What’s on the horizon for Napa’s economic, technological and educational future? How are emerging business leaders using new means of communication to stimulate sales? What perspective can Napa’s youth offer on the emerging business landscape?

On Tuesday, Oct. 22, the Napa Chamber of Commerce’s Innovation Napa Valley -- a morning half-day summit being held at 500 First St. in Napa (former Copia theater) -- will provide a multifaceted view into topics ranging from the regional economy to the power of failure in business. More than a dozen leaders in their fields will open discussions aimed at stimulating conversation that continues long after the summit closes. A unique team of “emerging entrepreneurs” makes up an enthusiastic and engaging panel, providing insight about new and engaging ways to bring wine branding to life.

The main objective for this energetic summit is to leave attendees with solid and inspiring take-aways that provide the building blocks for business and non-profit organizations. Regional business owners, school administrators, entrepreneurs, community leaders and interested members of the public are invited to join us for what promises to be a hugely informative session with a variety of presenters across generations. Peppered between speakers, specially selected students from Napa’s New Technology High School will present “Ignite” speeches, focused on a younger interpretation of Napa’s present challenges and future opportunities. In addition, participants will be among the first to experience the revitalized Napa Chamber brand, logo and vision.

Tickets for Innovation Napa Valley are now on sale at www.InnovationNapaValley.com.Confirmed Speakers for INV

Speaking about "The Economics of Innovation in Napa Valley," Rob Eyler, PhD, will share statistics about the current state of the local economy, as well as insights about what the future may hold. Eyler is Professor and the Frank Howard Allen Research Scholar of Economics at Sonoma State University and the Director of the Center for Regional Economic Analysis at Sonoma State University.

Kevin Bennett, founder of NapaIT, will discuss what it takes to bring business into the 21st Century. With 20-plus years of Mac experience and knowledge, having worked for Apple Inc. and other Apple Macintosh based companies, Bennett brings a wealth of information about current technological innovations to INV.

Michael Gould, director of business development, Nelson & Associates, has titled his talk "The Art of Advancement: Failing and Regaining a Foothold." We’ve all made mistakes in our business; Gould will help shed some light on the benefits of failure.

Mary Frank is the chief executive officer of Universal Green. She created The Balance Project, an evolutionary multi-media entertainment and marketing platform delivering messages that bring balance to health, business and the planet through original programming and advertising, a fusion of web, social media and broadcast television. She will speak about The Balance Project as an evolutionary way of doing business. Frank is a seasoned media expert with over 30 years of experience in documentary film making, television broadcast media and production.

Michelle Spencer is the principal of New Technology High School in Napa, the flagship school of the New Tech Network. An educator for over 23 years, Michelle started out as a teacher at Cupertino High School where she earned a California State Mentor Grant in 1994 to integrate ninth grade English with science and art. This project ignited her passion for Project-based Learning.Panel

Moderator: Andrew Lazorchak, managing partner of soireehome. He is a specialist in brand design (product & architectural) with a rooted logic that stems from his training and career in the architecture world. His career path mutated from architecture to an architectural brand designer for fortune 500 companies for their premier design sites.

Ashley Teplin, Teplin + Nuss Public Relations. With years of experience and unlimited connections in the culinary and wine world, Ms. Teplin uses her extraordinary skill set to gain exposure and create virtual and real-world publicity for her diverse client set.  Immersed in the worlds of art, culture, wine and cuisine, she wields her expertise in public relations, media production, photography, social media advisement, culinary and fine arts to forge new networks and strengthen existing relationships among her clients.

Jordan Kivelstadt, founder and chief executive officer, Free Flow Wines. Mr. Kivelstadt founded Free Flow Wines with Dan Donahoe in 2009 and has been leading the growth of the business since the beginning. Jordan was trained as an engineer at Tufts University before moving on to management consulting for over two years. In 2006, Jordan began his career in the wine industry as production manager for The Donum Estate. Since then he has made wine in four countries, founded his own bottle brand called Kivelstadt Cellars, manages his family’s organic 10-acre vineyard and continues to innovate in the industry he loves.

Adam Reiter, marketing and public relations manager of NakedWines.com. Upon graduation from The City College of New York, Reiter began working as a Digital Marketing Manager for a startup ultrapremium vodka brand from Norway called Christiania. In 2009, he took the role as E&J Gallo Winery’s first digital marketing specialist, working across all 70-plus Gallo wine and spirits brands. In December 2012, Rowan Gormley, chief executive officer of NakedWines.com, invited Reiter to join them as their first employee in the U.S. He helped launch the business and since joining has moved into many roles including overseeing the company’s first retail storefront in the heart of downtown Napa.

Kristy Sammis, chief operating officer, Clever Girls Collective, Inc. She brings nearly 20 years of strategic and visionary marketing leadership to Clever Girls. As a respected speaker, organizer, communicator and blogger, Ms. Sammis has been instrumental in shaping how brands connect with women online. Drawing from both her extensive corporate experience and social-media savvy, she drives Clever Girls’ marketing strategy, network-building, and brand development. Clever Girls Collective, Inc. is a content and social media agency that connects brands with a vetted network of more than 8,000 women bloggers, reaching 55 million-plus unique visitors per month.


Chris Messina is president and CEO of the Napa Chamber of Commerce, chris@napachamber.com, 707-254-1146.