Experience

Summary of Experience

Over 30 years of broad and extensive wine industry experience ranging from Winemaker to General Manager, with last 20 years as Executive Director for major Central California wine region. Committed to enhancing the role of wine in American culture, and to improving organizational performance. Seventh generation California agriculturalist, raised in the San Joaquin Valley. Partner in two farming operations in Watsonville and Lodi regions.

Work Experience

Executive Director, Lodi Winegrape Commission, Lodi, CA   1991 – 2011

Chief Executive Officer of a regionwide wine and grape promotion entity guided by an 18 member Board of Commissioners.

  • Creation and implementation of extensive marketing, education, communication and research programs on behalf of 700 grower constituents and 85 wineries.
  • Significantly grew number of member wineries from 20 to 85+ within 10 years
  • Industry and community leadership at local, state and national levels (e.g. Society of Wine Educators; Wine and Vit program advisor; Rotary Club)
  • Administer all commission policies and personnel management, oversee ~$2.5 million budget and 14 staff
  • Manage relations with media, industry trade groups and the California Department of Food and Agriculture


Previous Career Experience

Marketing Manager, New World Wines, Inc., San Martin, CA
Creation and implementation of marketing programs, responsible for product mix and pricing decisions, distributor relations and sales support.

General Manager, Stevenot Winery, Murphys, CA
Production and marketing management, team leadership and successful financial performance. Gained national sales and marketing experience through extensive travel, especially in East Coast wine markets.

Quality Control Supervisor, Andres Wines, Port Moody, British Columbia, Canada
Ensured stability of bulk and bottled wine (1 million case annual production); Cellar Master – supervised wine production staff (crew of 8); Winemaker – directed all winemaking and processing activities.

Grain Merchant, Cargill Grain Company, Tranquillity, CA
Grower relations, and purchase and sale contract negotiations for grain products.

 

Education

MA, Organizational Management and Development,

Fielding Graduate University, Santa Barbara, CA

BS, Agricultural Business Management,

California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

California Agricultural Leadership Program Graduate, Class XVIII

Society of Wine Educators Certified Specialist in Wine certificate holder

 

Professional Organizations and Board Service

  • Society of Wine Educators– Current Board Member and Past President
  • California Economic Development Commission Agricultural Advisory Council
  • Cal Poly Wine and Viticulture Program Advisory Council
  • San Joaquin Partnership Economic Development Task Force
  • San Joaquin County Blueprint Regional Advisory Committee
  • City of Lodi Greenbelt Task Force
  • Lodi Rotary Club
  • World of Wonders Science Museum 


Publications and Presentations

“The Business of Wine: An Encyclopedia” – contributed the chapter on nurseries in the wine business, Brostrom and Brostrom, eds. Greenwood Press, 2009.

“Spinning the Bottle – Case Studies in Wine Public Relations” – contributed the chapter on Lodi wine public relations, Posert and Franson, eds. HPPR Press, 2004/2011.

Publish regular newsletters updating constituents on commission activities and accomplishments.

Top rated speaker-presenter at wine industry conferences and seminars in U.S. and internationally.

 

Honors and Awards

2012 –“Top 100 Most Influential People in US Wine” – INFOWINE.com

2009 –“San Joaquin County’s 50 Most Influential People” – San Joaquin Magazine

2008 – Elevated to Supreme Knight, Brotherhood of the Knights of the Vine

2007 – Inducted into the San Joaquin County Agriculture Hall of Fame

2006 – Inducted into the Lodi Community Hall of Fame for Agriculture Service

2006 – Granted the Lodi Woodbridge Award of Merit

2005 – Named Sunset Magazine’s “Wine Professional of the Year”