Recruiting and Retaining Talent in an Era of Talent Shortages
Business/Operations Breakout Session

Today the shortage of labor extends beyond grape and wine production. Low unemployment, the cost of living in states like California and the lure of wages and salaries in competitive industries such as cannabis and construction, among others.

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Ray Johnson
Sonoma State University, California

Ray Johnson is the Executive Director of the Wine Business Institute at Sonoma State, the first university in the United States to offer a BS in Wine Business in 1998, the first to offer a Wine MBA in 2008 and the first in the world to offer an Executive Wine MBA in 2012.

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Amy Gardner
Wine Talent, California

Amy Gardner founded WineTalent in 2004 to provide confidential and individualized search services to the wine industry. With an educational foundation in plant science at UC Davis, she first worked in research and production laboratories. She quickly realized her true interest in recruiting, and for the last 25 years has been matching companies and employees for long-term placements. The relationships she has developed within the wine business allows her to be able to find the right people for the job.


Cristina Holloway
Kenwood Investments, California

Cristina Holloway is an HR leader whose mission is to improve the working lives of people through communication and change management, and aligning human capital with policies, resources and business goals to create a strong and successful organization. Cristina’s career has encompassed nearly 20 years working in large corporations, as well as start-ups and entrepreneur-led companies. She holds a Society of Human Resources Senior Certified Professional certification, and an MBA in Wine Business from Sonoma State University.


Nora McAuley
Trinchero Family Estates, California

Nora McAuley is a Human Resources Client Manager at Trinchero Family Estates. She joined TFE full-time in 2008 after interning with the company and earning her degree in Business Administration from Chico State. As an HR Generalist and Client Manager, Nora has worked in both the Napa and Central Valleys, engaging employees and leaders through recruitment, employee development, performance management and succession planning. In 2015 she supported the organization through a large change initiative as they opened a new facility, relocating many jobs and hiring over 100 new employees.


Erica Thompson
Jackson Family Wines, California

Erica grew up in Northern CA and studied at California Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo. Erica knew she found her home at Jackson Family Wines after spending a summer working at La Crema Winery in the tasting room. With a love of food and wine Erica spent the beginning of her career in the distribution side of the business working in both the off-premise channel and on-premise channel for Regal Wine Co.

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