WINE INDUSTRY FINANCIAL SYMPOSIUM

The premier wine industry conference covering financial, business and strategic issues.

2019 Dates Coming Soon!

Napa Valley Marriott

Keynote

Claudia Vecchio

president and CEO

Sonoma County Tourism

Keynote

Lisa Poppen

vice president, marketing & communications

Visit Napa Valley

Keynote

Tom Steffanci

president

Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits

Keynote

Robert Foye

COO & president americas

Treasury Wine Estates

2018 PROGRAM

 

 

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 25

OPENING DAY KEYNOTE: ASSESSING THE FIRE IMPACT ON NORTH COAST WINE ECONOMY

Lisa Poppen, vice president, marketing and communications, Visit Napa Valley

Claudia Vecchio, president & CEO, Sonoma County Tourism

CLICK HERE for Keynote Presentation

WINE TO MARKET 2018

Bill Leigon, president, Jamieson Ranch Vineyards – Moderator

Ken Cassar, vice president, principal Analyst, Slice Intelligence

Jordan Kivelstadt, founder and winemaker, Kivelstadt Cellars; founder, Free Flow Wines

Judd Wallenbrock, president & CEO, C. Mondavi

CLICK HERE for Wine to Market Presentation

CFOS TALKING SHOP: DEALING WITH MAJOR OPERATIONS AND MARKET CONCERNS

Ian Malone, director, Aspect Consumer Partners – Moderator

Robert Fowles, CFO, Opus One

Shannon McLaren, CFO, Huneeus Vintners

Matthew Owings, CFO, Rombauer Vineyards

PRIVATE LABEL 101: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE STARTING A BRAND

Erin Kirschenmann, senior editor, Wine Business Monthly – Moderator

David Schuemann, owner, CF Napa

Steve Fredricks, president, Turrentine Brokerage

Chris Passarelli, partner, Dickenson Peatman & Fogarty

CLICK HERE for Private Label Presentation

MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS: VOLUME OF DEALS ON THE RISE

Kevin O’Brien, senior vice president, Zepponi & Company – Moderator

Hugh Reimers, president, Foley Family Wines

Renato Reyes, chief strategy and growth officer, Deutsch Family Wine and Spirits

Peter Byck, president and CEO, WX Brands

CLICK HERE for Mergers and Acquisitions Presentation

GRAPE AND BULK WINE SUPPLY UPDATE: WHAT IS HAPPENING AND WHERE COULD THE MARKET GO?

Steve Fredricks, president, Turrentine Brokerage

Mike Needham, broker partner, Turrentine Brokerage

CLICK HERE for Grape and Bulk Wine Presentation

TALES OF SUCCESSFUL SUCCESSION PLANNING

Russ Joy, vice president, California operations, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates – Moderator

Christine Wente, fifth generation winegrower, Wente Family Estates

Peter Johnson, Director, Westgate Center for Leadership and Management Development Institute for Family Business, Eberhardt School of Business, University of the Pacific

Peter Mondavi, Jr., co-proprietor, C. Mondavi Family

Cleo Pahlmeyer, president, Pahlmeyer

CLICK HERE for Succession Presentation

WINE BUSINESS LEADERSHIP DINNER

at the WINE INDUSTRY FINANCIAL SYMPOSIUM

CIA, COPIA – TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 25 – 6:00pm

Join CEOs, presidents and other VIPs for the Wine Industry Financial Symposium Leadership Dinner, celebrating those individuals who have made positive differences at their companies and in the wine community. Each year, Wine Business Monthly names their Top Wine Industry Leaders and this dinner will honor a select few who have made the greatest strides in contributing to the wine industry’s collective success.

The evening will begin with an hors d’oeuvres reception followed by a dinner (you must be registered for the Financial Symposium to attend – separate ticket purchase required). Seating is limited and it is anticipated that the dinner will sell out early – add your dinner ticket to your registration today! Transportation will be provided from the Napa Valley Marriott.

The Leadership Dinner is SOLD OUT.

 

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 26

WELCOME AND KICK-OFF

Eric Jorgensen, president and publisher, Wine Business Monthly

KEYNOTE: THE DEUTSCH FAMILY WINE & SPIRITS APPROACH TO ACQUISITIONS

Tom Steffanci, president, Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits

CLICK HERE for Keynote Presentation

THE WINE INDUSTRY FINANCIAL SYMPOSIUM’S ANNUAL EXECUTIVE SURVEY

Ray Johnson, executive director, School of Wine Business Institute, Sonoma State University

Liz Thach, PhD, MW, distinguished professor of wine, Sonoma State University

Tim Persson, chairman, The Hess Collection Winery

Alex Ryan, president, Duckhorn Vineyards

Violet Grgich, president, Grgich Hills Estate Winery

Cindy DeVries, chief operating officer, Fetzer Vineyards

CLICK HERE for Executive Survey Presentation

STRATEGIES, RISKS AND OPPORTUNITIES IN THE PRIVATE LABEL MARKET

Erin Kirschenmann, senior editor, Wine Business Monthly – Moderator

Oliver Colvin, chief operating officer, WX Brands

Phil Hurst, chief innovation officer, Precept Brands

Jim Kopp, director of national accounts, The Thornhill Companies

Mark Lansley, ceo & owner, Broadland Wineries

Curtis Mann, director of alcohol & beverage, Raley’s Family of Fine Stores

TAXES, TARIFFS AND TRADE WARS

Steve Burns, president, Wine Market Council – Moderator

Linsey Gallagher, VP international marketing, The Wine Institute of California

CLICK HERE for Linsey Gallagher’s Presentation

Charles Jefferson, VP international and federal public policy, The Wine Institute of California

CLICK HERE for Charles Jefferson’s Presentation

Craig Pinkerton, director – customs & international trade practice, PriceWaterhouseCoopers

CLICK HERE for Craig Pinkerton’s Presentation

David Amadia, president, Ridge Vineyards

WINE INDUSTRY LIGHTNING ROUND

Esther Mobley, wine critic, San Francisco Chronicle – Moderator

Andy Beckstoffer, chairman and CEO, Beckstoffer Vineyards

Carmen Castaldi, president, Rodney Strong Wine Estates

Curtis Mann, director of alcohol and beverages, Raley’s Family of Fine Stores

Matt Stamp, MS, co-proprietor of Compline Wine Bar, Restaurant & Merchant

Joy Sterling, CEO, Iron Horse Vineyards

Mike Taylor, wine buyer, Nugget Markets

CLOSING KEYNOTE: BUILDING A CUSTOMER AND CONSUMER OBSESSED ORGANIZATION

Robert Foye, president and COO, Treasury Wine Estates

 

SPEAKERS

David Amadia

president
Ridge Vineyards

Learn More About David

David Amadia is in his 14th year at Ridge, having joined in 2005. He has worked as a member of the executive team for his entire tenure and promoted to president in 2016. Amadia leads all of Ridge Vineyards’ sales and marketing efforts including international, direct-to-consumer sales, and the U.S. market. He also leads the company’s finance, IT and logistics functions. Amadia began his career in wine in 1990 as an export director and continues to directly manage Ridge’s international distribution network that spans across 50 countries and five continents.

Andy Beckstoffer

chairman and CEO
Beckstoffer Vineyards

Learn More About Andy

Andrew Beckstoffer is the owner of Beckstoffer Vineyards with vineyards owned in Napa, Mendocino, and Lake Counties, including some of Napa’s most historic vineyard properties. Beckstoffer Napa Valley properties include “Heritage Vineyards” at To Kalon, Dr. Crane, Las Piedras, Missouri Hopper, Vineyard Georges III and Bourn. In 1975, Andy was a founding director of the Napa Valley Grape Growers Association, in 1976 a member of the Napa County Planning Commission, and in 1983 a director of the Winegrowers of California. In 1994, he was a founder and the initial President of the Rutherford Dust Society. Currently Beckstoffer is one of the top 20 largest grape growers in California.

Steve Burns

president
Wine Market Council

Learn More About Steve

Steve Burns was born in Germany and as is typical for an “army brat” he lived all over the world (Japan, Philippines and Washington, D.C.) before his family finally settled in Northern California. He attended California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo and earned degrees in agricultural business management and animal science. From 1984 to 1989, Burns was special assistant to Governor George Deukmejian, participating in California’s expansion in opening trade and investment offices around the world. Following his stint in public service, Burns began a career in the wine business in 1990 as the international marketing manager at the Wine Institute. Burns moved to the Pacific Northwest in 1996 to become the executive director of the Washington Wine Commission, serving from 1996-2004. In 2004, he created O’Donnell Lane L.L.C., a marketing, public relations and strategic planning firm that specializes in association re-alignment as well as board development and management. In November 2017, Burns became the second ever president of the Wine Market Council – an association that conducts research on U.S. wine consumers.

Peter Byck

president and CEO
WX Brands

Learn More About Peter

Peter Byck co-founded WX (formerly Winery Exchange) after serving as vice president of strategy and business development for Golden State Vintners, formerly one of the largest vineyard and winery owners in California. He holds an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a B.S. in computer science and math from the University of California at Davis. Byck was raised in Sonoma County in the heart of California’s wine country, and his family owns and operates Paradise Ridge Winery in Santa Rosa, CA.

Ken Cassar

vice president, principal Analyst
Slice Intelligence

Learn More About Ken

Coming soon!

Carmen Castaldi

president
Rodney Strong Wine Estates

Learn More About Carmen

Carmen Castaldi serves as president of Rodney Strong Wine Estates, which includes Rodney Strong Vineyards, Davis Bynum Winery and 14 estate vineyards. He is a veteran of over 35 years in the wine business, with a passion for wine, people, and Sonoma County living. Castaldi began his wine career in 1980 working for a wine distributor in Asheville, North Carolina as an on premise sales manager representing over 300 wineries. In 1986, he joined Beringer Blass Wine Estates and in 2001 and assumed responsibility for North American sales and distributor relations as vice president. Castaldi joined the management team at Rodney Strong Vineyards in June 2005 as vice president, overseeing the sales and marketing operations.

Oliver Colvin

chief operating officer
WX Brands

Learn More About Oliver

Oliver Colvin is responsible for all aspects of operations at WX Brands, including winemaking, sourcing, procurement, production, supply chain, logistics, legal and compliance and project management. He also leads the company’s contract production services business. Oliver was previously senior vice president and assistant general counsel at Silicon Valley Bank and earlier was partner in the Palo Alto law firm of Fthenakis & Colvin. Colvin holds a B.A. in economics from the University of California at Davis, a JD from the Santa Clara University School of Law and an LLM in securities regulation from the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C.

Cindy DeVries

chief operating officer
Fetzer Vineyards

Learn More About Cindy

As COO of Fetzer Vineyards, Cindy DeVries oversees viticulture, grape sourcing, wine production, supply chain and regulatory compliance operations at the Hopland-based vintner, and has been instrumental in the company’s transformation from a closely held family-run winery to a global marketer of its brands, including Fetzer, Bonterra Organic Vineyards and 1000 Stories brands, as well as Concha y Toro’s U.S. imports, among them Chile’s Don Melchor, Casillero del Diablo and Frontera labels and Argentina’s Trivento.

Robert Fowles

CFO
Opus One

Learn More About Robert

Robert Fowles joined Opus One Winery as chief financial officer in July 2006, bringing over 20 years of financial expertise in consumer packaged products. In his role at Opus One, he is responsible for the accounting, financial planning, treasury, risk management, human resources and information technology functions. Prior to joining Opus One, Fowles held positions as the CFO of various companies, including Spectrum Organic Products, Inc. and Diageo. Fowles is a Certified Public Accountant, a Chartered Global Management Accountant, and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Connecticut.

Robert Foye

president of the Americas
Treasury Wine Estates

Learn More About Robert

As president of the Americas, Foye leads the TWE business in this key region and also oversees the major operating units globally in his role as COO. He joined Treasury Wine Estates in September 2014 in the role of president and managing director of Asia and Europe, bringing extensive experience from several senior executive positions held with The Coca-Cola Company over more than 22 years. He was vice president, customer and commercial of Coca-Cola’s Asia Pacific Region. An avid wine enthusiast, he has more than 24 years of beverages experience and a proven track record of delivering strong and sustainable profit growth.

Steve Fredricks

president
Turrentine Brokerage

Learn More About Steve

Steve Fredricks joined Turrentine Brokerage in 1991 as a bulk wine broker. Over the years he has established himself as an expert in the sales of bulk wine and grapes, understanding market cycles, and building long term relationships. Fredricks is currently managing all Turrentine Brokerage operations and directly responsible for Turrentine’s international relationships and strategic alliances in France, Italy, Spain, Australia, Chile and Argentina. In addition, he also oversees the publishing of the Turrentine Brokerage Collateral Value Report and The Turrentine Outlook.

Linsey Gallagher

VP international marketing
The Wine Institute

Learn More About Linsey

As Wine Institute’s vice president of international marketing, Linsey Gallagher is responsible for overseeing the organization’s marketing programs for California Wines in more than 25 countries, supervising a global team of international regional directors, and ensuring continued state and federal support for Wine Institute’s export programs. A Master of Business Administration graduate of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, she brings a diverse marketing and management background to the Wine Institute role. She gained wine industry experience at E. & J. Gallo Winery, responsible for marketing strategy and brand execution for several import and domestic brands.

Violet Grgich

president
Grgich Hills Estate

Learn More About Violet

Violet Grgich’s passion for wine began early spending summers at the winery doing everything from laboratory analysis to working in the tasting room. Grgich earned her B.A. in music from University of California, Davis while taking classes in biology, chemistry, and enology; she received her Master of Music in harpsichord at Indiana University. Grgich joined the winery full-time in 1988. As president of Grgich Hills Estate, she leads the winery and continues the legacy her father embarked on in 1977.

Phil Hurst

chief innovation officer
Precept Brands

Learn More About Phil

Hurst began his career in the wine industry in 1985 at Fetzer Vineyards when he was hired by Paul Dolan to help make premium wines and build the brand. Fetzer Vineyards was sold to the Brown-Forman Corporation in 1992, and he left in 1998 to run international sales and marketing for Golden State Vintners, Inc. As co-founder and senior vice president of sales and marketing at Winery Exchange Inc., from 1999 to 2007, he helped grow the company to over $100 million in sales in less than 10 years. Hurst sold his stake in the company to Dolan, to serve as president, chief executive officer and director of Truett-Hurst, Inc. since 2012.

Charles Jefferson

VP international and federal public policy
The Wine Institute of California

Learn More About Charles

Charles Jefferson leads all of Wine Institute’s advocacy efforts at the federal and international levels. Jefferson joined Wine Institute as vice president, federal relations in April 2013. Prior to this, he spent nearly 20 years working in the public and private sectors at the intersection of public policy and politics. He served as chief of staff for Representative Mike Thompson (CA) and held senior positions for former House Democratic Leader Richard A. Gephardt (MO). Earlier in his career, Jefferson served in the Clinton White House and on several congressional campaigns in California and nationally.

Peter Johnson

Director, Westgate Center for Leadership and Management Development Institute for Family Business
Eberhardt School of Business, University of the Pacific

Learn More About Peter

Coming soon!

Ray Johnson

executive director
Wine Business Institute at Sonoma State University

Learn More About Ray

Johnson is the executive director of the Wine Business Institute at Sonoma State, the first university in the United States to offer a B.S. in wine business in 1998, the first to offer a Wine MBA in 2008 and the first in the world to offer an Executive Wine MBA in 2012. Johnson joined the wine business in 1986 at the Christian Brothers’ Greystone Cellars in Saint Helena, California. He went on to sell wine, first on the supplier side, and later in retail, working directly with consumers. He earned his Master’s in Wine Business from the University of Adelaide in South Australia and taught for fourteen years.

Eric Jorgensen

president and publisher
Wine Business Monthly

Learn More About Eric

Eric Jorgensen has been the publisher of Wine Business Monthly for more than 14 years. Prior to WBM he worked in the technology industry. Jorgensen graduated from UC Berkeley with a B.A. in economics and holds a MBA from Wharton.

Russ Joy

vice president
California operations, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates

Learn More About Russ

Russell Joy was named vice president of California operations in April of 2017. In this role, Joy oversees operations at Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars in Napa, Patz & Hall in Sonoma and Conn Creek Winery in St. Helena. Joy previously served as vice president and general manager for Patz & Hall. Prior to that, he was chief finance officer of Viansa and Sebastiani wineries. He also has previous experience with Allied Domecq as director of finance. Joy currently serves as vice president of the Sonoma County Vintners & Growers Board and is a fourth-generation grape grower.

Erin Kirschenmann

senior editor
Wine Business Monthly

Learn More About Erin

Erin Kirschenmann is the senior editor for Wine Business Monthly, and has been with the company since 2012. She graduated from Sonoma State University with a bachelor’s degree in communications with a journalism emphasis.

Jordan Kivelstadt

co-founder and CEO
Free Flow Wines

Learn More About Jordan

Jordan Kivelstadt founded Free Flow Wines with Dan Donahoe in 2009 and has been leading the growth of the business since the beginning. Kivelstadt was trained as an engineer at Tufts University before moving on to management consulting for over two years. In 2006, Kivelstadt began his career in the wine industry as production manager for The Donum Estate. Since then he has made wine in four countries, founded his own bottle brand, Kivelstadt Cellars, manages his family’s organic 10-acre Sonoma County, California vineyard and continues to innovate in the industry he loves.

Jim Kopp

director of national accounts
The Thornhill Companies

Learn More AboutJim

Jim Kopp graduated from Cornell University with a degree in hotel management, but began his career working with several different restaurant concepts. He then spent five years as national sales and marketing director for McDowell Family Vineyards. He later combined his interests, opening Rumpus restaurant and Bliss Bar in San Francisco. Kopp then formed a consulting business, later becoming AME Wine Marketing, to assist restaurant, retail, and winery operators. He later took on positions with Jackson Family Wines and Truett-Hurst. Currently, he is director of national accounts for The Thornhill Companies.

Mark Lansley

CEO and owner
Broadland Wineries

Learn More About Mark

Mark Lansley is an entrepreneurial CEO with over 30 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical, food, beverage and wine sectors in the UK, Australia and USA. He holds a degree in chemical engineering from Leeds University in the UK, a Diploma in Business Administration from the University of Sydney and New South Wales business school and is a certified Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt. In 2006 he joined Broadland Wineries, and has taken the company from being a £10 million per year loss-making UK contract bottler to be a multi-national £70 million per year profit-making producer of branded and private label wines. He now splits his time between the U.S. and UK markets, and travels regularly to visit vineyards and wineries around the world.

Bill Leigon

founder
Jamieson Ranch Vineyards

Learn More About Bill

Bill Leigon is a wine industry veteran and brand creator of 44 years. He founded Jamieson Ranch Vineyards in Napa Valley in February 2013 and in March 2017 sold the JRV brands to WX Brands of Novato. Prior to Jamieson Ranch Vineyards, Leigon served for 12 years as president of Hahn Family Wines. Leigon successfully introduced Cycles Gladiator, an everyday wine, which followed the success of HRM Rex Goliath, which was sold by Hahn to Constellation Brands. During the 1980’s and 1990’s, Bill co-founded The Wine Trust and Ariel Vineyards (the first premium non-alcoholic wine), served as national sales manager for J. Lohr wines and worked as vice president of sales and marketing for Associated Vintage Group.

Ian Malone

director
Aspect Consumer Partners

Learn More About Ian

Ian Malone is a director and a founding member of Aspect Consumer Partners. He has more than 16 years of finance, investment banking, M&A and operational experience in wine, craft beer, consumer products, real estate and technology. Malone specializes in advising growing consumer products companies on mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance and other important strategic matters. Prior to co-founding Aspect Consumer Partners, Malone was a senior vice president with Global Wine Partners, where he led execution on a number of M&A transactions in the wine and craft beer industries.

Curtis Mann

director of alcohol & beverage
Raley’s Family of Fine Stores

Learn More About Curtis

Coming soon!

Shannon McLaren

CFO
Huneeus Vintners

Learn More About Shannon

Shannon McLaren is the chief financial officer of Huneeus Vintners, LLC. Her prior wine experience includes Crimson Wine Group, where she was CFO, and Wente Family Estates where she was corporate controller. Preceding that, McLaren worked at The Clorox Company in Oakland in both finance and accounting and spent eight years in auditing, mostly with KPMG LLP in both the Nova Scotia, Canada and Mountain View, California offices. In addition to her Canadian and California CPA licenses, McLaren holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in accounting from Cape Breton University in Nova Scotia.

Esther Mobley

wine critic
The San Francisco Chronicle

Learn More About Esther

Esther Mobley joined The San Francisco Chronicle in 2015 to cover California wine, beer and spirits. Previously she was an assistant editor at Wine Spectator magazine in New York and has worked harvests at wineries in Napa Valley and Argentina. She studied English literature at Smith College.

Peter Mondavi Jr.

co-proprietor
Charles Krug Winery

Learn More About Peter

Peter Mondavi Jr. is the second son of Peter and Blanche Mondavi and grandson of Cesare and Rosa Mondavi, the Napa Valley pioneers who purchased the historic Charles Krug Winery in 1943. Peter, born in 1958, grew up on the winery property. At a very young age, he and Marc sanded fermenting tanks, unpacked glasses, worked in the winery’s laboratory and cellar, and drove tractors through the vineyards. Following in his father’s footsteps, he attended Stanford University, earning a B.S. and M.S. in the engineering field and an MBA a decade later.

Mike Needham

broker partner
Turrentine Brokerage

Learn More About Mike

Mike Needham joined Turrentine Brokerage as a grape broker in 2012 and became a partner in 2017. Needham brokers grapes from Napa Valley, Sonoma County, Mendocino County, Lake County and Suisun Valley. Mike grew up in the San Joaquin Valley town of Linden. He earned a degree in viticulture from Fresno State and worked as a research assistant at the Viticulture and Enology Research Center while attending college. After graduating, Needham managed three vineyards in the Lodi area, totaling approximately 2,000 acres. He transplanted himself and his family in the year 2000 to Anderson Valley, working for Madrigal Vineyards.

Kevin O’Brien

senior vice president
Zepponi & Company

Learn More About Kevin

Kevin O’Brien is a senior vice president with Zepponi & Company and has more than 15 years of experience advising businesses in the beverage, consumer packaged goods and manufacturing sectors. His beverage experience has been focused in the wine, beer and distilled spirits industries. At Zepponi & Company, O’Brien is responsible for project management and market analysis in the firm’s core wine business, as well as its broader activities in the beverage alcohol industry. Prior to joining Zepponi & Company, O’Brien was the director of business advisory at Irvine & Company, a leading beverage alcohol accounting and consulting firm in the Pacific Northwest.

Matthew Owings

CFO
Rombauer Vineyards

Learn More About Matthew

Matthew Owings was appointed chief financial officer of Rombauer Vineyards in January 2018. He has a broad background in finance including long-term strategic planning, corporate development and day-to-day financial operations. Prior to Rombauer, Owings held positions at Jackson Family Wines, Bain & Company, and Agilent Technologies. Owings graduated from Harvey Mudd College with a degree in engineering and holds an MBA from the Walter Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley.

Cleo Pahlmeyer

president
Pahlmeyer

Learn More About Cleo

Cleo Pahlmeyer joined the family business in 2008, initially working in sales and customer service, and, with characteristic Pahlmeyer exuberance, infused the winery with new energy. She moved on to manage direct-to-consumer sales and marketing, and later directed the company’s communications and public relations. In 2014, she developed and launched the Wayfarer label, Pinot Noirs and Chardonnay from their estate vineyard in the Fort Ross-Seaview Appellation. Pahlmeyer was appointed president in 2017. She received her B.A. from the University of Virginia.

Chris Passarelli

partner
Dickenson, Peatman & Fogarty

Learn More About Chris

Chris Passarelli is a partner at DP&F, practicing in the areas of intellectual property and business law in a range of industries including internet and high technology, agribusiness, food, wine, arts and entertainment. Passarelli handles international and domestic intellectual property registration, licensing and other complex transactions, trade secret protection, litigation and enforcement.

Tim Persson

chairman
The Hess Collection Winery

Learn More About Tim

Timothy “Tim” Persson was born in Ireland and grew up in Swaziland, Southern Africa. He returned to Ireland for university, graduating from Trinity College in Dublin, and then continued his education in London where he studied law. Persson joined the Hess Family business in 2010, serving initially in an advisory capacity to the Board. Over the following year, he increasingly focused his attention on the U.S., seeing it as the key opportunity for long-term growth. In 2012, he succeeded Donald Hess and led The Hess Collection Winery as CEO for the following 6 years. Today, he serves as Chairman of the Board, focusing on long-term strategy and the development of strategic relationships and new markets (especially Asia).

Craig J. Pinkerton

director, customs and international trade
PricewaterhouseCoopers

Learn More About Craig

Craig is a director in PricewaterhouseCoopers’ customs and international trade practice based in Southern California. For more than 24 years, he has advised companies on all aspects of cross-border movement of merchandise. This includes assisting companies involved in import and export activities to minimize their duty liability while ensuring compliance with all applicable Customs requirements. Pinkerton has experience in identifying global issues and opportunities in the areas of valuation (including the coordination with transfer pricing), classification, trade preference programs such as NAFTA, country of origin/marking issues and global customs strategy.

Lisa Poppen

vice president, marketing and communications
Visit Napa Valley

Learn More About Lisa

Lisa Poppen is vice president, marketing and communications for Visit Napa Valley, the official tourism organization promoting Napa Valley’s position as one of the world’s premier destinations. In this role, she leads innovative positioning and marketing strategies ensuring integration across all paid, owned and earned channels. With more than two decades of luxury marketing experience, Poppen most recently led global brand strategy and marketing initiatives for The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company. Her background includes various marketing positions with hotel, convention and sports facilities, and she got her start in PR agencies serving hospitality clients. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in public relations/advertising from Arizona State University and her work was recognized by Adweek Brand Genius in 2012.

Hugh Reimers

president
Foley Family Wines

Learn More About Hugh

Coming soon!

Renato Reyes

chief strategy and growth officer
Deutsch Family Wine and Spirits

Learn More About Renato

Renato Reyes’ responsibilities include developing Deutsch Family’s long-term strategy, identifying large acquisition targets and leading their integration. Prior to this role, Reyes spent seven years as the company’s chief marketing officer where he led the marketing efforts to ascend Josh Cellars to more than 2 million cases in just five years. Before joining Deutsch Family, Reyes served as the vice president and head of marketing for Mark Anthony Brands Inc. Prior, Reyes spent nine years at E&J Gallo Winery and seven years as a marketer in Procter and Gamble’s Beauty Care division.

Alex Ryan

president and CEO
Duckhorn Wine Company

Learn More About Alex

Alex Ryan moved to St. Helena in 1976, where he became friends with the son of his future mentor, Dan Duckhorn. After earning his degree in viticulture from California State University at Fresno, in 1988, Ryan joined Duckhorn Vineyards full time. In 2000, Ryan was made general manager and chief operations officer of Duckhorn Wine Company, and in 2005 he was promoted to president. In the years since, Ryan unveiled new, state-of-the-art wineries for both Paraduxx and Goldeneye, successfully launched the Migration brand, rolled out an expanded Decoy line, established Canvasback in Washington State and spearheaded the 2017 acquisition of Calera Wine Company —all while achieving five-fold growth for Duckhorn Wine Company.

David Schuemann

owner
CF Napa

Learn More About David

For nearly two decades, David Schuemann has led CF Napa Brand Design to become one of the world’s preeminent brand agencies specializing in the alcohol beverage category. During that time, CF Napa has created some of the fastest-growing and most successful alcohol brands in the world. The firm’s work has earned international recognition from almost every major design competition in the world and some of the most prestigious museums. In 2013, Schuemann authored “99 Bottles of Wine, The Making of the Contemporary Wine Label”.

Matt Stamp, MS

co-proprietor of Compline Wine Bar
Restaurant & Merchant

Learn More About Matt

Matt Stamp is a Master Sommelier and co-founder of Compline, a new wine bar, restaurant, and wine merchant in the heart of downtown Napa. Stamp worked as a sommelier in some of wine country’s top restaurants, including the French Laundry and the Farmhouse Inn, and cut his teeth at V. Mertz Restaurant, his family’s fine-dining institution in Omaha. As education director for the Guild of Sommeliers, Stamp wrote and compiled a core program of study for today’s aspiring sommeliers, and in 2014 he was elected to join the Court of Master Sommeliers’ Board of Directors, where he now sits as vice chair.

Tom Steffanci

president
Deutsch

Learn More About Tom

Tom Steffanci serves as the president at Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits (formerly W. J. Deutsch & Sons Ltd.) and oversees all of sales, marketing, finance and operations. Steffanci has vast experience in every function of the drinks industry including production, sales, marketing, distributor management, and business and financial planning. He served as the chief operating officer of Terlato Wines International. He joined Terlato Wines from Allied Domecq where he served as president of the Northern Business Unit and played a leadership role in significantly increasing distribution and market share.

Joy Anne Sterling

CEO
Iron Horse Vineyards

Learn More About Joy

Joy Sterling represents the second generation at Iron Horse Vineyards, in Sebastopol, CA. She is the CEO of the winery and a member of the California State Food & Agriculture Board, appointed by Governor Jerry Brown. Sterling attended Yale University where she studied history and economics. In 1985, Sterling left a position as deputy bureau chief for ABC Network News in Los Angeles to join her family’s business and made news when the White House selected Iron Horse Sparkling Wine for the President’s toast to peace at the first summit meeting with Mikhail Gorbachev in Geneva. Sterling quietly took up the reins as CEO at the start of 2006 after 20 years presenting the wines across the country.

Michael Taylor

director of adult beverages
Nugget Markets

Learn More About Michael

After obtaining a degree in culinary arts from Johnson & Wales University, Michael Taylor worked for 17 years in the restaurant industry where his passion for wine fully blossomed. He has spent the last 18 years working for Nugget Markets, a family owned independent specialty grocer based in the Sacramento Valley. Taylor is currently the corporate director of adult beverages where he oversees the selection of all beer, wine and spirits for their 16 locations. He has also earned his Certified Wine Educator credential.

Dr. Liz Thach, MW

distinguished professor of wine and professor of management,
Sonoma State University

Learn More About Liz

Dr. Liz Thach, MW is the distinguished professor of wine and a professor of management at Sonoma State University where she teaches in both the undergraduate and Wine MBA programs. In addition, she is an award-winning author who has published over 130 articles and 8 wine books, including Call of the Vine, Wine – A Global Business and Wine Marketing & Sales. A fifth-generation Californian, Liz finished her Ph.D. at Texas A&M and now lives on Sonoma Mountain where she tends a small hobby vineyard and makes Pinot Noir. She also works as a wine judge in various competitions and has served on many non-profit wine boards. Thach obtained the distinction of Master of Wine (MW) in May 2011.

Claudia Vecchio

president and CEO
Sonoma County Tourism

Learn More About Claudia

Claudia Vecchio brings more than 25 years in the destination and consumer marketing arena to her post as president/CEO of Sonoma County Tourism Vecchio Claudia comes to Sonoma County following six years as director of the Nevada Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs where she helped boost domestic and international visitation through launching an award-winning brand, increasing international sales and marketing campaigns and infusing experiential marketing methodologies into statewide product development efforts. Vecchio has served on the Executive Committee of the U.S. Travel Association and on the national boards for the Public Relations Society of America and the Travel and Tourism Research Association.

Judd Wallenbrock

president and CEO
C. Mondavi

Learn More About Judd

Coming soon!

Christine Wente

fifth-generation winegrower
Wente Family Estates

Learn More About Christine

In 2000, Christine Wente became the first member of the fifth generation to join the family business. She has held various management roles in sales, marketing and hospitality at Wente Family Estates. She’s now on the company’s Board of Directors and she runs the Wente Foundation for Arts Education, raising money for local arts education programs. Wente has a bachelor’s degree in politics from Princeton University and an MBA from Stanford University, as well as a Level 3 Certificate in Wines and Spirits from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust. She is a regular guest speaker in classes about the wine industry and family business governance at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

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