California Wine Industry Executives Highlight Entrepreneurship Program

Wednesday Evening Courses Begin March 15 with Instructor Anisya Fritz of Lynmar Estate Winery
February 23, 2017
Dr. Anisya Fritz, Professional Faculty, Certificate in Wine Business Entrepreneurship

Dr. Anisya Fritz, Professional Faculty, Certificate in Wine Business Entrepreneurship

Rohnert Park, California - The Wine Business Institute (WBI) at Sonoma State University (SSU) today announced the 2017 roster of guest lecturers for its respected Certificate in Wine Business Entrepreneurship, including Ron Scharman, CEO of digital marketing firm Astra Digital Marketing Services and lecturer for the online Certificate in Wine Business Management; Dan Aguilar, Senior Vice President at Mechanics Bank and formerly with Silicon Valley Bank; Jay Behmke, attorney at Behmke Law with expertise in beverage law, intellectual property, and wine industry mergers and acquisitions; and Jeanette Tan, lead instructor for the Certificate in QuickBooks for Wine Businesses, and a specialist in accounting for boutique wineries. 
The program's lead instructor is Anisya Fritz, Ph.D., owner of Lynmar Estate Winery, CEO of LynnCo Supply Chain Solutions, and co-founder of the Fritz Institute, a global humanitarian and disaster relief organization. Dr. Fritz has published articles in Harvard Business Review, Journal of International Business Studies, and Strategic Management Journal, among others.

"Even the most courageous and experienced entrepreneurs and family owners can get overwhelmed by the complex and changing wine industry. Dr. Fritz leads this course from a position of strength and authenticity, having successfully adapted her own company's business model to today's route to market," Ray Johnson, Executive Director of the Wine Business Institute said. "She's assembled a group of experts that represents some of the sharpest minds in the industry, and their contributions to the curriculum provide for a collaborative, enjoyable, and ultimately successful journey for program participants."

The Certificate in Wine Business Entrepreneurship is designed to provide small wine business owners and those seeking to start a wine business, the time and guided focus to develop a successful business plan. Participants are exposed to the regulatory climate for making and selling wine, financial frameworks to develop a vineyard and winery, how to create a virtual brand, and different models for wine business profitability. The guest lecturers will join sessions throughout the program, which runs March 15 - May 10, 2017. Preferred pricing is available through February 28. 
Stand-out alumni include Terra Jane Albee and Sara Vandendriessche, who used the program to craft a strategy to overhaul and transition Napa's White Rock Vineyards to the next generation; U.S. Army veteran Tim Burgess, who used the program to build a business plan for his award-winning Rally Point Wines, including two medals in the North Coast Wine Challenge; and Alan Baker of Cartograph Wines, a former award-winning reporter for Minnesota public radio, who used the program as a catalyst for radical life change.
Ron Scharman previously served as COO for Chatterbox Wine Marketing,, and New Vine Logistics. He served as president for eWinery Solutions and the Morrell Wine Group. As part of his work leading Silicon Valley Bank's Premier Wine Division, Dan Aguilar developed the Peer Group Analysis, a proprietary wine industry financial benchmarking database. Jay Behmke represents wineries, vineyard owners, nurseries, wholesalers, importers, retailers, restaurants, and other wine-related businesses. He manages over 250 trademarks for wine, food, restaurants and related goods, with expertise in licensing proprietary plant varieties in the U.S., Chile, Australia, South Africa, Spain, Turkey and other countries. Jeanette Tan owns QB Winery Solutions and is a graduate of the Certificate in Wine Business Entrepreneurship.
Other WBI programs slated to get underway in March include the Certificate in Direct to Consumer (DTC) Wine Sales, and Certificate in Wine Business Finance and Accounting, with core and elective seminars beginning March 16 and 17, respectively. For more information regarding specialized certificates and degrees in wine business in the School of Business and Economics at SSU, please email, call (707) 664-3235, or visit