When Wil Wardle began the Master of Science in Organization Leadership (MSOL) program in the summer of 2011, he had not anticipated that what he would learn would help him ramp his business up to the next level.
Wil, a resident of Santa Barbara, California, chose the program because he says he was “drawn to the curriculum and the fact that it’s online.” He thought the curriculum complemented the things he was doing and seemed to match some of his career goals.
At that time, Wil, in conjunction with Lobo Castle Productions, distributed wine and hosted weddings, corporate and special events and wellness retreats at nearby Lobo Castle, which had been featured on the Food Network and the MTV Show Extreme Cribs.
Through the success of Lobo Castle, Wil and his business partner were approached about a joint venture to open Triunfo Creek Winery in the Santa Monica Mountains, seven miles inland from Malibu, California. At about the time this offer came, Wil took a project management course in the Regis MSOL Program.
Says Wil, “the project management class was actually in perfect timing.” He says taking that course allowed him to see the big scope of this project and break the project down into manageable tasks. Will adds, “The project management course helped me map out the framework for my project.”
Since then Wil and a business partner have launched the winery and a vineyard, a 55-acre property. They started marketing in January and February of this year. The two have also worked with some established wineries and the local Chamber of Commerce to start the Malibu Wine Trail.
Wil Wardle says that he wants his company to make its mark on the local area and build something that will be beneficial for the community and businesses in the area.
Of the Regis MSOL Program, Wil says it has been “excellent.” He admits that he was a little hesitant to take online courses at first; the classroom setting had always been more comfortable for him. But, according to Wardle, “the professors have been very helpful and great. Students have been intellectually challenging. I hadn’t anticipated it would be such a great experience. It exceeded my expectations.”
Wil adds, “The University is really top-notch. Everyone I’ve worked with has really been on the ball.” In his spare time, Wil likes to snowboard, golf, and spend time at the beach. He’s also currently working on publishing a poetry book.
Wil says he’d give this advice to current students: “Come into every session with an open mind and be conscious of what everyone brings to the table. Don’t just sit back. Be engaged, but be open, as well.”
Who says education can’t help you change your life? Not Wil Wardle. He’s well on his way to making both his educational and business dreams come true.
You can find out more about Triunfo Creek Winery at triunfocreekwinery.com/.