Q: What is a Women for WineSense (WWS) Roundtable?
A:A group of WWS professional members who meet bi-monthly or quarterly to network in small group settings with the purpose of providing advice and support to one another for professional development and education.  Each roundtable is organized around a specific wine-related profession, such as winemakers, wine marketers, or other wine professions.

Q: What happens at a Roundtable meeting?
A:
Roundtable members plan their own agendas for the year.  At some meetings, they bring in speakers to educate them on a specific topic; at other meetings they may discuss “hot issues” they are facing at work.  In general, 10 to 20 women show up for each roundtable meeting

Q: Which Roundtables are available to join?
A: Currently there are eleven WWS roundtables operating in the Napa/Sonoma Area and a few new ones which we are planning to launch.  Once a roundtable is full (20-30 members), new potential members are placed on a waitlist, or they can elect to start their own roundtable.  Following are brief descriptions of the operating roundtables:

Participation in WWS Roundtables is a benefit of being a Professional Member of the Napa/Sonoma Chapter. If the Roundtable has openings, interested participants may attend up to two meetings to learn more about a Roundtable, but then must become a WWS member in order to be a full-time participant. Please note that no solicitation is allowed and all Roundtable conversations are confidential.

1) Winemaker/Viticulturist Roundtable: This roundtable is open to women winemakers, associate/assistant winemakers, enologists, vineyard managers, and viticulturists. Roundtable meetings serve as a unique, confidential forum for women winemaking professionals to meet, exchange ideas and learn new skills. We meet quarterly and each meeting focuses on a particular topic. Our focus is on those skills that, as winemakers, we are expected to know but on which we do not typically receive training. We invite an expert in a particular discipline to speak to the group and lead the discussion. Past topics include: winery finance, marketing, salary negotiation, and management skills. And, of course, wine is served! For more information, please contact the chair: Lisa Bishop Forbes at lforbes@foleyfamilywines.com Openings? Yes

2) Wine Marketing/DTC Roundtable: The mission of this roundtable is to focus on strategic and tactical issues for marketing wine sold through all channels, from direct sales and tasting room to the three tier system. Topics include wine marketing strategy, brand management, distributor and relationship management, communication materials, social networking, wine ecommerce, wine clubs, and other related topics. Members include marketing professionals from wineries as well as consulting firms. The goal is to provide support and education to members through informal networking and discussions. For more information, please contact the co-chairs: Ellen Reich Luchtel at Ellen@FortunatiVineyards.com or Abigail Smyth at abigail_smyth@yahoo.com Openings? Yes

3) Human Resources Roundtable I: The goal of this roundtable is to expand its members’ knowledge in the wine industry, offering opportunities for dynamic HR peers to network and share best practices while strategically aligning HR’s role and adding value to their respective companies. In order to become a participant in the WWS HR Roundtable, one must become a member of Women for Wine Sense after attending their first HR Roundtable meeting. Participants must be in the human resources field currently working for a winery or vineyard company. Each winery or corporation may have one representative participating in the Roundtable. Vendors are not allowed to become members of this group, but the HR Roundtable 3 group welcomes non-wine related HR professionals. We welcome vendors as invited guest speakers to assist us with topics of interest. For more information, please contact the co-chairs: Kandiss Schulz at KSchultz@Peju.com and Marianne Healer at Marianne@Duckhorn.com Openings: Waitlist Only.

4) Human Resources Roundtable II: The Goal of HR Roundtable II is to expand its members’ knowledge in the wine industry, offering opportunities for dynamic HR peers to network and share best practices while strategically aligning HR’s role and adding value to their respective companies. All participants are currently working for a Napa or Sonoma winery in the Human Resource field and must become a member of Women for Sense after attending their first HR Roundtable meeting. For more information, please contact Chair Linda Higueras at linda@silveroak.com Openings: Waitlist Only.

5) Human Resources Roundtable III -: The purpose of HR Roundtable III is to provide a safe and fun forum to expand HR knowledge, network, and share best practices and challenges. Membership is open to participants working in HR functions within the wine industry, — such as suppliers, consultants, wineries and other wine-related businesses. For more information, please contact chair Sarah Davila at mailto:Sarah.Davila@tweglobal.com or Linda Hansen at mailto:lhansen@tfewines.com. Openings: Yes

6) Wine Finance/Accounting Roundtable I: The mission of the WWS Finance/Accounting Roundtable is to provide networking opportunities and professional development for women working in finance, accounting and controller positions within the wine industry. Roundtable meetings serve as a friendly, supportive and confidential forum for members to meet, exchange ideas, and learn new skills.. For more information, please contact co-chairs: Patt Foss PFoss@napawineco.com and Susan Heintz Pereira at Susan@TricycleWineCo.com Openings? Waitlist Only.

7) Wine Finance/Accounting Roundtable II: The mission of the WWS Finance/Accounting Roundtable II is to provide networking opportunities and professional development for women working in finance, accounting and controller positions within wineries, banks and other wine related institutions. Roundtable meetings serve as a friendly, supportive and confidential forum for members to meet, exchange ideas, and learn new skills. For more information, please contact Chair Constance Coughlan at constance@mccoughlan.com. Openings? Yes

8) Wine Finance/Accounting Roundtable III (Sonoma County):  The mission of the WWS Finance/Accounting Roundtable is to provide networking opportunities and professional development for women working in finance, accounting and controller positions within the wine industry.  Roundtable meetings serve as a friendly, supportive and confidential forum for members to meet, exchange ideas, and learn new skills.  For more information, please contact co-chairs:  Carol O’Hara at cohara@bpmcpa.com or Jessica Link at jessica@ryev.com.  Openings? Yes

9) Sustainability Roundtable: The mission of the WWS Environmental/Sustainability Issues Roundtable is to focus on strategic environmental and sustainability issues in the wine industry. Topics may include: recycling and material management, sustainable packaging, water and energy management, social and community efforts, chemical substitutions for cleaning and sanitation, reduction of pesticides/herbicides, solar installation, regulatory hurdles, and other environmental/sustainability programs you may be implementing. Members include both wine professionals from wineries as well as supplier and consulting firms. The goal is to provide support and education to members through informal networking and discussions. For more information, please contact co-chairs: Susanne Zechiel at susannezechiel@kennedyjenks.com. Openings? Yes

10.) Wine Technology Roundtable: The mission of the WWS Wine Technology Roundtable is to focus on technology issues in wine businesses. This may include traditional IT systems, as well as more specific wine applications such as technology in the vineyard, cellar, inventory control, distribution depletion reports, tasting room/wine club systems, social media, e-learning and other related issues.  Members include wine technology professionals from wine businesses, suppliers, and other interested WWS professionals.  The goal is to provide support and education to members through informal networking, discussions, and education. For more information or to register for an upcoming meeting, please contact co-chairs  Ms. Cheryl Hall, Constellation Wines, cheryl.hall@cwine.com or  Ms. Maureen Bragg, MO Social Media, maureen_bragg@sbcglobal.net. Openings: Yes

One of the goals of the Napa/Sonoma chapter is to continue to create new Roundtables to meet the needs of our growing professional membership.  We  welcome additional suggestions.

Q: How do I join a WWS Roundtable?
A:
Contact the WWS Director of Education, Suzanne DeGalan at SDeGalan@BeverageLaw.com, to let her know which roundtable you are interested in joining.  She will check with the Roundtable Chair on availability.  If there is room, you will be invited to attend the next meeting.  If you are interested in joining one of the new “in process” roundtables, we will reserve a place for you and notify you when the first meeting will be held.

Q: How do I start a WWS Roundtable for my wine profession?
A: It’s relatively easy to start a new roundtable.  All you need to do is:

  1. Be a WWS Professional Member
  2. Identify at least 3-5 other WWS professional members in the same wine profession as you.  If they are not WWS members, they can attend two Roundtable meetings before they become a member.
  3. Contact the Napa-Sonoma WWS Director of Education to inform her you want to start a roundtable.  She will assist you in planning, scheduling, and facilitating the first meeting.

We look forward to hearing about your ideas for other Roundtables, too!

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