2016 Succession Planning Series

The Sonoma County Winegrape Commission in partnership with a Risk Management Grant through USDA is proud to offer a free of charge, groundbreaking, eight-month succession planning series “Protecting Family Farms for the Next 100 Years Through Succession Planning” to all grape growers in Sonoma and Marin County.

We have partnered with several nationally recognized succession planning experts to bring content of the utmost value to you, your family and your business. In order to protect agriculture for the next 100 years, it is imperative that our growers invest time to plan for their business’ future and prepare the next generation.

Read A Special Letter from SCW President Karissa Kruse About This Program

Succession Planning Series

There will be a total of 6 workshops, each building upon the previous to form a cohesive program. This series will provide your business with tangible tools, best management practices and a comprehensive guide on how you can effectively pass your business along to the next generation. The series commences in November 2016 and concludes in June 2017. Please bring your family members, or other key business leaders to these workshops. It is highly encouraged that you attend all six workshops in this series. 

There is no charge to attend these seminars.

View Succession Planning Series Brochure

Please sign up for each session you plan on attending and register each person individually. A brief description of each workshop is provided below.

NOTE: If registration for any of the workshops become full, please contact Kate Piontek at Kate@sonomawinegrape.org.

Workshop 1: Protecting your Farm Through Insurances to Manage Risk and Financial Loss and the Transfer of Institutional Knowledge Through Record Keeping Practices

Date & Time: November 3, 2016 from 4pm – 6pm
Location: Hyatt Vineyard Creek, Russian River Ballroom
Cost: Free

*Registration begins 30 min prior to the event

1) Seminar to focus on crop insurance with other presentations by liability insurance options and workers comp insurance. 2) the importance of record keeping for the transfer of institutional knowledge and written documentation (insurance purposes, development of standard operating procedures, farm plan, asset inventory, etc.). The presentations will be made by local professionals with expertise in each insurance area. A special presentation by the Sonoma County District Attorney’s office on protecting your business from the widespread workers comp fraud.

Featured Speakers: various speakers will present

Workshop 2: Successfully Transitioning the Family Company to the Next Generation

Date: December 14, 2016
Times: Session I (Limited to 75 participants) – 8:30am – 12pm
Session II (Limited to 75 participants) – 1pm – 4:30pm
Location: Hyatt Vineyard Creek, Dry Creek Ballroom
Cost: Free

*Registration begins 30 min prior to the event

**Special Note: Both workshops on December 14th are limited to 75 participants. Please plan on attending only one of the workshops and sign up for either the morning session or the afternoon session. If you attempt to register and these sessions are noted as full, please contact Kate at Kate@sonomawinegrape.org.

This workshop will mitigate the risk of not having a clear successor by helping growers identify and develop the next person to lead the business; communicate and build family harmony around that leadership decision; build a strong management team to support the leader; develop a written succession and contingency plan; identify and proactively prepare for common pitfalls of succession; and develop a governance structure to support the succession transition.

Featured Speaker: Dr. Lois Lang

Workshop 3: Strategic Planning for Farm Operations

Date & Time: February 13, 2017 from 9am – 12:30pm
Location: Hyatt Vineyard Creek, Alexander Valley Ballrooms I & II
Cost: Free

*Registration begins 30 min prior to the event

This is a nuts-and-bolts session with important tools and benchmarks needed for the growth and transition of farm operations. This seminar is specifically designed for farm operators who are seeking to expand, downsize or transition to new management and will provide important financial benchmarks and the ten characteristics of successful operations. This will be an interactive program allowing participants to work through a scorecard worksheet to more closely analyze their business and sustain profits and make improvements along the way.

Featured Speaker: Dr. David Kohl

Workshop 4: Essential “CORE” Principles and Best Practices in Succession Planning: Management Techniques for Key Manager and Employee Retention

Date & Time: March 23, 2017 from 9am – 12:30pm
Location: Hyatt Vineyard Creek, Russian River Ballroom
Cost: Free

*Registration begins 30 min prior to the event

Over the course of two workshops, Saqui and Calvo will help growers develop and groom leaders to ensure a successful business transition in the field and in management operations. On March 23, 2017, Management Techniques for Key Manager and Employee Retention workshop growers will learn management techniques designed to establish employee retention at their company including how to develop a proactive and engaged operations management team at the grower level. This session will also discuss effective techniques to help employees “buy in” and become engaged in Sustainable HR and Safety Management practices by making them stakeholders in the outcome. We will also discuss improving manager and employee retention by becoming an “Employer of Choice.”

Features Speakers: Michael Saqui and Raul Calvo

Workshop 5: Essential “CORE” Principles and Best Practices in Succession Planning: Management Techniques for Operational Compliance

Date & Time: April 14, 2017 from 9am – 12:30pm
Location: Hyatt Vineyard Creek, Dry Creek Ballroom
Cost: Free

*Registration begins 30 min prior to the event

Over the course of two workshops, Saqui and Calvo will help growers develop and groom leaders to ensure a successful business transition in the field and in management operations. On March 23, 2017, Management Techniques for Operational Compliance workshop growers will learn how operational compliance guidelines can actually be used not as a drain on resources, but rather to drive revenue and production. Management techniques discussed will include engaging employees in the operations of your company, and teaching employees about the business to increase compliance and production.

Featured Speakers: Michael Saqui and Raul Calvo

Workshop 6: Making Sure it All Works: Achieving Success and Succession in a Multi-Generation Family Farm

Date & Time: June 12, 2017 from 9am – 5pm
Location: Hyatt Vineyard Creek, Alexander Valley Ballroom
Cost: Free

*Registration begins 30 min prior to the event

Building on the previous seminars, this last-of-the-series will help growers develop family-wide motivation and planning that “sticks.” The focus will be on tangible next steps for completing – and executing – both effective business structuring and flexible succession planning. “Family Business” only began as an area of study in the early 70s, and much has been learned in the 40-plus years since then. Dr. Jonovic’s emphasis will be on putting that knowledge to work in the real world of families who own and manage business together. Dr. Jonovic, an internationally known business advisor who’s spent four decades inside family businesses and farms, will help participating growers translate ideas and processes into action. Families who farm together are naturally motivated to make their business and emotional partnerships work. This program will help them understand and apply the skills and tools they need to get that done.

Following lunch, Dr. Jonovic will be teamed with estate design professionals from the fields of law and accounting whose purpose will be two-fold: to serve as examples of what “good” advice looks like and to lay out the full spectrum of options available for solving what are often very complicated planning challenges.

The seminar ends with a tradeshow with local professionals who provide succession planning services. Lunch and refreshments will be included in this full day seminar.

Featured Speaker: Dr. Donald J. Jonovic