Congratulations, observations and holiday reflections

Congratulations to Don Shindle of the Westin Verasa and Jim Treadway of Hotel Bardessono for both being named 2014 General Manager of the Year by the California Hotel & Lodging Association in the medium and small hotel categories, respectively.

Thank you to the many whom I observed taking part in supporting Small Business Saturday throughout Napa County. I know many of us are always encouraging you to support local merchants, and it’s very much appreciated. I’d like to also encourage local merchants to return the favor by being more assertive in providing goods and services as online shopping options for local customers.

It’s required to grow your business in today’s environment where consumers have so many options. It also provides a very creative channel to connect and communicate with your customers. Last but not least, it’s how most people prefer to shop. It’s a choice dictated by convenience and the hectic schedules of everyday life.

If for some reason your business is not capable of properly offering goods and services online (website, staffing, budget, etc.) please contact the Napa Chamber so we can put you in touch with one of our qualified members to assist. There are a few to choose from. Your prospective new customers are searching your site before coming to your store so let’s make sure that the first impression is a good one.

Three new members of the Chamber are eagerly waiting to assist include Prashant Patel of Invictus Marketing (, Andreas Mueller-Schubert of WSI Next Generation Marketing ( and Scott Gilbert of Gresco Marketing ( They’re small and local, so I guess now I’m flipping the script to ask local business owners to also “shop local.”

Holidays are a time to reflect on all that we are thankful for. Of course, families and health are most always at the top of our list. Here are a couple more things on my list:

Napa Christmas Tree lighting and Santa Wine Train — These two events will be forever ingrained in the minds of my two children. They were so excited to share this year’s tree lighting with cousins visiting from Long Beach and Oakland. Last year was their first experience on the Napa Valley Wine Train and every time we pass by they remind me of how much they enjoyed it.

Vine Village Arts program — My visit to Vine Village was the highlight of my week. I stopped by to participate in the art sale and picked up a couple of pieces that are being proudly displayed in my office. Thank you Mark and Tracie for your inspiration.