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Linzi Gay, Clif Family Winery

Linzi Gay of the Clif Family Winery.

Linzi Gay has worked for Clif business owners Gary Erickson and Kit Crawford for 16 years, including the past 12 years at Clif Family Winery in St. Helena (where she’s currently the general manager).

Working at Clif Bar was her first job out of college, Gay said.

Erickson’s and Crawford’s approach to business “created the road map that I will follow throughout my career,” she said.

“I am constantly inspired by the way they think about business and create a culture that supports their community, their people and the planet, all while creating amazing brands.”

1. Which three people would you most like to have dinner with?

Margaret Atwood, Julia Child, Michelle Obama.

2. What job would you like to try/not try?

Try: book editor.

Not try: elevator technician (I’m not a big fan of heights or tight spaces).

3. What was your first job?

Napa Valley Coffee Roasting Company, St. Helena.

4. How did you get into the food and wine industry?

I got into the specialty food industry directly out of college by applying for a position for a job at Clif Bar that was listed on Craigslist. I got into the wine industry when I moved back to the Napa Valley.

5. What is the biggest challenge your industry has faced?

There is so much more competition now and we are all vying for people’s attention in a world where we are constantly in a state of information overload. It’s difficult to cut through the noise.

6. What’s on your to-do list?

  • Learn how to speak Spanish.
  • Get more involved with supporting my local community.
  • Plan more adventures.

7. What is one thing you hope to accomplish in your lifetime that you haven’t yet?

I want to write a novel. I’ve started and then stopped (for a long time). I hope to get back to it again soon.

8. If you could change one thing about your business/industry, what would it be?

I would love to see more growers convert to organic farming practices.

9. What was your childhood ambition?

I wanted to be an architect. When I was a kid, I had one big bin of Legos and I would spend hours dreaming up house designs. These days kids have all these instruction manuals for building Legos. I don’t remember having anything more than a big box of bricks and my imagination.

10. Which other Napa County business person would you like to see featured in 10 Questions?

Trevor McLaughlin, HEXA Human Performance.

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Gay can be reached at lgay@cliffamily.com.

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Business Editor

Jennifer Huffman is the business editor and a general assignment reporter for the Napa Valley Register. I cover a wide variety of topics for the newspaper. I've been with the Register since 2005.