Wine Institute, the public policy advocacy group representing nearly 1,000 California wineries, announced the election of Kathleen Heitz Myers of Heitz Wine Cellars in St. Helena as its board chairman for 2012-2013. The election was held at Wine Institute’s 78th Annual Meeting of Members at Lake Tahoe where other board officers elected included: Chris Fehrnstrom of Constellation Wines U.S. in San Francisco, first vice chairman; Carolyn Wente of Wente Family Estates in Livermore, second vice chairman; Greg Coleman of E. & J. Gallo Winery in Modesto, treasurer; and Margie Healy of Korbel Champagne Cellars in Guerneville, secretary. Robert P. (Bobby) Koch remains president and CEO of Wine Institute.
“I am honored to support the Wine Institute’s work on state, federal and international public policy. We will continue to focus on defeating tax increase proposals, expanding direct-to-consumer shipping, enhancing our wine exports, and promoting the adoption of sustainable winegrowing practices,” said Heitz Myers. “As vintners and grapegrowers, we have a long-term commitment to California with deep roots in many communities. We recognize the importance of communicating to the public that the wine industry generates 330,000 jobs and nearly $62 billion in economic impact to California annually.”
Heitz Myers has been president of Heitz Wine Cellars since 1998. As the second generation to lead the family business, she has continued to advance the winery’s international reputation. She is a dedicated advocate for California wines and is highly regarded for her leadership as past president of the Napa Valley Vintners, past chair of Auction Napa Valley, member of the Land Trust of Napa County Advisory Council and past president of the Napa Valley Exposition board of directors.
The Wine Institute membership also elected new district- and at-large directors and alternates.
The Wine Institute is the public policy advocacy group for California wineries and affiliated businesses with its members accounting for 95 percent of California wine production and 85 percent of U.S. wine production. Based in San Francisco, with offices in Sacramento, Washington, D.C., six regions across the U.S. and 15 foreign countries, the Wine Institute is guided by 80 vintners who are members and alternates of an active board of directors. The board elects the chairman and officers on an annual basis.