Terry Wheatley Canopy Management CEO & Founding Partner>

Before founding her own wine company, Terry spent 14 years with Trinchero Family Estates (Sutter Home Winery) holding senior sales and marketing positions including Senior Vice President of Sales and Senior Vice President of Marketing where she was instrumental in the expansion of the infamous Build-A-Better Burger promotion as well as the creator of the “Sutter Home for Hope” breast cancer awareness campaign. During her tenure, she was actively involved with expanding business in national retail and national on-premise accounts.

Terry left Trinchero to create her own wine company where she could work with friends in the wine industry to create delicious, affordable wines with stories that come from life experiences.

Terry began her career at E&J Gallo where she spent over 17 years, ultimately being promoted to Director of On-Premise Marketing before leaving.

HerHighway’s Editor in Chief Christina Selter finally got to meet Terry Wheatley for an interview regarding how she succeeded in the wine manufacturing industry. The sound bites from the interview are coming soon so stay tuned, but for now enjoy some of the Q&A below.

Who have you mentored or did someone mentor you in to help you get started?
Part of what we do at Canopy is mentor women…whether in the industry or not.  We have mentored a woman who had a passion for baking by writing her business plan to help start her own company and are one of her biggest customers; we have mentored a woman who had no experience in the wine industry launch a product in one of the largest retailers in the nation; we are currently working with a woman to help re-enter the workplace by helping her identify her strengths and are assisting her in building her business plan; we are working with a young woman to build a soap company….the list goes on.  It is in our DNA to help other women in business…it is what we do.

I had one mentor when I started in the business….a gruff, tough Senior Executive with E. & J. Gallo Winery who thought I was moldable.  He didn’t have children and treated me like his own.  I will be forever thankful.

I am now mentored by the smart women around me…my partners and the women we work with – Aliza Sherman, Alyssa Rapp and many others.

Why did you want to work in the wine  industry? 
It wasn’t planned.  I got a job in the wine industry on a bet from my husband that I couldn’t get a job within a week….Gallo was the biggest employer in our county – the rest is history.

First job?
Administrative Assistant – E. & J. Gallo Winery

Proudest professional achievement?
Launching a successful wine company with friends.

Current challenge at work?
Not enough time in the day to accomplish all of the ideas our team dreams up!

Why does the wine industry seem like a difficult environment for females? Or to young women.

Because it is.  The industry has been male dominated since before Prohibition….but it should deter women.

Dream job?
I have it.

What sports or activities did you enjoy in school or/and currently?
Rodeo and baseball in school – my family still competes in rodeo, my grandchildren play baseball and I love to watch.  I am an avid fan of Professional Basketball.

What you do to relax?
Read on airplanes and watch my grandchildren play baseball.