Friday, April 18, 2014


WHAT A GREAT event in Santa Barbara last week! Thank you Diane Hamilton of the Santa Barbara-and Solvang-based event production firm, Relevé Unlimited, and Dean A. Palius of Santa Ynez Valley People Helping People -- for having me play golf badly at the  “Santa Barbara Vintners Spring Weekend” kick-off event, the “Santa Barbara Vintners Spring Weekend Golf Tournament”, held Thursday, April 10, 2014 at the oceanfront Sandpiper Golf Club in Santa Barbara, California. 

The tournament was hosted by “Sideways” author and playwright, Rex Pickett, as a nod to the 10-year anniversary of the Oscar-winning film. My fellow celebs included  Richard Karn of “Home Improvement”, Kathleen Bradley of “The Price Is Right”, and Santa Barbara resident and former Los Angeles Lakers NBA pro, Don Ford.

A portion of sponsorship and 100% of raffle proceeds benefiting local charity, Santa Ynez Valley People Helping People. PHP’s philosophy is to give families and individuals a ‘hand up” to achieve self-sufficiency.  PHP has a ‘model service delivery program,’ integrating services for infants, children, youth and adults into a “one stop shop” that has multiple neighborhood access points.  Clients can make a single contact with a PHP Family Services Coordinator at a Family Resource Center at area schools, receive any of PHP’s 17 program services and/or receive help in obtaining services from other non-profit or government agencies.  This system minimizes costs and maximizes getting help to those who need it

Major Programs include:

Basic Needs: Food and Emergency Services (Rent/Mortgage Assistance, Mobile Home Repair, Utility Assistance)

Health CareCommunity Health Access Resource Team (CHART), Children’s Dental Fund
Youth Programs: Buellton After School Youth Program, Mentoring, Student Action Prevention Network (SPAN), Youth Coalition, and Early Childhood Mental Health Counseling
Family Support: Domestic Violence Prevention, Parent Education, Advocacy, Case Management, Christmas Fulfill-A-Wish, and Family Resource Centers.  Resource Centers are a focal point for families who formerly were isolated to gather and share concerns and ideas to improve their student’s and families’ lives.
In addition to its own services, People Helping People makes the services of other governmental and non-profit organizations conveniently available within its Under 1 Roof program. For a list of these services choose the link below.

Diane Hamilton, Richard Karn, Lydia Cornell, Cheyenne, Kathleen Bradley

Lydia Cornell and Rex Pickett

Richard Karn, Lydia Cornell

The Sandpiper Golf Club – rated by Golf Digest as one of the 2013-2014 top 40 golf courses in California – will serve as the shotgun-start golf tournament’s backdrop, with tickets to include greens fees, golf cart use, a sleeve of balls, lunch, wine tasting stations and a post-tournament awards reception. Participants’ skills’ will be put to the test with contests such as “Closest to the Pin”, “Longest Drive”, and an official Putting Contest, as well as a test of attendees’ “Sideways” knowledge via a themed trivia contest. Rewards will take the form of a $30,000 prize for a hole-in- one on the 18th tee, as well as other premium prizes. Attendees will also have the option of buying into a raffle, the proceeds of which will benefit the tournament’s charitable cause.
Amidst all of the golf and games, tournament attendees will be able to enjoy Southern comfort cuisine from local Santa Barbara food truck, Georgia's Smokehouse, as well as wine from stations situated at the clubhouse, hosted by local wineries and winemakers including Dick Doré of Foxen Winery, Matt Brady of Jaffurs Wine Cellars, and William James Cellars.
Celebrities scheduled to appear at the April 10 Golf Tournament are Richard Karn of “Home Improvement”, Kathleen Bradley of “The Price Is Right”, Lydia Cornell of “Too Close for Comfort”, and Santa Barbara resident and former Los Angeles Lakers NBA pro, Don Ford.
Contact: Anna Ferguson
Stiletto Marketing
Phone: 1.877.327.2656 Email:
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The 2014 Santa Barbara Vintners Spring Weekend drew upwards of 5,000 attendees, and took place at venues spread throughout the Santa Barbara County wine region. In addition to the Thursday, April 10 Spring Weekend Golf Tournament, are four days’ worth of Spring Weekend activities running Thursday, April 10 through Sunday, April 13, encompassing a total of 12 “Signature” events and more than 15 SBV winery member ancillary events. The headlining Weekend events are the Saturday, April 12 Grand Tasting at Buellton’s River View Park, and the Sunday, April 13 Farm-to-Table Picnic and Concert at Fess Parker Winery & Vineyard, featuring indie rock / Americana music band, Jamestown Revival – the proceeds of which will also benefit Santa Ynez Valley People Helping People.

Spring Weekend will also feature a Festival Opening celebration consisting of a Sta. Rita Hills AVA wine pairing dinner at Buellton food emporium, Industrial Eats; a Wine Education Seminar Series at Solvang’s Hotel Corque, moderated by Clos Pepe Vineyards’ Wes Hagen; multiple guided vineyard hikes; a 90+ Points Wine & Dine Event in Santa Barbara; a Barrel Toasting Seminar and Tasting, with dinner, at Michael Larner’s new wine co-op, Buellton Bodegas; and an ultra-exclusive Grassini Family Vineyards Dinner Event featuring their own wines, plus Dierberg Estate Vineyard, Margerum Wine Company, Kaena Wine, Andrew Murray Vineyards, Fiddlehead Cellars and Sea Smoke Estate Vineyard.
Tickets for the April 10 Spring Weekend Golf Tournament are $190.00 per person; for additional details surrounding the Golf Tournament and the full line-up of Spring Weekend events, and to purchase tickets for any portion of the Spring Weekend, please visit: The Sandpiper Golf Club is located at 7925 Hollister Avenue, Santa Barbara, CA 93117; please visit, for more information.
Additional wineries, celebrated dignitaries and celebrities scheduled to participate in the Spring Weekend Golf Tournament, will be announced in the coming weeks, as well as details about the additional Santa Barbara Vintners Spring Weekend Signature events; updates will be published at, and announced via posts with the hashtag #SBVintnersFest. For more information about Santa Barbara Vintners, please visit, or
More information about Relevé Unlimited is available at, and on Facebook and Twitter at and
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Information about Santa Ynez Valley People Helping People is available at, and on Facebook at
Media inquiries about this announcement, may be directed to Anna Ferguson- Sparks, Stiletto Marketing, at 1.877.327.2656 or


1. You've got to get along. If you don't have good people skills, you'll never succeed, even if you run your own business.

2. Money talks. He who has cash has leverage, and someone always has more than you do. There's rarely a deal between equals.

3. Leverage is not always about money. I.e. if you're an unsigned band that can sell out arenas, you'll get an incredible deal from the label.

4. If a deal is too good, it probably is. In other words, if the other person can't make any money, there's going to be a problem.

5. The best deals are win-wins.

6. If you're not willing to risk, if you're not willing to give something up, you're going to sit on the sidelines. Sure, the label might not offer you your dream deal, but the alternative is to go it alone, which is an option, but probably not the one you want since you entered negotiations in the first place.

7. You don't know everything, you just think you do. If you're not learning every day, you're hanging with the wrong people and not applying yourself.

8. The more powerful the person, the less the chance you'll see them at the conference. The conference is for never have and wannabes and for the purveyor to make coin. In other words, have a good time at SXSW, but the real winners are the people who put on the conference.

9. A contract does not guarantee behavior. At most it's a guideline. If you think suing to get what you want is a solution, that the contract entitles you to win, you're naive.

10. Some people use litigation as both a business strategy and a profit center. If someone has deeper pockets than you, you're not on an equal footing.

11. The real world is very different from books. In other words, there are very few professors who can succeed in the real world. Theory is one thing, practice is another.

12. Lawyers are worth every dollar you pay them. So choose wisely and don't expect a deal. You need an outside voice. Someone who knows the pitfalls.

13. News often isn't. It may be on the Business page, but frequently the corporation has a relationship with the journalist and wants a certain story told.

14. If you haven't been screwed, you haven't been in business. There's more than one way to fail, you learn lessons from your defeats, which is why so many want to hire those who've failed, because they've gained so much experience!

15. Nitpicking is for losers. If you can't let something go by, if you want the other party to live up to every letter of a contract, you're going to find yourself an outcast by the sidelines.

16. Winners see tomorrow as well as today. If you don't have the exit strategy in place when you're negotiating a deal, you're going to find yourself in an uncomfortable position down the line.

17. Those who give the best advice are the hardest to get to know, and the hardest to get to speak at length. The powerful don't want to know the powerless, there has to be an advantage in it for them, or else the response will be very brief.

18. Time is irreplaceable. Never waste someone else's. Make your pitch short and to the point and thank the other person for listening. You think you're explaining your point, ensuring success by going on at length, but the truth is the other person is rolling their eyes and looking at their watch, wondering how they can get out of this meeting and never ever speak with you again.

19. Most conference calls are a waste of time. Do your best to avoid them. If you're on one, talk only business and make it brief.

20. Respect your adversary/opponent. Treat people with dignity, dividends will follow.

21. Don't take you or your business too seriously. Make jokes.

22. Have fun. Work takes up too much of your time not to.

23. Break the rules. All the winners do. School is all about rules, which is why those who've done well in school rarely do well in business.

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