As a reminder that our Club’s influence stretches well beyond Campbell & Willow Glen, today’s guest was Pete Constant, the city council member from San Jose’s District One, which stretches mostly northeast of Campbell to the SJ borders with Cupertino and Santa Clara.
After presenting a brief introduction of his career, Councilmember Constant spoke exclusively about San Jose’s annual budget challenges, and shared details about the proposed Measure B Pension Reform, which will appear on the ballot on June 5.
Del Mar High School students Sydney Abel and Lyndon Enow were among 60 high school juniors who participated in a conference last month on the principles of business in the American free enterprise system.
Students from 14 high schools were invited to the Campbell Rotary Club’s third annual Enterprise Leadership Conference held over three days in Pacific Grove. The students, including those from Leigh, Prospect, Westmont, Saratoga and Los Gatos, were divided into teams of six, with three boys and three girls on each team, and were told to create a business plan for a new product or service. The keynote speakers were Jed York, president of the San Francisco 49ers, and Helen Pastorini, founder of Alain Pinet Realtors.
“I learned lessons you can’t be taught in a classroom,” said Sydney, 17. “It’s an experience I will never forget.”
Today’s speaker was Bill Murphy, CEO of Clos LaChance Winery, a fmaily-owned winery in San Martin, with deep ties to Saratoga, San Jose, and Willow Glen. His talk inspired us to think about life after high tech.
After a successful career developing products and managing marketing for HP, Bill found himself wanting to do more. He retired from HP in 2000.
By 1987, Bill and his wife Brenda had already planted a few rows of Chardonnay in their Saratoga backyard, both for landscaping purposes and to realize their dreams of being small-scale vintners.
A few years later, the wines produced from this small backyard vineyard were good enough to sell to the public. It was at this point that Clos LaChance formed into a commercial winery. The first released wines were from the 1992 vintage. The next 15 years would take the Murphy’s from 200 cases of wine produced to 80,000; 3/4 of an acre to 150 acres planted and 20 full-time and 25 seasonal employees.
Clos LaChance Winery takes its name from the small fenced-in area encompassing a vineyard (Clos) and from co-owner Brenda Murphy’s maiden name (LaChance). The Murphy’s chose the Hummingbird as the winery’s symbol for both its aesthetic beauty and its ability to keep other birds away from the grapes.