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Full Session Lineup Announced for Wine Industry Financial Symposium--Now Online, Sept. 15-16, 2020

SONOMA, CA -- On September 15-16, 2020 Wine Business Monthly will host its Wine Industry Financial Symposium as a two-day webcast. 

This is a brand new look for the conference. The virtual event will continue to bring experts in the field to discuss the key issues affecting business, finance and economics in the wine business. The full agenda, including speaker information, is available below and on the Financial Symposium website. 

The Financial Symposium will be held over two online sessions:

  • Tuesday, September 15, 2020, 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. PST
  • Wednesday, September 16, 2020, 9:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. PST

Below are highlights of the agenda:

Tuesday, September 15


WINE RETAILER KEYNOTE | Annette Alvarez-Peters Unplugged
Annette Alvarez-Peters, former head of alcohol sales, Costco Wholesale Corp

As the former wine buyer for Costco, Annette Alvarez-Peters knows a thing or two about successful retail sales. The decision-maker for the country’s most prolific private label program, she made Kirkland Signature one of the most successful wine brands in the U.S. with her savvy business sense and understanding of her member’s palates. Drawing on her years of experience, she’ll dive into the ways the off-premise market has changed over the years, what she thinks of some of the latest trends and what kind of future for wine she expects. Join Annette for this candid conversation on the intersection of wine and retail.

Mergers & Acquisitions: What to Expect Over the Next 12 Months
Pat DeLong, founder and principal, Azur Associates
Cleo Pahlmeyer, proprietor, Wayfarer Vineyard
Robert Nicholson, founder and principal, International Wine Associates
Mike Lukan, CFO, WX Brands

Questions and concerns of a looming recession and continued obstructions to standard operational procedures have left many wondering when we’ll start to see more businesses up for sale. As revenue and profits dive, and cash flow becomes an issue, how many wine casualties can we expect? This panel will discuss the current state of the mergers and acquisitions market, as well as provide insight from those who have recently sold—what did they do to prepare their books for a potential purchase? Who is buying now?
Recognizing Annette Alvarez-Peters for her Contributions to the Wine Industry
Annual Executive Survey
Ray Johnson, executive director, Wine Business Institute at Sonoma State University
Liz Thach MW, distinguished professor of wine and management, Sonoma State University
Kathy Devillers, CFO, Vintage Wine Estates
Chris Indelicato, president & CEO, Delicato Family Wines
Tony Baldini, president, Hahn Family Wines

Our annual executive survey is presented in partnership with the Wine Business Institute at Sonoma State University, and takes a look at how leaders in the industry are addressing issues and pushing the industry forward.



Wednesday, September 16, 2020

DISTRIBUTOR KEYNOTE | A Morning with Mel Dick
Mel Dick, president, wine division and SVP, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits

Over the course of his 63 years in the industry, Mel has helped to sell and grow some of the best and most well-known wine brands in the world. With the backdrop of today’s unique business environment, Mel will share how Southern Glazer’s has responded to the Coronavirus, how the pandemic has changed consumer wine drinking and buying behaviors, and how the Company is responding to support its supplier partners and on-premise and retail customers.
A Tale of Two Channels: What's the Same? What's Different?
Danny Brager, consultant, Brager Beverage Alcohol Consulting

At a high level, the impact of the health crisis has dramatically affected channel growth. Both the direct-to-consumer shipment and retail off-premise channels (in store and online) for wine are growing dramatically while the on-premise, including tasting rooms, is suffering—but that topline number doesn’t reflect the intricacies in these growth channels. A wine varietal, price tier, or origin, may be growing phenomenally in one channel and not the other, or might be more successful in certain markets, and not others. Join Danny Brager for an honest and strategic look at the differences in sales across these two major off premise distribution channels, with an added peek into what consumers who are venturing out of home or ordering in prefer across alcoholic beverages.
Recognizing Norm McKibben for his Contributions to the Wine Industry
CFOs Talking Shop: Cash Flow, COVID, Digital Moves and More
Ian Malone, director, Aspect Consumer Partners
Cory Brown, CFO, Long Shadows Vintners
Chris Millich, CFO, Folio Fine WIne Partners
Kandiss Schulz, CFO, Peju Winery

How have CFOs reacted to the new way of doing business, and what are they doing to prepare for an uncertain future? From cash flow management to investment in e-commerce and other digital operations, and hedging their bets to keep companies afloat, hear what these CFOs have done to ensure continued operations, as well as the creative solutions they’ve seen to remain profitable.
The State of the Economy and Marketplace Forecast
Kaumil Gajrawala, managing director, Credit Suisse

How do you prepare for what’s next to keep your business profitable—or at least stable? This session will present a better understanding of the state of the economy and what that means for the wine and grape industry.
Recognizing Mel Dick for his Contributions to the Wine Industry
WINERY KEYNOTE | How TWE Built a Strategic Business Plan to Ensure Growth
Ben Dollard, president, Treasury Americas

Treasury Wine Estates just announced its new five-year strategy—what does that mean for its U.S. brands and how will it be executed here? Join Ben Dollard, president of Treasury Americas, as he details how the plan was developed, what factors TWE took into consideration and how the company is adapting to a new environment for wine.


Click here to register for the Wine Industry Financial Symposium


With this all-new virtual platform, the team at Wine Business Monthly looks forward to bringing you a more comprehensive program than ever, featuring finance, business and technology experts and influencers active in the wine business locally, regionally and nationally.

For questions and additional information, please contact or visit


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