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Dear Friends,

I hope you had a restful and safe 4th of July. It was nice and quiet here with just my husband and kids. I actually took the day off work which was nice! Back at it now. I have a powerful story to share with you. I hope you enjoy!

Our Role To Build For Those Who Come After Us

I never set out to be an inspiring story—I set out to make the best life possible for my nephew and to preserve for him what everyone said was what my brother wanted for him, the winery. Personally, it has been healing for me. Having lost my parents and only sibling within a 4 year span, continuing Brooks has kept me close to my roots in Oregon, our family and childhood friends and built new circles of community I feel fortunate to have. In many ways, I see it as a gift.

From a business standpoint, I loved the challenge of taking on work in an industry I knew nothing about. I continue to use the perspective to push to be the best example of what you can do in an industry….from quality wines and being a good employer to investing resources in social and environmental efforts that have benefits far beyond our small family owned winery. We are proud of our accomplishments to be Demeter certified, a Member of 1% For The Planet and a Certified B Corporation. It is hard work but I do love it.

In June, a google alert popped up in my email indicating someone had written about Brooks. I found the article, written by Cathrine Todd of Dame Wine, called A Community Preserving A Child’s Hope. When I opened the article, it clearly included Brooks as a photo of the Ara was the lead photo. As I began reading, she was discussing the deaths of Rodney King and the recent death of George Floyd. I was looking for the connection to Brooks and honestly thought Brooks is so small in the scheme of everything she is talking about…I was eager to understand. As I continued reading, Cathrine discusses George Floyd’s dreams when he was 8 years old (amazing that his second grade teacher still had some of his work!). Clearly his ability to continue to work towards his dreams has ended. Cathrine tied this to the Brooks story by how Jimi’s community came together and provided a foundation to give Pascal, 8 years old when Jimi died, a chance to pursue his dreams.

Cathrine talks about the work of the younger generation, “All of us have so much work to do and this is only the beginning as all of us have to build a better society where each kid is given a chance; this younger generation is already impressive with how much they are changing the world and I can’t wait to see where they are going to take us in the future.” Regarding the older generation (like me!) she refers to the story of Brooks, “It’s a great example for the rest of us in the older generations of how to create a better foundation that gives everyone an equal chance.”

My legs were weak. I was so taken aback. What an honor for Brooks and our story to be viewed as that impactful. I was so blown away by this article…it has taken me these few weeks to pause, process, reflect, to look at Brooks, our industry, our society and think about what we can do.

Regarding Brooks, I am always looking to improve. I am a self proclaimed “pusher” and I think my team would agree. My initial response to the current times is outlined in Let’s Do Better. While those actions are in motion, Cathrine’s article reminded me that in addition to being a winery, any business can and should be actively pursuing building the foundation, not only for our companies, but for the generations to come. My conclusion after reading and reflecting: I need to do more.

I have decided to launch an informational series called “Let’s Do Better: Peace. Bread. Land. Wine.” Beginning in a few weeks, I will be sharing interviews with thought leaders in wine and other industries. These interviews will be recorded then edited down to a short summary of the most interesting learnings, actionable items and inspiriting thoughts. I am inspired and excited for this new journey!

I really appreciate Cathrine’s work. Her lens to find connections and tie stories, communities and cultures together interwoven through wine is beautiful talent. I encourage you to subscribe to Dame Wine!

I am always here for you: [email protected] cell: 831-238-4828.

All my best,

Janie

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