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Chamber of Commerce Notes From The President That Wine Guy… Mel Rodinsky By Mark Turner, President /CEO, Gilroy Chamber of Commerce W hile Gilroy mobilizes for the 37th Annual Garlic Festival, the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce continues to remain active in various areas of the community, steadfast in its effort to be a strong voice for the business community and the community at large. In March, 40 Chamber volunteers gathered to clean up a one and a half mile stretch of a Gilroy waterway known as, “Upper Miller Slough,” which runs from the Welburn Bridge south to the 6th Street Bridge. Upper Miller Slough connects to Llagas Creek just past 6th Street. Volunteers removed 45 cubic yards of debris including tires, furniture, shopping carts, mattresses and bags of trash and garbage. Several other organizations contributed as well. Recology donated a dumpster while the Coastal Habitat Education and Environmental Restoration (CHEER) organization assisted the Chamber in accomplishing the cleanup effort. The Business and Education Committee of the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce sponsored a mock interview event at Gilroy and Christopher High Schools. The event, called, “Rock the Mock,” took place at Gilroy and Christopher High Schools. Students from Mt. Madonna High School and Gilroy Early College Academy also participated. Students had the opportunity to rotate through four workshops entitled, “How to Prepare for the Interview,” “Dress for Success,” “What’s in a Handshake,” and “The Interview.” Nearly 100 students participated at each campus. Volunteers and students alike enjoyed the two and a half hour event which provided relevant information and real life experience to future job seekers. The Gilroy Chamber thanks the Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce for their guidance, input and help with this event. The Gilroy Chamber’s 2nd Annual Legislative Summit was held on April 17 bringing together local, regional and federal politicians discussing a myriad of topics affecting South County residents. The Summit, which was held at the Hilton Garden Inn, provided attendees the opportunity to meet elected officials from all levels of government, learn about pressing issues and ask questions about how solutions will be implemented. Director Dennis Kennedy from the Santa Clara Valley Water District also attended the Summit and provided an update on the drought conditions facing Santa Clara County. 48 G M H T O D A Y M A G A Z I N E MAY / JUNE 2015 M el Rodinsky has a job many would love to have. Mel is a wine broker. What does a wine broker do? Well, it’s not all about visiting vineyards and sampling fine wines, although, that does occur. The primary job of a wine broker is to act as a middleman between a producer/ seller and buyer. The wine industry has become much more complex. In some cases, a broker might help negotiate a deal between the grower and wine maker. Wine Directions, the company Mel founded in 1982 for the purpose of selling wine, now represents 18 “boutique” wineries, some producing less than 500 cases per year. Mel sells wines to retailers, grocery stores, restaurants and wine bars from Palo Alto to Santa Cruz and locally in Gilroy and Morgan Hill. Starting as a volunteer bottling assistant for Cronin Vineyards, a tiny home winery in Woodside, Mel began assisting with sales, using skills from his 30 years with IBM in Manufacturing Systems Consulting. Today, the wine business is full-time for Mel, yet still allows him time to enjoy hobbies such as golfing, fishing and cooking from his home in Gilroy. One of his biggest pleasures is teaching friends and customers about the joys and benefits of fine wines. If you’re interested in becoming a wine connoisseur and learning how to discern taste, density, viscosity and suspended particles, contact Mel at