2018 Speaker Information

001 Butzke

Positive Cash Flow Winemaking Tips for Small Wineries

ENOLOGY: Getting It Done – Of Winery Work Orders, Quality Systems and Time Management

 Dr. Christian Butzke is a professor of enology in the Department of Food Science, and a member of the Purdue Wine Grape Team that serves Midwestern vintners and growers.

He is chief judge of the Indy International, one of the largest wine competitions in the US and past-president of the American Society for Enology and Viticulture, the winemakers' professional guild.  He is the author of two books and dozens of scientific and popular publications on wine.  His applied research program addresses fine wine quality from fermentation problems to bottle closure issues, from global wine transport conditions to wine aging kinetics.  His work on wine has been featured in the popular media including the New York Times, Boston Globe, PBS, The Economist, Financial Times, Wine Spectator, Rolling Stone Magazine, and many others.  His Extension responsibilities include the planning, coordination and teaching of a wide variety of professional education programs in enology.  A former faculty member of the UC Davis Department of Viticulture and Enology, he is the co-founder of the Joint Burgundy-California-Oregon Winemaking Symposia, served on the managing committee for the wine industry's largest conference, the Unified Wine & Grape Symposium, and has been an award-winning commercial winemaker.  He is co-founder and chief enologist of the Purdue-based start-up VinSense, a software company that provides vineyard management decision-support through real-time, high-resolution soil maps, modeling of soil and climate effects on fruit composition and quality, and powerful Big Data analytics and visualization tools.  He has three awesome daughters.

Visit www.wineprofessor.org

002 Diana Cochran Pic 

VITICULTURE: ISU Extension Update

Dr. Diana Cochran is an Assistant Professor and Extension Fruit Specialist at Iowa State University. As the state-wide Extension Specialist, Diana works closely with Iowa growers through on-farm collaborative research and demonstration projects as well as one-on-one consultation around the state. She brings expertise in water use efficiency, weed management, integrated pest management, and whole plant physiology. Dr. Cochran’s research focuses on evaluating sustainable production systems, nutrient management, and environmental variables (light, temperature, and water use), with the goal of reducing production costs without sacrificing plant quality.

003 Erin Norton Pic 2


ENOLOGY: MGWII/Tannin Research Poster

 Erin joined the institute in December 2015 as the Education and Outreach Coordinator. After growing up in Canada’s Niagara wine region, Erin received a Bachelors degree in Chemistry from University of Waterloo in 2005, and a Masters in Chemistry from University of Windsor in 2008. This led her back home to Brock University to complete the Certificate in Grape and Wine Technology in 2008/2009. Erin has completed 7 harvest seasons in Canada, France and New Zealand before moving to Iowa in 2015. At the MGWII Erin works with industry members and ISU students through workshops, seminars, on-campus classes, the IQWC program and the Registered Apprenticeship Program. In January 2017, Erin began a PhD program in Food Science and Technology with a research focus on tannin extraction during fermentation of red hybrid grape varieties.

004 Renee Murphy Pic 2 

MARKETING/BUSINESS: Your Social Presence … A Perfect Mess

Renee Murphy has experienced career opportunities in cognitive therapy, medical transcription, teaching, coaching, public relations, marketing, and social media. Within each position, she has connected with people and shared those connections with others. Renee has utilized each of her areas of interest to continue teaching and coaching to encourage others to move forward and up.  Renee attended Simpson College as an undergrad and received her Master of Education at Drake University.  She is currently engaged as a Simpson College Emerge Foundation board of director, Ankeny Chamber of Commerce board of director, 100 Women Who Care Ankeny steering committee member, Ankeny Alliance mentor, and chair of other incredible organizational committees. Renee has teamed up with individuals and businesses specifically in social media for over the last 5 years, has attended the Social Media Marketing World Conference in San Diego the past 3 years, and is the owner and Chief Nexus Officer of Sassy Social Media Management. “Social Media is all about connections and connections are all about you and the opportunities you offer.”


VITICULTURE: Vineyard Growing Best Practices for Red Wine Production and recent Japanese Beetle Research

New Varietal Research/Genetic Makeup, Wine Sampling, Growing Techniques

Andy Farmer has been operating Northeastern Vine Supply, Inc. since 2002.  Cold hardy grapevines are propagated, grown, processed and shipped from our VT farm all around the country.  Varieties from the U of Minnesota, Tom Plocher, Elmer Swenson, and select french hybrids are produced. 

006 plocher tom2         

VITICULTURE: Vineyard Growing Best Practices for Red Wine Production and recent Japanese Beetle Research

New Varietal Research/Genetic Makeup, Wine Sampling, Growing Techniques

 Tom has been involved in cold climate viticulture in Minnesota since 1980. He is best known for co-authoring (with Bob Parke) the book Northern Winework: Growing Grapes and Making Wine in Cold Climates. Since 1996, Tom also has pursued his own grape breeding program, focusing on new grape varieties for red wine. T.P. 2-1-24 was named ‘Petite Pearl’ and entered the commercial market in 2010.   Two new selections, Crimson Pearl (T. P. 2-1-17)USPP and Verona (TP 1-1-34)USPP were named and introduced into commercial propagation in 2015. Tom continues his breeding work, focusing on issues created by climate change. These include resistance to late winter warm spells and late spring frosts, resistance to splitting and rots during late season bouts of heavy rainfall, and resistance to Japanese Beetles.


ENOLOGY: Moving Beyond Brix: Assessing Grape Quality as a Winegrower

Unique Flavor and Aroma Molecules in Cold Hardy Hybrids

Piero Spada’s passion for wine stems from the intersection of his deep-rooted Italian heritage and his inherent interest in the biological sciences. Piero received his BS in Biology from UW-Madison, and later received his MS from Cornell’s Viticulture & Enology program.  Today, Piero is a Cold Climate Grape & Wine Production Specialist who helps winegrowers develop their own vintner fingerprint.

Whether establishing a vineyard, starting a winery, or taking your wines to the next level, Piero’s expert guidance will help you hit your goals.

Maximize Your Grapes' Potential in the Vineyard, Actualize That Potential in the Winery!

For more information please visit pierospada.com

008 Andrew Clark 

MARKETING/BUSINESS: Social Media Strategies for Small Businesses

Andrew B. Clark, better known in social circles as “The Brand Chef,” founded what was to become SPOKE Communications, LLC in the fall of 2009. With over 25 years in marketing communications, specifically in the fields of integrated digital marketing, print graphic design services, social media strategy design and development, Andrew’s career has provided results-driven successes for his partners and clients.

Author of the TRUE Branding™ Workbook, Andrew works with clients to help build brands and execute TRUE Brand marketing strategies that connect with a motivated target audience.

Andrew is also an accomplished illustrator, cartoonist, photographer, and videographer, giving those he works with a full spectrum of creative “spice” to empower each and every campaign.

For more information: Andrew B. Clark
SPOKE Communications, LLC 100 Court Avenue, #218, Des Moines, Iowa, 50309.

 009 jsavits 2016 2

VITICULTURE: FSMA and How it Affects Your Vineyard & Winery

Jennie Savits is the Enology Field Specialist at the Midwest Grape and Wine Industry Institute at Iowa State University. She earned B.S. and M.S. degrees in Food Science from ISU and gained winemaking experience through harvest internships and employment as a Research Associate for the MGWII. Jennie provides extension and outreach programming and technical assistance to wine industry members on best winemaking practices.

 010 Andrews Extension picture

VITICULTURE: FSMA and How it Affects Your Vineyard & Winery

Sandy Andrews is an On Farm Food Safety Extension Specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach. She earned a PhD from Iowa State University in Agriculture History and Rural Studies and worked with farmers in Romania, the Philipines and US. Sandy is part of the On Farm Food Saftey Team at ISU; the team provides education and outreach to farmers on pre and post-harvest food safety, Good Agricultural Practices and FSMA compliance.

 011 Chris Granstrom Pic

ENOLOGY: Marquette Varietal & Winemaking Techniques

Chris Granstrom the owner of Lincoln Peak Vineyard in New Haven VT. They started planting grapes in 2002, and now produce about 2500 cases a year using only grapes from their farm. Previously, Chris had a strawberry farm at the same site for more than twenty years. ​

 012 IWGA Dirk Westercamp Pic 2

Marketing/Business: Winery Design & Facility Considerations

Dirk Westercamp, AIA, DBIA, LEED AP draws from over 24 years of experience to lead the architectural services of Studio192 and Co. He has a vast range of experience from award winning architectural design throughout the Midwest, to expert witness and forensic investigations, to high security design solutions.

His design clients have ranged from bio-pharma manufacturing facilities, bio-fuel producers, medical clinics, commercial offices and civic spaces. He has been a guest lecturer at Iowa State University, presented at continuing education seminars for AIA (American Institute of Architects) Iowa Spring Conference, and DBIA (Design Build Institute of America) Regional Conference.

 013 IWGA Brown Winnick Pic

Employee/Employment Policies

Christopher R. Sackett is the firm's Managing Partner and is actively involved in the firm's Business/Corporate Law, Securities, Agribusiness, Renewable Energy and Real Estate practice groups. Chris has been recognized by Chambers USA® as a leading practitioner in Iowa in corporate/mergers and acquisitions and business law, selected for inclusion in Best Lawyers® in the area of business organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships) and has also been selected for inclusion in Super Lawyers in the area of mergers and acquisitions. Chris represents numerous and diverse clients in corporate/mergers and acquisitions, business and transactional matters, and financing and capital formation, and assists with many other legal concerns.

Chris's practice focuses primarily on domestic and international business, transactional, corporate and securities matters, including: organization/ formation/startup and management issues; debt and equity financing including public and private securities offerings; mergers and acquisitions; joint ventures; real estate transactions; manufacturing and supply chain transactions; and franchise/dealer/ distributor issues. Industries served include manufacturing, technology, biotech, agribusiness, venture capital, private equity/investment banking and energy, among others.

Chris received his B.A., magna cum laude, from Central College in 1989 and his J.D., with distinction, from the University of Iowa in 1993. He was admitted to the bar in Wisconsin in 1993, in Iowa in 1994 and is a member of the Polk County, Iowa State (Member, Agricultural Law; Business Law; Intellectual Property Law; International Law; Real Estate and Title Law and Trade Regulation/Antitrust Sections) and American (Member, Business Law and International Law Sections and Forum on Franchising) Bar Associations.


VITICULTURE: Preparing your vineyard for mechanization, recap of industry in regards to mechanization

Wayne Peterson is the owner of Midwest Grower Supply and a Consultant for GFG Ag Services. He was born and raised in the ag industry in Northwest Missouri and has spent the last 33 years serving specialty industries. Wayne services vineyards, orchards, small fruits and vegetables with pesticide and equipment needs.

 Screen Shot 2018 02 06 at 10.29.10 PM

MARKETING/BUSINESS: Event Management/Planning Best Practices

 MARKETING/BUSINESS: Marketing Your Brand

 Mandy Houk is the Marketing Strategist at Marketing Kinetics LLC in Des Moines. The Marketing Kinetics team provides marketing and business development services for growth-oriented organizations. Services include: strategic planning, new market exploration, customer assessment and retention, competitive analysis, brand development, integrated marketing communications, advertising, media relations and PR.


VITICULTURE: How to go from 1 acre to 10, increasing your commercial vineyard size strategically

Eli Bergemeier discusses expanding a vineyard to or through commercial scale(s) so it can significantly increase both rewards and risks to the grower.  To help ensure success, any proposed or planned expansion should receive careful consideration of numerous factors.  This presentation will seek to stimulate growers in a thought process to help them identify potential opportunities, options, and pitfalls.

 017 drewhortonprofile2

ENOLOGY: Cider/Mead Making

 Drew Horton, has been active in the wine industry for over 25 years having started as a wine salesman, and then as a winemaker.  With a BA in Anthropology and early career experience working in kitchens, Drew brings a unique perspective at the intersection of food, culture, and of course wine.  Mr. Horton has produced vintages in Santa Barbara, California before moving to Minnesota in 2010 where he began working with cold-hardy, hybrid grapes.  In 2015, Drew moved from commercial winemaking to providing outreach as a field specialist for the Midwest Grape and Wine Industry Institute at Iowa State in Ames, Iowa.

Drew will also engage with and provide University and Extension resources to winemakers across the state.  This includes troubleshooting, planning, and evaluating winemaking processes for Minnesota’s Farm Wineries.  Drew has expertise in fermentation techniques, barrel-ageing, and blending.  Additionally, Drew intends to offer courses and workshops to appeal to the needs of wine makers, from amateur to professional. “I’m a hands-on winemaker, always looking for the best, often homemade, solution to solve winemaker issues,” Horton said.

 018 JBeary 2017 2

Iowa Industry Update

 Jenna Beary is Partnerships Manager of the Iowa Tourism Office at the Iowa Economic Development Authority where she is responsible for tourism promotions, the cooperative partnerships program, the Iowa Tourism Conference and working with sponsors for various events and programs.  Jenna also represents the department on the Iowa Wine and Beer Promotion Board.

A lifelong Iowan, Jenna grew up in Chariton and earned her bachelor’s degree from Wartburg College.  While at Wartburg, Jenna interned at the Iowa State Fair and continued as an Events Assistant for two years after graduation.  In 2011, Jenna was promoted to Sponsorship Director with the Iowa State Fair Blue Ribbon Foundation, and transitioned to the marketing department as the Marketing and Content Coordinator in early 2015.       

Jenna joined the staff at the Iowa Tourism Office in 2016.  In her free time, Jenna enjoys cooking, relaxing with her husband, home improvement projects and, of course, traveling in Iowa.


Iowa Industry Update

Stephen Larson was appointed Administrator of the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division on May 1, 2010 by Governor Culver, and reappointed to a second four-year term in May, of 2014 by Governor Terry Branstad. Larson’s career in public service began in 1984. Prior to his appointment as the Administrator of the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division he served as Deputy Treasurer for State Treasurer Michael L. Fitzgerald. During his time in public service, he has gained extensive experience on matters related to regulatory compliance, treasury management and governmental relations.

During his tenure at the Iowa ABD, he has implemented initiatives including policies and procedures for enhancing customer service, improving efficiencies and space utilization, initiating education and outreach programs, renewing the alcohol compliance program, and increasing transparency. Mr. Larson has also focused on revitalizing the agency's relationships with partners such as licensees, other state agencies, prevention groups, trade associations, industry partners and local law enforcement officials.

* Conference schedule and speakers subject to change without notice.