Exkalibur University, Organizer & Host

This is the 6th Annual Wine Industry Workshop organized by Exkalibur University, the education affiliate of The Exkalibur Organization, with the support of our Wine Industry Sponsors.

Lary Kirchenbauer is the founder of The Exkalibur Organization, which includes its affiliates:

  • Exkalibur University, the current website that hosts Exkalibur’s online and in-person educational platform,
  • Exkalibur.com, a web site dedicated to informing subscribers and visitors about the journey to Become a More Effective Leader, and
  • The Exkalibur Leadership Forum, which provides individual and group leadership coaching.

Lary is also a professional author and speaker as well as a leadership coach facilitating leadership groups among CEOs and senior business leaders in the SF Bay area. He is an Adjunct Professor at the University of San Francisco and the author of more than 125+ newspaper columns published by the SF Bay affiliate of the NY Times among the 800+ articles at Exkalibur.com.

He has been married forever to a beautiful woman and has one spectacular daughter who has dedicated her life to helping children with disabilities and life-threatening illnesses. You can learn more about his background and activities here.

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1. 2017 Wine Industry Financial Benchmarking Survey

Moss Adams will share the results of its 2017 Wine Industry Financial Benchmarking Survey™, which it conducted with support from Heffernan Insurance Brokers, Turrentine Brokerage and American AgCredit.

Jeff Gutsch, Partner
National Practice Leader, Wine Industry; Moss Adams, LLP

Jeff has practiced public accounting since 1990, and he has an additional three years of private industry experience. He is the firm’s national Wine Industry Practice leader and a member of the firm’s food processing & agriculture steering committee. Jeff serves as tax and engagement partner for many of our wine industry clients.

Jeff earned an MS in taxation from Golden Gate University and a BS in accountancy from California State University, Chico. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and California Society of Certified Public Accountants.

He has published wine industry–related articles in various industry publications and also appears as a guest speaker in the Sonoma State University Wine Business Program. He is a member of the California Association of Winegrape Growers, California Craft Beverages Association, Family Winemakers of California, Monterey County Vintners and Growers Association, Napa Valley Grape Growers, Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance, Sonoma County Vintners, Sonoma County Winegrape Commission, and the Wine Institute.

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Bill Vyenielo, MBA, Senior Business Consultant

Bill has been working with clients in the wine industry for more than 25 years, and has been solving operational challenges for vineyard and winery clients since 2006. He works with owners and managers to successfully develop and manage their winery operations and build their brands, providing guidance in strategic planning, sales and marketing, and winery and vineyard production and development.

Prior to joining Moss Adams, Bill held executive management positions leading estate winery operations ranging from start-ups and turnarounds to highly successful winery businesses. He served as President of Medlock Ames Vintners and GM and Chief Executive at Peter Michael Winery. Earlier in his career, he was a lender and an appraiser with Farm Credit, where he was involved with financing a diverse array of agricultural operations, including vineyard, winery, dairy, cattle, rice, hay, row, nut and tree fruit operations.

Bill graduated from the University of California, Davis with a B.S. In Animal Science, and earned his MBA from Pepperdine University.

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2. Winery Safety Practices that actually Save Money!

This discussion from risk management specialists will cover the real costs of winery safety issues, including Confined space, Heat illness protection, Lockout/tag out, and Stormwater practices

Liz Bishop, Managing SVP, Heffernan Insurance Brokers

Liz Bishop has been in the insurance industry for over 25 years, and has since focused on helping those in the wine, agribusiness, food, hospitality, nonprofit, construction and manufacturing industries.

Liz leads the Heffernan Wine Practice in Petaluma, which currents helps over 100 wineries with their insurance needs. The Wine team’s long term commitment to community and strong relationships with insurance company partners has made them a perfect choice for wineries and growers. Liz received the 2012 North Bay Business Journal’s Women in Business Award for Insurance.

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Joe Souza, District Manager in California, KPA

Joe Souza is a District Manager in California for KPA, a leading enterprise risk management organization.

Joe brings over 22 years’ experience in the Environmental Health and Safety field, and has worked in an array of positions in EH&S and Environmental, business development, safety engineer and director of operations.

He is certified as an instructor to include OSHA Outreach trainer, Specialist in Safety and Health (Construction, General Industry, and Occupational Safety), First Aid/CPR instructor, HAZWOPER, Supervisor/Competent Person Instructor, Environmental & Occupational Safety, Heavy Equipment & Forklift/Aerial Lift to name a few.

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3. The Achilles Heels of Hiring in the Wine Industry

Newlin Associates’ David Newlin, a leading wine industry senior executive recruiter, will provide an overview of a game-changing approach to assessing new-hire candidates aimed at significantly improving the likelihood that you’re only considering the right candidates for each job.

David Newlin, Founder & CEO, Newlin Associates

David Newlin brings 25+ years of executive recruiting and management consulting experience, with 16+ years in the wine industry. He began his career in wine with various strategic and financial management consulting assignments, and is regularly consulted about leadership, team and culture development issues.

In 2002, he founded Newlin Associates is a retained, senior-level executive search firm focused primarily on C-level to VP-level recruiting assignments.

David is a graduate of San Jose State University, with a B.S. in Finance/Economics. He is also certified in the Myers Briggs Type Indicator, as well as Neuro Linguistics Programming – Master Practitioner.

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Sean Maher, Partner & Co-founder, Aspect Consumer Partners

Sean is the founder and Managing Director of Aspect Consumer Partners, an independent mergers and acquisitions, strategic and corporate finance advisory firm focused on the middle market (market capitalizations up to ~$1 billion). He leads the wine practice as a  22-year industry veteran, completing transactions totaling in excess of $2 billion in completed transaction value in the wine industry and $65 billion overall.

He has successfully completed merger & acquisition assignments for clients such as Beringer, CalPERS, Jackson family, MetlLife, St. Supery, Taittinger family, Bill Hambrecht and Bill Harlan.

Sean earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from UCLA and an MBA from St. Mary’s College of Moraga, and is a certified valuation analyst with the National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts and a current Board Member & Past Board President – St. Helena Unified School District and Boys & Girls Club St. Helena/Calistoga.

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5. Best Practices for Direct-to-Consumer Success

This panel discussion will share the latest social media strategies to build traffic and customers for your wine business. We will also discuss practical strategies being used by successful tasting rooms and wineries to create, manage and grow the Direct to Consumer sales channel.

Chloe Tyer, Membership Manager, Huneeus Vintners

Chloe Tyer oversees the strategic direction and planning of the membership programs for Quintessa, Flowers, Faust, Illumination and Leviathan wines.

Chloe continues to push the boundaries of the traditional “club” format with constant innovation and improvement while never losing sight of the most essential element— the member experience. Having previously worked with luxury Napa brands including, PlumpJack, CADE, Odette Estate wineries, and Chandon & Newton Vineyard LVMH, Chloe utilizes over a decade of Direct to Consumer sales experience in order to build high performing teams and achieve accelerated growth.
Chloe has been panelist for the Direct-to-Consumer Wine Symposium as well as currently serves as the co-chair for the Sonoma/Napa Wine Club Professional networking group.

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Don Davis, Director of Sales and Marketing – MacRostie Winery and Vineyards

Don Davis oversees wholesale marketing, and every aspect of the MacRostie Winery and Vineyards consumer experience, including its acclaimed hospitality program. In this pivotal role, Don also serves as the winery’s brand director, guiding MacRostie’s guest services, direct sales, digital and social media, wine club and public relations programs.

Prior to joining MacRostie, Don was the founder and owner of San Francisco’s BIN 38 wine bar and restaurant, which featured the largest wine-by-the-glass program in California, and was voted one of the “Top 50 wine lists in the United States” by OpenTable diners. Don was also the founder of Uncorked Events, a corporate and consumer wine-focused event planning company, and has held positions as the director of business development for Wine.com, and director of sales and business development for New Vine Logistics. Don holds a masters of science in integrated marketing communications from Northwestern University.

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Tim Bouchet, Director of Hospitality and Retail Sales, Pride Mountain Vineyards

A native Californian Tim was born in Sacramento and moved to the Napa Valley when he was five years old. Growing up here and spending most of his adult life in the Napa Valley, he has experienced some of the most successful winery, restaurant, hotel, hospitality and sales operations in the country.

Tim has almost 35 years of customer care, sales and restaurant related hospitality and service experience. He has worked in every capacity of the restaurant business from cooking, management and serving with the legendary restaurant owners like Cindy Pawlcyn of Mustards Grill, Jeremiah Towers of Stars and Lisa and Hiro Sone of Terra Restaurant.

Tim has devoted the last 20 years of his professional life building Pride Mountain Vineyards very successful Direct to Consumer program. Tim and his team have collectively built an active 30,000 person mailing list that achieves an 85% direct to consumer sales ratio and hosts an average of 25,000 by-appointment-only guests per year at the top of Spring Mountain.

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6. The Impact of Distributor Consolidation

The consolidation in the distributor channel is just one of the important trends affecting wineries of all sizes.

In this panel discussion, we will hear from winery leaders as well as distributors to get a broad perspective on the impact of these changes.

Christopher Pappe, Founder & CEO, CRP Trade Solutions

Christopher is currently founder and CEO of CRP Wine Trade Solutions based in Napa California. CRP Wine Trade Solutions is a full service agency crafting marketing and sales strategies for the wine industry.

CRP Wine Trade Solutions

He recently held the position of Senior Advisor to Bacchus Capital Management in New York, NY with responsibilities as COO of Madrigal Family Winery in Napa, CA, and President of Panther Creek Cellars in Dundee, OR. Previously, he held the position of managing partner of Chatterbox Wine Marketing Services, in Napa California, where he successfully stewarded its turnaround and sale to RAI Inc. He is also the author of “The Business of Wine”-Building Your Brand from the Store Shelf to the Vineyard, a course he will be teaching at the Napa Valley Wine Academy.

Christopher started his career in the luxury hotel business, managing Ristorante Donatello in San Francisco and as Director of Restaurants at The Four Seasons Biltmore in Santa Barbara. He also enjoyed a career in wine importing, and national supply side management with Winebow, Inc. NY, Stacole Fine Wines, Boca Raton, FL, Dutton-Goldfield Winery, Sebastopol, CA and Jackson Family’s Cardinale Estate in St. Helena, CA.

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Mark Evans, GM, Robert Young Estates

With over 30 years’ experience in the luxury wine business, Mark Evans became General Manager of the iconic Robert Young winery in Geyserville, CA in September of 2016. Prior to Robert Young, Mark was the President of Yalumba USA and General Manager of Merryvale Vineyards and Paul Hobbs. He began his professional career working for Schramsberg, Trefethen and Kendall-Jackson wineries in various Regional, Divisional and National roles.

Mark’s strength is focusing on each winery’s strategic planning needs to best address the realities of the hyper competitive environment that exist in the global wine industry. Mark specializes in developing Comprehensive Brand Strategies that include execution tactics and action plans that focus on the 5 core areas of a winery’s business: Finance, Production, Marketing, Hospitality and Sales.

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Mark Crisler, Founder, Trellis Wine Group

Mark began his trek into the wine industry developing an advertising campaign for the Wineries of Washington, while studying advertising at the University of Washington.
He then joined Southern Wine & Spirits, to be the On-Premise Wine Sales Manager for the region. Later, Mark went to work for the Robert Mondavi Winery managing Southern California and then all the on-premise national accounts from the Mississippi West. After the sale of Robert Mondavi to Constellation Wines, Mark helped Constellation set up a new hotel division, where he stayed until mid 2005.

In June of 2005, Mark created the Trellis Wine Group to help guide & grow the family-owned winery and artisan spirit producer to successfully work with and be featured on these dynamic national multi-unit on-premise national wine & spirits lists.

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