Women in Business 2014: Karissa Kruse, Sonoma County Winegrowers

President, Sonoma County Winegrowers, 3637 Westwind Blvd., Santa Rosa 95403, 707-522-5863, www.sonomawinegrape.org

Age: 38

Residence: Santa Rosa

Professional background: I have more than 17 years of experience in various aspects of marketing, brand management, strategic planning and business development. I have worked for companies such as General Mills, Universal Studios, Mattel and Dairy Management. I worked at Dairy Management for seven years on behalf of dairy farmers nationally.

[caption id="attachment_94222" align="alignleft" width="245"] Karissa Kruse[/caption]

I am a partner in a small winery, Argot Wines, and the owner of a 25-acre parcel in Bennett Valley, with five acres planted to grapes. That makes me a winegrower, in addition to working for them.

I am on the board of the Sonoma County Harvest Fair, Sonoma County Grape Growers Foundation, Sonoma County Tourism, Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce, Santa Rosa Junior College Viticulture Advisory Committee and a member of Leadership Santa Rosa Class 29. I was selected as a North Bay Business Business Journal Forty Under 40 award recipient in 2012.

Education: B.S., economics, and MBA, marketing and strategic management, Wharton School of Business at University of Pennsylvania.

Staff: I have five full-time staff people, one shared staff person and a contract bookkeeper. I manage a 21-person board and oversee two committees -- Marketing and Grower Programs, a joint community relations task force and a Sustainability Initiative working group.

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