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Board of Directors

 

 CURRENT OWA Board of Directors 

 

John pratt, Celestina VINEYARD

PRESIDENT

After spending most of his life in education, John Pratt moved to Southern Oregon with his wife Shari Eaton in 2004 and bought 24 acres where he planted a vineyard. Coming from Lodi, Calif., he was looking for a warmer location where he could ripen Italian varieties, establishing a niche relatively untouched by Oregon vintners. Pratt and Eaton grow Barbera, Dolcetto, Muscat, Sangiovese, Vermentino and Zinfandel, which they sell to TeSoAria Vineyard and Winery in Roseburg. TeSoAria has tasting rooms in both Roseburg and Portland.

Besides making wine in his garage for friends and family, Pratt enjoys walking in his hillside vineyard, pruning, thinning and participating in research projects. Working closely with the Oregon State University faculty at the Southern Oregon Research and Extension Center in Central Point, he has expanded his knowledge of horticulture in general and viticulture specifically. Pratt co-chairs the statewide Oregon Wine Research Institute research committee, and serves as president of the Rogue Valley Winegrowers Association.

He is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, and earned a master’s degree in English rhetoric and composition from the University of the Pacific. In addition to being a professor at Cosumnes River College in Sacramento, he was also a member of the school board of the Lincoln Unified School District in Stockton, Calif.

Steve Thomson and his wife Karen are grape growers and partners in Walla Walla’s ‘Octave’ Vineyard. He chairs the export and marketing committees of the Oregon Wine Board and sits on the strategic planning committee of the Oregon Winegrowers Association. In the fall of 2013, Steve also represented Oregon wineries on the OLCC’s Retail Innovation Group task force evaluating potential impacts of spirits privatization.

A graduate of the University of Illinois with a BA in Political Science and International Marketing, Steve has also attended the UC Davis Wine Executive Program and has taken winemaking courses at UC Davis. He is presently completing a Certificate of Professional Development in finance from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business. Prior to working for King Estate, Steve enjoyed successful careers in senior management in the restaurant, hotel, and wine distribution industries.

Thomson has been actively involved in the wine industry serving on the Board of Directors of Wine America since 2006, as well as the Northwest Wine Coalition. A member of the Chemeketa College Wine Advisory Board since 2004, Steve helped develop the school’s degree curriculum in Wine Business.

Steve has been a speaker or panelist at events such as VinItaly, VinExpo, the London International Wine Trade Fair, as well as the Midwest Grape and Wine Conference. In April of 2012, he testified before the US Senate Finance Committee’s Subcommittee on Global Competitiveness as the wine industry witness on wine trade in the Pacific Rim.

 

Winemaker Eugenia Keegan

eugenia keegan, Jackson Family wines

VICE PRESIDENT, Public policy COmmittee Chair

Eugenia has held many top positions during her 40 years in the wine business. With a focus on viticulture, she began her career in 1976 with Joseph Swan Vineyards as a vineyard/cellar worker. This was followed by internships in Burgundy, an ideal place to learn the Old World approach to winegrowing.

Upon her return in 1982, she accepted the position of business manager at Bouchaine Vineyards and was promoted to president & CEO in 1984. In 1994, she started her own winery, Keegan Cellars in the famed Russian River Valley of Sonoma County specializing in handcrafted Pinot noir and Chardonnay. Her travels took her to Oregon in 2003 where she ventured into the world of distribution and wholesale as the founder and co-owner of Tsarina Wines, a small fine wine distributor based in Portland. She sold the company in 2009 leaving herself free to pursue a lifelong dream of returning to France to own vineyards and once again make wine in the Old World.

In July of 2013, she joined Jackson Family Wines and is now the Oregon general manager. Eugenia stays active in the wine community on the Willamette Valley Wineries Association Board, currently as president emeritus, the LIVE board and the Chemeketa Wine Advisory Committee.

 

jason_tosch

Jason tosch, Stoller VINEYARD

TREASURER

After spending most of his life in education, John Pratt moved to Southern Oregon with his wife Shari Eaton in 2004 and bought 24 acres where he planted a vineyard. Coming from Lodi, Calif., he was looking for a warmer location where he could ripen Italian varieties, establishing a niche relatively untouched by Oregon vintners. Pratt and Eaton grow Barbera, Dolcetto, Muscat, Sangiovese, Vermentino and Zinfandel, which they sell to TeSoAria Vineyard and Winery in Roseburg. TeSoAria has tasting rooms in both Roseburg and Portland.

Besides making wine in his garage for friends and family, Pratt enjoys walking in his hillside vineyard, pruning, thinning and participating in research projects. Working closely with the Oregon State University faculty at the Southern Oregon Research and Extension Center in Central Point, he has expanded his knowledge of horticulture in general and viticulture specifically. Pratt co-chairs the statewide Oregon Wine Research Institute research committee, and serves as president of the Rogue Valley Winegrowers Association.

He is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, and earned a master’s degree in English rhetoric and composition from the University of the Pacific. In addition to being a professor at Cosumnes River College in Sacramento, he was also a member of the school board of the Lincoln Unified School District in Stockton, Calif.

 



Steve Thomson, Octave VINEYARDS

chairman emeritas

Steve was appointed to the Oregon Wine Board in 2012 and currently serves as chairman, as well as president of the Oregon Winegrowers Association. He chairs the marketing and export committees for the Oregon Wine Board and is one of two Oregon industry members of the Northwest Wine Coalition Board. Steve has served on the Advisory Board of the Northwest Wine Studies Center at Chemeketa College since 2004. He was also on the Board of Directors of the American Association of Wineries (WineAmerica) from 2006 to 2016. Steve had the honor in 2012 of testifying before the U.S. Senate Finance Committee on behalf of the U.S. wine industry on the topic of U.S. agriculture’s global competitiveness. In 2013-2014 Steve served on the Oregon governor’s privatization task force.

A native of the Chicago area and graduate of the University of Illinois, Steve has 28 years of wine industry experience, preceded by 12 years as a restaurateur and hotel industry food & beverage director. For 17 years Steve was with Oregon’s King Estate Winery, from 2007 as executive vice president. Prior to that he was a general sales manager and regional director for two of America’s leading wholesalers based in St. Louis and Kansas City, Missouri. At Cristom Vineyards since 2015, Steve presently serves as CEO.

Steve studied at UC Davis, Wharton, and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and has been a senior advisor for one of the wine industry’s premier consulting firms. In his spare time, he grows grapes in the Walla Walla Valley as an owner of Octave Vineyard where, with the help of his family, he produces an acclaimed small-lot Walla Walla Cabernet Sauvignon.

kevin-chambers

Kevin Chambers, Koosah Farm

Kevin Chambers grew up in south Eugene. While studying for his degree in Telecommunications and Journalism at the University of Oregon, he took a part-time job working at Of Grape & Grain (Oregon’s second retail fine wine operation). Upon graduation, he took an offer from the owners of Of Grape & Grain to manage a new store for them. Kevin has worked in the Oregon wine industry ever since. After serving in marketing, sales and management positions at some of Oregon’s largest wineries, he purchased Oregon Vineyard Supply and Results Partners in late 1997. Kevin sold both of these businesses to the employees in 2009, and stepped down as CEO in 2012.

In October 2005, Oregon Business Magazine named him “One of the Top 50 Most Influential Oregon Businesspeople.” In 1990, he purchased the property that would become Resonance Vineyard west of Carlton, OR. He and his family sold that vineyard to Maison Louis Jadot of Beaune, France in late 2013. They took the proceeds of that sale and purchased land high in the Eola-Amity Hills to develop Koosah (Koo-saw) Farm, a permaculture vineyard, orchard and pasture operation.  In 2013, Kevin, and his wife Carla, were named “Wine Persons of the Year” by Oregon Wine Press Magazine. Earlier this year, Governor Brown re-appointed Kevin to his third term on the Oregon Wine Board.

 

Hilda Jones, Abacela Winery

Hilda is Vice President of Abacela.  Twenty one years ago she and her husband entered the wine business with the singular purpose of producing fine domestic wine in America from Spain’s native Tempranillo grape. Hilda has a BS degree in Biology from FSU and a post graduate degree in Medical Technology from Emory University and her first career was in this arena. 

Over the years she has worked at every job in the winery/vineyard including managing the tasting room.  When we decided to build a new tasting room in 2010 “it was our goal to make each guest’s visits an experiential one.”

Hilda was also a founding board member of SOWA ,  served on the board of the Umpqua Valley Winegrowers Association, and has served as an officer in the past. In addition Hilda served on the Winston Dillard School Board for 10 years.

 



DONNA MORRIS, WINDERLEA VINEYARD AND WINERY

Donna Morris is the owner of Winderlea Vineyard & Winery in Dundee, Oregon.  Donna established Winderlea in 2006 with her husband, Bill Sweat, with whom she shares management and day to day operational responsibilities.  Donna’s primary business focus is sales and marketing for their boutique winery specializing in the limited production of Pinot noir and Chardonnay from their estate and farmed vineyards. In addition to her responsibilities at Winderlea, Donna was an 8 year board member and past President of Oregon Pinot Camp and the Dundee Hills Winegrowers Association.  She is also a past Chair of the iSalud! Pinot noir Auction which provides the funds for healthcare services to Oregon’s vineyard workers and their families.  Donna is a founding member and serves on the Executive Committee of the Council for Women of Boston College.  Donna is a graduate of Boston College where she earned a BA in Economics and Political Science in 1981.

Prior to starting Winderlea, Donna was an Executive Vice President at Fidelity Investments in Boston, responsible for Product Management and Marketing for the company’s institutional Brokerage division (National Financial Services).  During her 24 year career, Donna held the positions of branch manager in St. Louis and Washington, D.C. and later became responsible for all branches in the Eastern Region. Donna moved from Fidelity’s distribution channels in 1992 to become Senior Vice President of Product Development and Marketing for Fidelity’s Retail Brokerage business.  In 1997 she was named Executive Vice President of Fidelity Brokerage Services, Japan LLC.  The first woman to be admitted to the Japan Securities Dealer Association – her role encompassed the development and management of Fidelity’s direct retail business as well as marketing, product development, and communications for the whole of Fidelity’s operation in Japan.

BOB MORUS, PHELPS CREEK VINEYARD

Robert “Bob” Morus founded Phelps Creek Vineyards in 1990, and is the President of Mt. Defiance Wine Company. The combined companies farm 49 acres of wine grapes on both the Oregon and Washington sides of the Columbia Gorge AVA, producing just under 6000 cases of wine annually.

A native of New York, Bob was raised in Northern California, receiving a B.S. in Aeronautics from San Jose State University and M.S. in Industry and Technology from Northern Illinois University. He earned his wings in the Air Force and served as a transport pilot before joining Delta Air Lines in 1985. Bob currently commands B-777s in international operations when away from the vineyard.

A former President of the Columbia Gorge Winegrowers Association, Bob also served on the Oregon Winegrowers Association Strategic Planning Committee and on the OWSCR Committee of the Oregon Wine Board. Additionally, he is a past Executive Vice-President of the Air Line Pilots Association, International.

Bob and his wife Lynette live on their vineyard in Hood River with Rosie their chocolate lab, a trio of cats and abundant wild critters.

Juan Pablo “JP” Valot, Silvan Ridge Winery/Elizabeth Chambers Cellar

Juan Pablo has worked for Silvan Ridge Winery for almost nine years and became the Winemaker in August 2012. In 2013, JP also became the Associate Winemaker for Elizabeth Chambers Cellar, Silvan Ridge’s sister winery locate in McMinnville, sharing winemaking responsibilities in both wineries.

JP was born in Mendoza, Argentina, which is most known as Argentina’s wine country. He completed a five year degree in agricultural sciences, with a focus in enology and viticulture at the National University of Cuyo in Mendoza, Argentina. After graduation JP worked as an enologist for Esmeralda, one of the Catena wineries. In 2001, he came to Oregon looking for new challenges and was attracted by Oregon’s growing wine industry. In 2002, he met his wife Doris and both decided to settle in Oregon.

Before working for Silvan Ridge, JP worked for Willamette Valley Vineyards, Soter Vineyards and Dobbes Family Estate. JP’s qualifications include 13 years of experience in winemaking with 16 vintages between his work in Oregon and Argentina. He has played multiple roles in Oregon’s wine industry including winemaker, vineyard manager, and educator. He is a well-rounded wine professional who understands the winemaking process from the vine to glass. He brings to Silvan Ridge his strong educational and professional experience but most important, he brings his passion and commitment to make high quality wine.

JP’s other passion is to spend time with his wife Doris and his kids. Together they share a passion for traveling. He is an avid traveler who has visited many countries in North, South and Central America, Europe, and the Caribbean. As a good Argentinian, he also loves soccer, particularly his beloved Boca Juniors, and always enjoys a good “asado.”

4640 SW Macadam Ave
Suite 240
Portland, OR 97239
(503) 228-8336

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