Wine Business Institute to Convene Leaders and Executives
On Economic, Political, Social, and Management Issues Affecting the Wine Industry

Sonoma County, California – The Wine Business Institute (WBI) in the School of Business and Economics (SBE) at Sonoma State University today announced it will host the first Wine Business Institute Research Summit on July 10, 2019, from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., with program activities taking place at SSU. The Summit themed “The Shifting Landscape in the Wine Industry” aims to gather global wine industry leaders, academics, and scholars devoted to the sharing of research on the economic, social, and management issues affecting the wine sector. Confirmed speakers include Blake Chauvin, first vice president of Alliant Insurance; Brian Clements, vice president and partner at Turrentine Brokerage and WBI board member; Dr. Robert Eyler, professor of Economics and Dean of the School of Extended and International Education; Dr. Armand Gilinsky, Korbel Professor of Wine Business; Dr. David McCuan, professor of Political Science; Stephen Rannekleiv, global sector strategist beverages at Rabobank; Dr. Liz Thach, MW, Distinguished Professor of Wine; Dr. Damien Wilson, Hamel Family Faculty Chair of Wine Business; and SSU adjunct faculty members Joel Miller and Samual Riewe. Members of the wine community interested in attending the WBI Research Summit can register on the website:

“Macroeconomic issues continue to shift the way the business of wine must be done here and abroad. Our speakers will share the latest in research and insights,” said Ray Johnson, executive director of the Wine Business Institute. “We look forward to welcoming regional and global wine industry leaders to our inaugural research summit to be held at the Wine Spectator Learning Center.”

“The Summit is an opportunity for shared learning and education, as well as collaboration on research- and market-informed solutions to the industry’s most pressing challenges,” said Dr. Liz Thach.

Each session will be presented in a 15-minute Ted Talk format followed by Q&A. Scheduled sessions include Mitigating Risk Associated with Catastrophic Events, Wine Preferences of the “Z” Generation, Marketing Insights from Rabo AgriFinance, Emergency Preparedness, Political and Economic Climate, and Reading the Tea Leaves of Consumer Data. The event will wrap up with a networking lunch. The WBI Research Summit is underwritten by Rabo AgriFinance.

For more information regarding the Wine Business Institute Research Summit, please contact the WBI Operations Manager and Summit Coordinator, Emily Porter, at or (707) 664-3347. For information regarding wine business research, programs, and degrees in the School of Business and Economics at SSU, please call (707) 664-3235, email, or visit

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