Blog entries categorized under December 2013 Editions
Not long after graduating from Virginia Tech University with a degree in Public Relations, Laura Kimmel found work as a receptionist at the Restaurant Association of Maryland (RAM). That was seven years ago. Today, she is the association's Director of Membership and Marketing, a position she has held since 2010.
"This will be my seventh year here," she stated, during a recent interview with the Beverage Journal. "I've grown a lot, I've learned a lot, and I have worn many different hats here from logistics coordinator of our 10,000-person Expo to planning our 700-person awards gala to now managing and directing membership and marketing."
Her duties and responsibilities are many. Chiefly, though, her job is to make sure RAM is getting its message out to Maryland restaurants that the association is there to help them succeed. "We also work to let the dining public know that Maryland restaurants are great and that there are many to choose from. "
In late October, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., commemorated the 80th anniversary of Prohibition's repeal by inviting the proprietors and representatives of several historic wineries to town. Among them was Christine Wente, a board member of Wente Family Estates in California's Livermore Valley. During an interview with the Beverage Journal, Wente remarked, "Prohibition is significant for us because we were one of the few wineries that continued to operate during that era. In addition to branching out into cattle ranching and olive farming, we sold sacramental wines to the Catholic Church through a contract with Beaulieu Vineyard. The Church would hold two or three masses a day back then, so they needed a lot of wine. As a result, we were able to come out of Prohibition strong and able to make some great advances in the 1930s, including being the first winery in California to varietally label Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc."
She continued, "It was an amazing time. Wineries were allowed to ship crates of grapes to home winemakers. But they would have to put notes on the top of crates that said: 'Caution! Don't add yeast or grapes will ferment into wine!'"
During her presentation, Wente shared with the Smithsonian the three main factors that have contributed to the success of the business. Number one has been the family's continual search for consistency and quality "and never believing you have achieved it." Second, she spoke of the passion that has grown up through the generations of her family.