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Save the Dates! April 20-21-22, 2015
License to Steal:
What: a gathering of winery owners and marketing directors, tourism specialists, ancillary businesses that benefit from wineries in their region, economic development people and all interested in the growth of the American grape and wine community.

Why: because years ago, there were few marketing-only conferences that helped keep wineries ahead of the marketing curve.

Who: everyone who is interested in the above.

7:00 p.m. April 19,2015 Wine America SRAAC dinner - open to members of WineAmerica where issues of importance to the national community will be presented/discussed


Monday, April 20, 2015 Marketing sessions
8:00 - 9:00 Registration/Visit Vendors/Continental Breakfast

Monday Morning Breakfast Menu
Fresh Bagels with Flavored Cream Cheeses
Assorted Fruit Yogurts
Freshly Sliced Domestic and Tropical Fruit Display
Orange Juice
Freshly Brewed Regular and Decaffeinated Coffee
Assorted Hot Teas

9:00 - 10:00 Steal Session by State Wine Directors who will share their

best ideas from the prior year

10:00 - 10:15 Michael Kaiser, of Wine America will review TTB Social Media regulations of which we ALL need to observe

10:15 - 11:15 Peter Shankman, Customer Service on video followed by a phone call-in to answer attendees questions

11:45 - 12:15 Danene Beedle, Maximizing Sponsorship Opportunities from our experience in Missouri

Monday April 20, 2015 Concurrent Business sessions
10:00-10:45 David Marrison, Getting read for the next generation: family planning succession

10:45 - 11:05 Brett Rodstrom, Opportunities and challenges with preservation easements for vineyard owners

11:05 - 11:25 Larry Klco, From a farmer's perspective: Experiences with preservation easements

11:25 - 11:45 noon Q and A

12:15 - 1:00 Informal Lunch & Networking

Monday Afternoon Lunch Menu
Choice of Chicken Salad, Ham, or Turkey Wraps with Pickles and Chips
Coffee, Tea, and Iced Tea

1:00 - 1:45 Visit Vendors

2:00 - 2:45 Katie Bruno, Search Engine Optimization: a whole new ballgame

2:45 - 3:30 Steal Session with all attendees - Topic: Breaking the ‘Local Wine’ ceiling: success stories

3:30 - 3:45 Break/Visit Vendors

3:45 - 4:15 Tom DeLong and Sarah Bals, Tastemasters Volunteerism: what volunteers expect, what they need, what keeps them engaged

4:15 - 5:00 Jeanette Merritt, Trends in Craft beverages --- an open discussion

6:30 - 9:00 Tapas dinner, tour and tasting at Pairings Ohio’s Wine & Culinary Experience
Featuring local celebrity Chef Jeff Fisher - transportation provided

Tuesday, April 21, 2015
8:30 - 9:00 Continental Breakfast/Visit Vendors

Tuesday Morning Breakfast Menu
Scrambled Eggs and Bacon
Freshly Sliced Domestic and Tropical Fruit Display
Orange Juice
Freshly Brewed Regular and Decaffeinated Coffee
Assorted Hot Teas

9:00 - 10:00 Barbara Snow, Cleveland Food Tours and Barb Abbott, Canton Food Tours - building connections with the foodie communities

10:00 - 11:00 Dr. Rachel Talton, Secret Shopping, its importance to your business

11:00 - 12:00 Danene Beedle, Maximizing Content Marketing to build an ever more loyal customer base

12:00 - 1:00 Informal Lunch & Networking

Tuesday Afternoon Lunch Menu
Latin Bar with Steak or Chicken Fajitas
Sautéed Peppers and Onions
Warm Flour Tortillas
Shredded Lettuce, Diced Tomatoes, Sour Cream, Tomato Salsa, Cheddar Cheese blend
Spanish Rice, Tortilla Chips and Salsa

1:00 - 1:45 Visit Vendors

2:00 - 2:45 Robert Leeds and Mary Griffith, Maps and Apps - Mobile marketing: critical to your future

2:45 - 3:15 Barbara Snow, Focus Groups: Hire or DIY
3:15 - 3:30 Break

3:30 - 345 Mary Mihaly, The WineBuzz - Getting your stories published: Understanding the AP and individual 'style books' of the publications you are targeting

3:45 - 4:30 Steal Sessions with all attendees - Topic: Books which make a difference

6:15 - 10:30 Progressive dinner and tasting - Harpersfield Vineyard [White Cheddar and Broccoli with Chardonnay], Cellar Rats Brewery at Debonne Vineyard [Brats, Kraut and Beer] and Red Eagle Distillery [BBQ and Bourbon - with a little Rye plus Brandy Alexander over Maple Ice Cream for dessert]

Wednesday, April 22, 2015
8:30 - 9:00 Continental Breakfast

Wednesday Morning Breakfast Menu
Fresh Bagels with Flavored Cream Cheeses
Assorted Fruit Yogurts
Freshly Sliced Domestic and Tropical Fruit Display
Orange Juice
Freshly Brewed Regular and Decaffeinated Coffee
Assorted Hot Teas

9:00 - 9:20 Michael Kaiser, Federal regulations regarding volunteerism for both for proit and not or profit businesses

9:20 - 10:00 Donniella Winchell. Wine Tasting 101 for your customers - a hands on palate training that will help create better educated consumers

10:00 - 10:30 Tuesday Tidbit redeux -- Donniella Winchell ideas to consider

10:30 - 11:00 Steal Sessions with all attendees - Topic: Festival, Trade & Event best practices

Speakers Bios:

Barb Abbott
Canton Food Tours began when entrepreneur Barbara Abbott discovered the appealing and simple concept of a "food tour" when she took a tour in Scottsdale, Arizona in 2010.
From that chance experience, Abbott spent the next two years planning and developing Canton Food Tours, which launched in May, 2012. Regularly scheduled tours and themed events highlight the unique eateries, amazing artists, and rich history of Canton and surrounding region.
Abbott has expanded business into Wayne County and beyond. Canton Food Tours, now in it’s fourth season, has grown and diversified every year.
In 2014 Abbott and colleague Dave Baloun developed a Corks and Forks event series, which focuses on wine education. This successful series has lead to a sister business called Savor and Sip Tours, which showcases wineries and breweries in eastern Ohio. Savor and Sip Tours launches spring of 2015.

Danene Beedle
Danene Beedle, @MoWineGirl, is the passionate Director of Marketing for the Missouri Wine and Grape Board. As a Brand Ambassador Danene formulates and directs state-wide marketing initiatives for more than 125 wineries and ten wine trails in Missouri. Danene works with industry organizations, academic institutions and strategic partners to facilitate the growth of the Missouri wine industry and convey the $1.6 billion annual impact of the Missouri Wine industry on the state. Danene is a member of the Les Dames d'Escoffier International, an invitational organization of women leaders in food, beverage and hospitality whose mission is education, advocacy and philanthropy. Danene was awarded the Missouri Division of Tourism 2014 Ambassador award. She is the president of the Friends of the National Churchill Museum and is enthusiastic about historic preservation and art. Danene is an avid cook and loves nothing more than trying new recipes, learning about wine and continuing her quest to create the perfect bite!

Katie Bruno
Katie is the founder and CEO of WDD "We Do Digital" an Ohio based digital marketing company that has specializes in creating strategies and solutions for tourism and entertainment destinations. Katie began her career as a research scientist, but was quickly lured into the world of the Internet during the early days of its development and has not looked back since. Her deep and broad understanding of digital marketing and the multiple technologies that drive it makes her perspective unique and powerful. Her real world experience in creating online success for a wide variety of clients brings a wealth of real world applications of the ideas she communicates.

Thomas J. DeLong AKA (TommyD)
A retired Firefighter/Paramedic with a life long interest in winemaking and the wine industry...not to mention enjoying the finished product as well! Currently he is enrolled in VESTA classes finishing up his AAS degree in enology this spring. He is an accomplished home winemaker who has won awards for some of his wines and enjoys teaching his craft to others. He is involved with some of the local wineries helping them with their production and sometimes laboratory analysis. In addition he is a volunteer ambassador for Pairings Ohio's Wine and Culinary Experience... you may have seen him at many of their sponsored events. Having formal education as a mechanical engineer earning a BS from Cleveland State Fenn college of engineering, it was easy for him to transition into the production aspect of the wine industry. Upon his retirement Mr DeLong contemplated opening up his own boutique winery. Time will tell....

Mary Griffith
Griffith serves as the OSU Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator in Greene County. Prior to joining the Greene County Extension Office, Mary worked for OSU Extension's Integrated Pest Management Program and for OSU Extension's Farm to School Program. She has Masters' degrees in Agricultural Economics and Plant Pathology, both from the Ohio State University.

Bonnie Hampton
As Program Manager, Bonnie administers several matching funds programs for the New York Wine & Grape Foundation (NYWGF). She monitors active and pending licenses based on information from NYS Liquor Authority, providing statistical/historical information when needed, and makes information regarding NYWGF and its program/projects available to new wineries. Bonnie also manages the NYWGF social media and is the liaison to Women for New York State Wines.

Michael Kaiser
As Director of Public Affairs, Michael manages all external communications for WineAmerica. This includes press outreach and membership communication. Michael also actively recruits new membership for WineAmerica while getting the association's message out to the masses. Michael is a regular fixture at industry trade shows and conferences throughout the country. He has been quoted in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Associated Press, Vineyard and Winery Management Magazine, Wines and Vines and Wine Spectator.
Michael is also the main point of contact between the organization and the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) and handles general regulatory concerns for WineAmerica members. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Drink Local Wine, Free the Grapes, The National Wine and Grape Initiative and on the Advisory Boards of the Craft Beverage Expo and the US Beverage Expo.

Rob Leeds
Leeds is an Agricultural/Natural Resources Extension agent in Delaware County. Leeds has worked in Extension for 22 years ago with a specialty in Direct Ag Marketing, working with farmers involved in Ag direct marketing across the United States. Leeds is also the owner of Leeds Farm an agritourismmarket, focused on entertainment, education, and fall produce. The farm attracts visitors from across Ohio in the months of September and October.

David Marrison
David Marrison is an Associate Professor and Extension Educator for OSU Extension located in Ashtabula County in northeast, Ohio. He also serves as the County Extension Director for Ashtabula County. He received his Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Education and Agricultural Economics in 1990 from The Ohio State University and a Master's Degree in Education from Purdue University in 1992. He taught Agricultural Science at North Montgomery High School in Crawfordsville, Indiana from 1992-1997. Marrison has been an Extension Educator for OSU Extension since 1997. He is currently the co-leader of OSU Extension's Ohio Ag Manager Team which authors a monthly farm and agribusiness management newsletter. He is nationally known for his teaching in farm succession planning and has authored numerous publications in succession and estate planning.

Jeanette Merritt
Marketing Director, Indiana Wines & The Purdue Wine Grape Team
Jeanette Merritt is the Marketing Director of Indiana Wines & The Purdue Wine Grape Team. She is also the Executive Director of the Vintage Indiana Wine & Food Festival, 10,000 attendee festival in early June. She is responsible for promoting the state's 70 wineries. Jeanette serves as the Marketing Director of the INDY International Wine Competition, one of the largest wine competitions on the country. A graduate of Purdue University, Jeanette previously was the Farm Director of the AgriAmerica Radio Network, a farm radio news network which served over radio 70 stations in Indiana.
Jeanette has written a weekly opinion column for the Indiana AgriNews newspaper and served as a contributing reporter for the nationally syndicated TV show US Farm Report. She and her husband are hog and grain farmers in north-central Indiana and have three young children.

Mary Mihaly
After nine books and 600+ magazine articles (and half a dozen more books ghostwritten for clients), Mary Mihaly decided to learn about her passion--wine!--and enrolled at the American Wine School. She completed all three WSET levels offered at the school, then earned her CSW (Certified Specialist of Wine) certification through the Society of Wine Educators.
For 12 years, Mary specialized in travel writing, and traveled to 61 countries on assignment. Most of her work has been for national publications, including The Wall Street Journal, Family Circle, Country Living, Yoga Journal, Reader's Digest, Playboy, Seventeen, AARP, Continental, Christian Science Monitor, House Beautiful and Cooking Light, and regional outlets such as Midwest Living and The New York Post. She also has written for numerous websites, including, and Over the years, she also developed health writing and business writing as specialties.
But a primary aim has long been to increase her portfolio of wine-related writing and editing, and in January 2014 she started as Editor of TheWineBuzz, a statewide (Ohio) magazine that covers wine, spirits and travel, and the people, places and lifestyles in the world of fermented and distilled drinks. Currently Mary is studying for her CSS (Certified Specialist of Spirits) certification, after which she swears she will never pick up a textbook again.

Brett Rodstrom
Brett Rodstrom's passion for the outdoors has led him to a career in which he helps preserve some of northern Ohio's natural treasures.
Growing up on the Grand River, Rodstrom, Western Reserve Land Conservancy's Vice President of Eastern Operations, is an avid angler and recreational hunter who has led the organization's land-preservation efforts in Ashtabula, Geauga, Lake, Trumbull, Portage Mahoning, Columbiana, Carroll and Jefferson counties. He is the go-to person on land conservation issues ranging from conservation easements on private family lands to the acquisition of sensitive properties which ultimately become public parks and wildlife areas.
Rodstrom, a Painesville native, was a stormwater specialist with Lake Soil and Water Conservation District before becoming land protection coordinator for Grand River Partners, which merged with Western Reserve Land Conservancy in 2009. He served as the Land Conservancy's northeastern field director before being promoted to vice president in 2013.
Rodstrom, a graduate of Painesville Riverside High School, holds a degree in environmental science from Allegheny College where he focused on stream ecology and environmental policy. Brett and his wife, Tiffany, live in Concord with their son Anders, 2, and Brittany spaniel, Pablo

Peter Shankman
The New York Times has called him "a public relations all-star who knows everything about new media and then some,", while Investor's Business Daily has labeled him "crazy, but effective." Peter Shankman is a spectacular example of what happens when you merge the power of pure creativity with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and a dose of adventure, and make it work to your advantage.
An author, entrepreneur, speaker, and worldwide connector, Peter is recognized worldwide for radically new ways of thinking about Customer Service, Social Media, PR, marketing and advertising.
Peter is best known for founding Help A Reporter Out, (HARO) which in under a year became the de-facto standard for thousands of journalists looking for sources on deadline, offering them more than 200,000 sources around the world looking to be quoted in the media. HARO is currently the largest free source repository in the world, sending out over 1,500 queries from worldwide media each week. HARO's tagline, "Everyone is an Expert at Something", proves over and over again to be true, as thousands of new members join at each week. In June of 2010, less than two years after Peter started HARO in his apartment, it was acquired by Vocus, Inc.
Peter is the founder of ShankMinds: Business Masterminds, a series of small business entrepreneurial-style masterminds in over 25 cities worldwide.
Additionally, Peter is also the founder and CEO of The Geek Factory, Inc., a boutique Social Media, Marketing and PR Strategy firm located in New York City, with clients worldwide. His blog, which he launched in 1995 at, both comments on and generates news and conversation.
Peter's Customer Service and Social Media clients have included American Express, Sprint, The US Department of Defense, Royal Bank of Canada, Snapple Beverage Group, Saudi Aramco, Foley Hoag, LLP, NASA, Haworth, Walt Disney World, Abercrombie and Kent, The Ad Council, Discovery Networks, New Frontier Media, Napster, Juno, Dream Catcher Destinations Club, Harrah's Hotels, and many, many others.
Peter is the author of four books: Zombie Loyalists: Using Great Service to Create Rabid Fans (Palgrave/Macmillan, 2015) Nice Companies Finish First: Why Cutthroat Management is Over, and Collaboration is in, (Palgrave/Macmillan, 2013,) Can We Do That?! Outrageous PR Stunts That Work--And Why Your Company Needs Them (Wiley and Sons, 2006,) and Customer Service: New Rules for a Social Media World (Que Biz-Tech 2010,) and is a frequent keynote speaker and workshop presenter at conferences and tradeshows worldwide, including South By Southwest, Affiliate Summit, BlogWorld, TBEX, The Public Relations Society of America, CTIA, CTAM, CES, PMA, OMMA, Mobile Marketing Asia, and the Direct Marketing Association.
Peter is an adjunct professor of Marketing at New York University, and sits on the advisory boards of several companies, all visible on the Advising/Investing page, and is honored to sit on the NASA Civilian Advisory Council, appointed to his position by NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. He's also an angel investor, specializing mostly in very early stage tech and social media companies.
A marketing pundit for several national and international news channels, including Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC, Peter is frequently quoted in major media and trade publications, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Daily News, The Associated Press, Reuters and USA Today.
A proud Boston University graduate, Peter started his career at America Online as a Senior News Editor, helping found the AOL Newsroom and spearheading coverage of the Democratic and Republican 1996 conventions, which marked the first time an online news service covered any major political event.
Born and raised in New York City, Peter still resides there with his beautiful wife and daughter, and NASA the Wonder Cat, all of whom consistently deny his repeated requests to relinquish the couch. In the few hours of spare time Peter has per month he's completed 13 marathons, seven Olympic distance triathlons, two half-Ironman triathlons, and one full Ironman Triathlon. He's also a "B" licensed skydiver with over 400 jumps.

Barbara Snow
Leading food tours in Cleveland is a natural for Barbara Snow. Trained at the renowned Zona Spray Cooking School in Hudson (Ohio), Snow went on to teach culinary classes at her alma mater (now known as the Western Reserve School of Cooking), Williams-Sonoma, Chautauqua Institution, and Cuyahoga Community College, where she specializes in corporate culinary team-building. Prior to culinary school, Snow served as Director of Sales and Marketing for Baron Aviation, Inc., (Cleveland) and held marketing positions with several non-profits.
Snow loves her hometown of Cleveland and takes pride on sharing everything the 216 has to offer. She finds leading food tours is a great way to spread the news.
TASTE Cleveland Food Tours offers weekly tours of Tremont, Little Italy, and the West Side Market. These walking tours feature the rich diverse history of each area along with some little-known tidbits (be sure to ask her about Meryl Streep). The restaurants are selected for delicious food as well as their history and contribution to the area.
This June Snow will be working on the 2015 Five Star Sensation with Cleveland Chef Michael Symon. Five Star is the biennial fund raiser for University Hospital's Seidman Cancer Center.
This past Lent, feeling holier than usual, Snow decided to give up wine. She was most recently heard saying “Well, I won’t be doing that again.”

Dr. Rachel Talton
Dr. Rachel Talton is CEO of the award-winning firm Synergy Marketing Strategy & Research, Inc. Synergy's purpose is to help organizations inspire, connect, and engage with customers to flourish and grow. Synergy uses a unique combination of expertise in research, insight, and strategy to better understand consumer and employee behaviors and leverage opportunities for growth. In addition to Dr. Talton's success as an entrepreneur, she is an award-winning published scholar and keynote speaker in the areas of brand trust, consumer loyalty, and employee engagement.
Dr. Talton is also CTO (Chief Transformation Officer) of Flourish Leadership, LLC and the Flourish Conference for Women in Leadership, which provides high-achieving female executives and entrepreneurs with executive coaching, masterminding cohorts, and the company's signature offering: Transformation ImmersioTM. Transformation Immersion Retreats are scalable strategic leadership events. These sessions provide in-depth analysis and mentoring to help executive women flourish in both their professional careers, and personal lives.
In early 2009, Dr. Talton co-founded TRUST, LLC alongside several established Northeast-Ohio CEOs working in the marketing discipline. To support its mission, Dr. Talton designed "Women in Business Pay It Forward." Today, Synergy still donates marketing services to one burgeoning company each year. The most recent recipient of in-kind services is S. Rose, a fast-growing company offering consumer hard-goods. Synergy's BloomPrintTM for Brands allowed S. Rose to take the next step in their growth plan.
Building on Synergy's successes, in 2010 Dr. Talton and her team focused their energies on improving the economic and social development of historically-disadvantaged groups throughout the Cleveland Plus region with the design and implementation of the Northeast Ohio Economic Inclusion Forum Series. The four-event series, and its associated action plan, has sparked active participation from hundreds of policy-makers and executives across the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors.
Dr. Talton serves on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of Positively Cleveland, where she chairs the Marketing Committee. In addition, she serves on the Board of Directors of the Cuyahoga Community College Foundation, as well as JumpStart Inc. Dr. Talton is a member of the Cleveland Bridge Builders Class of 2002, as well as the Leadership Cleveland Class of 2005. Her local social activities are complemented by her work with the Entrepreneurs Organization (EO). EO is an organization focused on developing Global entrepreneurial talent through the leadership of its members, all of whom are founders of organizations with annual revenues of $1M+.
Recognized by several organizations, Dr. Talton was recognized as the 2014 Young Professional of the Year (STAR Award) by the Women of Color Foundation. Her firm, Synergy, was also selected as winner of the presigious 2014 Medical Mutual Pillar Award for Community Service presented by Smart Business Magazine. Dr. Talton was selected as a finalist for the 2010 Northeast Ohio ATHENA® International Award, a global award recognizing exceptional leaders who seek to inspire others to pursue excellence in their professional and personal lives. She has also received the 2010 NAWBO "Top 10 Women Business Owners of Northeast Ohio" Award, Crain's Cleveland Business "Top Forty Under 40" Award, Kaleidoscope Magazine's "Top 40-Under-Forty Leaders in Northeastern Ohio" Award, a Who's Who in Black Cleveland commendation, and the 2007 "Most Influential Business Leaders in Northeast Ohio" award, presented by the Cleveland Call & Post. Additionally, she has received the Blue Key Oratory Award, The Mayor of Cleveland Entrepreneur of the Year Award (2003), and is the recipient of the Minority Business of the Year Award by NOMBC (2004). In addition to her awards in economic and social development, Dr. Talton is also a proud member of the Links, Inc., Delta Sigma Theta, and the PhD Project.
Dr. Talton also belongs to several professional organizations including the Market Research Association, the American Marketing Association, and the Academy of Management. She has been featured as an expert in brand strategy and market research on ABC News, Fox News, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, Crain's and MBA Magazine, amongst many others. She has authored several practitioner and academic articles, including "Dare to Build Trust in Times of Distrust" and "Trust Payoffs in Distrust Dominated Environments." Her first book, Beyond Extraordinary: A Blueprint to Flourish in Business and in Life will be published in early 2015. Her second book, The Currency of Passion, will be published in early 2016.

Donniella Winchell
Donniella Winchell is currently the Executive Director of the Ohio Wine Producers Association, and chair of their Vintage Ohio wine festival.
She is on the board of the Winegrape Growers of America and the WineAmerica State Advisory Panel. In addition, she is the recipient of Monteith Trophy given annually to one national figure in the American grape and wine community, is a member of the Knights of the Vine, received Ohio Travel Association's Paul Sherlock award, the Paul Harris Rotary award and is a member of Ohio Wine Hall of Fame. She helped to create the License to Steal, National Wine Marketing Conference. She was on the founding boards of several retinal tourism organizations and served as a trustee for both the Ohio Travel Association and for many years on the Ohio Division of T and T Advisory Board. She also sits on several regional and state economic development committees.
Winchell is a graduate of Allegheny College with a BA in history and taught in Ohio public schools before retiring to raise a family. She then joined the Ohio Wine Producers Association and has served as their Executive Director for most of her professional career.
The Winchell family also owns a marketing services agency and brochure distribution service as well as a family entertainment center, Adventure Zone, in the resort community of Geneva-on the-Lake, Ohio. She and her husband have three married children, six beautiful granddaughters and three handsome grandsons. They live in the Grand River Viticultural district in northeast Ohio.

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