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‘Be the Change’ Changes the Game for All at Wine Industry’s First Virtual Job Fair to Promote True Inclusivity and Diversity


Virtual Event Connects 700 Job Applicants with Networking & Job Opportunities at Leading Industry Companies

San Francisco, Calif. December 16, 2020 – On December 2-3, 2020, Be the Change Job Fair, a joint initiative between Diversity in Wine & Spirits, Wonder Women of Wine, and other industry leaders hosted the wine industry’s first virtual job fair focused on diversity and inclusion. The first-of-its-kind virtual job fair connected over 700 job applicants with industry-leading companies such as Jackson Family Wines, E&J Gallo, and Constellation Brands using the cutting-edge technology of Brazen and ForceBrands’ specialized beverage hiring division BevForce. Applicants were able to upload their resumes, chat with employers, and network with other industry professionals, while exhibitors received candidate resumes and were able to post job openings. 

Hundreds of viewers attended a virtual roundtable discussion on December 2nd that helped drive the groundbreaking conversation and demonstrate the necessity and importance of the four-hour virtual job fair on December 3rd. The one-hour discussion included the following changemakers: Dr. Hoby Wedler, Sensory Innovation Director – Sensepoint Design; Stephanie Gallo, C.M.O. – E. & J. Gallo; Bobby Stuckey, Master Sommelier and Partner – Frasca Food and Wine; Susana Balbo, Founder, Winemaker – Susana Balbo Wines; Philana Bouvier (Moderator), VP Fine Wine – Republic National Distributing Company; and Lia Jones, Founder, and Executive Director – Diversity in Wine & Spirits. The discussion can be viewed here. 

“People are just getting to know us. I tell my story when I applied to 76 jobs with over a decade of experience in Food & Beverage, and several certifications in wine under my belt, and still getting turned down. It took me a long time to realize that I was being marginalized when I was searching for a job and being consistently overlooked,” noted co-founder Lia Jones. “Rania, Cara, Philana, and I have different sets of privileges, challenges, and experiences. We related to critical candidate feedback that touched us all individually in different ways, and the takeaway is that we are here to listen, learn and let you know that this initiative is about all of us, and together we will Be the Change.” 

Leading wine industry employers quickly recognized the importance of the virtual job fair. “Be the Change job fair has revolutionized the way individuals find new opportunities and companies discover new talent and encourage diversity of thought within their companies. “We are thankful to Be the Change for creating a platform and space where companies like Jackson Family Wines that are dedicated to change can reach new employees and job seekers,” comments Rick Tigner, CEO of Jackson Family Wines, the first company to sign-on to the event in November. “We had an opportunity to meet over 400 candidates. Our team was overwhelmed by the amount of talent and potential from this group of applicants, that we otherwise might not have encountered.”  

“The true measure of success will be seeing where our employers and candidates are a year to two, even three years from now,” said Rania Zayyat, co-founder and president of Wonder Women in Wine. “We are only just beginning and our hope is to inspire other industries to make positive change.” 

Founded by four of the wine industry’s leading women in wine, Be the Change is committed to continuing to address the need to create diversity, equity, and inclusion in the wine industry. Be the Change aims to introduce legislation to empower inclusive hiring practices in 2021 and will be unveiling plans in early 2021. The team will continue to collaborate and work closely with beverage alcohol companies to set best in class benchmarks to empower inclusive hiring practices focused on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. The second Be The Change Job Fair will be held in March, in collaboration with their partner organization, Wonder Women of Wine. 

“We are dedicated to ensuring employers are committed to our mission in changing the status quo and empowering inclusive hiring practices,” noted co-founder Cara Bertone. 

“Be the Change Job Fair made history in many ways,” comments co-founder Philana Bouvier. “This event was the first time an initiative this personal and powerful has ever happened in the wine industry. We will drive this initiative to also expand into beer and spirits opportunities across the country and in other companies.”

About Be the Change, www.bethechangejobfair.com 

Be the Change is committed to changing the status quo through action and policy. The initiative seeks to establish a diverse industry through facilitating job placement companies dedicated to creating real solutions with diversity and equity training, measurable results, and sustainable change. Founded by industry leaders Lia Jones, Rania Zayyat, Cara Bertone, and Philana Bouvier, Be the Change launched the Wine Industry’s first-ever Virtual Job Fair with a core focus on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in December 2020.  Be the Change champions diversity efforts that elevate the professional growth of many identities, including gender, racial, sexual orientation, national origin, and people with disabilities.  

About Brazen 

Brazen helps employers succeed in the new all-virtual world by giving recruiters a variety of virtual recruiting tools like virtual hiring events, virtual career fairs, text, audio, and video chat, live video broadcasts, and more. By providing more options for candidates to connect with recruiting teams other than the traditional ‘Apply Now,’ Brazen is converting candidate interest into quality hires at twice the industry standard and in half the time. Brazen’s virtual hiring event platform is designed specifically for talent acquisition and is used by the world’s most respected companies including CVS Health, Starbucks, and KPMG. Brazen has been the leading provider of virtual hiring event software since 2013. 

About ForceBrands

ForceBrands is the leading specialized recruiting firm for the consumer products industry — we build the teams that build the brands. Our industry-specific divisions across beverage, food, beauty, cannabis, and pet care offer executive search services, board of director assembly, and a digital job board to connect directly with qualified candidates. We are ‘people for a hire purpose’ and strive to transform the way consumer product professionals of all levels identify employment opportunities and employers are connected to world-class talent. Go HIRE with ForceBrands. http://www.forcebrands.com



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