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Washington Grape Convention to Focus on Leadership

January 21, 2014


“There is no surplus of good leaders in any industry,” said Joe Cotta, Cold Creek Vineyard manager for Ste. Michelle Wine Estate, “WAWGG is seeking to maintain rapid industrial growth by equipping professionals with leadership skills to positively influence and strengthen industry relationships.”

Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers (WAWGG) has been focusing on the next generation of growers, enologists, and other staff in the wine industry and how best to help them in their career paths.

“WILD [Wine Industry Leadership Development] is facilitating this workshop to further equip any individual that wishes to aspire to leadership in the Washington wine industry, but it also serves as a powerful reminder for any leader who wishes to ask themselves if they are practicing the skills they have acquired,” Cotta said.

This year’s WAWGG Convention includes a session on Leadership and Influence at 1 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 6, at Kennewick’s Three Rivers Convention Center. The cost for this session is $65 but you do not need to be a member or convention attendee.

The session will focus on how to positively influence people with differing perspectives and priorities, how to meet challenges with greater effectiveness and less resistance, and how to have people at all levels of an organization or industry say yes to your ideas faster and with more enthusiasm, and how to influence business results while building high levels of trust, respect, and personal dignity.

The speaker is president of Claris Consulting, Hugh Blane, who will teach how to successfully bridge the mindset gap between people of different generations, use positive influence for higher levels of performance while building greater credibility with key stakeholders, and gain more cooperation and support from individuals and teams during times of change and uncertainty.

Blane is a nationally recognized business strategist that helps organizations solve challenging business issues, strengthen personal and professional relationships, and execute on strategic initiatives with greater effectiveness. A subject-matter expert in leadership, team performance and influence, Blane is a senior-level consultant who worked with organizations including Spacelabs Medical, KPMG, Costco, Starbucks and Microsoft.

To register go to:

The three day event is Feb. 5-7, and boasts sixteen educational sessions. The convention is tied with a trade show, featuring 180 booths, held in the Toyota Center, in Kennewick. All sessions are held at Kennewick’s Three Rivers Convention Center. Growers, viticulture staff, wineries, enologists, tasting room staff and marketers are invited to attend this premier educational opportunity for the Northwest grape and wine industry.

Attendees can register early (avoid lines), and have a chance to win door prizes at a Pre-Funk on Feb. 4 from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

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