Former Assistant VP and General Merchandise Manager, Costco
Session Speaker: My Costco Journey: Lessons Learned from Building one of the World’s Largest Wine Programs
Recognized as a top leader in the wine industry by M. Shanken Communications Market Watch, Wine Enthusiast, Decanter and Wine Business Monthly, Annette Alvarez-Peters spent nearly 37 years working for Costco Wholesale, the 3rd largest global retailer and dominant membership warehouse club operator with total sales of $149.3 billion for fiscal year ending September 2019.
Annette began her career with an entry-level position and spent her last 25 years in Costco’s Beverage Alcohol department. Retired in January 2020, she held the position of Asst. Vice President - General Manager for Beverage Alcohol leading a team of 11 buyers in the United States as well as assisting 9 international buyers, representing a total of $4.8 billon in global sales in fiscal year 2019.
Annette holds a Diploma certificate from Wine & Spirits Education Trust, along with a Certified Wine Educator certificate from Society of Wine Educators. In addition, she has been inducted into the following associations: Bordeaux’s Commanderie du Bontemps de Medoc; Champagne’s Ordre des Coteaux des Champagne and Chateauneuf du Pape’s Echansonnerie des Papes.
Sarah passionately and practically pursues the development of leaders through intentional, organic growth. She emboldens leaders to create an environment where management is expansive, willing to move with agility beyond comfort zones, and to champion the individual and collective genius within the organization. With teams in transition she inspires connection, realignment with values and purpose and forward progress within the awkward movements of
the changing landscape. Her belief is that coaching is as essential an element for an organization as the product or service the company produces. “An employee who grows personally, grows professionally” and coaching seeds growth.
Working her way through college in the restaurant business, food and wine became her lifelong major. Sarah recruited, trained and coached teams opening restaurants in Portland, Laguna Beach to San Francisco, working with top chefs and designers such as Wolfgang Puck and Pat Kuleto. She moved to her passion for wine in 1991, launching new wines and wineries for over a decade as Regional Manager at Kendall-Jackson. She was on the leadership team that took the brand direct in the state of California, a bold and innovative move. She was the Northern California sales manager and eventually returned to her roots in the Northwest in 2000.
During her 13 years with the Jackson Family, she was a recruiter and trainer for merchandisers to VPs to increase sales, wine knowledge and competitive acumen. She delivered two workshops for work life balance called “Don’t Wait to Exhale” and “The Art of Listening”. She was gifted the knowledge of the importance of brand integrity by masters of
the industry. As VP of On-Premise Wine Sales at Young’s Market Company Oregon, her team created and implemented incremental revenue year over year with programs such as Pinot Passion, Champagne Campaign, Banquet & Catering Initiative, Leave No Stone Unturned. Her experience in recruitment, training, preparation, and strategy, has demonstrated consistently excellent results, top talent retention and job satisfaction. She celebrated and cultivated women employees and key accounts via “Women Who Love Wine” events, pairing women entrepreneurs, winery owners or winemakers and a health component whether a naturopathor nutritionist, and launched an internal Toastmaster group and consistent 1:1 coaching. Sarah studied motivation and human potential throughout her tenure, eventually following her heart into becoming a fulltime professional coach. Since 2015, she has worked with executives, entrepreneurs, designers, millennial leaders, housewives, the underserved and the voiceless to live from wholeness to experience and create the life they desire and be a positive influence in the world.
Session: Sustain Excellence: Who You're Being is What Matters Most
Janet M. Harvey, is the CEO of inviteCHANGE Foundation, Master Certified Coach, Certified Mentor Coach, Certified Coaching Supervisor, inviteCHANGE Foundation Global Past President, Board President, and has 25 years of experience as both a corporate and entrepreneurial business executive.
An early adopter for creating a coach-centered workplace, Janet has worked with global organizations and teams of leaders within, to establish a generative, resilient, and high-performance culture. She uses a coaching approach that consistently leads to managing successes. Janet Harvey brings her executive and entrepreneurial experience as CEO for inviteCHANGE, dedicated to coach certification training, advanced coach development and talent solutions for organizations.
Despite having Mid-Western US roots, people speak of Janet as bold, curious, provocative, challenging, yet respectful, and compassionate in her leadership roles.
dr. Cherylpegus, MD, MPH
President, Consumer Health Solutions and Chief Medical Officer, Cambia Health Solutions
Panel: Building a Culture That Supports Women in the Workplace
Dr. Cheryl Pegus, Cambia’s President of Consumer Health Solutions and Chief Medical Officer, leads clinical and consumer strategy for Cambia’s enterprise and regional health plan business, directing platform consumer services, personalized health solutions, pharmacy, provider and medical management activities.
Prior to joining Cambia, she served as President of Caluent, a health care data analytics company. Dr. Pegus led the expansion of Walgreen Co.’s health care services, product launches and data analytics as their first Chief Medical Officer. She served as Aetna’s Head of Clinical Products and as General Manager and Chief Medical Officer of SymCare Personalized Health Solutions, a diabetes care management company.
Dr. Pegus received her medical doctorate from Weill Cornell Medical College. In 2000, she established a scholarship at Weill Cornell Medical College for minority students. She is recognized as a leader across many health care domains and utilizes data-driven solutions to deliver measurable improvements in cost-effective, personalized health solutions. She has authored multiple peer-reviewed papers, presented at national and international conferences, and published the healthy cookbook series, Everyone Eats.
This year, Dr. Pegus is recognized as one of the 50 Most Influential Clinicians by Modern Healthcare and in November received the 2019 Chairman’s Award of the American Heart Association, a prize awarded in recognition of an individual who has made outstanding volunteer contributions.
President and CEO, A to Z Wineworks
Panel: Building a Culture that Supports Women in the Workplace
Amy Prosenjak is President and CEO of A to Z Wineworks located in Newberg, Oregon. She joined the company in its fifth year with the acquisition of REX HILL Vineyards (2007). Amy has used financial and leadership experience garnered at both a family-owned billion-dollar manufacturing company and a publicly traded international retailer. She has been instrumental in transitioning the fast-growing A to Z Wineworks from an 80,000 case winery to its current status as one of Oregon's largest wineries with a production of 400,000 cases and a newly integrated and expanded winemaking campus.
In 2014, Amy led the company's efforts to gain certification as a B Corporation. This international non-profit, third-party certification reflects a commitment to environmental, social and economic sustainability. A to Z Wineworks was one of three companies honored as a 2015 global B Corp Champion. In 2014 and 2015, A to Z Wineworks earned recognition as one of the top four small businesses in Oregon, receiving a special commendation for leadership. In addition, the company was named to the top ten most admired agricultural companies in Oregon, as well as one of three most innovative small businesses in the state.
Amy is an active member of the community and works with a number of organizations focused on education, outreach, and cultural diversity. She serves on the Board of Trustees for Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon and as Vice-Chair on the Board of Directors for Literary Arts, one of the most successful such organizations in the country. Amy advises and assists in fundraising for the Virginia Garcia Memorial Foundation which provides culturally appropriate, primary health care intended to eliminate barriers to access. Amy is a member of the Oregon chapter of the Young President’s Organization for which she recently hosted a global conference call on B Corporations.
Panel: Building a Culture that Supports Women in the Workplace
Famous for creating SusieCakes, one of California’s top destinations for satisfying the sweet tooth, Susan Sarich is a twenty-five-year veteran of the hospitality industry. Upon graduation from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration, she launched her career in food & beverage at Hyatt Hotels before being recruited to the famous House of Blues in Chicago, overseeing special events & marketing. She then lent her talents to a variety of renowned hospitality groups, including the esteemed Mobil 5-Star restaurant Everest, operated by Lettuce Entertain You and Ian Schrager’s Clift Hotel. Ready for an entrepreneurial challenge, Susan moved to Portland, Oregon where she co-founded Zinc Bistro, honored as one of Zagat’s esteemed “America’s Top Restaurants”.
Although she enjoyed the restaurant business, Susan reminisced about her Midwest upbringing and memories of baking alongside her grandmothers. She craved home-style, American treats made from scratch, with real ingredients, which had largely been replaced by the processed desserts found at most grocery stores.
Combining her business savvy expertise with the treasured 3”x 5” recipe cards passed down from her grandmothers, Mildred and Madeline, she opened SusieCakes in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles in 2006. Serving up everything from classic layer cakes, to decadent cupcakes as well as seasonal fruit pies, SusieCakes’ delicious desserts, superior service, and old-fashioned atmosphere quickly coined the bakery a neighborhood favorite along with a large celebrity following.
Perhaps the only passion to rival Susan’s commitment to providing the highest quality baked goods is her dedication to creating progressive career opportunities for women in hospitality and food service. After witnessing women exit the industry due to the demanding hours, she developed a business model that helped support a work/life balance by providing operational days and hours different than those typically offered in foodservice. SusieCakes also offers a guided career path to advance professional development and has been rendered a premier employment destination for hospitality and culinary professionals.
Susan is the proud recipient of the EY Entrepreneur of the Year ™ Award in the Hospitality category in Greater Los Angeles as well as the Junior League of Los Angeles Community Achievement Award. In her free time, she enjoys traveling in search of great baked goods and donating her efforts to supporting local animal and women’s causes.
Master of Wine; Education Manager, Oregon Wine Board
Bree is an Australian-born Master of Wine with nearly two decades of international experience in the wine industry in Canada, the US, and Australia. Her wine career began in Canada with Sommelier/Buyer roles’ in Vancouver and Nova Scotia. In Australia, she held National Sales and Marketing and Brand Management positions with Australia’s family owned DeBortoli Wines. She was Director of Sales and Buying with The Spanish Acquisition, a premium Spanish and Portuguese wine importer.
A certified WSET Educator since 2008, and Master of Wine since 2016, she lectures across all levels of the WSET certification and produces wine education programs for both trade organizations and consumers (Canada, the US, and Australia). Through extensive consulting and travel through the wine regions of the Mediterranean, Central and Eastern Europe, the US, South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia, have helped arm her with pertinent information for her master class seminars and writings. She is known to write for publications such as Alquimie, Hardie Grant, and Gourmet Traveler Wine. She is a regular wine judge at international competitions such as TEXSOM International Wine Awards, Decanter and regional shows across Australia and the US.
Bree currently resides in Oregon’s Willamette Valley where she is the Education Manager at the Oregon Wine Board, WSET Senior Educator at Linfield Evenstad Center for Wine Education. Bree owns a wine brand and consulting company, Constant Crush Wine & Advisors.
Founder and Principal, Workplace Change
Session: Implicit Bias
Serilda Summers-McGee is the Founder and Principal of Workplace Change, LLC, a Human Resources firm created to guide, advise, and encourage the business world through internal and external growth and transition, while incorporating diversity, equity, and inclusion into HR systems. Serilda has been an HR/DEI innovator for over 15 years, honing her ability to identify challenges and opportunities while teaching the masses how to be better leaders. She has inspired thousands to create, embrace, and mobilize lasting organizational change.
Most recently, Serilda was Chief Human Resources Officer for the City of Portland, Oregon, one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S. While serving as the CHRO, she led a bureau of 84 professionals who supported a workforce of more than 10,000. She has held leadership roles for the Portland Development Commission, the Oregon Department of Education, Kaiser Permanente, Partners in Diversity, and Reed College.
In 2019, Serilda positioned the City of Portland’s Bureau of Human Resources to win the Western Region International Public Management Association for Human Resources Agency Award for Excellence.” In 2018, she received Portland Business Journal’s “Women of Influence Award,” and in 2019, she received Portland Business Journal’s “HR Excellence Award.” Serilda believes in the power of an equitable and inclusive work environment. She knows that to be a healthy company, there must be healthy culture. Serilda has made it her life’s work to help organizations and leaders create and sustain optimal work cultures. For her, the importance of HR became apparent while working the counter at Taco Bell in her first high school job, that lasted 8 years.
Panel: Building a Culture that Supports Women in the Workplace
As President and CEO, Rick Tigner provides strategic leadership and establishes long-range goals for Jackson Family Wines. Deeply steeped in the art and business of wine making, he has been with the company for more than 25 years.
After attending San Diego State University and working for the Miller Brewing Company, Rick moved to Los Angeles working for Gallo Wine Company to make a career in the wine industry. After 4 years and several promotions at Gallo, he then joined Louis Martini winery in Napa Valley where he spent 3 years learning the art of winemaking. He joined Jackson Family Wines in 1991, and rapidly advanced through its sales department. Rick became Executive Vice President in 2001 and was promoted to President in 2010. He was named Chief Executive Officer in 2015.
In his role as CEO, Rick is responsible for all company export activities. Export markets are a critical area of growth for U.S. wine producers, including Jackson Family Wines. In 2018, winemakers in the U.S. exported $1.5 billion of world-class wine to over 100 countries. Despite longstanding efforts to grow U.S. wine exports, the U.S. still has a significant wine trade deficit, importing over $4.5 billion more wine than it exported in 2018.
Rick grew up in Modesto California and now resides in Sonoma County and is an avid outdoorsman and cyclist. In 2012 Rick was featured on the hit show Undercover Boss. He is very involved with the Michael J Fox Foundation and has created the Tour de Fox/Wine Country Edition, a charity bike ride that has raised more than $4.0M for Parkinson’s Research. He serves on the Board of Directors of Vinexpo and the Michael J. Fox Foundation. Most importantly, he has been married for over 32 years and is the proud father of three children, and four grandchildren.
Former President and General Manager, KGW Media Group
Session: Decanting (Your) Potential in the Ever-Dynamic Marketplace
DJ Wilson is the past President and General Manager of The KGW Media Group, a position she held from 2007 - 2018. Prior to being transferred to Portland, DJ held top executive management positions in media companies including VP Assistant General Manager of KING Broadcasting in Seattle, and VP of Sales for the FOX owned-and-operated stations (Detroit, Birmingham and Atlanta markets).
Wilson is the past board chair of the Portland Business Alliance, the Classic Wines Auction, FareStart in Seattle, Oregon Association of Broadcasters, SMART, and Doernbecher Children’s Hospital. She is also a past trustee of the Portland Art Museum. Currently, she is on the executive board for the International Women’s Forum Oregon and on the Friends of the Children National Board.
In addition, DJ has a consulting business coaching female entrepreneurs, facilitating strategic planning, and leadership workshops. She is an equity partner in several businesses. DJ and her husband live between their homes in Portland (Oregon), Whitefish (Montana), and Stone Harbor (New Jersey). Most recently, they enjoyed time visiting the Chilean wine country!