An Evening with E. & J. Winery

Recently, I had the honor of attending an E. & J. Gallo Winery wine tasting at The Arizona Inn in Tucson, Arizona. E. & J. Gallo visited Arizona as part of their partnership with The University of Arizona Eller MBA program. I was excited to meet E. & J. Gallo’s team because of my experience in agriculture and technology and E. & J. Gallo award winning use of technology to revolutionize the wine industry from the vineyards to retail.

Throughout the evening, E. & J. Gallo Winery introduced several wines and related food pairings. The event was great and I met several wonderful individuals. Shortly after I arrived, I had the pleasure to meet Matt, our E. & J. Gallo host and recent University of Arizona Eller MBA Alumnus. Matt asked if I would be willing to present their Bridlewood Arabesque collection to the attendees. Matt helped convince me to present when he provided me a fact sheet on Bridlewood. He further set me at ease when he said “the most important thing is to have fun.” Presenting the Bridlewood Arabeque wine was actually fun and I appreciate his confidence in me.

I also had the pleasure to meet Kent Kushar, the CIO of E. & J. Gallo. Kent is well known for leading E. & J. Gallo to the top of the InformationWeek 500, the annual ranking of the 500 most innovative users of business technology in the nation. To give you a perspective into Kent’s responsibilities, E. & J. Gallo has an estimated annual sales of $2.7 billion and over 4,600 employees. I enjoyed experiencing firsthand Kent’s enthusiasm, love for his fellow man and his passion for life.

Below, Kent talks with InformationWeek about how a company gets to the top of the InformationWeek 500 and what qualities tomorrow’s CIO should possess.

To visit the video directly at InformationWeek, click here.