Annual Board Retreat – April 2016

Beth Costa on Jun 15, 2016


The Board elected their 2016-17 officers.

BOARD ACTION: APPROVED the following slate of officers:

President – Robin Calkins

Vice President – Julia Lander

Treasurer – Robert Conard

Secretary – Stacy Rafanelli

Lodging Representative – Mike Salinas

  • Agreed to highlight the board officer election process and interest approach at the annual meeting




The Board discussed board chair leadership and the need to explore the selection process. The discussion included:

  • Leadership and succession planning
  • Diversity of views
  • Items vetted through the full board versus the Executive Committee




As part of its annual retreat, the Board reviewed all the Wine Road events to determine any improvements or changes for the following year.


Barrel Tasting Review:

  • Number of weekends – winery vs. consumer view
    • Week 1 – same event
    • Week 2 – higher price plus food
  • The Board agreed to keep the event as two weekends with the following pricing:
    • Price – $50 in advance; $70 at door
  • Consider adding a voucher to buy futures with higher price


Wine and Food Affair Review:

  • Growing premier event
  • Create sizzle
  • The Board agreed to the following pricing:
    • Price – $80 Weekend; $60 Sunday only
    • Agreed to have the Event Committee make the final decision on pricing



Winter Wineland Review:

  • No event change
  • No price change
  • Theme for decorations
  • Focus on sale item?
  • Loyalty program promotion?
  • Market the winter experience
    • Make it pretty
    • How many lights are at the wineries? (a competition guess)


Mandatory Event Meetings:

  • Discussed having no mandatory meeting
  • The Board agreed to have Beth come back to them with a solution




The Board discussed marketing strategies for 2016-17.

  • Savor on the Central Coast Sunset magazine – October 2016
  • Campaign for coming to northern Sonoma County for wine tasting experience
  • Who are our synergy partners? Identify and develop further relationship.
  • Public relations company –
    • Wagstaff – change?
    • Use Misty Stewart?
      1. BOARD ACTION: APPROVED ending Wagstaff contract and contracting with new person effective as soon as possible.
    • Road trip with Tim Zahner at Sonoma County Tourism lunches and dinners
  • Consider a Friday night activity – wineries open Friday nights during the summer
    • Nice weather
    • June – August 1
    • Evenings on the Wine Road?
    • Sunday afternoons?
  • Wine Road Ditch Day – Sunday pm through Monday
    • Make it a long weekend in Wine Country
    • BOARD ACTION: Agreed to refer the concept of a new promotional event to the Marketing Committee.







The Board reviewed the 2016 40th Anniversary activities and events.

  • Other ancillary events
    • Small and intimate
    • Workshops
    • Friday night – Saturday morning
  • Art of the Oak –
    • Who are the synergy partners – Luther Burbank Center, Economic Development Board
    • Consider partnership with art community for a future Barrel event
  • CAB Academy – Wine Road member activity
  • General meeting in December vs. July to close out 40th Anniversary
    • Make the general meeting a holiday party for 2016




The Board conducted a brainstorm on possible activities in the coming year.

  • AVA expansion? Sonoma Coast
  • Should membership in Wine Road be based upon where you have your door?
    • And if your grapes come from Sonoma County?
  • Breweries / distilleries on website?
    • Consider adding them as an advertiser at a rate of $1,000 per year


BOARD ACTION: The Board agreed to form the Membership Committee and refer the above items about membership to the committee. APPROVED 7-5; ABSTAIN: Carla Jeffries


Membership Committee:

Chair = To be determined by committee

Beth = Executive Director


            Members                                Items to Address

1.       Joe Foppoli A.    Member applications
2.       Ross James B.    AVA questions
3.       Robin Calkins C.    Explore membership based upon location of winery door versus percentage of grapes from the Wine Road AVA’s
4.       Kevin West D.   Address issues and standards around non- or under-performing wineries
5.       John Viszlay



GOALS: 2016 > 2017

  1. Internal PR – create metrics to determine outcome and effectiveness
  2. Incorporate synergy partners
  3. Launch new approach for 2016 annual meeting (Dec 1, 7 or 8)
  4. Explore development of a premier, sizzle event and/or series of smaller events (breakfasts, chef, Friday evenings, CAB Academy)
  5. Explore education activities for membership (Social Media)




The Board reviewed the current membership fees and voted on a new fee structure as follows:


BOARD ACTION: The Board approved the following membership fee structure for 2016-17:

  1. Winery Fee –
    • $850 for renewals
    • $1,000 for new members
  2. Lodging – $500
  3. Assigned to the Membership Committee a task to explore various member fee strategies from a long-term view.
















Posted by Beth Costa