NOTE: 2014 Presentations Downloads Available:    show me >>>


Save the Dates! April 8-10, 2014
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. Wine America SRAAC dinner - open to members of WineAmerica where issues of importance to the national community will be presented/discussed


8:00-9:00 Registration/Visit Vendors/Continental Breakfast

9:00-10:30 Meet and Greet/ Steal Sessions by state wine associations from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri,, Nebraska,New York, Ohio and Virginia

10:30-10:45 Break

10:45-11:00 Michael Kaiser, Wine America: Social Media Regulations

11:00-11:30 Annette Boyd and a New York rep: Importance of farm based beverages to the local economy

11:30-12:15 2nd Steal Session, from the floor :focus on volunteers and how to recruit, train and keep

12:15-1:30 Informal lunch & networking select from following topics: A) Farm wineries vs. fruits out of state B) Facebook best practices C) Nontraditional partnerships

1:30-2:00 Visit Vendors

2:00-3:00 Bob Cohen, Braintree: Crowd Funding

3:00-3:15 Linda Jones, Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council: The MI and Pure Michigan campaign

3:15-4:20 Lee Little, Bar-Z Adventures: Mobile Marketing

6:30 Reception (each winery bring 1 to 2 bottles of wine to share)


8:00-9:00 Steal session: From the floor: Best practices for trails and festivals

9:00-10:00 Michael Warren Thomas, New York Wine Spotting: Wine in Restaurants

10:00-11:00 Shannon and Courtney Casey, Michigan by the Bottle: Joint tasting room project

11:00-12:00 Labels and making sure they do justice to the wine
Peggy Sanor, MPI Labels: Basic label design and current trends
Vicki Hausmann, Innovative Labeling Solutions: the importance of using the label as a marketing force to reach the consumer
Panel: Kim MacGowan from MacDay Label Systems and Kate Cardinali Innovative Media &Design

12:00-12:45 Informal Lunch & networking

12:45-1:00 Visit vendors

1:00-1:15 Brian O’Hearne, E Weather Risk:Damage to Grape Crops in Northeastern Ohio

1:15-2:45 Mark Fisher from Dayton Daily News and Michael Wangbickler from Balzac Communications: Media relationships in a new era

2:45-3:15 Questions and answer session-pitches from floor directed towards assembled media panel

3:15-3:30 Break

3:30-4:30 Craig Root, Craig Root and Associates, CA tasting room consultant: Wine Clubs

5:30-10:00 Progressive Dinner- wineries


9:00-10:00 Steal Session: Social Media and Marketing- best practices using Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

10:00-11:00 Dan Toland, Wilt Public Relations: Google + and it’s new options for the future of business

11:00-12:00 _______TBA________________: Managing it all

Steal Session 1:

Linda Jones-Working with state tourism bureau Michigan wine’s partnership with the Pure Michigan campaign
Danene Beedle-Breaking down barriers and training consumers about varietal names
Jennifer Montgomery-Drift thing- marketing
Jeanette Meritt-Working with commodity groups to further advertising $
Annette Boyd-Craft beers cider
Donna Walters-Marketing campaign
Donniella Winchell-Tastemasters and Take Home the Experience

Steal sessions throughout the conference


Annette Ringwood Boyd
Director of the Virginia Wine Board Marketing Office
Owner of Ringwood Boyd Marketing

Annette Ringwood Boyd is the director for the Virginia Wine Board Marketing Office. In this capacity, she manages the board’s marketing efforts on behalf of the Virginia Wine Industry including the strategic oversight of the overall marketing of the Virginia wine industry. Her staff oversees the production of the Virginia Winery Guide, the development and day-to-day management of the industry website,, October Virginia Wine Month, Love by the Glass Virginia Wine & Dine Month and other marketing initiatives on behalf of the Virginia Wine Board.

She began her wine career selling wines in a retail wine shop in college and later as marketing director for a Richmond, Virginia non-profit organization, where she planned wine events in downtown Richmond in addition to running the organization’s public relations and marketing efforts.

She ran the Virginia Wine Marketing Office for 5 years as an employee for the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and from there went on to direct branding, marketing planning and business development for other organizations including various advertising agencies and non-profit organizations in Virginia.

Annette founded her own company, Ringwood Boyd Marketing in 2007 and her company has been the outside consultant managing the marketing efforts for the Virginia Wine Board since 2007. She has been recognized for her marketing by the Atlantic Seaboard Wine Association and the Richmond Chapter of the American Marketing Association and is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University with a BS in Business with a concentration in marketing.

Cortney Casey
Cortney Casey is co-founder of and co-owner of Michigan By The Bottle Tasting Room. She graduated from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor with a communications degree in 2002, and earned her certified sommelier designation through the Court of Master Sommeliers in 2013. She also works as social media manager for multiple Michigan wineries.

Shannon Casey
Shannon Casey is co-founder of and co-owner of Michigan By The Bottle Tasting Room. He graduated from Alma College with a business degree in 1999, and currently is pursuing his certified sommelier designation through the Court of Master Sommeliers.

Michigan By The Bottle Tasting Room in Shelby Township - a northern Detroit suburb - unites the founders of with six Michigan wineries to bring a taste of the state's far-flung wine trails to metro Detroit. Our focus is on high-quality wines produced by our six partner wineries - Chateau Aeronautique, Chateau de Leelanau, Domaine Berrien Cellars, Gill's Pier Vineyard & Winery, Peninsula Cellars and Sandhill Crane Vineyards - using their estate-grown and/or locally sourced grapes. We aim to make wine fun and accessible to all, from the causal consumer to the avid aficionado, from seasoned travelers of Michigan's wine trails to those experiencing what the state has to offer for the very first time. We serve all of our sample flights in full-sized Riedel stemware to enhance the experience. A second location in Royal Oak is in the works, with anticipated opening by early summer.

Bob Cohen
Bob Cohen is the CEO of the Braintree Business Development Center in Mansfield, a technology business incubation center that is part of Ohio's Third Frontier Technology Program and the JumpStart Entrepreneurial Network. Braintree also operates the Appleseed Microfinance loan program and the Tech Sprout grant program. Bob previously served on the faculty of The Ohio State University, and as a director of an international agricultural development program.

Bob is a Certified Business Advisor (CBA), and a Certified Global Business Professional. He received an MBA from Franklin University and a Ph.D. from Ohio University. He is a member of the National Crowdfunding Association and is a founding board member of the Crowdfunding Professional Association. He has given presentations about crowdfunding, entrepreneurship, communication, and other business-related issues in thirty U.S. states and eight countries.

Mark Fisher
Mark Fisher, a reporter and wine writer for the Dayton (Ohio) Daily News, is a hybrid journalist, with one foot in Old Media and the other in New Media. Fisher has written about wine for the Dayton Daily News since 1989, and in September 2005, he became one of the first newspaper wine columnists in the country to launch a wine blog. His freelance articles have appeared in M. Shanken Communications' Market Watch magazine, Wine Enthusiast magazine's web site, and Ohio Magazine, and he is a lead writer for the Ohio Grape Industries Commission's Love at First Sip Magazine, an annual publication spotlighting the Ohio wine industry. Fisher is also the food and dining reporter for the Dayton Daily News, focusing primarily on web content for the newspaper's premium web site,

Linda Jones
Linda Jones has served since 1998 as Executive Director of the Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council, a program of the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development. She has a Master's Degree in Food Science from the University of British Columbia and worked in Technical Service and Marketing positions in the food and tourism industries in Canada. In 1997, she moved to Michigan with her husband, Mike, a faculty member in Fisheries and Wildlife at Michigan State University, and in 2007 spent 6 months in Australia. Linda has been involved in supporting the growth of the Michigan wine industry from 19 wineries in 1998 to over 100 today . She has also provided leadership in the Department to developing guidelines for the use of the Pure Michigan brand (Michigan Economic Development Corporation) for food and agricultural products and the formation of the Michigan Culinary Tourism Alliance, which fosters the development of this growing niche market in tourism.

Michael Kaiser
Director of Communications and Regulatory Affairs, WineAmerica
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 (TIB) and handles general regulatory concerns for WineAmerica members. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Drink Local Wine and the Advisory Board of the
Craft Beverage Expo.Prior to joining WineAmerica, Michael provided research and logistical support
to two DC based lobbying firms. He also handed compliance issues with a major political party.
Michael earned his BA in American Studies and Political Science from Rider University in
Lawrenceville, NJ and a MA in Political Science from American UniversityC' in Washington, DC.

Wm. Lee Little,
Founder & CEO, Bar-Z
Lee Little founded Bar-Z in 2005 with the goal of bringing mobile location-based media to users when and where they need it. Under his guidance the company has created four patented (or patent-pending) high tech multimedia and visitor guide systems. Prior to starting Bar-Z, Mr. Little worked for more than 20 years in the sales and marketing for technology companies including Dell, Epson and AMD. Mr. Little received his undergraduate degree from the University of Delaware and later earned an MBA from Pepperdine University. He currently lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife and three children.

Kim MacGowan
President and founder MacDay Label Systems
Kim has over 24 years of experience in the printing industry specializing in pressure sensitive labels. She started MacDay Label Systems in 2001 to fill a need for personalizing labels professionally, quickly and economically in the consumer craft wine industry. Her company has grown to service wine stores and commercial wineries all over North America and in China. Kim loves wine, competitive sailing and being involved with associations.

Jennifer Montgomery
Jennifer is the first full-time Executive Director of the Nebraska Winery and Grape Growers Association. She came to Nebraska at the end of 2012 after a 10 year stint with WineAmerica, the national trade association of American wineries, in Washington, DC. She is currently engaged in raising the profile of the Nebraska wine and grape industry through a series of major initiatives that include the development of a new marketing platform; planning for Nebraska’s first ever statewide wine festival in May 2014; planning for VitiNord, an international cold climate industry conference that will be held in Nebraska in 2015; and participating in the effort to mitigate herbicide drift issues through participation in a state legislative task force on herbicide drift.

While with WineAmerica, she served as Director of Grassroots and Political Affairs. Her primary responsibilities included lobbying Members of Congress and working with and reporting on public policy developments. Her primary issues of responsibility included those related to agriculture, research, immigration/labor, direct shipping, and taxes. She also was responsible for establishing and expanding the national wine industry grassroots network, as well as conducting educational outreach to the grassroots on federal policy.

A native of Blacksburg, Virginia, Ms. Montgomery earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from Radford University. Prior to her time at WineAmerica, she worked for a public relations and lobbying firm in Richmond Virginia, was the media coordinator for the Richmond Association of Realtors and, also was a reporter for the Roanoke Times and World News in Southwestern Virginia.

Brian O'Hearne
Brian is President and CEO of eWeatherRisk, Inc. the next generation in weather risk management. eWeatherRisk brings a new level of flexibility to the weather derivatives market allowing clients and partners the ability to develop, price, execute and manage weather risk instruments in real time. Brian was formerly Managing Director, Head of Americas, Environmental and Commodities Markets for Swiss Re responsible for leading weather, energy, emissions and agricultural product trading, business and product development and risk management. Brian is a Past President of the Weather Risk Management Association, the global industry association whose market volume grew from $4 Billion to $45 Billion during his 2 year leadership. Brian was previously President and CEO of Guaranteed Weather in Overland, Park, Kansas, President and CEO of Aquila Re Ltd. and Aquila Merchant Services-International based in Bermuda and prior to Aquila was Vice President Corporate Finance at Koch Industries in charge of Structured Finance as well as Director of Tax Planning. Brian received his LLM, MBA, JD and Chemistry degrees from the University of Missouri at Kansas City and has over 30 years of experience in the energy, agriculture, weather and risk management fields.

Craig Root
Craig Root has personally created over 150 wine clubs all over the US and Canada. This seminar represents the cumulative knowledge acquired over the years. He will discuss many useful facets of wine clubs over and above profitability. For example, club members are paying to be constantly reminded about your product, and it increases staff job satisfaction as a result of the incentives they receive. We will cover retention and multi-bottled sign-ups as well. Also included: a job description for a wine club manager with a point by point analysis of it. In addition, we will discuss what an offering club is, and how it differs from the automatic subscription club—which is what most people have.

Peggy Sanor
Peggy Sanor has a Bachelor Degree in Graphic Design from the University of Akron. She has worked in the printing industry for over 30 years and has spent the last 20 years working in the pre-press department at MPI Label Systems Corporate Offices. MPI, headquartered in Sebring, Ohio, has printing facilities from coast to coast, and specializes in packaging solutions, with a primary focus on pressure sensitive labels and shrink sleeves.
In her spare time, Peggy does freelance design work, photography and illustrations. She has her own greeting card business, and her illustrations are featured in a nationally distributed Christmas catalog. Peggy is always looking at product labeling, on and off the job. She has a special interest in wine labels, since she has designed many that have been printed by MPI. She has also produced many freelance private label designs used in the retail wine and restaurant industries

Michael Warren Thomas
Michael Warren Thomas has hosted weekly radio shows about wine, food & gardening for the past 19 years, (details at In this rather unusual arrangement, he buys five hours every weekend from the station and gets his own sponsors. In 2013 he helped launch with Break the Ice Media, a program that will eventually rank every key restaurant in NYS, based on their percentage of NYS wines. Michael has also led wine tours of the Finger Lakes and 22 annual tours to the Philadelphia Flower Show, worked as an urban forester & City of Rochester horticulturalist, economic researcher, and Monarch butterfly specialist.

Dan Toland
Dan Toland is passionate about integrating social technologies with collaborative environments for the betterment of the communities they serve.

In six years at the Ohio Farm Bureau, Dan rapidly established the organization as a leader in social media in the agriculture industry. As Ohio Farm Bureau's Director of Digital Strategy, he advised the organization on emerging digital trends, strategies and tactics to engage internal and external stakeholders.

He has provided training, presentations and consultation to organizations across North America focusing on digital communications, social media, content marketing, cloud computing and collaborative online work environments. He's received a number of awards for his work, training guides and early professional achievement.

Dan also served on the training committee of the AgChat Foundation for the first three years of the volunteer organizatio's existence as a cause to "empower a connected community of agvocates."
In his new position as agricultural account manager for Wilt Public Relations, Inc., Dan helps clients in the biosciences community achieve their communications and marketing goals; provides training, presentations and insights on digital media and strategy; and applies a unique approach to social communications in the workplace, transforming the way employees collaborate and do business.
Dan holds a bachelor's degree in agricultural communications from The Ohio State University. He was born and raised in Upper Sandusky, Ohio and currently resides in Columbus.

Michael Wangbickler
Michael has more than fifteen years of experience teaching about wine and the wine business. For ten of those years, he has been a Manager at Balzac Communications & Marketing, the industry leading wine public relations and marketing agency. He has worked with a diverse range of wine industry clients; from small, family owned wineries to large wine companies and regions. Wangbickler has spoken on the topic of wine and wine marketing throughout the country and beyond. In addition to his activities at Balzac, he is President of the Board of Directors for the non-profit advocacy group, Drink Local Wine Inc. In addition, he is Lead Educator for Discover Wine & Spirits Academy in San Francisco and Napa, and an Adjunct Instructor for The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone

Who Should Attend?     Program     Online Registration     Room Rates     Participating State Associations