Jim & Betty Held
In 1965, Jim and Betty Held and their four small children moved into an apartment above the neglected old Stone Hill Winery and dedicated their lives to the monumental task of returning it to its former glory. Today, Stone Hill Winery is Missouri's oldest and most prestigious winery, producing more than 260,000 gallons of award-winning wines annually from state-of-the-art equipment and 182 acres of vineyards supplemented from other selected Missouri vineyards. The winery employs more than 100 people in three different Missouri locations with more than $7 million in gross sales annually.
"Never, never, never, never, ever give up!"
-Jim & Betty Held
Stone Hill Winery achieved national prominence when it was named Missouri's Small Business of the Year in 1982 and featured on The Today Show in 1994. The winery was featured in Nation's Business Weekly in 1995 after being selected as the top state designee for the Blue Chip Enterprise Initiative award, honoring those companies who "represent the true spirit of entrepreneurship in America." In 1996, Stone Hill Winery garnered even more accolades when the Held family was named 1995 Wine Growing Family of the Year at the Wineries Unlimited 20th anniversary banquet in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The family's national success continued in November 2001 when Stone Hill Winery was featured on The Early Show on CBS.
Through it all, Jim and Betty Held have remained true to their Missouri heritage. In 1997 they received the Pioneer Award from the Department of Agriculture's Missouri Grape and Wine Program, recognizing them for their almost single-handed restoration of the Missouri wine industry after Prohibition all but destroyed it.
Jim is presently serving on the board of The Missouri Bank. He is a past president of Hermann Area Chamber of Commerce, Junior Chamber of Commerce, Missouri Vintners Association and a past chairman of the Grape and Wine Advisory Board. He served on the Missouri Tourism Commission for five years. Betty is currently the treasurer of St. Paul's Women's Fellowship. She is a past vice president and council member of St. Paul U.C.C. and currently serves on several church committees. She is past president of the Hermann Jaycee wives organization and past director of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce. She has served on the executive board of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and is a past trustee of the Missouri Chamber Fund. Jim and Betty received the first ever Hall of Fame Award from the Missouri Division of Tourism in 1988. Both Jim and Betty are actively involved in the International Fellowship of Christian Businessmen, always believing that "God is right behind you making the right decisions." They celebrated their 56th wedding anniversary in 2011.
Jim and Betty Held bio [pdf]