Susan Hoff, Proprietress & CEO
Fantesca Estate & Winery
Susan Hoff, proprietress & CEO of Fantesca Estate & Winery, was named to the board of trustees of the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation in 2015 and returns for a second term in the spring of 2021.
Fantesca Estate & Winery (www.Fantesca.com), located on Spring Mountain in the famed Napa Valley, produces nearly 5,000 cases of estate cabernet, chardonnay, pinot noir, and a proprietary red blend each year. She and her husband, Duane, started the winery in 2004 with their two children, after retiring from executive positions at the nation’s largest electronics company, Best Buy (NYSE: BBY).
Susan began her 30-year career with Best Buy working first as the accounts payable clerk, at age 18, in the finance department when the regional company only had four stores. She then went to work in sales at the Roseville, Minnesota store and interned in the communications department starting the company’s first newsletter while she worked her way through college. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in applied graphic design and advertising from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, Susan held the posts of supervisor, manager, director, vice president, and then senior vice president & CCO.
Susan was the primary communications strategist for the Fortune 100 company for nearly 25 years, representing Best Buy’s entire family of brands including its namesake chain in North America and Canada, high-end electronics retailer Magnolia Audio Video, the company’s computer service division, Geek Squad, and its Canadian Future Shop chain. Her team consisted of Public Relations, Government Relations, Investor Relations, Employee Communications, Yellow Tag Productions, Community Relations, and The Best Buy Children’s Foundation (BBCF). She retired as the SVP & CCO in 2006 to pursue her MBA in International Business at KEDGE in Bordeaux, France.
Although no longer serving in her communications position, she continued her philanthropy work at Best Buy in the foundation she established in 1994 for the company, the BBCF and its famed Charity Classic. She served as the president; its Founder, CEO and Chairwoman of its board of trustees until retiring her role in 2013. She established the annual Best Buy Charity Classic, a high-profile fundraising event for the Best Buy Foundation, which hosted LPGA legends and entertainment icons Sheryl Crow, Beyoncé, Elton John, Seal, Keith Urban, and Steven Tyler to highlight a few. The annual event attracts thousands of attendees and raises $3 to 5 million yearly to benefit children’s causes.
She is a firm believer in community involvement and completed multi-year terms as a trustee for both the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and the Guthrie Theatre in Minnesota. Susan just completed her steering committee role in the University of Minnesota’s Driven Campaign that raised $4 Billion for the University’s campuses, programming and its students. She currently serves on the University of Minnesota Foundation Board of Trustees and is an audit committee member. Her current focus is her community work through local non-profits and start-ups in the Bay area.
When she’s not at the winery or on a conference call, you can find Susan in the gym. She became a NASM certified personal trainer in 2013 to learn more about health and nutrition while pursuing her passion for lightweight bodybuilding. She competes year-round internationally in the WBFF’s Fitness Diva category – placing consistently in the Top 5. In August 2015, she was awarded her Fitness Pro Card at the WBFF’s Worlds Competition. She was recently crowned Mrs. North America Classique in 2019 at the International Mrs. Globe Classique Pageant held in Southern California. She is a representative for the WIN (Women in Need) Foundation (https://www.mrsglobe.com/our-charity) as part of her pageant philanthropy, donating funds received through her appearances.
Susan practices what she preaches and believes in daily exercise, healthy eating and strives for a thoughtful work/life balance. She is a certified Primal Health Coach (https://www.primalhealthcoach.com/the-primal-difference-maker/) and publishes her tips and techniques in her blog – Oath & Grind – published twice a month. (www.oathandgrind.com) She is also studying to become Precision Nutrition certified too. Susan is an avid weight-lifter, enjoys modeling, fashion, travel and her current international work designing resort 5 Star spas and gym programming.
Susan and her husband reside in St. Helena, California, and have two adult children. One is an international winemaker with brands in both Spain and Napa Valley, USA and the other is a tech entrepreneur in San Francisco.