ROHNERT PARK, California – The Wine Business Institute (WBI) at Sonoma State University (SSU) today announced that it will host a joint hearing of the California Senate and Assembly Select Committees on Wine on Tuesday, November 3, 2015, from 2 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. in Ballroom B on the third floor of the Student Center on SSU’s campus in Rohnert Park, California. Assemblymember Bill Dodd (D-Napa) and Senator Lois Wolk (D-Davis), are respective Chairs of the Assembly and Senate Select Committees on Wine. The hearing is expected to address issues impacting the California wine industry and will be structured as three panel discussions, including water and sustainability issues, labor and farmworker housing, and innovation and entrepreneurship in wine-related education.
“Sonoma State University is one of California’s primary institutions of higher learning and the leader in wine business research and education. As such, we serve an important role as convener of different groups and thought leaders seeking common ground on today’s toughest challenges. Questions of sustainability, inclusion, and innovation represent the pressing and significant issues of our time. Our hope and expectation is that this discussion will facilitate public policies that make sense for California’s wine industry, its workers, families, and businesses, today and for generations to come. We look forward to working with Chair Dodd and Chair Wolk on legislative solutions to the challenges faced by one of California’s most dynamic industries,” Dr. William Silver, Dean of the School of Business and Economics said.
“The wine industry has a significant impact in our region and across the entire state. That’s why it’s critical to bring the Assembly and Senate Select Committees on Wine to the heart of Wine County to hear firsthand from the experts and evaluate how the state can improve our policies. I could think of no better location than the Wine Business Institute at Sonoma State University to host this important hearing, and I look forward to strengthening the partnership between the legislature and SSU.” Assemblymember Bill Dodd said.
Panel experts for Growing with the Drought: Water and Sustainability in Wine Agriculture include Katie Jackson of Jackson Family Wines; Susan Boswell of Chateau Boswell Wines; Amrith Gunasckara, Science Advisor for California’s Department of Food and Agriculture; Jim Verhey of Verhey Advisors; Grant Davis, General Manager of Sonoma County Water Agency; and John Stayton, Executive Director of MBA Programs at SSU, including the Wine Business MBA and Executive MBA, who is expected to address key aspects of sustainable enterprise and sustainability education in business.
Panel experts for Cultivating the Future of the Industry: Strengthening Farmworker Housing include Larry Florin, Director of Housing and Intergovernmental Affairs with Napa County; Pete Richmond with Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation; Laura Whittall-Scherfee, Deputy Director of California’s Department of Housing and Community Development; and Angel Calderon, Manager of River Ranch farmworker housing.
Panel experts for Cultivating the Future of the Industry: Promoting Awareness of Wine Education Programs include David Block, Viticulture and Enology Department Chair at U.C. Davis; and Ray Johnson, Director of the Wine Business Institute at SSU, who is expected to highlight changes in the industry, its positive social and economic contributions to communities, and innovations in education that are evolving the industry’s best practices.
For more information regarding the upcoming Legislative Wine Committee Joint Hearing, or for information regarding the Wine Business Institute and School of Business and Economics at Sonoma State University, please contact (707) 664-3501 or visit www.Sonoma.edu/sbe.