GaragisteCon 2022 Speakers

JACOB APPELSMITH is the senior counsel for Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP. Jacob helps clients navigate California’s complex regulatory schemes regarding alcoholic beverages, cannabis, gaming, and state government processes. Prior to rejoining Pillsbury, Jacob served as Director of California’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC), Chief of the Bureau of Gambling Control at the Department of Justice, a senior advisor to California’s Governor and two of California’s Attorneys General, and as a Chief Campus Counsel for the University of California. With over 25 years of public-sector experience, Jacob’s diverse legal background has included negotiating tribal gaming compacts, public-private partnerships, and other complex agreements. Join Jacob from 3:30 -4:30 p.m. when he leads the “5 BIGGEST LEGAL MISTAKES WINERIES MAKE” seminar as part of the “Sales & Business Operations” Track for the event.

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JENNE BALDWIN-EATON has been a winemaker in the Colorado wine industry for the past 27 years. For 22 years, Baldwin-Eaton made award-winning wines from 100% Colorado grown grapes and was involved in all aspects of running a commercial winery. The success and growth of the Colorado wine industry is very important to Baldwin-Eaton and in 2017 she developed the first Associates of Applied Science Viticulture and Enology program at Western Colorado Community College, a division of Colorado Mesa University in Colorado. Baldwin-Eaton teaches a multitude of classes in the program, runs the wine lab, carries out practical research each harvest and leads the newly established Warren Winiarski/Gerald Ivancie Institute to Viticulture and Enology. Jenne will speak from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. on “AVOIDING SMALL-SCALE WINEMAKING PITFALLS” for the “Winery Operations” track.

CHIK BRENNEMAN is the Winemaker and partner for Baker Family Wines.  In 1998, Chik graduated with a Master’s degree from UC Davis’s school of Viticulture and Enology and upon graduation, he went to work for Amador Foothill Winery, in Amador County, CA, Terre Rouge Easton Winery, and eventually became the production lab manager at Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi in Lodi California. In 2006, Chic was approached by the University of California at Davis to manage their winery. Chik retired from the University in March 2019 to devote full-time energy to Baker Family Wines. As well as being an enthusiastic home winemaker, in any given harvest he will make wine from over 50 different varietals. Chik also writes the “Varietal Focus” column in every issue of WineMaker magazine. Chik will start off the event with “HOW MANY HATS? BALANCING BEING WINEMAKER & OWNER” seminar from 11 a.m. to Noon that covers part of the event’s “Winery Operations” track.

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CHRIS COOK With a 35-year career in marketing, “Capiche” owner Chris Cook is a marketing and PR consultant focused on helping wineries increase sales. Combining expertise in branding with her love of wine and passion for entrepreneurship, she works with individual wineries, wine trails and winery associations. Her passions align with her day job—helping organizations find their unique voice and reach their audience. Chris’ entrepreneurial spirit is reflected by one of her current projects: MajoringInWine.com. The website provides a centralized spot to learn about wine industry education programs throughout the world—for those seeking to enter or advance their careers in the industry. This dovetails with Wine Business Education, where Chris delivers lessons as part of the online program. You may have seen her byline as she frequently writes for Southern Oregon Wine Scene, Oregon Wine Press and Southern Oregon Magazine. Join Chris from 11 a.m. to Noon when she will speak about “WINERY MARKETING CHECK-UP” in the Sales & Operations Track and again from 3:30 -4:30 p.m. when she discusses “WINERY BRANDING 101″ as part of the “Start-Ups” track.

EVELYN COOK, CPA, has over 20 years’ experience in accounting, tax compliance, tax planning, auditing, and consulting. She has worked with a wide variety of companies through her career, including manufacturers, SEC reporting companies, financial institutions, retail operations, wineries, and agricultural co-ops. Evelyn lives in the Roseville, CA area at One Chimney Farm with her two Sheltie show dogs and a Doberman. She also keeps a flock of chickens and is the proud owner of Romeo, a dark bay thoroughbred who stands at 16.2 hands. Evelyn received her B.S. in Managerial Economics from the University of California, Davis. She has also completed post-graduate courses in accounting at California State University, Sacramento. Evelyn is a Certified Public Accountant with the State of California. From 2:00 – 3:00 p.m., Evelyn will lead the “TOP 5 FINANCIAL MISTAKES NEW WINERIES MAKE” seminar as part of the “Start-Ups” track.

SANDRA HESS, founder of DTC Wine Workshops Consulting Agency, is a wine consumer engagement & direct sales specialist based out of Northern California. She and her team of 10 consultants support winery teams throughout the US, Canada and Australia with proven tools and training solutions. Sandra is a frequent speaker at wine industry events across the globe and publishes expert articles on direct to consumer wine sales best practices. Sandra is past president of Women for WineSense Napa Sonoma, has served as a steering committee member for the DTC Wine Symposium for five years and is an advisory board member for the Wine Business Monthly WiVi Conference Central Coast. Prior to joining the wine industry, Sandra supported businesses nationally and globally in the areas of Sales & Marketing Strategy Development and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software Solutions. Featured in Forbes, Wine Business Monthly, Wines & Vines, Wine Industry Advisor, Wine Industry Network, Market Watch, Silicon Valley Bank on Wine and Regional Winery Association Publications, she is considered a trusted advisor. Tune in from 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. as Sandra discusses “DEVELOPING A DIRECT-TO-CONSUMER SALES STRATEGIC PLAN” for“Start-Ups” track.

ANNA KATHARINE MANSFIELD is an associate professor of enology and director of the Cornell Craft Beverage Institute at Cornell AgriTech in Geneva, NY.  She received a BA in English from Salem College and graduate degrees in Food Science at Virginia Tech and the University of Minnesota. Mansfield served as Enology Project Leader at the University of Minnesota from 2001-2008, where she developed a new enology extension program to serve the rapidly-developing cold-climate wine industry in the Upper Midwest. Dr. Mansfield has been a member of the Cornell Enology Extension Lab since 2009, where she strives to aid regional wineries through outreach and applied research on wine phenolics and proteins, fermentation nutrition, and regional typicity. Join Anna Katharine from 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. when she leads the “DEVELOPING SENSORY SKILLS FOR WINEMAKERS” seminar as one of the “Winery Operations” tracks.

PHIL PLUMMER has been making wine in New York’s Finger Lakes region for over a decade, spending the bulk of those years at Montezuma Winery, where he has served as head winemaker since 2013.  In his time at Montezuma, Phil has taken a lead role in the development and production of a wide-ranging portfolio of wines made from grapes, fruit, and honey, and was instrumental in the launch of Montezuma’s sister wineries, Idol Ridge and Fossenvue. Phil will discuss “TECHNIQUES FOR OPTIMIZING WINE AROMAS” from 2:00 – 3:00 as part of the “Winery Operations” track.

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REBECCA RITZ, passionate about the wine industry and making it easier for businesses to achieve their goals, blended two of her loves – design and wine – and in 2008 began to focus on helping wine brands tell their brand story. Rebecca specializes in integrating this brand story and strategy into print, packaging, digital marketing, and website design and development to stand out from the competition. She prides herself on providing tangible takeaways that owners and marketing managers can apply to their specific winery. When not speaking, she partners with wineries and vineyards around the country to create unforgettable brands with strategy and heart. Founder & Designer of Bauerhaus Design, it is a member of the Wine Industry Network, Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association, Illinois Grape Growers and Vintners Association, and the Women of the Vine & Spirits, an organization dedicated to the support and advancement of women in the alcohol beverage industry. Rebecca will speak on “CASE STUDY: HOW DO BRANDS TARGET 6 DIFFERENT WINE CONSUMERS” in the “Sales & Business Operations” track from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.

GENEVIEVE RODGERS is an engineer, turned winemaker, turned wine business consultant. For more than twenty years she’s been making wine, managing wineries and helping people start their dreams. With a BS in Mechanical Engineering and an MBA, Genevieve started developing and planting an estate vineyard that continues, 20 years later, to produce award-winning wine. Since then she has managed an estate winery, run her own award-winning wine brand and helped others do the same. She’s worked in all facets of the wine industry. Along the way she’s learned what works and what doesn’t work in this difficult and very rewarding industry. From 11 a.m. – Noon, Genevieve will talk in the “Start-Ups” track with her “KEYS TO A BETTER BUSINESS PLAN” seminar.

GENI WHITEHOUSE is a consulting team member with the accounting and advisory firm, BDCo. Geni has been named one of the 25 most powerful women in accounting by CPA Practice Advisor, one of the Top 100 Influencers by Accounting Today magazine, and one of the Top 25 Thoughtleaders in Accounting. Geni is an instructor at the WISE Academy,where she teaches accounting concepts to winery staff and is a former board member of the Napa/Sonoma Chapter of Women for WineSense where she served as Education Director. Geni’s seminar on “BREAKING DOWN TASTING ROOM NUMBERS” in the “Sales & Business Operations” track is from 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.