Wine Rows

Wine Business Institute Board of Directors


Gary Heck

Gary Heck - Board Chairman 
President & Owner, F. Korbel & Bros. 
Gary Heck is the owner, President, and Chairman of Korbel Champagne Cellars. Heck was appointed as the President in 1982 and has continued the legacy of his father, Korbel's previous owner. Heck grew up in the champagne-making business and now produces the leading premium champagne in this country. Learn more about Gary Heck.


ron_rubin_lowres.jpg Ron Rubin - Board President
Owner, River Road Family Vineyards & Winery, and CEO of The Republic of Tea
Ron Rubin is dedicated to enriching people's lives through premium teas, education and innovation - emphasizing a "Sip by Sip Rather Than Gulp by Gulp" lifestyle. Rubin is also the owner of the River Road Family Vineyards and Winery, a small-production winery located in the Green Valley of Russian River Valley American Viticulture Area located in Sonoma County, California. Learn more about Ron Rubin.


George Hamel IIIGeorge Hamel, III - Board Vice President
Managing Director, Hamel Family Wines
George has overseen the financial, sales and business operations of Hamel Family Wines since 2011, although he has been actively involved in his family business for 30 years. Prior to joining his family business, George was Financial Advisor with the Private Wealth Management group of Wells Fargo Advisors in New York City and Palm Beach. Learn more about George Hamel III.


Kaj AhllmannKaj Ahlmann
Proprietor, Six Sigma Ranch & Winery
In 2000, Kaj Ahlmann and his wife purchased a 4,300 acre ranch in Lake County and named it Six Sigma Ranch. The release of the first wine under the label, Six Sigma Ranch, was celebrated in 2006. Kaj Ahlmann applies the Six Sigma methods on this ranch in both the grape growing and winemaking processes, and continuously monitors and refines data at each stage. Learn more about Kaj Ahlmann.


Caroline Coleman Bailey
E & J Gallo Winery
Caroline Coleman Bailey is a third generation member of the Gallo family and her experience within the company includes public relations, corporate and brand communications, as well as marketing and sales. She has served as the lead spokesperson for the Gallo Family. Learn more about Caroline Bailey.

Tom BonomiTom Bonomi
President & CFO, Price Family Vineyards & Estates
Tom and Bill Price established Classic Wines in 2007. Classic Wines and its affiliates own interests in several wine companies including Buccella, Gary Farrell, Kistler Vineyards, LUTUM and Three Sticks.  Independent from the wine companies, Classic Wines and its affiliates own 300 planted acres and 6 vineyard properties including Durell Vineyards and Gap's Crown Vineyard.  Prior to joining Classic Wines, Tom was a Managing Director with Global Wine Partners. Tom currently serves on the Pride Mountain Vineyards Board of Managers. Learn more about Tom Bonomi. 


Chris Burt
Vice President, Director West Division, Brown-Forman
Chris heads up sales and marketing execution within the Western United States. Chris has been with Brown-Forman since 1985. Chris is an alumnus of Sonoma State University, has an MBA from the University of Phoenix, and is a graduate from the UCLA Anderson Executive Program in Management. Learn more about Chris Burt.


Roy CecchettiRoy E. Cecchetti
President & CEO, Cecchetti Wine Company
Cecchetti Wine Company marks Roy Cecchetti's second time founding a California wine brand. He also co-founded Cecchetti Sebastiani Cellar with his brother-in-law Don Sebastiani. The company grew to become one of the fastest growing California wineries. Learn more about Roy Cecchetti.

brian.jpgBrian Clements 
Vice President/ Partner at Turrentine Brokerage 
Brian Clements, who has negotiated over half a billion dollars worth of wine grape contracts during the last twenty-five years, is well rooted in the agricultural side of the wine business, with all of its complexity and constant changes. Brian is Vice-President and Partner at Turrentine Brokerage, where he manages an industry-leading team of grape brokers dedicated to helping brand owners fuel sales growth, growers find the best homes for their fruit and financiers manage risk and take advantage of supply cycles.Learn more about Brian Clements.


Mary Jo Dale
Marketing Director, the Americas - Vinventions
Mary Jo Dale honed her marketing expertise outside the industry via key positions including Director of Marketing for Westin Hotels & Resorts, Vice President Customer Marketing at AT&T Wireless and CMO for Gateway Computers. Over the last ten years she has partnered with many leading wineries and wine companies to build advanced marketing programs including Kosta Browne, St. Francis, Gary Farrell, Crimson Wine Group and Treasury Wine Estates. In her current position with Vinventions, the world's leading supplier of wine closures, she is responsible for developing marketing programs and strategic partnerships in the Americas to benefit the wine industry. Learn more about Mary Jo Dale.



Carl Evans
Vice President, Marketing, Constellation Brands
Carl heads up Marketing Services for Constellation's wine and spirits division. He has been with Constellation since 2003 in leadership positions that span International Sales, Finance, and Marketing. Carl is also an adjunct professor and guest lecturer in Sonoma State's Executive MBA program. Learn more about Carl Evans.

Steve GrossSteve Gross
Director of State Relations, The Wine Institute
Steve Gross is Director of State Relations at Wine Institute, where he has been employed since 1986.  Steve's duties entail overseeing the activities of Wine Institute's six State Relations Regional Counsels and Regional Managers as they address state legislation affecting the wine industry, as well as coordinating Wine Institute's legislative and regulatory activities with staff, contract lobbyists and member wineries. Learn more about Steve Gross.

dan_grunbeck.jpgDan Grunbeck
Executive Vice President, Client Services and Business Development, Young's Market Company
Dan Grunbeck is a 26-year veteran of the wine and spirits industry. At Young's, Dan leads a team dedicated to developing strong business relationships with client/supplier partners. Prior to joining Young's in 2009, Dan led national sales for Pernod Ricard, William Grant & Sons Distillers, and Seagram Chateau & Estates. Learn more about Dan Grunbeck.

Ray Johnson
Ray Johnson
Executive Director, Wine Business Institute at Sonoma State University
As Executive Director of the Wine Business Institute at Sonoma State University, Ray Johnson's role includes organizational development and program execution as well as operational oversight of programs and events at the future Wine Spectator Learning Center. Previously his work in the VESTA alliance as well as with his company - TasteWine - has led to teaching seminars from San Francisco to New York. His international experience and network in Australia, Europe, Canada, and South Africa will connect students and alumni to wineries across the globe. Learn more about Ray Johnson.

Walt KlenzWalt Klenz
Vice Chairman, The Vincraft Group
Walt Klenz began his California wine industry career in 1973. In 1976, he was named Director of Marketing at Beringer Vineyards. Klenz held a number of senior marketing, financial and operations positions at Beringer until his appointment in 1990 as President. After Beringer was sold to Foster's Group in 2000, he headed Foster's global wine business. Klenz served on the Advisory Board of ASC Fine Wines from 2008 to 2010 and also serves on the Board of Directors of J. Lohr Winery and Columbia Sportswear Company. He is a past President of Napa Valley Vintners and a past Chairman of the Wine Institute.  Learn more about Walt Klenz.


Mel Mannion
Former Executive Vice President, M. Shanken Communications

Erle MartinErle Martin
Executive Vice President, Wholesale West, The Winebow Group
Erle Martin is a wine industry executive with over 25 years of experience. Erle has a demonstrated ability to recruit and build strong teams, resulting in exceptional performance. He turned both the Coppola and Crimson Wine Group entities into industry leaders with combined topline growth exceeding 5X. During his tenure at Crimson, he took the company public in 2013, which consistently traded at a premium to book value. Erle has served as President of the Stag's Leap District Winegrowers Association, and has been active on several Napa Valley Vintners committees. Learn more about Erle Martin.

stevem.jpgSteve Myers
Managing Director, North America of Distinguished Vineyards and Wine Partners 
Since 2010, Steve Myers has served as the Managing Director for Distinguished Vineyards & Wine Partners, owner and importer of highly acclaimed wineries from Oregon, California, Australia, and New Zealand - including flagship brands Argyle Winery and MacRostie Winery in the US. Steve previously served on the executive teams for Duckhorn Wine Company, Beam Wine Estates, and Allied Domecq Wines in sales, marketing, and business development roles. Learn more about Steve Myers.

cohara.jpgCarol O'Hara
Managing Partner, BPM's Northbay Offices
Carol brings more than 20 years of professional experience, delivering services to a wide spectrum of companies, including winery & vineyard, craft beverages and spirits, natural products, manufacturing, health care, government, real estate, nonprofit, financial services, and hospitality. Carol is recognized by her colleagues and clients for exceptional client service. An astute technical audit professional, Carol has advised clients through difficult accounting issues and several acquisitions. Prior to joining BPM Carol spent 18 years, seven as a partner, with KPMG in San Francisco and London. Her responsibilities included overseeing services to the fourth largest U.S. Bank. Learn more about Carol O'Hara.


Michael Osborn
Vice President of Merchandising,
Mike Osborn has been a pioneer in online wine retailing since founding as eVineyard in 1998. Mike leads the company's efforts in merchandising its wine and gifts, and holds key wine industry relationships worldwide. From 1992 to 1998, he held senior management roles as VP Sales and VP Marketing for CTR Business Systems, a software and systems integration business. In 1992, Mike merged his six-year-old software business he founded as a high school student, Expert Technology Corporation, with CTR.Learn more about Michael Osborn.  

Frederick PierceFrederick W. Pierce IV
President & CEO, Pierce Education Properties, L.P.; Trustee Emeritus, The California State University
Frederick W. Pierce IV is the President and CEO of Pierce Education Properties, a San Diego-based owner, manager and developer of student housing and education-based real estate. Learn more about Fred Pierce.




Alex Ryan

Alex Ryan
President & Chief Executive Officer of Duckhorn Wine Company
Since 1988, Alex Ryan's visionary leadership has been instrumental in establishing and growing Duckhorn Wine Company into one of the most highly respected and fastest-growing luxury wine companies in the industry. Alex started at Duckhorn as the vineyard manager, was made general manager and chief operations officer in 2000, and promoted to President in 2005, earning him a reputation as a "winemakers president", known for his commitment to quality from grape to glass. Learn more about Alex Ryan.


William Silver 
Dean, School of Business & Economics at Sonoma State University
As Dean of the School of Business and Economics at Sonoma State University, William Silver has helped SSU become the educational catalyst for a collaborative thriving North Bay economy.  A leadership and strategy expert, Dr. Silver has directed executive education programs for more than 75 client organizations including First Data Corporation, Newmont Mining, Coors Brewing, Kaiser Permanente, Hewlett Packard, and Lockheed Martin. Learn more about William Silver.

Barbara TalbottBarbara Talbott
Founder and CEO, GlenLarkin Advisors
Barbara Talbott is former Chief Marketing Officer for Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. From 1989-2008 she led the effort which introduced Four Seasons to more than 30 new global markets and built a brand that is widely recognized as one of the world's most valued. In 2009 she founded GlenLarkin, where she advises CEOs and senior teams in hospitality and related industries. She helps executives create competitive advantage through effective marketing and excellence in customer experience. She has received HSMAI's lifetime achievement award for marketing innovation. Learn more about Barbara Talbott.

douglas_thornley_web__2_2016.jpgDouglas Thornley
Principal, Gould Evans 
Douglas Thornley has an extensive background in architectural practice and education. A bay area native, Thornley has a special interest in built form within the urban context. Learn more about Douglas Thornley.


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