Erik McLaughlin, Kristina Mielke van Löben Sels, and Alex Oh have been elected to the Washington Wine Industry Foundation Board of Directors.
Erik McLaughlin is CEO and Managing Partner at Metis. He has nearly three decades of experience in the fine wine and hospitality industries, and has been extensively involved in industry groups including the Oregon Wine Board, Washington Wine Commission, Idaho Wine Commission, Walla Walla Wine Alliance, and the American Association of Wine Economists.
Kristina Mielke van Löben Sels is the owner and winemaker of Arbor Crest Wine Cellars and van Löben Sels Cellars in Spokane WA. She received her degree in fermentation science from UC Davis where she spent a short time at the Mondavi Winery and then spent many years as associate winemaker for Ferrari-Carano Vineyards and Winery in Healdsburg, CA.
Alex Oh is co-owner of Aluel Cellars in Seattle, WA. He is currently enrolled in the winemaking program at UC Davis, and is in the process of establishing a new production facility, tasting room, and vineyard in the Puget Sound AVA. Alex is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Law School (J.D., 2010), University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health (M.S. in Biotechnology, 2010), and University of Washington (B.S. in Neurobiology, B.A. in Communication, 2006).
The Board includes: Jerry Judkins-Smith of Sphere Foods (Chair, Benton City); Corina Davis of Merrill Lynch (Vice Chair, Seattle); Bill Shibley of Basin Pacific (Secretary/Treasurer, Kennewick); Brian Carter of Brian Carter Cellars (Woodinville); Paul Champoux of Lady Hawk Vineyard (Prosser); Roger Gamache of Gamache Ag Services/Gamache Vintners (Prosser); Stephanie Meier of Stoel Rives (Seattle); Sherri Swingle, Consultant & Strategist (Seattle); and Katie Nelson of Columbia Crest, St. Michelle Wine Estates (Paterson); and Dennis Devitt of Wilbur-Ellis Co. (Yakima).
The board celebrated five retiring members for their outstanding dedication and service: Jordon McEntire of Bleyhl Co-Op; Simon Siegl of Coefficient Consulting; JJ Williams of Kiona Vineyards and Winery; Joe Hattrup of Hattrup Farm Inc. and Elephant Mountain Vineyards, and Jamie Peha of Auction of Washington Wines.
The Foundation has awarded over $300,000 to over 200 students in the grape and wine industry; funded four sabbaticals for industry professionals throughout the world; and secured over $2.8 million in grants for educational tools and resources addressing risk management, sustainable best practices, winery and vineyard safety, access to bilingual resources, and more.