Hilary Newsom: What Breast Cancer Awareness Means to Me

The PlumpJack Group is part of a variety of philanthropic causes – we proudly continue to give to communities in need and those less fortunate. Much of our philanthropic contributions are driven by our President Hilary Newsom’s passion in raising awareness around cancer prevention and education. Our annual PlumpJack/LINK golf tournament, in honor of Hilary’s mother Tessa Newsom, benefits the Cancer Prevention Institute of California (CPIC) and has raised more than $3 million dollars.

How has your life been affected by breast cancer on a personal level?
I lost my mom, who was my best friend, to breast cancer. This was after loosing several other beloved family members to other types of cancers. I was devastated and promised my mother she would never be forgotten.

How are you involved with Breast Cancer Awareness month?
For me, there is no real breast cancer awareness month, it is ongoing, everyday that I want to bring awareness to this terrible disease. I am grateful; however, I think it’s important that there is a month that highlights awareness and the importance of raising funds and looking after your breast health.

What do you believe to be your greatest accomplishment, in your efforts to raise awareness for breast cancer?
I hope that I am just getting started. I am very proud of the PlumpJack/LINK Golf Classic that my husband Geoff Callan and I started more than 15 years ago. The continued success of the event is owed entirely to our friends, family and co-workers who make it possible every year. We have raised more than $3.3 million dollars for the Cancer Prevention Institute of California (CPIC), where I have held a board seat for the last 16 years.

What is your favorite philanthropic effort that PlumpJack supports?
The Golf Tournament stands out because it is such a big undertaking; however, our organization is giving back to the community throughout the year, for which I am grateful.

What, in your mind, contributes to your success in fundraising?
Three words, generosity of friends!

What do you see as your main obstacles in fulfilling your mission? 

There are so many important and wonderful causes out there. I am passionate about many, but I try and stay true to my commitment to the select few I have identified as making a huge impact on people’s lives. I don’t expect everyone to have the same passions as me, but of course I like to encourage them to…

What philanthropic organizations do you admire for their work?
Anyone willing to give their time to making the world a better place is someone that I admire. There are too many to name, but it starts with the lemonade stand on the corner of your street, teaching the next generation that earning money to share with others can change the course of someone’s life. Wow, how empowering is that!

Favorite Fall Staples

Fall is officially here. Cooler days (for the exception of this weekend here in Napa – 90’s? Really??) are to come and a warmer wardrobe is to be worn. I always love seeing what fun touches designers put on fall staples that will make me feel the need to run out and buy the latest updated peacoat (a hi-lo hem you say?) or new cable knit sweater (what’s that? A new shade of grey?). So as soon as we saw textured sweaters, peplum coats and heavenly cashmere scarves when we bought for fall this past February, we knew we already had chic cold weather essentials to look forward to.

Here are some of our favorite fall staples:

1. Ted Baker Vickiye cape – two words: instant chic.

2. Theodora and Callum scarf – warm color palette for a fun fall print.

3. Ted Baker Bracti peplum coat –  feminine take on the winter coat.

4. Calypso cashmere scarf – the item you’ll reach for all season long.

5. Tory Burch Maxeen sweater coat – a cozy, casual option if you don’t want to fully commit to wearing a coat

6. Skull Cashmere fingerless gloves – when your fingers are cold, but you still have to answer emails on the go.

7. 360 Sweater oversize cowl neck sweater – the epitome of cozy; throw on with skinny denim and boots and you’ve found your fall go-to outfit.

Conversations with Hilary: Barbara Callan, Mother-In-Law & Notable Real Estate Professional

This month I dedicate my Conversations to all of the survivors, fighters and people whose’s loved ones are battling and beating Breast Cancer. Having lost my mom just over ten years ago to breast cancer, awareness is on my mind throughout the year, however, I am grateful there is a month where Breast Cancer gets dedicated focus. My extraordinary mother in law, Barbara Callan, a 27 year breast cancer survivor is an inspiration to me and my family. Not only is she an incredible mother in law, a magnificent grandmother, but she also the #1 producer at McGuire Real Estate for 10 consecutive years and her and her son Robert Callan are the  number 1 team at McGuire in San Francisco. I am honored to feature her this month

1. What do you believe to be your greatest accomplishment?
My greatest accomplishment is raising (with my husband) three wonderful children who are also amazing human beings. I am so proud of them and love that they are so close and supportive of each other.

2. Do you have a prized possession?
I have some wonderful possessions including gifts, art, family momentos from loved ones, including a wonderful collection of family photos. However, I can’t think of any one material thing that would be a “prized possession.” My prized possession would have to be my memories.

3. What qualities do you think others love about you?
I think they would think I was a very positive person, intuitive and very loyal and giving… and fun to be with! But who knows? I guess I will have to ask them…What do you think Hilary?

4. If you could do anything other than what you currently do, what would it be?
I probably would write about real estate and mentor new people in the business. Real estate is in “my blood.”   It would be hard to give it up. I could write a book with my daughter on beautifully designed homes in San Francisco and use samples of many of the wonderful homes she has designed. I can also write a book on architecture or a book titled “The Art of Negotiation” and/or “Navigating the Deal.”

5. What do you like most about what you do for a living/career?
I have a great passion for my work. My clients drive my success, they know I am always there for them. It is fulfilling and edifying to work with such wonderful people. A great joy for me is to work with my son and business partner Robert. He is a phenomenal seasoned agent and it gives me great gratification to see and learn from his success.

6. What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
I put my feet on the ground and say a little prayer “thank you God for a wonderful new day and all that I have received.” Then I have a cup of coffee!

7. What’s your favorite thing to do on a Friday night?
This time of year my husband and I like to go to our granddaughter’s Friday night volleyball games. She is competitive and has a great overhand serve.  It is so much fun to watch her play. They are such a wonderful group of girls. It is so wonderful to see the team spirit and camaraderie.  Other than that, if we are not attending a family or charity event, we would enjoy a nice quiet dinner or a movie with a hot dog and popcorn.

8. What were you passionate about in your younger years growing up?
When I was a child I was passionate about having fun! I could never understand why my parents didn’t want to go out and play every day!

9.What are you passionate about now?
I am passionate about my spectacular grandchildren. They enrich my life and bring me great joy.

10. What’s your favorite season and why?
I love all the seasons but I guess if I had to pick one it would be springtime. Easter is a wonderful holiday and the land comes alive with new spring foliage and colors. Not to mention it is a great season for Real Estate!

11. If you were a cocktail or a drink what would it be?
In honor of my golfing family it would have to be a non-alcoholic Arnold Palmer.

12. What’s the #1 most played song on your iPod?
My fabulously creative son Geoff has programmed all of my favorite songs on my IPOD. They range from Bobby McFerrin’s Don’t Worry be Happy, to Tony Bennett, The Beatles, Frank Sinatra, Bono, Train and Alicia Keys. I just listen to what comes up first.

13. If you could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
It would be with my dad.

14. If your life was made into a movie, what would it be called?
Glorious Adventure…or maybe Glorious Journey.

15. Do you have any regrets?
No         

16. Define Freedom.
Freedom to me means the ability to pursue ones dreams and happiness.

17. What are your personal core values?
My faith is very important to me. Other core values that are extremely important is loyalty, integrity and honesty. My philosophy in life is always to be kind and to be grateful.

Conversations with Hilary: Donna Randall, CEO of the Cancer Prevention Institute of California

For Breast Cancer Awareness month, I sat down with newly appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Cancer Prevention Institute of California, Donna Randall. This past July she began her new role with CPIC, an organization PlumpJack has supported for the past 15 years, through our annual Golf Tournament, which has raised nearly $3 million for Cancer Research.

As former Chancellor of Michigan’s Albion College, she brings fundraising, national advocacy and financial expertise to the Bay Area Nonprofit. Dr. Randall was the first woman to serve as president of the college in its 178-year history and  has served as a board member of more than 15 corporate, community and policy organizations.

Having been a board member of the CPIC for the past 15 years I look forward to seeing Donna shape and guide the future of CPIC. In her role as CEO, she will work to advance CPIC’s mission of large-scale impact on cancer prevention.

1. What do you believe to be your greatest accomplishment?
I think my greatest accomplishment is having raised a daughter with my husband, Paul. Kate is now 26 years old and is a bright, thoughtful, and kind person.

2. Do you have a prized possession?
It is a wind-up toy collection! For over 40 years, I have collected wind-up toys and probably have 300 to 400 toys. I suppose I should count them one day. The collection is fun because each toy is unique (from kangaroos that flip backwards to colorful plates of sushi that spin around). The collection never fails to amuse people…all the way from three-year old’s to ninety year old’s.

3. What qualities do you think others love about you?
I am a down-to-earth person who sees humor in most situations and who doesn’t take herself too seriously.

4. If you could do anything other than what you currently do, what would it be?
I would probably be a tour director. I have always been fascinated by different cultures and customs and enjoy travel. As a child and adult, I have lived in many different states, as well as in France, Ireland and Canada. As a tour director, I would be able to help people experience the beauty of new lands and deepen their understanding of those people who live there.

5. What do you like most about what you do for a living/career?
I am passionate about the mission of The Cancer Prevention Institute of California. Cancer will impact one in two of us during our lifetime. Our research scientists are working hard to find out who gets cancer, why, and what can we do to prevent it. While we are making good progress, there is so much more work to be done to prevent this devastating disease.

6. What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
I have a cup of coffee and read the New York Times. The smell and warmth of coffee helps me wake up, and the newspaper gives me a glimpse into the lives of others around the world and anchors my day.

7. What’s your favorite thing to do on a Friday night?
I love to watch foreign films, especially French films. As an undergraduate, I gained fluency in French and was able to do a semester abroad in Lyon, France, as well as work for a French artist during one summer in Paris. While I no longer have fluency in French, watching French films brings back great memories!

8. What were you passionate about in your younger years growing up?
Right out of college, I worked as a white-collar crime analyst for the Iowa Bureau of Criminal Investigation. I was fascinated by the motivation of white-collar criminals. This passion led me to go to graduate school in sociology to study this form of deviance and later, as a business faculty member, to research white-collar crime.

9. What are you passionate about now?
Helping to prevent cancer. Over my lifetime, many members of my family, as many other families in the nation, have been touched by cancer. I saw the impact of cancer on their lives and on those who cared about them. I want to help create a world without cancer.

10. What’s your favorite season and why?
Definitely summer! I love the warmth of the season and the pace that comes with summer. While I like being outdoors, especially in California, I would be remiss in my job if I did not remind others that sun screen is a necessity.

11. If you were a cocktail or a drink what would it be?
Commonwealth Cocktail. This is a drink that was created just this year in celebration of the nations and territories competing in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. The cocktail is billed as one of the most complicated as it has 71 ingredients, one from each nation that competed in the games. I like to think that I have taken a piece of every place that I have lived and every person that I’ve known and this amalgamation has created who I am today.

12. If you could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
Vincent Van Gogh. I am intrigued by his art, his mind and his life. I am in awe of his talent and, especially, his exquisite use of color.

13. Do you have any regrets?
I wish I learned more languages when I was younger. I learned to speak French, but I never ventured to learn other languages. Being able to speak a language opens up a door into another world. Through language one can understand more fully the culture, history, art, and customs of a people. I am tempted these days to try my hand at learning Spanish.

14. Define Freedom.
For me, freedom is most importantly the right not to live under oppressive, undemocratic forms of government.

15. What are your personal core values?
I believe in kindness and honesty in how we treat each other and an acceptance of our own limitations. I believe that each of us is here on earth to make the world a better place.

Spring 2015: Here in A New York Minute

A view  from the Empire State Building

A view from the Empire State Building

We just got back from New York to buy for spring. While we arrived just after fashion week, style remained in the city and spring trends were the talk of the town. It was in the 70’s and sunny, so the timing was parallel to what’s on trend for spring. Think resort focused prints rich in botanical, fruit, bird and bold floral prints. Designer color palettes included pastels and brights. Denim trends offered small ‘knicks’ vs. distressed details, skinny slouchy fits and cool washed boyfriend cuts. Feminine inspired moto-jackets and printed jogger pants are a just a few fun trends that will also be present in spring and that pair great with classic pieces you already own.

Some snaps from our NY fashion market we attend: Coterie

Some snaps from our NY fashion market we attend: Coterie

Tory Burch looked fantastic, as always – comprised of raffia tweed, updated gingham prints, color-blocking and fringe details. Earth tones mixed with brights made for a fun spring color palette to appeal to bold and understated styles. Check out her spring runway show for the complete collections of looks, here.

Our Tory Burch ready to wear rep, Alexis & myself and some of the Tory Burch spring collection.

Our Tory Burch ready to wear rep, Alexis & myself; along with some of the Tory Burch spring collection.

“We thought about construction and engineered patterns…textured knits paired with their digital-print counterparts.”

- Tory Burch

Hilary and I, with a few Tory Burch spring runway looks.

Conversations with Hilary: Zem Joaquin of Ecofabulous

zem-global-green
I am continually impressed with my friend Zem and her entrepreneurial spirit and passion when it comes to the environment. She is a true champion of the eco-lifestyle. She is the Founder of Ecofabulous.com which is a great resource, and she is involved in so many innovative and inspiring organizations, like Global Green USA and the Cradle to Cradle Product Innovation Institute. In this Conversations with Hilary she reveals so much about herself and her passions – enjoy.

What do you believe to be your greatest accomplishment?
My greatest accomplishment is discerning that my kids’ asthma was caused by environmental factors and then eradicating it, which led to my very unplanned career.
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Do you have a prized possession? What?

I love my Tesla. It isn’t the high tech gadgetry or the luxurious interior, it is the immense joy I get zooming past gas stations, knowing I’ll never have to stop at one again.

What do you love about yourself? What do you think others love about you?
I love that I’m led by passion. I think that my friends like my zest for life and my deep loyalty, especially when the cards are down.

If you could be anything other than what you currently are, what would it be?
A doctor.

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
I make breakfast and pack lunch for my kids.

What’s your favorite thing to do on a Friday night?
Go over to Gina Pell’s house. Her husband Dave makes us dinner while we compare notes on the week and catch up on projects like her new emoji app LOLy.

What do you like most about what you do for a living/career?
It allows me to work with people I greatly admire and to do everything I love. I deeply enjoy writing but not when I am required to do so. My career allows me to design spaces that are healthy and inspiring, yet I still get to celebrate products and brands I am enamored with. It allows me to travel (sometimes too much) and keeps me on the cutting edge of science. What’s not to love?

What were you passionate about when you were young?
As a kid I was always passionate about nature and animals. Growing up on a commune, I was surrounded by creatures and I felt the need to protect them. As a teenager I was distracted by clubbing but passionate about entrepreneurship, starting my first business while still in high school. I was also always passionate about traveling and getting to know other cultures. In my twenties I traveled all over the world, living in London, Paris and Italy. That is when I became determined to do my part to make the world a better place.

What are you passionate about now?
Protecting the environment.
Excellent design.
Cradle to Cradle thinking.
Iceland.
My daughter’s riding.
My son’s scientific exploration.
Writing and performing raps with my amazing husband.
TED.
Art.
Architecture.
Global Green’s Gorgeous & Green event that I will chair on October 10th for the 10th year!

skvisiWhat’s your favorite season? Why?
Summer. I love being warm and being outside, hiking, diving, rafting, kayaking, riding horses, fishing, drinking Campari and soda with friends on a porch.

If you were a cocktail or drink, what would it be?
I’d probably be an organic tequila and soda. Fun (sometimes too much fun), effervescent, reliable, resilient, well-traveled but light on the planet.

If you were stranded on a desert island, what 3 items would you want to have with you?
Flint, blankets and fishing gear… I’ve never missed a season of Survivor.

If you could be invisible for a day, what would you do?
I’d go hang out behind the scenes of the White House to see what’s really going on.

What’s the #1 most played song on your iPod?
Landslide

If you could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?

Dean Kamen and Bill McDonough. Dean is the greatest living inventor (along with Elon Musk) and Bill is the most inspirational environmental designer. Together they can redesign the world beautifully.

If your life was made into a movie, what would it be called?
Ecofabulous, of course.

Do you have any regrets?
I try not to, but I probably would have spent even more time with my beloved grandmothers.

Define Freedom.
Being able to choose what you do for a living, for fun and for the world.

What are your personal core values?
Spread joy, be compassionate and respect all species and the planet. Show up! I live by this Bill McDonough quote: “We need to love all children of all species for all time.”

8th Annual Pre-Oscar Party with Maggie GraceYou can follow Zem on Twitter @zem

In The Navy

Ahh yes, the classic color we ease into after we exhaust our ever evolving black wardrobe. Navy is one of those classic colors that pairs with almost everything and looks good on just about everybody. If you are brave enough to expand your wardrobe color palette, navy is the perfect color to segway from black to a slew of other fun colors. From a classic navy Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress to a navy and white stripe St. James top, it’s a color that is here to stay and one that designers almost always offer in one piece or another, every season.

With some amazing fall collections hitting the racks, I can’t help but notice navy pieces sprinkled in with medium greys, burnt oranges, berry hues and olive greens.

Our favorite navy pieces for fall:

 

 

 

PlumpJack’s Hilary Newsom Responds to Napa Earthquake

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PlumpJack Winery team working hard post-quake

As you know, the Napa Valley was struck by a 6.0 earthquake early Sunday morning. While people throughout the Bay Area experienced the tremors, it was Southern Napa and surrounding areas that were hit the hardest. Despite the significant damage that was done, and the injuries that occurred, the Napa Valley is filled with strong, hard working individuals that came together and worked tirelessly minutes after the quake to make sure their neighbors and community were safe.

I am grateful and proud of our Napa-based PlumpJack Group team from all four of our properties: The Carneros Inn, Odette Estate, PlumpJack Winery and CADE Estate Winery. Everyone worked together to get our businesses open so we could quickly go back to doing what we do best at PlumpJack – providing exceptional hospitality and continuing to make some of the best wine in California.

Additionally, thanks to the incredibly quick response of CalTrans, the roads are all accessible, and traffic was at a minimum all day Sunday and on Monday when I was driving to check on our properties.
TCI poolWe are tremendously grateful that our businesses were so lucky to survive any real damage. Residents of the Napa Valley are a very close knit community and we are heartbroken for our friends and neighbors who have not been so lucky. We encourage you to show your support for Napa by paying a visit to those businesses who have worked hard to open their doors this week. Go to Visit Napa Valley for a list of all the Napa Valley businesses that are open and welcoming guests. Each and every one of Napa’s residents and businesses are in our thoughts and prayers, and we hope to help them in any way we can in the coming days and weeks.

Thank you,
Hilary Newsom, President
PlumpJack Group

Bitter Queens: A Cocktail Recipe for Success

If you need some cocktail creation inspiration or need to locate that perfect rose for a day in Dolores Park, Kelly is the guy you want to talk to at PlumpJack Wine & Spirits in Noe Valley. He’s a long-time team member that takes great pride in leading his customers to the perfect bottle, whether it’s a rare single malt scotch from the Lowlands or a sour beer for a Belgian beer tasting party. In this Q&A you’ll find out what makes Kelly tick and why he’s a Bitter Queen, not to mention, he’s sharing a cocktail recipe you’ll most certainly want to share with your closest friends and those you want to impress.

What inspired you to go into the business of bitters?
Bitter Queens was born in a bar after about three martinis and a slight stroke of genius. A friend and I started talking about making a batch of homemade bitters for fun, and when thinking of a hypothetical brand name, “Bitter Queens” was uttered, and naturally we died of laughter since we were a couple of gay dudes setting out on a quest to make bitters. Beyond that, I’m obsessed with exotic spices and botanicals, and love that I get to make a line of products with them!

For people who are unfamiliar with bitters, can you explain what exactly bitters are and how they are used?
Bitters is an aromatic flavoring agent made from a maceration of herbs, roots, and spices that are steeped in high proof alcohol. The maceration is left to rest for a while in order to extract as much flavor from the botanicals as possible. A kiss of sugar and some water may be added, but the process is pretty simple. Unlike Campari, Aperol, and other “potable” bitters that you might sip, cocktail bitters are a highly concentrated extract and thus a few dashes are typically used.

Why do you think cocktails benefit from the use of bitters?
When mixing drinks, bitters are akin to a chef’s spice rack. They complement the spirits of the cocktail and enliven the drink with added aroma, flavor, and complexity. They’re kind of like perfume for cocktails. Bitters can help transform a good drink into a great drink.

Where can someone find Bitter Queens?
We’ve just started to hit the market and can be found at PlumpJack Wine & Spirits, as well as some bars and restaurants around San Francisco like Oddjob, Jones, Blackbird, and Epic Roasthouse. We produce several different flavors including earthy eucalyptus, woodsy sarsaparilla, bright Chinese 5-spice, savory tobacco, and exotic Thai bitters.

Golden Gate Gimlet Cocktail Recipe

1.5 oz. Gin
.75 oz. Lime Juice
.5 oz. Simple Syrup
4 dashes Bitter Queens Eucalyptus Bitters
Shake over ice
Strain into a martini glass
Garnish with spanked rosemary sprig

 

Sara’s Top Five: Falling in Love with Fall Fashion

The beginning of fall in Lake Tahoe is one of the most beautiful times of year.  The traffic has started to slow down, the beaches are less crowded, and the trails are quiet. I love taking my cruiser down the bike path along the West shore, while enjoying the arrival of fall – the aspen leaves are starting to turn yellow and the air is just a little more crisp. Pair the bike ride or hike with a light salad and a glass Sauvignon Blanc on the patio at PlumpJack Café, and I am in heaven.

Here is a list of my closet staples for this fall in Tahoe:

1.)  JBrand Retro Zip Skinny in clean rinse wash

As it gets cooler in Tahoe, a good pair of jeans from JBrand is a must.  I recommend the JBrand Retro Zip Skinny in clean rinse. They don’t stretch out and lose their form, and the dark wash is versatile.

2.)   Jane Strappy Boots in dark brown from Frye ($398)

 

I absolutely love my Jane Strappy Boots in dark brown paired with my skinny jeans or skirts.  The slight heel on the back dresses up the boot and the dark brown color is easy to pair with my light or dark wash jeans.

3.)   Red 23 Belted cardigan in both white & black

With it getting cooler at night and during the days, I always bring along a lightweight cardigan.  I love Red 23’s belted cardigan in black or white paired with jeans or cutoff shorts.

4.)    Amesha Cotton Twill Vest ($139)

 

Currently my favorite piece in my wardrobe is my Velvet twill cargo vest in forest – this vest ties all my outfits together.  It looks great over my Tart Collections Romy Top in charcoal.

5.)   Tart Collections Romy Top in charcoal ($88)

(Seen below in striped)

This top is about the most comfortable and stylish top. The fit is perfect and the fabric is soft and cozy.

All of this and more can be found at PlumpJack Sport Squaw Valley.  Our inventory is changing from fashion to ski over the next few months to get ready for a BIG winter here at Squaw Valley, but stop in to shop and save on these fashions, summer clearance & left over winter ski apparel for men, women & kids from 2014 season.