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Child Start, Inc. Hires NewLevel Group for Strategic Planning

John Heymann and Carrie Hays are working with the Executive Education Program at Child Start, Inc. (CSI) to develop management understanding and skills in strategic planning, facilitating a full day all-management strategic planning session, and facilitating a Board of Directors strategic planning retreat.

Citizens for Safety and Congestion Relief Chooses NewLevel Group to Coordinate Transportation Initiative

NewLevel Group will provide local Napa County campaign logistics and coordination for the Transportation Initiative slated to be on the ballot June 6, 2006. Coordination includes implementing public outreach activities such as speaking engagements and signage, developing an endorsement program, providing fundraising assistance and engaging volunteer teams in each city in Napa County.

Napa Valley Economic Development Corporation Turns to Professional Management Company

For the first time in its 21-year history, the Napa Valley Economic Development Corporation (NVEDC) is turning to a professional management company to handle its operations and programs. NewLevel Group, is providing infrastructure, office space, and staff for the organization in its offices located at 1303 Jefferson Street, Suite 100B.

Hospitality and Winery Organizations to Receive Management Skills Training

Joie de Vivre Hospitality and Trinchero Family Estates recently signed with Carrie Hays of NewLevel Group to receive management skills training. Hays is slated to take over the design, facilitation, and coordination of the entire Management Foundation Series for Joie de Vivre Hospitality (JdV). The year-long series of management skills training workshops focuses on management and technical skills for managers from all of JdV's properties in the Bay Area who represent all disciplines in the hotel industry. Subjects include performance management, interviewing skills, management skills to retain and engage employees, business analysis skills, managing within the law, and operational effectiveness. Hays will also be conducting training at Trinchero Family Estates as part of a series of supervisory development workshops.

Boost Your Board’s Enthusiasm

Nothing squelches enthusiasm and productivity faster than not understanding your role and responsibilities as a board member. In partnership with the Community Foundation of Napa Valley, NewLevel Group hosted a workshop for local non-profit agencies. Board members and executive leaders reviewed their roles and responsibilities by completing this revealing Board Responsibility Chart.

NewLevel Group is proud to help launch VOICES (Voice Our Independent Choices for Emancipation Support), the nation’s first youth-led center serving young people aging out of the foster care system.

NewLevel Group is proud to help launch VOICES (Voice Our Independent Choices for Emancipation Support), the nation’s first youth-led center serving young people aging out of the foster care system. Click here for Press Release

You will be hearing more about the important mission that NewLevel Group client, Children's Health Initiative Napa County, has undertaken.

The Children’s Health Initiative Napa County (CHI Napa County) is a public-private partnership whose goal is to ensure access to insurance and health care for Napa County children living at or below 300% of the federal poverty level (approximately $56,050 for a family of four). It is estimated that up to 80% of uninsured children are eligible for public health insurance programs, such as Medi-Cal or Healthy Families.

NewLevel Group, in partnership with the Community Foundation of Napa Valley, hosted a workshop for local non-profit agencies in September.

Led by John Heymann and Carrie Hays, twenty-five board and executive leaders of twelve non-profit organizations from social services, the environment, legal aid, and community development, worked together to define and clarify their roles and responsibilities and to create a foundation for strategic board recruitment, orientation, and succession planning in their organizations. One of the useful tools introduced at the workshop, a Board Responsibility Chart, was completed by the participants to gain insight into their respective roles. Some of the comments heard from attendees included:

"What a great opportunity to share this experience with my board members."

"This workshop renewed my board enthusiasm!"

"There were great handouts that could be taken back and put to use in my organization."

"The breakout discussions, combined with the written materials, have inspired me to develop some new board energy."

NewLevel Group plans to offer more workshops for nonprofits in 2006.

What's New with the Arts Council Napa Valley

NewLevel Group has been working with Arts Council of Napa Valley for a year, and in that time, ACNV has doubled its Board of Directors and Advisory Board, and increased membership by almost 30%. Under the direction of NLG Project Manager Michelle Williams, ACNV reinstated the Arts in Education program in seven local schools, and created new programs, including the Professional Artist Workshop Series (PAWS), developed in partnership with the Napa Valley Heritage Fund.

PAWS is a series of monthly workshops designed to give artists the business tools they need to be more profitable through their art. The spring series began with Promote Your Art 101: Build a Powerful Brand and Market it through Print and Web, led by Julia Allen of Folia Design and Brendan Murphy of Camaleo. The second workshop, Refining and Submitting Your Portfolio; Portfolio Review was led by Heather Marx of Heather Marx Gallery and Michele Pred of Taking the Leap. The final workshop in the spring series, Grant Writing and Research for Artists and Arts Non-Profits , featured Frances Philips, senior program officer at the Walter and Elise Haas Fund and instructor at the University of San Francisco. Dozens of local artists attended each workshop, and the success of the program was reflected in attendee comments. “(The PAWS program) makes me feel more empowered to seek the artist’s life I want and deserve. It shows how these steps in my career are actually attainable,” wrote one attendee. “I’m impressed that the Arts Council is so organized, focused, and valuable to the arts community. Thank you,” wrote another. “Keep it up- these (programs) are great opportunities for all of us,” wrote a third. ACNV is currently developing a fall PAWS series, slated to begin in September.

ACNV has also undertaken an artistic new approach to fundraising: the Arts Council’s Salon Series. The Salons are grassroots arts events- everything from dinner parties to movie nights to concerts- featuring local and national artists. The Salon Series will run all summer; go to for information on the Family Night Salon, the Mummy Night, dinner and music with the Redwood Trio, and other exciting Salons happening all across the valley.

Save the date on August 2nd for Opera in August, ACNV’s end-of summer Salon featuring tenor Eduardo Valdez from the New York Metropolitan Opera. Valdez, an international soloist featured on numerous recordings with Placido Domingo, will be in Napa Valley one night only, performing at the Witt Barn in St Helena, from 6 – 7:30 PM. For more information or tickets, please contact ACNV at 257-2117.

ACNV Presents
Napa Valley Open Studios Tour 2005

Artist's Reception
St. Supéry Vineyards & Winery
8440 St. Helena Hwy, Rutherford
Friday, September 16, 6-8pm
Exhibition: Exhibition: St. Supéry, 9/12 - 10/12
South Valley Tour Weekend
October 1 & 2, 10 am-5 pm

North Valley Tour Weekend
October 8 & 9, 10 am-5 pm

Philippe Melka Honored by Cult Wine Classic

Philippe MelkaNewLevel Group client and famed winemaker Philippe Melka was honored at the 2nd Annual Cult Wine Classic.

Wine enthusiasts from across the country gathered in San Francisco on October 29th at the Ritz Carlton to celebrate the finest red wines and winemakers in California. The Golden Barrel award is given to a vintner who distinguishes his or herself above the host of winemakers and over 1,200 wineries in California. This is the first year for the award, which went to Philippe Melka, a Bordeaux native noted for crafting some of the finest “cult” wines.

As a sought after winemaker responsible for over a dozen wineries including Bryant Family, Hundred Acre, and Lail, Philippe is constantly in the vineyard or the cellar. He is also winemaker and co-founder of Melka Wines with his wife Cherie, who is responsible for all aspects of this family-owned brand.

With the 2004 harvest approaching, the Melkas contacted NewLevel Group to see if the firm could help them meet the increasing demands of effectively managing the Melka Wines brand. NewLevel’s experience in wine marketing, sales, and distributor management was attractive, and the Melkas felt comfortable knowing that this experience could be used not only to alleviate the demands on their time but to also further their success in the marketplace.

NewLevel was brought on board to assist Cherie with distributor management, sales, and marketing. “There is so much involved in effective brand management,” said Cherie. “It’s been so helpful having NewLevel to share the workload, and I appreciate the benefit of their experience when it comes to making decisions about what’s best for our brand.”

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