Passing the Torch: Successful Succession or Exit Planning
Business/Operations Breakout Session

Whether handing over the reins to the next generation or finding the right buyer for your wine-related business, our panel of experts will share their expertise in the art of “Passing the Torch.”  Not your traditional succession planning seminar, this session will leave you armed with the tools needed to plan for the next stage of your business’ lifecycle. 

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Carol Kingery Ritter
Dickenson, Peatman & Fogarty, California

Carol Kingery Ritter is a Managing Partner of DP&F and practices in the firm’s business and real property practice groups. Carol’s practice includes general corporate formation, compliance and restructuring and business contracts with an emphasis on serving wine industry business.

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Matt Franklin
Zepponi & Company, California

Matt Franklin has over twenty years of corporate finance advisory experience, including mergers and acquisitions, equity and debt financing, valuations and technical accounting. Matt has served as an advisor on numerous beverage alcohol industry transactions and has completed dozens of business valuations and valuation-related consulting projects. Matt was previously a managing director at a boutique investment banking firm in San Francisco where he provided sell-side and buy-side transaction advisory services to food and beverage companies.


Carlton McCoy
Heitz Wine Cellars, California

Carlton McCoy Jr. earned the title of Master Sommelier in 2013 at just 28 years old, he was one of the youngest people and the second African American to earn this prestigious title. Carlton worked in revered institutions such as Thomas Keller’s Per Se, Marcus Samuelsson’s Aquavit, Tom Colicchio’s Craft Steak in New York and most recently as Wine Director at The Little Nell in Aspen before being named President and CEO of Heitz Cellar in December 2018.


Cleo Pahlmeyer
Wayfarer Vineyard, California

Raised in Napa, Cleo Pahlmeyer’s education took her east where she received a BA in Art History from the University of Virginia, and went on to earn a Master’s Degree in Connoisseurship of Fine and Decorative Art at Sotheby’s Institute of Art in London.

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