Sonoma State University Launches new MBA program in Napa Valley

Napa Valley Vintners partner to expand higher education opportunities in the region


4/14/2012 - St Helena, CA--Sonoma State University (SSU) and the Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) this weekend launched the first-ever Executive Masters of Business Administration (EMBA) in Napa Valley to help the region's wine professionals meet their advanced educational goals in winery management. The inaugural class of 24 includes senior sales and marketing managers, winemakers, finance directors and winery owners.

The partnership with the NVV provides the Napa Valley wine community easier access to accomplishing their higher education goals by using the non-profit trade association's St Helena headquarters as the in-valley campus. Additionally, the EMBA students will have unparalleled access to a wealth of course materials related to the industry issues the NVV works on throughout the year. The content will be uniquely tailored to the issues and business challenges facing wine industry professionals in Napa Valley.

"We are delighted to be partnering with Sonoma State in offering this advanced degree here in Napa Valley, making education more accessible for our community's wine professionals. And having the chance to incorporate specific issues that face these business leaders makes that content even more dynamic," said NVV Executive Director Linda Reiff.

Classes, which began yesterday and continued through today, include strategic brand management, global wine operations, using social media as a strategic tool in marketing throughout the distribution chain, compliance and government relations, financial statement analysis, talent management, and much more. The culminating experience is a strategic plan for a new or existing business, which provides budding wine entrepreneurs a way to have their ideas mentored, shaped, and potentially funded.

The program began accepting applications for the inaugural program in January and the response was overwhelmingly positive, and will provide these students with an accredited MBA degree in just 17 months. The executive format is generally alternating Fridays and Saturdays, from 8am - 5pm, where students attend year-round except for a harvest break from September 1 to November 8, 2012. Courses end on Aug 31, 2013. This is a cohort program with small- and large-group dynamics.

About the NVV
The Napa Valley Vintners is the non-profit trade association responsible for promoting and protecting the Napa Valley appellation as the premier winegrowing region. From seven founding members in 1944, today the association represents more than 430 Napa Valley wineries and collectively is a leader in the world-wide wine industry. To learn more about our region and its legendary American wines, visit

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Contact: Terry Hall, Communications Director 707-968-4217