Mary Kay DeBenedetti is the president and owner of F.H. Steinbart Co., a Portland-based brewing supply store that she has led for more than 20 years. A family-owned business for over a century, F.H. Steinbart Co. was started by her grandfather, a German immigrant, as a supplier of alcoholic beverages and altar wine. Throughout its decades of operation, the company has passed through multiple generations of family owners and diversified its offerings to become one of the country’s premier resources for homebrewing supplies and education. Ms. DeBenedetti initially entered the business with her husband, an accountant, and helped manage financial functions, including accounts payable and receivable. Recently, Ms. DeBenedetti continued the company’s family legacy by bringing her sons and sons-in-law, including an accountant and an operations manager, into the fold to help streamline daily operations.
As owner and president of F.H. Steinbart Co., Ms. DeBenedetti is proud to have helped continue the company’s legacy of quality and commitment to customer service. She credits her long-term success to the relationships that she has built with clients across the country, including influential microbreweries and craft beer distributors. In addition to providing supplies to many major players in the craft beer industry, the company has developed a reputation as an incubator for new talent in the brewing and distilling fields, and many employees have gone on to launch successful companies in their own right. Ms. DeBenedetti considers her employees to be a part of the company family, and has emphasized supporting them and contributing to an environment of growth and mutual respect throughout her time as a company leader.
Prior to assuming control of her company, Ms. DeBenedetti found success in several fields, including business ownership and development. She is a pediatric nurse and enjoyed a 17-year career in clinical education and care that included roles in patient education, nonprofit entities and high-need clinical settings. She recalls one of her favorite nursing positions was working with a company that specialized in offering monitoring and care services to infants at high risk for SIDS and their families. Among other responsibilities, Ms. DeBenedetti’s job involved teaching families to perform CPR and other emergency interventions.
A parent to five children, Ms. DeBenedetti was passionate about working with families and infants and considered it an honor to support families during a vulnerable time in their children’s lives as well as to empower them with the skills and education they needed to ensure positive outcomes. At the time, the causes of SIDS were not yet readily understood, and Ms. DeBenedetti enjoyed the opportunity to help families feel secure and provide them agency in care and parenting decisions. Outside her work in medicine, Ms. DeBenedetti has held a variety of positions, including working in live events and teaching fine and performing arts skills to the community.
A graduate of the University of Portland, Ms. DeBenedetti holds a bachelor’s degree and has remained dedicated to a lifelong learning ethos through the pursuit of additional skills and credentials. She is a founder of the Vancouver Lake Sailing Club, and would later become the club’s first female commodore, and enjoys spending time outside in various pursuits. Since 1997, Ms. DeBenedetti has been a member of the Urban Tour Group, a community-based nonprofit offering youth city tours of the Portland area with a focus on developing interconnectedness, civic pride, and a strong sense of the area’s history and culture. In her free time, Ms. DeBenedetti teaches painting, including tole painting, and belly dancing, and enjoys spending time with her adult children.