SPEAKERS

John Aguirre

President
CAWG

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John Aguirre oversees the general operation of the California Association of Winegrape Growers and manages its staff. Aguirre is responsible for CAWG’s Board of Directors, federal legislation, pests and disease programs, sustainability, and trade policy. With a mission of protecting and promoting the interests of California winegrape growers, he is a recognized wine industry advocate who presents frequently at events and conferences across the country.

Michelle Ausburn

Partner
BPM

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Michelle Ausburn’s area of expertise is GAAP compliant financial accounting and reporting for middle-market, privately-held, family owner-managed, and institutionally owned businesses and publicly held companies. She has experience working with companies in the start-up phase through ownership transition, including IPO. She primarily serves the wine and craft beer, agriculture, and food manufacturing industries. In addition to providing traditional audit and review services, she offers guidance in the areas of business combinations, consolidations, lease accounting, inventory valuation, revenue recognition, and evaluation of internal control. Ausburn is a graduate of St. Mary’s College of California and member of the AICPA and Cal CPA.

Tony Correia

President
The Correia Company

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Tony Correia is widely recognized as a leading authority on the valuation of agricultural and rural properties, with a special emphasis on vineyards and wineries. He holds the professional designation of Accredited Rural Appraiser (ARA), and is currently an owner of The Correia Company. He provides a wide array of valuation and consulting services on agricultural and rural properties, specializing in more challenging valuations involving wineries, vineyards, estate planning and settlement, undivided partial interests in real property and water rights. He is also an instructor of valuation courses and seminars throughout the nation and Mexico, and is also a frequent public speaker on agricultural properties, appraisal, taxation, estate planning issues, water rights, and the vineyard and wine industries.

Marc Cuneo

Bulk Wine Broker
Turrentine Brokerage

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Marc Cuneo joined Turrentine Brokerage as a bulk wine broker in 2010, bringing industry experience ranging from grower relations to wine marketing. Cuneo entered the wine business as a sales representative for Southern Wines and Spirits in San Francisco after receiving a business administration degree at the University of the Pacific. He then moved on to work at his family’s winery, Sebastiani Vineyards. During his decade at Sebastiani Vineyards, he began as a cellar worker and steadily advanced within the company, serving as the vice president of grower relations and as a member of the executive team. Cuneo has also received his executive MBA from Sonoma State University.

Nat DiBuduo

President
Allied Grape Growers

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Nat DiBuduo is the president CEO of Allied Grape Growers, a winegrape grower’s winegrape marketing association representing over 500 members throughout California for over 65 years, producing over 250,000 tons annually. Prior to joining Allied in May 2000, DiBuduo was employed at Capital Agricultural Property Services, Inc. as the executive manager (1994-2000), where he had the responsibility of managing approximately 22,000 acres of agricultural land throughout California and Arizona. DiBuduo has a B.S. degree in plant science/viticulture and a minor in business administration from California State University, Fresno. DiBuduo has held a California Pest Control Advisor’s License; a Qualified Applicator’s License and currently holds a salesman’s license from the California Department of Real Estate.

Karissa Kruse

President
Sonoma County Winegrowers

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Karissa Kruse is president of the Sonoma County Winegrowers, a marketing and educational organization dedicated to the promotion and preservation of Sonoma County as one of the world’s premier grape growing regions. Kruse joined Sonoma County Winegrowers as director of marketing in September 2012 and was named president for the organization on May 1, 2013. Since taking over the top leadership role at the Sonoma County Winegrowers, Kruse has guided the strategy and implementation of Sonoma County’s commitment to become America’s first 100 percent certified sustainable wine region. Her approach has helped Sonoma County Winegrowers gain global recognition for their efforts and she’s been invited to speak at major conferences around the world.

Justin Leigon

Viticulturist
Pina Vineyard Management

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Justin Leigon is viticulturist at Piña Vineyard Management in the Napa Valley. He is responsible for overseeing all aspects of high-end winegrape farming and is involved in vineyard development. He has been working professionally in the wine industry since 2004. After beginning his career in wine production, Leigon attended the University of California, Davis where he received his B.S. in viticulture and enology. Prior to joining Piña Vineyard Management, Leigon gained experience during harvest working at ultra-premium wineries such as Colgin Cellars and Caldwell Winery. In 2006 he spent time abroad in Australia learning about global wine styles.

Steve McIntyre

Founder
Monterey Pacific, Inc.

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In 1992 Steve and Kimberly McIntyre started Monterey Pacific, Inc., a viticulture management and development company, which currently manages more than 12,000 acres in Monterey County. In 2000 they released their first wines under the McIntyre Vineyards label. The wines reflect their acquired experience from multiple appellations and are certified sustainable under the SIP certification program, a program McIntyre helped found in 1998. In 2002, along with partners Mike Filice and Eric Laumann, McIntyre cofounded the Monterey Wine Company in King City, California. Among its many notable accomplishments MWC was the first commercial winery in the U.S. to introduce flash détente to the wine industry. McIntyre received the Wine Grape Grower of the Year from the California Association of Wine Grape Growers in 2013.

Mike Needham

Broker
Turrentine Brokerage

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Mike Needham brokers grapes from Napa Valley, Sonoma County, Mendocino County, Lake County and Suisun Valley. Needham grew up in the San Joaquin Valley town of Linden. He earned a degree in viticulture from Fresno State and worked as a research assistant at the Viticulture and Enology Research Center while attending college. After graduating, Needham managed three vineyards in the Lodi area, totaling approximately 2,000 acres. He transplanted himself and his family in the year 2000 to Anderson Valley, working for Madrigal Vineyards. Needham started with three vineyard sites adding up to 65 acres. Over the next few years, he farmed nine vineyards and 250 acres, and was selling the grapes to a long list of ultra-premium wineries.

Karen Ross

California State Secretary of Agriculture
The State of California

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Karen Ross was appointed secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture on January 12, 2011, by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. Ross has deep leadership experience in agricultural issues nationally, internationally, and here in California. Prior to joining CDFA, Ross was chief of staff for U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, a position she accepted in 2009. Prior to that appointment, she served as president of the California Association of Winegrape Growers from 1996-2009. During her tenure, the Department has focused on core functions to protect and promote California agriculture in a time of significant budget reductions, and it has emphasized change-management to position the agency to more effectively and efficiently serve its stakeholders.

Mike Sangiacomo

Partner
Sangiacomo Family Vineyards

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Mike Sangiacomo is a partner at Sangiacomo Family Vineyards, located in Sonoma, California where his family has farmed since 1927. Growing up on the ranch, he has lived and breathed agriculture from the day he was born. As a third-generation partner, he oversees with his brother, Steve, all agricultural, strategic and operational aspects of the business. Together they manage more than 1,600 acres of Sonoma County vineyards, as well as grape sales to more than 70 premium wineries. He is a board member and chair of the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance and a commissioner of the Fiscal Oversight Commission of the Sonoma County Agricultural and Open Space District.

Jay Silverstein, JD, LLM

Principal
Moss Adams LLP

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Jay Silverstein has been with Moss Adams LLP since 2001, and leads the firm’s Wealth Services Practice for both the Santa Rosa and San Francisco offices. He focuses on ownership succession strategies and estate planning for closely held business owners and their families and provides estate and tax planning for high net worth individuals and their families. Silverstein is also a member of the firm’s Wineries & Vineyards Practice and a frequent writer and speaker on complex tax, business and personal issues involving succession and estate planning for winery owners and their families.

Mike Sipiora

Viticulturist
Treasury Wine Estates

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Coming Soon.

Amy Smith

Partner
Moss Adams LLP

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Amy Smith has been in public accounting since 1995 and works as a trusted advisor in the wine industry, providing tax compliance and consulting services to privately-held businesses and ultra-high net worth individuals. She successfully leads teams that collaborate with families, investors, and their businesses, to create and implement a plan that minimizes their income, estate, and gift taxes, preserves their cash flow, and maximizes their estate, gift, and philanthropic goals.

John Tuteur

Recorder, County Clerk
Napa County Assessor

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John Tuteur is halfway through his fifth four-year term as Napa County’s elected assessor-recorder-county clerk. Prior to the January 1998 consolidation of offices, Tuteur served for 11 years as county assessor. His earlier public service included two terms as Napa County supervisor from 1973 to 1980. Tuteur lives with his wife, Vee, and the third and fourth generations of ranchers on the cattle ranch that his parents bought in 1951. John holds degrees from Yale University and UC Berkeley.

Gregory J. Walsh

Co- Managing Director
Dickenson, Peatman & Fogarty

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Greg Walsh is a managing partner of Dickenson Peatman & Fogarty and the lead partner in the firm’s Labor and Employment Group. His practice encompasses all aspects of labor and employment law, including advising employers on how to prevent issues before they arise and developing workable solutions to those that do. Walsh is also a member of the firm’s Wine Law and Litigation groups, representing clients in administrative and court proceedings. Walsh received his B.S. while double-majoring in journalism and sociology at the University of Oregon. He earned his law degree from University of California, Hastings College of the Law, where he served as senior executive editor of the Communications and Entertainment Law Journal.

Lisa Adams Walter

Director of Programs
Wine Industry Symposium Group

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Lisa Adams Walter joined the Wine Industry Symposium Group in 2014. She brings a diverse background that includes PR, marketing and writing experience in wine, travel, entertainment, high-tech, publishing and pro sports. A native of California’s wine country, she graduated with a degree in communication studies. She has served as the assistant executive director of the Academy of Wine Communications, as an appointed representative on the Napa County Arts and Culture Advisory Committee, is a founding member of Napa County’s “100 Women Who Care” and in 2016 wrote the introduction for the Simon & Schuster book “Napa Valley Cabernets.”