President, Consultants & Advisors
Jack Sakazaki is the retired Chairman of Japan Sports Marketing, an acknowledged industry leader in providing timely marketing and sponsorship opportunities to Japanese and foreign clients in Japan and throughout the world. With thirty-five years in the sports marketing business, Jack is considered a “pioneer” in his field.
Jack began his sports marketing career in 1974. In 1977 he established his own sports marketing firm. In 2005 he merged with Professional Management, Inc and Total Workout, Inc to form Japan Sports Marketing.
Jack has been involved in some of the world’s greatest sporting events of the past quarter-century, including FIFA World Cup Spain, IAAF Athletics World Championships, the first-ever Toyota Cup and the NEC Davis Cup sponsorship, which lasted 22 years. More recently, Jack saw the need to strengthen and grow the sports in Asia, and helped create the platform for major sponsorships and television rights sales for the Asian soccer, basketball and golf associations.
In the ever-important China market, Jack helped create the inaugural Professional China Baseball League in 2003, and has been involved in figure skating and athletics as well. In the USA, Jack created and ran the LPGA Fields Open in Hawaii for three years from 2006.
Jack is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley and has always been a matchmaker…bringing corporations and international sporting events together.
George Porter has been involved in the apparel industry for more than 40 years. He began his career in New York City with the Arrow Shirt Company. In 1974 he joined Levi Strauss & Co. where he spent the next 23 years.
While at LS & CO he held progressively more responsible positions, including President of several US Divisions, President of the company’s Worldwide Sourcing Division and finally President of Levi’s USA, a $3.3 Billion business.
George was also a Certified US Government Advisor to the US Ambassador and Trade Representative during the GATT Round of trade negotiations. His extensive travel has taken him to over 80 countries during his career.
In 1997 George joined Nike as a corporate Vice president and President of Nike USA.
He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Casual Male Retail Group, a 500 store chain of Men’s Specialty stores catering to Big and Tall gentlemen. George was also one of the original investors in Luna Vineyards, a Napa Winery.
MaryAnn Tsai earned her MBA from Harvard Business School in 1989 and moved California to join the wine industry the same year. She spent 12 years with Beringer Wines Estates where she held the position of Vice President of Marketing for Beringer. While at Beringer she grew sales from $100 million to over $400 million. She also launched several new wine brands including Founders Estate which achieved sales of over $90 million. During her tenure, Tsai was responsible for new product development and worked closely with the Board of Directors on M&A and Strategic Planning. MaryAnn joined Luna in 2001 as President.
Over the past 8 years, Luna has grown into a brand with national and international presence. Under her stewardship, Luna’s luxury portfolio of wines has achieved critical acclaim. Luna Pinot Grigio has been called “The Best Pinot Grigio in The New World” and Luna’s merlot was in the Wine Spectator’s list of top 100 wines in the world. MaryAnn recently launched a small Cabernet Sauvignon brand with Mike Moone called Moone Tsai. MaryAnn is a Director on the Board of the Boys and Girls Club of Napa Valley and served on the Board of Directors and Board of Advisors for Inertia Beverage Group. Tsai is active in her community and is involved as a volunteer and advisor for many nonprofit organizations.
Chairman of Advisory Board
Mike Moone is a man of vision. His career has propelled him into many diverse arenas, which have all lead him down the single path of success. Born in Santa Monica, Moone was educated at UCLA before entering the wine business in 1973. Within ten years he took over the helm of Beringer Vineyards where, during his tenure, he generated more than $150 million in sales, masterminded the acquisitions of Chateau Souverain and Meridian, and took Beringer to a “Best in the World” ranking from Wine Spectator for its 1986 Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.
In 1990, Moone was asked by Beringer’s parent company, Nestlé, to assist with turning around the then-ailing Stouffer Foods. Moone moved to Ohio and in less than three years had repositioned the company’s entire product line, returned the company to profitability, and elevated the company to the number one and number two positions in the frozen food market. Moone then returned to California where, as chairman, he guided Homegrown Naturals to sales of $45 million.
Upon his return to California, Moone formed the Silverado Partners, an investment group which paired Moone with future Luna Co-founder, George Vare. Silverado Partners quickly acquired Beringer Wine Estates from Nestlé and added Chateau St. Jean and Stags’ Leap Winery to the Beringer portfolio. Silverado Partners maintained ownership of Beringer until September 2000, when Beringer was purchased by Foster’s Brewing Company. Silverado Partners segued into Silverado Properties, which currently farms over 5000 acres of North Coast property.
The 1995 purchase of Luna, for Moone, has been a labor of love. Not only does the winery bear his name, Luna being Italian for moon, but it bears his mark of excellence. “I’m crazy about the wines we’re making at Luna,” explains Moone. “It is a quality voyage we’ve undertaken to make the very best handcrafted varietals that we can.” Mike currently serves as Chairman of the Board for Luna Vineyards.
Pat Kuleto is one of the most famous restauranteurs in the US and the most famous in San Francisco. His restaurants include Fog City Diner, Farallon, Boulevard, and Jardiniere in San Francisco and Martini House in the Napa Valley. He has been in the restaurant design business for 35 years and has created nearly 200 restaurants across the US.
Pat is also the founder of a winery in the northern part of the Napa Valley, called Kuleto Estates where he makes many wonderful wines such as Cabernet, Merlot, and Chardonnay.
He was honored by Time Magazine in 2000 as one of the Top 100 Innovators in it’s Millennium Issue.
Bob Steinhauer has been in the vineyard management business for over 40 years. Bob is a “winegrower” who seeks truths from the sun and the soil, which makes him the winemakers best friend. He was the Vice President of Vineyard Operations at Beringer Vineyards for over 20 years and now has his own Consulting Business.
Bob is a past President of the Napa Valley Vintners Association and is on the Board of the California Wine Institute.
Yumi was born in Tokachi Ikedamachi, the wine-producing region in Hokkaido. After graduating from Tsudajuku University in mathematics, she went to the U.S. and audited a course in wine & spirits at Cornell University. In 1986, she established a total wine consultant company, Wine and Wine Culture Ltd., and in 1992, founded "Yumi Tanabe's Wine School".
She has authored many books such as, Yumi Tanabe's Wine Book andWine Notes of Yumi Tanabe (both published by Asuka), California Wine(Shibata Publishing), Guidebook to American Wine (Ota Publications), just to name a few. She has a JSA certified title of “Senior Wine Advisor”, and has received the titles of “Les Chevalier du Tastevin” in Bourgogne, “Bontemps de Médoc et Graves” in Bordeaux, “Gerard de Saint Emilion” in Bordeaux, “Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne”, “Chevalier de Fromage”, and the most recent “Membre de l’Ordre du Merite Agricole” title was awarded to her this year in 2009.
Born and raised in Kumamoto Prefecture, and while visiting France several times to study French cooking in his twenties, he became enchanted with wine and converted to sommelier. After returning back to Japan, he interned as a garcon and sommelier at Tokyo Kaikan and worked at several hotel restaurants until in 1976 when he took part in planning "Mr. Stamp’s Wine Garden", one of the pioneer wine restaurants in Japan. He is currently the owner sommelier of the restaurant. Besides being the owner sommelier, he keeps quite busy writing columns in magazines, giving wine lectures and teaching at various wine schools, as well as supervising mail order wines.