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Applications for Young Guns and Gurus Program closing soon

Applications for the second annual Young Guns and Gurus Program will be closing next week. The program is designed to pair young wine communicators with respected wine industry leaders in the fields of journalism, public relations and sales/marketing and give them the chance to refine their skills and explore further opportunities by tapping into the experiences and insights from the best in their field.

The program runs over a six month time frame and aims to boost both personal and professional development in a future generation by:

• Giving a new generation of wine communicators access to a wealth of knowledge from respected industry leaders • Giving applicants greater career clarity, direction and satisfaction within the wine industry • Networking with like-minded, ambitious future leaders • Receiving assistance with setting and achieving personal and professional goals.

WCA Young Guns and Gurus Program Director Trish Barry noted “There are many talented young professionals in our industry who have a strong vision and ambitions for the future. Many have had careers in other industries or are looking to learn further skills within their current role and will flourish with some guidance, added confidence and exposure to experts in their respective fields of wine communication.”

The program continues due to the overwhelming feedback from the inaugural program. The 2007 Young Guns have been exposed to a range of experiences facilitated by their Gurus including participating in a radio segment on wine, having wine articles published, being involved in the Boutique Wine Packaging Awards and judging at wine shows. All found it an overwhelmingly positive experience with the flexibility to set realistic goals and develop a mutually beneficial relationship with their Guru.

WCA Club President Darren Jahn said “We have been delighted with the response to the inaugural program. Our Young Guns and Gurus report it to be of immense value and we have clearly taken a step to furthering the next generation of wine communicators. This is a rare opportunity for Young Guns to learn from a vast array of individuals who have made their mark in the industry and are willing to generously pass on their knowledge to the next generation.”

The 2008 Gurus, who are giving most kindly of their time and support for this project, are:

• Lisa McGuigan (sales / marketing) – among other things, the driving force behind Tempus Two’s sales and marketing success – a packaging innovator and marketing leader for McGuigan Wines, now branching back into retail; WCA Committee member • Ralph Dunning (sales / marketing) – The Yalumba Wine Company Marketing Manager and previously National Sales Director S Smith & Sons, outstanding talent developer; WCA member • Judy Sarris (journalism) – Editor and the driving force behind Gourmet Traveller WINE Magazine, recently named World’s Best Drink Magazine at the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu World Food Media Awards 2007; WCA member. • Peter Bourne (journalism) – Wine consultant, wine educator, judge, retail expert and journalist. Regular contributor to Uncorked Magazine, Qantas Magazine, the (sydney) magazine and Gourmet Traveller WINE Magazine; WCA Life Member. • Jane Adams (public relations) – Director Jane Adams Communications whose clients have included Cape Mentelle/ Cloudy Bay, Poole’s Rock, Pipers Brook and Taltarni. Restaurant critic and judge, two-times finalist Saltram Australian Wine Communicator Award; WCA member. • Lesley Ann Grimoldby (public relations) – Director Intercontact Public Relations whose clients have included Seppelt, Lindemans, Pommery, Corbans, Johnnie Walker Black Label, Great Keppell Island and Electrolux white goods; and Managing Director of Switzer Business Coaching; Past WCA Vice President, Life Member.

The Program is wholly funded by WCA reserves and applications are being sought on a national basis.

Whilst we are ideally looking for new talent, there is no age limit.

Applications from potential Young Guns are required by 5pm on 26 September 2008. The application form and further information is available on the WCA website www.winecommunicators.com.au.

Successful recipients will be advised by mid October with the program commencing in November.

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