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St. Julian, Michigan's Most Awarded Winery, Continues Support of Student-Led Wine Brand

Western Michigan University students are “learning by doing” - selling and marketing a bronco inspired wine brand with 100% of profits towards student scholarships

PAW PAW, Mich. - Students, alumni and community members will gather at St. Julian Winery tonight to celebrate the Bronconess partnership. During the event, St. Julian will provide the students with a $12,350 check toward the scholarship from earned royalties throughout 2022. The event will take place from 6pm to 8pm.

In addition to the check presentation at tonight’s event, Bronconess Wine, a purpose-driven brand led by students in the Leadership and Business Strategy Program at Western Michigan University, officially launches a new sparkling wine, Raspberry Bubbly.

Raspberry Bubbly joins the Bronconess wine portfolio alongside Peach Bubbly, also produced by St. Julian Winery. The portfolio launched in 100 stores across Michigan, with 100% of profits towards student scholarships.

Since its inception in 2018, Bronconess has awarded over $50,000 in scholarships to students who sustain courage and enthusiasm when facing adversity. The brand's core focus is to empower aspiring business leaders by providing the resources to market and sell wine side-by-side with experienced industry professionals.

St. Julian Winery, Michigan’s largest and most awarded winery, has given the Leadership and Business Strategy students access to senior leadership and their facilities to learn the end-to-end process of winemaking, production and marketing in the industry.

“Ownership of a brand is such a powerful thing, and this is such a unique collaboration in which students can truly gain real world experience. It has been exciting to support the program and witness the portfolio grow", explains Alyssa Sonnevil, Director of Marketing at St. Julian Winery.

At the end of the Fall 2022 semester, senior Finance and Leadership and Business Strategy student Kamola Makhmudova was awarded one of the $5,000 scholarships. Kamola describes the scholarship as "a celebration of people's strength and overcoming difficulties. Knowing how it can help students, I decided to join the Bronconess team this semester and give back to my community." Kamola is now a team member on the Spring 2023 semester Bronconess team along with Isaac Glass, Nikki Miller, Megan Rooney, and Lauren Dehaan, led by Nolan Lohroff and Jordan Hines.

Following the "learning by doing" teaching philosophy of professors Dr. Derrick McIver and Dr. Douglas Lepisto, students in the program lead all internal operations. The team manages day-to-day business functions, including leading sales calls, social media marketing, event planning, budgeting, and analytics.