Women for Winesense Winemaking & Viticulture Roundtable Will Host “New Year, Inspired Career! Strategically Making Choices and Moves” Panel


NAPA / SONOMA, CALIFORNIA |January 25, 2021:  On Wednesday , January 27th, 2021,  from 3:15 p.m. to 5:00 pm the Napa | Sonoma chapter of Women for WineSense’s (WWS) Winemaking & Viticultural Roundtable will hold a  panel discussion as part of their ongoing senior level career building series with the theme “New Year, Inspired Career! Strategically Making Choices and Moves.”  The event will be hosted live online with private zoom registration links for active Roundtable members.

The event goal is to assist members in winemaking or viticulture (both W-2 or 1099 consulting roles) to think critically about ongoing career planning and advancement.  The panel discussion and confidential Q&A session will focus on actionable information from three different career experts and will include advice for making both smart career moves or smart stays in place. 

Panelists include Sarah Davila, Director of Human Resources, The Hess Collection, Amy Gardner, Founder and President, Wine Talent (executive recruiter), and Julia Holian, Chief Career Strategist, Holian Associates (career strategist, interview expert, job search advisor, strengths coach, resume writer).

Discussion topics will be tailored for winemaking and viticulture careers.  The experts will touch a range of key areas including self-assessment tools and planning for career moves, personal branding and effective networking, salary negotiation, “first 100 days” impact plans  and plus other tools and tips.  

At 3:15 p.m. early log-ins will be admitted for zoom pre-mingle to enjoy informally reconnecting.  At 3:30 p.m., Roundtable leaders will cover announcements and upcoming events.  At 3:40 p.m. Roundtable moderators Alicia Sylvester and Dianne Norton and the experts will conduct a panel discussion followed by interactive Q&A.  Advance questions welcomed by email to Roundtable Program Committee member, Melissa Apter Castro ([email protected]) or attendees can use event zoom chat. 

Ms. Castro noted, “2020 opened our eyes to what makes us happy and fulfilled while our industry and personal lives radically shifted.  Our jobs play a large role in our lives and it is critical to be satisfied and plan for the future.  This discussion should be a useful way to reflect, then take thoughtful actions to be our best.”

Roundtable Chair, Julie Lumgair continued, Our Roundtable adapted and successfully grew in 2020 despite challenges moving to virtual formats for the pandemic.  In fact, we used that virtual advantage to source experts from Australia and more to best serve our members’ needs on many critical career and technical topics.  What never changes is our roundtable having always been a unique and valuable chance in a warm, friendly forum to ask experts candid questions about what it specifically takes on many C-level subjects.”


The 2021 kick-off free roundtable meeting is open exclusively to WWS Winemaking & Viticulture Roundtable active members.  Qualified interested women winemakers and viticulturists that have emailed and received RSVP new member confirmations through the Roundtable Chair may join prior to the event and attend.

To RSVP, or for any questions on this event or future WWS Winemaking Roundtable events, please contact the Chair ([email protected]).


Sarah Davila has been with the Hess Family Wine Estates for over six years and leads the Human Resources function.  Prior to Hess, Sarah worked at Treasury Wine Estates  and Terlato Wine Group with an aggregate of 12 plus years in the wine industry.  Her career began in insurance where she specialized in compensation and role design.  Subsequently, she focused her talents in the recruiting arena and has broadened her responsibility to all HR functions including employee relations, performance management and development, and full cycle recruiting.

She is passionate about working the wine industry and is energized by working with diverse employee populations and creating work cultures that inspire employees to deliver their best. 

Amy Gardner founded WineTalent in 2004 to provide confidential and individualized search services to the wine industry. With an educational foundation in plant science at UC Davis, she first worked in research and production laboratories.  She quickly realized her true interest in recruiting, and for the last 25 years has been matching companies and employees for long-term placements. The relationships she has developed within the wine business allows her to be able to find the right people for the job.

Throughout her career she has stayed up-to-date with employment trends and legal issues. This knowledge is invaluable to the companies and people she works with. Being knowledgeable in fair employment practices allows her to address issues and provide solutions to clients and job seekers.  

Providing employment information to job seekers has been a significant portion of her work. She frequently discusses employment issues on her blog and is a frequent contributor to industry panels and association meetings.  Confidentiality in all of her business dealings allows companies to hire the best candidates and for job seekers to have the ability to explore new employment opportunities and improving their career opportunities. 

Julia Holian is the founder and Chief Career Strategist at Holian Associates which focuses on career strategy and coaching individually tailored for every career stage across many key industries including high tech, banking, scientific fields, consumer products and non-profits.

Her practice focuses on helping clients plan, prepare and succeed in their careers.  She has many years of expertise as a career strategist, interview expert, job search advisor, strengths coach, resume writer, developer of personal branding and maximizing use of career technology tools.  She  helped 1,000’s of people at all levels of the professional org chart sort through what they want to do, then prepare compelling tools and build skills to showcase her client’s talents and achieve their career goals. 

Ms. Holian graduated California State University, Northridge (CSUN)  She is a member of the International Coaching Federation and National Resume Writer’s Association.  She serves on the Board of Directors for CouncilOne Advisors, and as an active member of ProVisors. 


This WWS Roundtable meets approximately six times a year, taking a harvest break.  During pandemic, the events have moved online and will resume at hosted member wineries with celebration when safety allows.

Ms. Lumgair noted “Our past meeting topics have focused upon the C-suite professional skills and insights women winemakers and viticultural professionals need but aren’t always easy to get in their daily work environment.” 

She further explained that, “Held online in since Spring 2020 and pre-pandemic at some of Napa and Sonoma’s finest host wineries, these programs have been a fantastic opportunity for over 100 member women winemakers  and viticulturists to connect directly, in a friendly professional forum, with experts that they otherwise wouldn’t get to meet for personal advice and questions.  Some of our noted speakers have included numerous top wine publication critics and senior editors, leading academics, global sensory consultants, sommeliers, media trainers, CFO’s and GM’s in panel discussions and key industry career coaches and top level recruiters.”


WWS’ eight current professional roundtables serve to provide a welcoming and confidential environment to meet in small peer groups on a bi-monthly or quarterly basis. Members network, provide advice and support for one another, as well as foster educational occasions by inviting guest speakers in their fields and discussing ‘hot issues’ facing members in their day-to-day work. Multiple Roundtables have developed for WWS industry members in finance, accounting, human resources, winemaking/viticulture and marketing/direct-to-consumer fields. 

The Napa/Sonoma Chapter currently has more than 400 members of which 80% are wine industry professionals. To join or learn more about WWS’ roundtables, please visit www.womenforwinesense.org.  For inquiries about other WWS roundtables for additional functions besides winemaking and viticulture, contact the Napa| Sonoma Chapter’s Roundtables Director, Hillary Silva ([email protected]).  


WWS is a national not-for-profit organization 501(c)6.  The Napa| Sonoma Chapter founded in 1990 is the founding chapter of this national organization which provides outstanding educational and networking opportunities to both wine industry professionals and wine enthusiasts by presenting educational, insightful and stimulating events in a welcoming, fun environment.  Both men and women of legal drinking age are welcome to join.  There is an exciting line-up of events planned for 2021 starting virtually, with plans to migrate to a mix of virtual and in person events as pandemic conditions safely allow. 

To join or learn more, please visit www.womenforwinesense.org.


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