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Sonoma County’s Aperture Cellars marketing VP wins North Bay Forty Under 40 award

Lauren Wong

36

Vice President, Sales and Marketing

Aperture Cellars

12291 Old Redwood Highway., Healdsburg 95448

707-200-7891

www.aperture-cellars.com

Read other profiles of North Bay Business Journal’s 2021 Forty Under 40 Awards winners.

Responsibilities with your company: I oversee all sales, marketing, brand development, and hospitality for Aperture Cellars and Devil Proof Vineyards while working with a small senior leadership team to develop long-term company planning and sales growth strategy.

In 25 words or less, how do you exemplify the spirit of being a top Forty under 40 professional?

The notion of being considered among the next local generation of thought leaders and industry professionals would be both a high watermark for achievement as well as aspiration.

Years with company: 5

Length of time in current position: 5 years

Number of companywide employees: 13

Number who report to you: 4

Greatest professional accomplishment: Helping to grow a label from just two people and a couple hundred cases of wine to a brand with a new state-of-the-art production facility, estate vineyards, and a luxury hospitality venue.

Greatest professional challenge: Striking a balance between being business-minded and revenue-focused during a time of economic stress and downturn and at the same time supporting and encouraging the people that are the backbone of that company.

Best advice received: To always be authentic. It continues to be a guiding force for me from a branding standpoint and a good barometer to make big decisions by.

Single most important event in your professional life in the last 12 months: Developing the new team to work onsite at the new Aperture facility and together opening our hospitality space safely to the public for the first time during a global pandemic.

What’s the biggest change COVID-19, the restrictions and the economic impact has had on your work and personal life?

This past year has given me the opportunity to lead our team in increasingly creative and innovative ways that I otherwise may not have needed to implement. Impacted by the closures of restaurants across the country and the delayed opening and then closure of our hospitality space due to the pandemic and then wildfires, we responded by pushing the boundaries of how we engage with our consumers and become experts in digital and virtual experiences.

And what’s the biggest lesson you’ve taken from that experience?

I learned that being adaptable, optimistic, and open to change can be incredibly powerful and can lead to great successes.

What steps is your company taking to sustain your organization and morale in the current economy?

This last year has been incredibly challenging and I feel fortunate to have emerged from it as a company with more integrated and developed teamwork.

Creativity and innovation were key this past year and while there were pivots, failures, and dead ends, our team experienced far more successes that ultimately lead to company-wide growth beyond our original projections. I am incredibly grateful to be leading a dynamic group of talented individuals who are not afraid of change and encouraged by creative problem-solving!

Next professional goal: To further evolve the private event and hospitality experiences at Aperture as we look to operating in a non-pandemic world.

Education: Bachelors of Science degree in marketing and economics from San Francisco State University

Hometown: Santa Rosa

Mentor/admired businessperson: Women like Katrina Lake, Whitney Wolfe Herd, and Jasmine Crowe who focused on their passions to provide a new solution for society and embody the ideals and determination of the ultimate entrepreneur.

What is your most disliked industry buzzword?

Synergy

Typical day at the office: I truly don't have a typical day...which is part of why I love my job. I could be attending a press check, overseeing a photo shoot, prepping for an event or sitting down for an informative wine tasting.

Hobbies: I love to cycle, practice yoga, read, discover alongside my young son and

What you wanted to be when you grew up: A ballerina...and after 18 years of professional training (and many bruised and bloody toes later), I decided to focus on my education. I still dance but now just for fun.

#1 thing you want to accomplish by the time you turn 40: Achieve a work life balance that sets an example for my son that you can have a robust and gratifying career as well as a full and engaged family life.

First job: Montecito Heights Health Club - I worked in the club's Childcare and created many meaningful relationships with the children and their families there. I still love to play tennis, do yoga, and swim at the club!

Social media you most use: Instagram

Favorite book: Right now I am reading “Dare to Lead” by Brené Brown and “Honest to Greatness” by Peter Kozodoy...oh and nightly with my 16-month-old we love “The Day The Crayons Quit” by Drew Daywalt and Iggy Peck, “Architect” by Andrea Beaty.

Favorite movie: “Breakfast at Tiffany's” and “Almost Famous”

Favorite App: I honestly have an app for everything. To choose favorites just wouldn't be right! I do love the creative apps, the reality that I can photo correct, scale, crop, and overlay images from my phone and create quick, professional marketing content in a flash is amazing! Oh and my podcast app, I use that daily as well.

Favorite after-work drink: Grower champagne!

Last vacation: Corsica with my husband, pre-baby and pre-pandemic.

What does your mom or dad brag most about you?

My abundant energy and exceedingly positive attitude!

Lauren Wong

36

Vice President, Sales and Marketing

Aperture Cellars

12291 Old Redwood Highway., Healdsburg 95448

707-200-7891

www.aperture-cellars.com

Read other profiles of North Bay Business Journal’s 2021 Forty Under 40 Awards winners.

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