Lisa Adams Walter

Director of Programs
Wine Industry Symposium Group

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Lisa Adams Walter joined the Wine Industry Symposium Group in 2014. She brings a diverse background that includes PR, marketing and writing experience in wine, travel, entertainment, high-tech, publishing and pro sports. A native of California’s Wine Country, she graduated with a degree in Communication Studies. She has served as the Assistant Executive Director of the Academy of Wine Communications, as an appointed representative on the Napa County Arts and Culture Advisory Committee, is a founding member of Napa County’s “100 Women Who Care” and in 2016 wrote the introduction for the Simon & Schuster book “Napa Valley Cabernets.”

Jeff Bitter

Vice President of Operations
Allied Grape Growers

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Jeff Bitter serves as the vice president of operations for Allied Grape Growers (AGG) and has been with AGG since 1997. His daily duties at AGG include contract negotiation and review, administrative and operations management and grape/wine market information research and presentation. In addition to his employment at AGG, Bitter is a fourth-generation grape grower on land he and his wife own and operate in Madera County. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural business from California State University, Fresno and a Master’s Degree in business administration from the Craig School of Business at Fresno State. He is also a graduate of Class XXXII of the California Agricultural Leadership Program, a prestigious two-year fellowship program emphasizing leadership training and development for those involved in California agriculture.

Wendy Brannen

Executive Director
Lodi Winegrape Commission

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Wendy Brannen joined the Lodi Winegrape Commission as executive director in October 2016. Brannen came to the world of wine from the produce industry, where she served as executive director of the Vidalia® Onion Committee, Vidalia, GA, for almost eight years and most recently in Washington, D.C. as director of consumer health and public relations for the U.S. Apple Association. Prior to leading marketing and PR efforts for commodity groups, she was an AP award-winning television news journalist. Brannen is excited to be in Lodi and a part of the Lodi Winegrape Commission team, leading the charge to increase awareness, consumption and value of the Lodi AVA’s diverse and delightful wines and winegrapes.

Phil Brumley

Consulting Managing Director
Douglas Wilson Companies

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Phillip Brumley brings more than 30 years of experience in agricultural lending, appraisal, farming and consulting to Douglas Wilson Companies (DWC). He is responsible for the oversight and management of DWC’s Agricultural Division. A graduate of California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, Brumley started his career in the banking industry with Federal Land Bank and, at the time of his departure, he was responsible for 1,100 loans totaling $175 million. As the owner of a consulting company since 1995, Brumley has provided agricultural financial services and appraisals to lenders, attorneys, accountants and individual producers. He is an expert on various forms of production agriculture including fruit and nut crops, dairies, beef cattle, row crops and field crops, as well as processing facilities. In addition, he possesses extensive property management and receivership experience, having managed a range of properties.

Randy Caparoso

Wine Journalist/Blogger

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Randy Caparoso is a multi-award winning wine journalist who lives in Lodi, California. He is Editor-at-Large and the Bottom Line columnist for The SOMM Journal, and currently blogs and does social media work for Lodi Winegrape Commission’s lodiwine.com. He also pens wine columns and contributes editorial to The Tasting Panel magazine; and in the past, he has bylined a biweekly wine column for his hometown newspaper (The Honolulu Advertiser, from 1981 to 2002). In a prior incarnation (1988 to 2001), he was a founding partner of the Roy’s family of restaurants, where he was VP/Corporate Wine Director, opening 28 restaurants from Hawai`i to New York. As a restaurateur, he was named Santé’s first Wine & Spirits Professional of the Year (1988) and Restaurant Wine’s Wine Marketer of the Year (1992 and 1998). You may contact him at randycaparoso@earthlink.net.

Mark Chandler

Chandler & Company Wine Consultancy

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Mark Chandler is a 30-year veteran of the wine business, having been a winemaker, grape grower, marketer, educator and CEO. He is most well known for his 20 years at the helm of the Lodi Winegrape Commission, where he transformed the Lodi wine region into one the most vibrant, innovative and rapidly growing wine appellations in North America. At Chandler & Company he applies his decades of experience to marketing and promoting wine and wine regions, and he is a widely popular wine educator. Chandler is a Certified Specialist in Wine through the Society of Wine Educators. He holds a BSc degree in agricultural business, and an M.A. in organizational management. He is a graduate of the esteemed California Agricultural Leadership Program.

Marc Cuneo

Bulk Wine Broker
Turrentine Brokerage

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Coming soon.

John Duarte

Duarte Nursery, Inc.

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John Duarte, a fourth-generation California farmer from Stanislaus County, California, is the president and co-owner of Duarte Nursery, Inc., a tree and vine nursery that sells to more than 1,600 Western farmers annually. Duarte is an active advocate for farming and his community. In 2011 he led a successful effort to uncover and stop a very large water transfer from Modesto to San Francisco. He has served on a number of industry technical and advocacy boards. Duarte holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Finance from San Diego State University, an MBA from University of Pacific in Stockton, California, and is a graduate fellow of the California Ag Leadership Program. He farms winegrapes and lives on a nut orchard with his wife, Alexandra, and four children.

Nicholas Karavidas

Wine Concepts & Design, International

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Nicholas Karavidas is the principal of Wine Concepts & Design, International. After completing a three-decade career in winemaking, he refocused his expertise on wine brand development and wine portfolio strategies. Now with multiple fast-growing Nielsen-rated wines in the U.S., Karavidas has turned his attention to one of his passions of which was honed on managing family owned wineries & vineyards: Family Business Legacy Coaching. Karavidas serves on the Board of Advisors for the USC Marshall School Family Business Center with a specific emphasis on wine and agriculture and is the Principal and winemaker of his own portfolio, RedHaus Wines.

Kenneth F. Levy

CFP, Levy, Daniel and McGee Wealth Management

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Kenneth F. Levy, CFP of Levy, Daniel and McGee Wealth Management, entered the financial services industry in 1984, and in 1986 earned the Certified Financial Planner™ professional designation. In 2015, Levy founded Levy, Daniel & McGee Wealth Management, which is in affiliation with, but independent from, Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network. Levy, Daniel & McGee Wealth Management helps build, manage, preserve and transition family wealth by focusing on business owners, farmers and investors at or near retirement. Levy is an amateur winemaker and passionate about guiding family businesses to succeed generationally. He has served as president of Lodi Amateur Vintners Association and is current president of Knights of the Vine, Lodi.

David McAlvany

The Intentional Legacy

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Coming soon.

Erica Moyer

Turrentine Brokerage

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Erica Moyer has successfully expanded Turrentine’s impact in the Central Valley in regions such as the Northern Interior, Lodi/Delta and the greater San Joaquin Valley, in addition to the northern region of the Central Coast. Since joining Turrentine in 2003, she has successfully facilitated thousands of winegrape contracts with a comprehensive group of grape growers and wineries throughout California. Most of her career was in production agriculture as a technical sales representative and as a crop manager for a large farming operation. Prior to joining Turrentine, Moyer was the executive director of the Lodi District Grape Growers Association representing over 600 growers. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in crop science from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and is a licensed Pest Control Adviser.

Joe Petersen

Petersen and Company

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Joe Peterson owns and operates Petersen & Company, a local real estate firm that specializes in agriculture. He is a first generation farmer in Lodi, farming Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Cabernet and Bing cherries. He attributes his successes to a great upbringing, his degree in Business Management from Oregon State, a wonderful wife, hard work, great friends and luck. Peterson is a graduate of the California Ag Leadership Program. He was the president of the North San Joaquin Water Conservation District Board of Directors and is the immediate past Chairman of the San Joaquin County Agricultural Advisory Board. He currently chairs the San Joaquin County Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee for Agricultural Mitigation. He served six years on the California Association of Winegrape Growers Board of Directors and is a strong supporter of the San Joaquin Farm Bureau. Peterson and his wife Jeannette are blessed with three children: Brooklyn, Franchesca, and Weston.

David Phippen

Travaille & Phippen and Primo Nut

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David Phippen is a third-generation almond grower, and has been growing almonds since 1972. In 1980 he co-founded Travaille & Phippen, an almond sheller business located in Ripon, California and following that, he co-founded an almond packer business, Primo Nut, in 1984. Throughout his life, Dave has been an active member of the community. He served on the Ag Credit Financial Board for 12 years and is currently a board member of CoBank, which recently merged with US AG Bank, the San Joaquin County Farm Bureau and the Almond Board of California. Phippen became a board member of the Almond Board of California in 2001 and served as board chair in 2006-2007.

Craig Rous

Director of Operations and Planning
Bear Creek Winery

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Craig Rous has been the director of operations for the Bear Creek Winery for the past 19 years. Bear Creek Winery is a bulk wine producer that has quadrupled in size during his tenure suppling wines to wineries in all appellations in California as well as customers in more than 20 international countries. Formerly at Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi, Rous has spent his entire career involved in winemaking and grape-growing in Lodi. A former president of the American Society of Enology and Viticulture, Rous is also a graduate of the California Agriculture Leadership Program. He also owns a 108-year-old ancient vine Zinfandel vineyard in the Lodi Appellation.

Dale Stern

Food & Agriculture Group, Downey Brand

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For nearly 30 years, Dale Stern has represented California agricultural interests, including the wine community. He provides business and regulatory counsel to winegrape growers and wineries throughout the state, and serves as general counsel to many of the industry’s trade associations, including the California Association of Winegrape Growers and several regional associations. Additionally, Stern counsels his clients on all aspects of their day-to-day operations including winegrape purchase and sale agreements and interactions with state and federal governmental agencies. He received his B.S. in Agricultural Biology from Cal Poly Pomona and his J.D. from UC Davis School of Law.

Mike Stroh

Marketing Director
Michael David Winery

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A Lodi native, Mike Stroh is the director of marketing for Michael David Winery, where he has worked for the past 15 years. He works directly with ownership on all aspects of marketing the winery, expanding its portfolio of brands and growing it’s direct to consumer reach. Stroh has been instrumental in helping to create, develop and market some of Michael David Winery’s most recognized and iconic brands, including the rapidly surging Freakshow Cabernet Sauvignon. Stroh oversees all aspects of marketing and hospitality for Michael David, including direct-to-consumer channels. He is also co-owner of Freelance Wines of Lodi.

Brian Tognotti

Client Director

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Brian Tognotti is the client director at Nielsen where he has spent 17 years working with a variety of clients across consumer packaged goods, specializing in the beverage alcohol, fresh produce and center store categories. Prior to joining Nielsen, he was category nanager at Republic Beverage Company in Houston, Texas, managing the wine category at Kroger. He is a graduate of UCLA and currently lives in Oakland, California.