Washington State Wine Commission Board Positions

Open Positions on the Washington State Wine Commission – Letters of Interest Due April 24

Attention:  Washington State Wine Industry

The Washington State Wine Commission was created by the Washington State Legislature in 1987 to promote the growth of the wine industry. Its mission is to raise awareness and demand for Washington State wine through marketing and education, while supporting viticulture and enology research to drive industry growth.

The Commission was constituted under the Washington State Department of Agriculture and is governed by an appointed board of commissioners.

The Commission has 12 voting members and one non-voting member; five are growers, five are wine producers, and one the Director of the Washington State Department of Agriculture (or a representative) and one is a wine distributor. The non-voting member is a producer of non-vinifera fruit wine.

On June 30, 2020 the terms of 4 board members will expire:

  1. Position #1 – Producer— Kari Leitch: Kari will not seek another term.
  2. Position #6 – Grower—Larry Pearson: Larry will not seek another term.
  3. Position #11 – Distributor—Ryan Lumaco: Ryan will seek another term.
  4. Position #12 – Producer—Brooke Huffman: Brooke will not seek another term.

Additional criteria by position:

  1. Position #1: Wine producer – produces more then 1 million gallons annually and produces wine of their own grapes
  2. Position #6: Grower – less then 50 acres of vinifera grapes and may produce their own wine
  3. Position #11: Distributor
  4. Position #12: Non Vinifera producer – principle wine or wines are produced from fruit other then vinifera grapes

Persuant to RCW 15.88.050, the Washington Winegrowers Association sends grower recommendations and the Washington Wine Institute sends wine producer and distributor recommendations to the Director of the Washington State Department of Agriculture for appointment consideration. The Director usually communicates appointments in May for a July 1, 2020 start to the 3-year term.

If you are an interested, qualifying wine producer or distributor, please submit your letter of interest and biographical information to WWI’s Executive Director, Josh McDonald, at josh@wwi.wine.

If you are an interested, qualifying grower, please submit yoru letter of interest and biographical information to the Washington Winegrowers Association Executive Director, Vicky Scharlau, at vicky@wawinegrowers.org

Candidates will be interviewed and recommendations made to the Director of Agriculture.

The ideal candidate profile:

  1. Candidates must meet the requirements as presented in RCW 15.88.030(4).
  2. Candidates should be supportive of the Mission of the WSWC.
  3. Candidates should be willing and eager to fulfill the duties and responsibilities of a Commissioner as outlined below.
  4. Candidates should meet, or exceed, key qualifications as outlined below


Each voting member must be a resident of Washington and over 21. Each voting member is to also be currently, or have been involved in, the phase of the industry for which they represent, i.e. grower, producer, or distributor. Members serve three-year terms.

Commissioner Duties & Responsibilities and Key Qualifications:

Commissioner Duties and Responsibilities:

  1. In-depth knowledge of Viticulture and/or Enology
  2. Active involvement in commissioner board meetings through regular attendance and engagement in discussions with meetings
  3. Represent and speak for the broader interest of the industry, not that of one’s own business nor that of any particular subset of the industry
  4. Have a clear understanding of the mission and be able to articulate its purpose and structure to the industry and general public
  5. Serve as an Ambassador for the Commission, educating the broader constituency about the Commission’s strategic direction and programming
  6. Be knowledgeable about industry trends
  7. Be available to serve on committees and attend Commission-sponsored event
  8. Be knowledgeable about state agency governance rules and regulations, i.e. Open Public Meetings Act, State Ethics laws, wine and grape assessment process, etc.

Desired qualifications:

  1. Strong grasp of marketing principles and tactics
  2. Strong understanding of the various wine marketing channels, including trade, media, distribution, and the consumer
  3. Collegial and collaborative approach to decision making and problem solving
  4. Strong leadership and management skills
  5. Strong communication skills
  6. Solid understanding of, a strong belief in the importance of, V&E research
  7. Global perspective of the wine business
  8. Extensive contacts and relationships throughout the industry and in the broader community (both within Washington and beyond)
  9. Strong record of participation or involvement in industry activities
  10. High level of integrity

Current Board of Commissioners includes:

  1. Brenton Roy, Oasis Farms (grower)
  2. Keri Leitch, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates (winery)
  3. Sadie Drury, North Slope Management (grower)
  4. Dick Boushey, Boushey Vineyards (grower)
  5. John Sportelli, Columbia Winery (winery)
  6. Ryan Lumaco, Southern Glazer Wine and Spirits (wine distributor)
  7. Brooke Huffman, Fletcher Bay Winery (non-vinifera producer)
  8. Steve Griessel, Betz Family Winery (winery)
  9. Shylah Alfonso, Pomum Winery (winery)
  10. Rachel Horn, Aniche Cellars (winery)
  11. Larry Pearson (grower and winery)
  12. Rianne Perry, Washington State Department of Ag (Director’s rep.)