with a thousand people, I definitely would not have had the courage to do something like that,” he says. “The fact that it was so small made it more comfortable.”
Unlike the ever-present online generation of today, Cody is grateful that he went to high school in the years before TikTok, Instagram, and other rampant social media.
“I’m so glad there are no recordings of that anywhere,” he says with a laugh.
After high school, Cody attended community college for his associate’s degree before attending Millersville University for his bachelor’s, where he majored in Business Administration.
Now, he’s at The George Washington University for his master’s in Human Resource Management.
“It’s a little tough, I gotta be honest. It’s hard to get back into the swing of things. Since we just bought a house, that’s really where my mind is right now. It’s tough to separate work and then school and then also the home stuff I’m trying to get done,” he says.
(Ed. note: If there’s anyone who can juggle a lot on his plate, though, it’s definitely Cody.)
Lifelong Cape May resident Carly Rallo (our very own Key Account Manager Richie Rallo’s sister!) was Cody’s realtor, who suggested that they check out a house despite its subpar pictures.
“We saw the pictures online and were kind of meh about it. She convinced us to go look at it, and thank god she did, because the pictures were awful compared to what it actually looks like,” Cody shares. “Now it’s home!”
“It was the second house we looked at, and we pretty much knew after the first walkthrough that we wanted it,” he says. “Thankfully it all worked out. It was really lucky.”
“They did renovate the majority of the house before we bought it,” he says. “So now it’s kind of like giving it the Cody touch to make it feel like home.”
“There’s always things going through my head about how I can improve it or make it better, or more home-y,” he says.
Right now, Cody’s bright yellow kitchen wall is covered in paint swatches, but even after giving it a couple days, the colors are all starting to look the same.
As for his two online classes, he’s also really enjoying being able to discuss best practices with his fellow classmates and learn new HR aspects that he can apply on the job!
Before joining our team, Cody worked in the restaurant industry and in insurance.
“I spent the majority of my career working in restaurants, so I served and bartended for most of my undergrad. Once I graduated, I was managing a restaurant for a while before I made the switch to insurance,” he says.
“I really just got tired of working until like 4AM every Saturday,” he says with a laugh. “That was what prompted me.”
“I think that experience managing the restaurant paid off well for this position, because I was doing all the interviewing, hiring, and recruiting. Now, when the Tasting Room needs people, I can look at a resume and figure out what is going to translate well,” he says. “If I hadn’t had that experience, I don’t know if it would be as easy for me to put the dots together.”
“My time doing that was what made me realize that HR is what I actually like doing,” he says. “The days that I would have interviews or new people joining us are the ones I would be the most excited for and look forward to.”
“Working in insurance has also really paid off. I got to hone my negotiation skills,” he says.
“I actually work a lot with our worker’s comp insurance, so understanding the other side of it has been super helpful for me now,” he says.
“All of my experiences somehow merged together and worked out really well,” he says. “I feel like I was meant to be here."
“I was working remotely during COVID when the pandemic started, so I came to my boyfriend’s parents’ beach house in Avalon because if you’re going to be working remotely, why not be at the beach?” he says.
(Ed. note: Living the dream!)
“I honestly just fell in love with the area and didn’t want to leave,” he says. “About the same time, I decided that I wanted to go back to grad school to get my master’s, and my goal was to pivot my career to do a job that was more closely aligned with the school program I was looking for.”
One day, Cody stumbled across our posting for a People Operations Coordinator.
“I checked it out, and it was game over from there,” Cody says with a smile.
“I came to the brewery for the first time and I pretty instantly fell in love with it. I realized that it was everything and more that I was hoping it would be,” he says.
“I had Crushin’ It as my first CMBC beer,” he shares. “It pretty much sealed my fate. I knew it was something that I wanted to do, so here I am, and I’m a Cape May resident now.”
“You can’t go wrong with Crushin’ It, and the 8% is great too,” he says.
“It was so overwhelming coming to the brewery for the first time and looking at the printed menu of all the options,” he says. “That was a big moment for me. That helped cement the idea that we’re really doing something here. We’re not just a small-scale brewery trying to figure it out.”
Cody has already experienced the excitement people have when they see the Cape May logo, too.
“It’s really cool to see that we have that community connection and people have a good experience. They get excited when they see that,” he says. “Especially at 7:30 in the morning at Starbucks when people haven’t had coffee yet and they’re already getting excited. That’s how you know that we’re doing something right.”
He’s also loved getting to know more about his new home.
“I’ve really loved exploring Cape May and seeing some of the staples of the area. The Washington Street Mall is awesome. It’s such a cool little mini town of shops and environment,” he says.
At home, Cody has two dogs and he loves spending time with them.
“Nothing beats just sitting down and watching a good movie or TV show and zoning out. I love a good rainy day on the couch to veg out,” he says.
“I’m a huge Marvel Universe fan, like most of the world is now, thankfully,” he says with a smile. “I also really love horror movies. I grew up watching them, so that’s always my go-to if I’m not sure what to watch.”
“I am a sucker for trashy reality TV, too. If you put a Housewives show on, I will inevitably get sucked in without consciously wanting to,” he admits.
“I love The Office and What We Do in the Shadows, the TV show based on the movie. It’s so funny,” he says. “It’s the most off-the-wall, hilarious thing. I love Schitt’s Creek, too. You cannot go wrong with that.”
As for horror movies, Cody recommends The Ritual, the movie he used to convince his boyfriend, Nathan, to watch more horror.
“That kind of movie is, to me, the perfect horror movie. It was so unexpected, and you go into the movie thinking that it’s going to be something and then at the end, you’re like, wait, all of this just happened? Hereditary is that way too,” he says.
“With horror movies, I’ve already been scared in certain ways 20 times, so I’m always looking for a new way to be scared. I like watching how scares evolve,” he says.
“There are so many different paths of darkness you can take,” he says.
After a beat, Cody smiles. “That sounds so spooky!”
Cody and Nathan have been together for three years, the majority of which has been through the pandemic.
“Honestly, all the weird shit that has been thrown at us has just made our relationship stronger,” he says. “We’re such a good partnership; I love that the most.”
As for some of his other favorite beers that he’s had so far during his time with us, Cody has loved trying our summer seasonals and limited releases.
“One of my sleeper favorites that I was not expecting to like is Tan Limes,” he says. “I’m a huge, huge Tan Limes fan now.”
“I’ve had Corona and Modelo before and I felt pretty neutral about it, and then I had Tan Limes and was like, OH! This is what it’s supposed to taste like! Now I get it,” he says.
“There’s no comparison and it’s wild,” he says.
“I’m telling you guys, it is well worth venturing out for the Tan Limes; you won’t be disappointed,” he says with a laugh.
“I tried the Cotton Candy for the first time recently, too, and I was pleasantly surprised. I think I like it better than the Red Gummy Fish, and I really thought I was going to be a Gummy Fish guy,” he admits.
“Our beers are so flavorful, and you can taste the passion that’s in there,” he says. “There’s nothing I’ve had that’s comparable to the way that our beers taste.”
“They speak for themselves,” he says with a huge smile. “I don’t have to brag about them.”
The next time you see Cody around campus, or at the Tasting Room, make sure that you say hi to this awesome member of our admin team!