The Washington Wine Industry Foundation (WWIF) recently welcomed five new board directors to the team: Bill Shibley, Stephanie Meier, Bradley Walker, Simon Siegl, and Mark Wheeler.
WWIF is a nonprofit that focuses on meeting the needs of the grape and wine industry including scholarships, education, outreach, research and other information. The foundation works in partnerships to accomplish the activities identified as priorities by the industry. The new board members each have a skill set to assist the foundation in helping Washington wine industry grow.
Mark Wheeler received his doctorate of medicine from Yale University in 1975. He went on to become a surgeon for the United States Public Health Service. In 1982 he became the vice president of development for Phamis, Inc. and finished with Phamis as the senior vice president of technical research, in 1997. Wheeler retired in 2012 after spending the last years of his career in medical computer programming. He has spent over 30 years on for-profit boards of small, medium and large technology companies. In 1999 Wheeler joined WAWGG to begin his wine grape education. He started Saddle Mountain Vineyards in 2000 with Tedd Wildman as his viticultural partner. Now that he is retired, Wheeler is building a house near his vineyard and wanting to become more involved with the industry, decided to be a member of the WWIF board. Wheeler is trained in research study design and statistics, and has certificates in Enology and Viticulture. He has been a grower for 12 years and just started a small winery to sell wine to mainland China.
Current board members include: chair Roger Gamache (Gamache Vintners), vice chair Carol Munro (Ste. Michelle Wine Estates), treasurer Rob Sullivan (O-S Winery), Greg Lill (DeLille Cellars), Paul Champoux (Champoux Vineyards), Tom Waliser (Waliser Vineyards and Beresan Winery) and Jamie Peha (Peha Promotions, LLC).