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Christopher Silva became president and CEO in 2003, at age 38, and has led St. Francis’ initiatives in environmentally conscious energy consumption, packaging and other areas.
A fifth-generation native of Sonoma County, Chris Silva grew up surrounded by the area’s burgeoning wine industry. In 1998 he left a promising legal career to join St. Francis Winery and has since made wine his business, becoming president and CEO of St. Francis in 2003, at the age of 38.
On the Green Edge
Under Silva’s leadership, St. Francis has been recognized for its many green practices. A solar energy system allows the winery to draw up to 40% of its energy from the sun. St. Francis has also led initiatives in conservation, recycling and packaging, receiving the Sonoma County Best Practices Award in 2009 for its “environmentally sound business practices.”
An Integral Community Member
Silva has served on the Board of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Sonoma County, and is on the Dean’s National Advisory Board of the UNLV Harrah College of Hotel Administration. In 2011 he was honored by UNLV as the “Food & Beverage Industry Executive of the Year.” He has taught college classes in legal research and legal writing and lectures nationally regarding wine, law and business. His engaging life story and approach to running a business have been featured in The New York Times, Luxist, AOL Daily Finance and Corporate Wellness Magazine.