Finding Your Voice in the Workplace (Tuesday, March 12, 9-10 AM)

Jennifer Brown, Founder, President & CEO, Jennifer Brown Consulting

To give their fullest contribution, employees must feel they can bring their full selves to work; however research shows many do not feel comfortable doing so. This means that they are spending valuable energy every day minimizing or managing aspects of their own diversity—of identity, background, experience—in order to succeed. 

This takes a particular toll on diverse talent—women, people of color, LGBT individuals, people with disabilities—at a time when organizations are struggling to recruit, retain, and develop those same individuals. But all of us, and the business, pay the price.

In this lively and informative session, Jennifer answers the question: How can we build more inclusive workplace environments where all kinds of talent feel welcome?

You’ll discover:

  • The shifting definitions of diversity and inclusion in the workplace today
  • The Iceberg Model: where we set our own waterline, and why
  • The role and pervasiveness of “covering” in today’s workplace
  • The business case for Diversity and Inclusion
  • Welcomed, Valued, Respected, and Heard: A new model for Inclusion
  • What leading companies are doing to build more inclusive workplace cultures for the future

Jennifer Brown is an award-winning entrepreneur, dynamic speaker and diversity and inclusion expert. She is the founder, president and CEO of Jennifer Brown Consulting (JBC), a strategic leadership and diversity consulting firm that coaches business leaders worldwide on critical issues of talent and workplace strategy. Brown is a passionate advocate for social equality who helps businesses foster healthier, more productive workplace cultures. Her book Inclusion: Diversity, the New Workplace & the Will to Change inspire leadership to embrace the opportunity that diversity represents and empower advocates to drive change that resonates in today’s world.

The Business Imperative for Gender Diversity (Tuesday, March 12, 10-11 AM)

Ana Ines Mendy, Partner, McKinsey & Company, Inc  

Organizations that embrace diversity and inclusion will be more competitive in the coming decades and outperform the companies that fall behind. A recent study on business and diversity by McKinsey & Company found that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on their executive teams were 21 percent more likely to experience above-average profitability.

Additionally, the study found a positive correlation between gender diversity on executive teams and two key measures of financial performance: operating margin and longer-term value creation, as measured using an economic-profit margin. This is likely why measuring diversity is now becoming a key financial metric that investors and analysts assess when making investment decisions.

A.R.M.E.D. (Tuesday, March 12, 1:40-2:40 PM)

Mary Kelly, Ph.D., CSP, CDR, US Navy (ret), Leadership Speaker/Author

Getting people to work together is challenging. Office tension, competition, gossip, personal agendas and pettiness reduce morale and productivity.

How to Attract, Recruit, Mentor, Evolve and Develop the Next Generation of Leaders for corporations and associations. By 2020, millennials will be 50% of the American workforce. That number jumps to 75% by 2025. Is your organization attracting and keeping the talent you need to lead into the future? Do you have a succession plan for your senior people? Are you ready for the shifting workforce? 

U.S. unemployment levels are at record lows. Ten thousand baby boomers are retiring every day. Thousands of human resource directors are struggling to fill the 6 million vacant job opportunities in the US as competitors race for employees. Once they are hired, how do you keep them? How can you ensure that your employees, both new hires, and your current team, are ready for upcoming roles and responsibilities?

In this highly interactive session, Mary discusses how to Attract talent by being attractive to current and prospective team members, how to Recruit the right people, how to Mentor and manage emerging employees, how to Evolve, structurally and culturally to stay relevant, and how to Develop the next tier of talent for future success.

Mary Kelly is an internationally renowned author and keynote speaker on leadership, productivity, and business growth. In 21 years as a Navy intelligence and logistics officer, Mary trained more than 40,000 military and civilian personnel.

The Power of the Male Ally: Engaging Men, Advancing Women (Wednesday, March 13, 11 AM-12 PM)

An important and timely session featuring a panel of executive male leaders in the alcohol beverage industry. The session will focus on the positive success our panelists have had by supporting strategies and efforts to encourage, focus, impact and demonstrate the importance of a gender diverse workforce in their cultures and businesses. 

Adam Strum, Chairman Wine Enthusiast Companies/Editor and Publisher Wine Enthusiast Magazine


Greg Akins, President & COO, Wine Warehouse

Joe Essa, President & CEO, Wolfgang Puck Worldwide & 2018 Vice Chair of National Restaurant Association

Steve Sprinkle, Vice President, US Sales, E. & J. Gallo Winery

Barkley Stuart, Executive Vice President, Director, Government Affairs, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits / Chairman of the Board, WSWA 

Dream Big: Crushing Gender Barriers at High Speed (Wednesday, March 13, 2-3 PM)

Danica Patrick, Retired Race Car Driver / Proprietor, Somnium Wine

Interviewed by: Susan Kostrzewa, Executive Editor, Wine Enthusiast Media

One of the most recognizable professional athletes in the world, Danica Patrick joined the mainstream ranks by going against the current, immersing herself and succeeding in the male-dominated world of professional motor sports. As she broke barriers and set records on the track, including a win at the Indy Japan 300 in 2008 that made her the first woman ever to win a major-league, open-wheel race in a North American series, Patrick made a name for herself off the track as well. She was named to TIME’s“100 Most Influential People” list, has graced the cover of ESPN: The Magazine, Sports Illustrated and TV Guide, in addition to other various recognitions. In 2017, Patrick announced that she would be retiring from racing. As she closes out this part of her professional life, Patrick’s focus shifts to her next chapter as an entrepreneur and business owner. Patrick has already forged into new career territory. She launched a clothing line – Warrior by Danica Patrick – in 2017, authored the fitness book Pretty Intense and is the sole proprietor of a vineyard in California that produces Somnium Wine. 

Women Leading the Way (Wednesday, March 13, 4:15-5:15 PM)

Hear from high profile women in business who have broken through barriers, excelled in leadership positions and act as role models for women at every level in the alcohol beverage industry. This dynamic panel of leaders will challenge us to think about our career paths, training and personal development, how to develop a work-life balance, and explore how and where we can grow as professionals. Our panelists' unique career stories will explore obstacles, challenges and how they grew professionally within the industry to be recognized as leaders today.


Karen Betts, Chief Executive, Scotch Whisky Association

Stephanie Gallo, Chief Marketing Officer, E.& J. Gallo Winery

Jan Jones Blackhurst, Executive Vice President, Public Policy & Corporate Responsibility, Caesars Entertainment

Rhonda Kallman, Founder & CEO, Boston Harbor Distillery, LLC 

Robin McBride, Co-Founder, McBride Sisters Wines