When Michael Mondavi was 11 years old, his grandfather, California winemaker Cesare Mondavi, told him his most important job was to leave the soil in his vineyard in healthier condition than when he received it from his father and uncle. That early advice has guided Mondavi’s approach to winemaking and natural farming.
Mondavi, the founder of Michael Mondavi Family Estate and a leader in natural and sustainable farming, is one of the global emissaries of California wine and is credited for helping to establish and build the Napa Valley wine industry.
At 12: 30 p.m. on Nov. 1, Mondavi will be the keynote speaker for the second annual Central Valley Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum at the Clovis Veterans Memorial District (808 4th St.). The forum includes a “Shark Tank” style pitch competition, a stock exchange and panel discussions for investors and startups.
“We are excited to have Mr. Mondavi as the keynote speaker and are looking forward to hearing his thoughts about family business, innovation, entrepreneurship and the wine industry” said Emil Milevoj, director of the Lyles Center.
Attendees at the forum, including entrepreneurs and business professionals, will hear from industry leaders, angel investors and venture capitalists while networking with other business owners. Investors will have the opportunity to listen to up-and-coming companies pitch to a panel of judges and investors. Ashley Swearengin, the CEO and president of Central Valley Community Foundation and former mayor of Fresno, will deliver a morning keynote.