California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG) Chairman Tom Slater announced today that the Board of Directors has named Natalie Collins the association’s president. Collins has served as Interim President since June 1, 2022, after the retirement of John Aguirre.
“The Board is extremely grateful for the job Natalie has done for the past six months and is very excited she has accepted our offer to become the President of CAWG,” said Slater. “She has been a member of our CAWG family for seven years and brings with her an enormous amount of institutional knowledge. We look forward to Natalie sharing that knowledge with the Board and all its members.”
“CAWG has a rich history of strong advocacy and commitment in representing California winegrape growers. It is an honor to accept this position as CAWG heads toward its 50th anniversary,” Collins said. “I look forward to helping our growers meet the many challenges we face in California, Washington D.C., and globally. With these challenges comes incredible opportunity for CAWG to be at the table in shaping public policy that will respect and advance our industry. I could not be more excited for this opportunity to lead CAWG’s efforts as the voice of California’s winegrape growers.”
Over the last few months, Collins has led the CAWG team in Sacramento and guided the association’s partnership with the American Society for Enology and Viticulture (ASEV) in preparation for the annual Unified Wine & Grape Symposium next month. She has also taken the point in CAWG’s advocacy efforts in Washington, DC.
“Natalie has demonstrated in her work with CAWG that she has the skills necessary to not only lead a smooth transition, but also to create new opportunities for CAWG and our growers in the years to come,” concluded Slater.
Collins joined CAWG in 2015 as the director of member relations and quickly established herself as integral to the advancement of the association. She is a graduate of California State University, Chico with a Bachelor of Science in agricultural business and minors in organizational communications and business administration. Before joining CAWG, she was a program director for the San Joaquin Farm Bureau Federation and a 2015 Leadership Farm Bureau program graduate.
Natalie resides in Lodi with her husband Kyle and their two children.