Thank you to our Campaign volunteers, who represent grape growers, winery owners, leaders in hospitality and business, for leading our effort.
Wine Campaign Cabinet Members
TED BASELER, president and CEO of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, agreed to chair the Wine Campaign Cabinet because he believes that WSU can be the leader in Washington state and the world to support a top-rated wine region. Baseler says that it is critical to have science to protect and optimize vineyards. “The principal benefit of this effort is creating a wine science center at the university that is going to be permanent, on-going and essential to the future of the wine industry.”
MARTY CLUBB is very supportive of WSU’s efforts to establish a new entity and program. He believes that WSU has a great program with the right people. Clubb hopes this campaign will help develop the right type of facilities needed for wine research and development. In addition, he strongly believes it is important for the wine industry to support a program that not only focuses on improving the industry, but also focuses wine growing and producing in our region.
JEFF GORDON is owner of Kamiak Wines and Gordon Wines in the Columbia Valley and has the privilege of owning the oldest estate winery in Washington. Gordon has been an essential asset to Washington State University’s Viticulture and Enology program since the beginning. As a result, he felt that it was only natural to participate in the Wine Campaign Cabinet. He believes that this campaign is necessary for the program to help the industry thrive and grow.
STACIE HAMILTON, owner of Hamilton Cellars as well as Hamilton Fisher Wealth Management, is a third generation graduate of Washington State University and spent many years on the adjunct faculty of the Richland campus. Stacie and her husband Russ opened the first winery in Richland and Stacie pursued her Winemaker Certificate from UC Davis. In her first class she was told by her California-based professor that “you can’t grow grapes in Washington”. At that point Stacie decided to devote her time to assisting WSU create a world-class facility devoted to research studies involving the NW wine industry.
MATT HASKINS is the Senior Vice President for the Pacific Northwest Southern Wine and Spirits. Matt has worked in the wine industry since 1986. His organizational and community involvement includes being the founder of the Covey Run 10K, 5K, and Kid’s Dash for Children’s Hospital, a board member of the Chairman’s Committee of the Auction of Washington Wines and volunteers at the Noel House for homeless and at-risk women in the greater King County.
TOM HEDGES and his wife started an export wine business in 1986 that concentrated on selling Washington and California wines. Hedges is confident that WSU is the perfect vehicle for the education and research needed in the Washington state wine industry. He believes that Washington state needs to educate students who are the future of the wine industry right here in Washington and that, with a rapidly developing region, this is the best way to understand our own industry and terrain.
LANE HOSS believes that joining the Wine Campaign Cabinet was a “natural choice” for her and a great opportunity. As the vice president of marketing for Mad Anthony’s Inc., she explains that 95 percent of Mad Anthony’s wine list is Washington state wines. Hoss has been a supporter of the Washington wine industry for more than 30 years and thinks that this campaign will create better opportunities for people wanting to study viticulture and enology.
JANET LEDUC, founding director at Washington Wine Country, believes that Washington State University will help with the progress of Washington’s wine regions and industry. She strongly believes there is a need to make the industry stronger because the United States has become the world’s leading consumer of wine. LeDuc says that Washington needs a place where people can be educated about viticulture and enology since we are the second leading producer of wine in the United States.
KARI LEITCH is Vice President of Communications and Corporate Affairs for Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, which is among the 10 largest wine companies in the U.S. In her present role, Ms. Leitch manages corporate communications, government affairs and branded public relations programs for all wineries in the Ste. Michelle portfolio. Ms. Leitch serves on the boards for Wine America, the Washington Wine Institute and the California Wine Institute’s State Relations Subcommittee.
STACY LILL is the Founder & Brand Ambassador of O Wines and owner of Cashmere Consulting, focusing on Wine Industry Education & Development. Along with receiving numerous philanthropic awards, Stacy is involved with many charitable organizations including the Auction of Washington Wines Chairman’s Committee, and along with husband Greg Lill, President/CEO of DeLille Cellars was the 2012 Washington Wine Ambassador for Oregon’s Classic Wine Auction. Stacy is a known Community Leader and Wine Industry Educator.
Alumnus JESSE LYON is proud to be involved with WSU’s efforts to support grape growers and winemakers in creating and maintaining sustainable businesses. Lyon believes the wine industry plays an extremely important role in Washington state’s economy and cultural identity and that it is vital to recognize that importance. He chose to participate in the Wine Campaign Cabinet as a way to stay informed about the wine community’s challenges, successes and developments. In addition, he enjoys working with fellow contributors to the success of Washington’s wine industry. Lyon works for Davis Wright Tremaine, a full-service law firm with a nationally recognized hospitality (food and beverage) law team.
NORM MCKIBBEN was appointed to WSU’s Wine Campaign Cabinet. He has always been a great supporter of Washington State University and has great knowledge of the wine industry as managing partner at Pepper Bridge Winery. McKibben supports WSU because he believes that eastern Washington is a unique area for the wine industry and that more graduate-level research in this region is needed. He strongly believes the wine industry needs to generate more graduate students and research to improve and secure the future of the industry.
RICK MIDDLETON, president of Anderson & Middleton Company, was asked to participate in the Wine Campaign Cabinet because of his wine industry expertise. Anderson & Middleton Company is a multi-generational family business started in 1891 and focused on businesses related to table grapes, wine grapes, wine and timber, in Washington and California. Middleton believes the Washington state wine industry deserves and needs a world-class viticulture and enology program to pair with Washington’s world-class wine grapes and wine.
CAROL MUNRO joined the WSU Campaign committee in the fall of 2010—soon after she was named director of community relations at Ste. Michelle Wine Estates. Prior to her position at the winery, Carol was the executive director of the Auction of Washington Wines, a position she held for seven years. Proceeds from the auction are directed to Seattle Children’s Hospital as well as to the Washington Wine Education Foundation, which also supports the WSU Viticulture and Enology program.
CHRIS SARLES has been involved in the growth and development of the Northwest wine business for over 15 years and in all aspects of the wine wholesale business. Chris is active in the Oregon Beer and Wine Wholesaler Association and has had the opportunity to actively work with the Legislature on the issues facing our industry. Chris was raised in the Northwest and a graduate of Oregon State University and is married with two sons.
LYN TANGEN has always had a passion for wine and continues to be an avid supporter of the industry. Tangen believes that the wine industry provides a number of great benefits for the state of Washington, including putting the state on the map as a premium wine producer, being an economic engine, and helping bridge the gap between western and eastern Washington. She believes that the WSU Viticulture and Enology program will really help the wine industry and that it can teach winemakers how to more effectively produce new wine varieties. It will also help advance the knowledge of viticulture and quicken the pace of wine science discoveries.
DON TRANSETH is an enthusiastic wine lover and supporter of Washington State University. He believes that WSU’s Viticulture and Enology program is visionary and that it will greatly influence Washington’s wine industry. Transeth chose to participate in the Wine Campaign Cabinet because he believes that better research will lead to better wine and smarter graduates working for the future of the wine industry. Don says that WSU is uniquely positioned to take advantage of a great agriculture education tradition as well as the explosive growth of world-class Washington wines. This provides the university an unprecedented opportunity to both serve the students of Washington and drive the economic development of the state at the same time.
Members of the Wine Campaign Cabinet not listed include Don Watts, Lori Watts, Eileen Votteler, Reed McKinlay, Greg Lill, and Dennis DeYoung.