Special Communique from Donald Ziraldo
NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, ON, Nov. 3 /PRNewswire/ - I am not certain where to begin after 32 years of focus, commitment and challenges with Inniskillin. Officially, as of today, I am resigning as President of Inniskillin Wines, the same position I have held since Karl and I founded Inniskillin in 1974. Karl's recent retirement and the many changes that have occurred over the past years, prompted me to review my career and my life. The other major change, and the most significant, is my recent marriage to my life partner, Anna Netter-Ziraldo on July 22, 2006 in the Black Forest in Germany. Before I continue, I want to thank the talented, committed and dedicated staff who I consider as family at Inniskillin, and I include both those currently working for the winery and those who have been part of our Inniskillin family in the past. I want to thank all of you for the many years of service and commitment. The global recognition of Inniskillin is proof of your efforts and dedication, and for that, I thank you! Although this is a difficult decision to make, for me it is time to "pass the torch" and I am leaving Inniskillin in the very capable hands of the Inniskillin staff, Vincor Canada and internationally with Constellation. This gives me added comfort in my decision. I am also excited to learn that a Canadian Winemaker of distinction has been appointed to lead Inniskillin into this next phase, and details on that appointment will come forward on Monday, November 6. Being a part of the evolution of Inniskillin, as an entrepreneur, I thought it timely to refocus my career. I have always been committed to new ideas, from my roots in the nursery business, focussing on Vitis vinifera grape vines, obtaining with Karl, the first winery licence in Ontario since prohibition in 1975, establishing the VQA, assisting in creating and building CCOVI and the Niagara Hospitality Centre and my involvement with the Greenbelt. I therefore decided to refocus my career while continuing to maintain my commitment to the wine industry. The industry is at yet another crossroad and the need for a co-ordinated effort in research and innovation at both the national and provincial levels is fundamental. Over the years, we built infrastructure, such as the Cool Climate and Oenology Centre (CCOVI) at Brock University, and the Niagara Culinary Institute at Niagara College, and now the Vineland Research Station is poised to enjoy a renaissance celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, and the University of Guelph, my alma mater, McMaster University, the University of British Columbia and the Summerland Research Station are converging to create dynamic centres of excellence to drive the grape and wine industry into the 21st century. If we are to continue our quest to be a globally recognized wine growing region, we shall require both research and innovation. It needs to be leading edge and beyond the traditional. It will also require a collection of scientists and young, open minds to build our infrastructure both provincially and nationally. My resignation from Inniskillin will create the opportunity to focus my efforts on co-ordinating the various activities in the grape and wine sector across the country with those from around the world. "There is no question that, the challenges organizations face these days are becoming more complex and therefore more difficult to solve. For many years we've seen increased speed with technology, increased expectation and decreased resources. Take these, add constant change and the result is the rise of complex challenges." . . . Donald Ziraldo From a speech delivered at the University of Lethbridge, Alberta on March 8, 2006
SOURCE Inniskillin Wines
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