Thursday, November 11, 2010

Innovation Summit 2010, Nov 12-14, Healdsburg, CA

This Saturday, Nov 13, I will be keynoting at a unique conference, put together by Partners for Growth & Innovation in Healdsburg, Sonoma wine country. I will tell a story spanning from the early days in Soviet Union, to the founding of Ask Jeeves and to the executive position at one of the fastest-growing startups in the Valley - YouSendIt - and the role innovation, hard work and perseverance have played in that.

Innovation Summit 2010: Creating an Innovative Ecosystem is my kind of conference - tech talk by day, wine talk by night, along with wine tours, wine dinners, and a lot of good-natured hanging out, eating, drinking, and thought exchange.

Nightly "fireside wine chats" will touch on the topics on wine biz, innovative farming, wine making, and social media.

The complete 3-day conference agenda is here.

The following should give you a taste:

Green Winery Tours in Dry Creek Valley: Sbragia (they are releasing a wine with football great Joe Montana next February, called Montaggia), Michel Schlumberger, Truett Hurst.

Friday evening: Art Show at Healdsburg's Studio Diva, to see Susan Preston of Preston Winery's, first public show, followed by a country style dinner of Frogmore Shrimp Stew, Harvest Fair award winning dishes, and Key Lime Pie, prepared by Sean Thomas, the Zinful Chef. The evening food and wine talk will be given by Sean's father, Richard L. Thomas, wine columnist of Vine Wise, at North Bay Biz, and co-founder of the first viticulture program in Sonoma County, 30 years ago, after obtaining his degree in wine, from U.C. Davis. A keynote talk at dinner to formally kickoff the Innovation Summit 2010, will be given by Nilofer Merchant, author of The New How. Rounding up the evening will be guitar playing by talented Victor Tsaran, and a Fireside Chat with Jeff Fowle, President of Agchat Foundation, and Gina Riner of Limerick Lane Winery, who will also be pouring their award winning wines for the group.

Full day of conference, including a visit by Seghesio winery CEO, Pete Seghesio, to talk about the history of Sonoma County, and their innovative wine making, dating back to the late 1800's. Dinner for Saturday night: Seghesio Wine Release & Pasta Party, prepared by the women of the winery. Then, back to the Krug Event Center, to enjoy a musical performance of Jazz, Latin/Brazilian, Funk, Blues, and World Music, by the talented Larry Vuckovich Ensemble.

I will be hosting the Saturday fireside wine chat, with speakers, Shana Ray of Two Five Media, William Allen of Simple Hedonism's, Margot Sinclair Savelle of Write for Wine, and Frank Gutierrez of Wagner Family of Wine/Caymus Vineyards, who will also be pouring their award winning wines.

Sponsor Showcase, and optional post event organized leisure wine touring in the Dry Creek Valley, and Alexander Valley AVA's.

Closing gathering or drop-in wine tasting on Sunday eve for those returning to the Bay Area will be held at Cellars of Sonoma in Santa Rosa - they only pour and sell boutique, small lot wines, not available in the traditional marketplace.

Join me and check it out!

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