Under the Mexican Sun: Faculty Development Trip, Spring 2015

Lucky were the faculty members that attended the Spring 2015 Faculty Development Trip in Encenada, Baja California, Mexico this month: not only did they get social-networking-worthy views and activities, but they were able to visit a company and three wineries, one of which is focused on sustainability, as well as listen to various speakers’ presentations on such topics as regional economic development.

The faculty group at the Monte Xanic winery with speaker Dr. Hans Backoff, the winery's founder and part owner.

The faculty group at the Monte Xanic winery after an interesting conversation with speaker Dr. Hans Backoff, the winery’s founder and part owner.

The trip started with a company visit to Augen Optics, an Ensenada-based international design and manufacturer of ophthalmic lenses and a presentation by the company’s Executive Director. The technologically-advanced company is vertically integrated, with its own team of engineers, scientists, and researchers for every stages of development and marketing. The visit to Augen Optics was followed by lunch and a presentation on economic development by Gabriel Cabañas (USD ’88), who is the Senior Business Development Specialist in the Office of North America Investment for the Development Secretariat of the Baja California State Goverment.

Company visit to Augen Optics

Company visit to Augen Optics.

That evening the faculty attended a reception that included local alumni and faculty from CETYS Universidad Baja California, including Dr. Scott Venezia, Dean of the College of Business and Management.

The second day began the tours of the wineries in the Valle de Guadalupe, the largest wine-producing region in Mexico. The first winery visited was Viña de Liceaga with a presentation by its owner and general manager, Myrna Liceaga. The three-decades-old winery uses the rich crop varieties in the Mediterranean-like climate of the region to produce high-quality wines. The winery visit was followed by a lunch with speakers Carlos Valenzuele and Enrique Rangel from the Secretaria de Turismo (Tourism Department of Baja California, Mexico).

The second winery visited was Monte Xanic with a presentation by the company’s founder, owner, and oenologist Dr. Hans Bacoff. Established in 1987, Monte Xanic currently produces over 50,000 cases annually under its four brands and is committed to serving the community and promoting innovation in their industry through research and technology.

Finally, the faculty visited Clos de Tres Cantos winery, owned by founders Joaquin and Maria. Created in 2014, Clos de Tres Cantos is centered on sustainability and protection of the land and uses unique concepts and goals to achieve it.

Winery visit to Viña de Liceaga

Winery visit to Viña de Liceaga

Dr. Jollineau and Dr. Bowen at the winery visit in Monte Xanic.

Dr. Jollineau and Dr. Bowen at the winery visit in Monte Xanic.

Tour of Clos de Tres Cantos, a sustainable winery, with the owners Joaquin and Maria.

Tour of Clos de Tres Cantos, a sustainable winery, with the owners Joaquin and Maria.

In all, the faculty who attended this development trip learned more than just about business innovation and the wine industry; they explored how concepts and theories taught in their classrooms are being applied in businesses large and small – especially by our neighbors just to the South.

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