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Jordan Winery Announces Three Key Leadership Changes

Posted on March 09, 2020

HEALDSBURG, Calif. (March 6, 2020)—Jordan Vineyard & Winery, French-inspired producer of chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon since the 1970s, begins the new decade with three new leaders in administration, winemaking and viticulture: Devonna Smith, Maggie Kruse and Dana Grande.

Devonna Smith joins Jordan Winery as chief financial officer, succeeding Ron Kampel, who has worked at Jordan for 24 years and has led the company’s accounting, human resources and information technology departments since 2005. Smith has served as CFO and chief of staff at Chappellet Winery and Vineyard since 2013. The Cypress Group conducted the candidate search for Jordan’s new CFO.

Maggie Kruse, who was promoted to winemaker at Jordan last summer, will now oversee both winemaking and winegrowing at Jordan. Kruse joined Jordan in 2006 as enologist and was mentored by longtime Jordan winemaker and winegrower Rob Davis, who retired in 2019 after his 43rd growing season. She is only the second winemaker in Jordan history.

Dana Grande has returned to Jordan in the newly created role of grower relations manager, reporting to Kruse. Grande worked in the Jordan Estate vineyards from 1999 to 2012, before moving to Ferrari-Carano Winery to become its grower relations manager—a role that Davis always handled at Jordan.

“We are pleased to have these talented women leading different departments,” said John Jordan, chief executive officer at Jordan Winery. “Jordan has had a high percentage of women in upper management for many years, and I’m looking forward to the new decade with the passionate team of professionals who work each day to make Jordan a success.”

These latest appointments continue the shift toward more women in leadership at the iconic winery, established in 1972 by Tom and Sally Jordan. Of the 10 departments at Jordan, seven are now led by women. The winery employs a staff of 86; 41 are women.

About Devonna Smith, Chief Financial Officer 

Devonna Smith loves to crunch numbers and find ways to improve systems. Born and raised in Colusa, Calif., she has lived in the Napa Valley since 1988, when she married her high school sweetheart. Smith will take on Jordan Winery’s chief financial officer role in April 2020, overseeing finance, accounting, human resources and IT. Smith most recently served as the CFO and chief of staff at Chappellet for seven years. There, she led the finance and human resources, oversaw administration and IT, and worked closely with all areas of the business from winemaking/production, sales and marketing. Prior to Chappellet, Smith worked as CFO and manager of administration at Long Meadow Ranch, where the company grew from its winemaking roots to include e-commerce, vineyards, a restaurant, a sustainable ranch, a cattle company and a real estate investment company. Before working at wineries, Smith honed her accounting skills at several CPA firms in Wine Country, gaining specific wine accounting and financial reporting expertise. Smith received her Bachelor of Science degree in business administration with an emphasis in accounting from California State University, Chico, and she has worked in accounting, finance and management for more than 30 years.

About Maggie Kruse, Winemaker 

The daughter of a beer brewer, Maggie Kruse grew up in Milwaukee, Wis., learning about fermentation at an early age. She moved to the Napa Valley at age 17 to pursue her dream of becoming a winemaker. After graduating from University of California, Davis, she worked as an intern at two wineries before joining Jordan Winery as enologist in 2006. She was mentored by winemaker Rob Davis through promotions to assistant winemaker and associate winemaker over a decade, and she became Jordan’s head winemaker in July 2019. Kruse manages all winemaking and winegrowing staff, including the assistant winemaker, enologist, cellar crew and grower relations manager, and she also oversees the day-to-day operations in the cellars, such as quality control experiments, fermentation monitoring, tank and lot organizing, selecting and inspecting barrels, blending, batonnage, selecting corks and bottles, bottling and labeling.

About Dana Grande, Grower Relations Manager 

Growing up in Sonoma County, Dana Grande was always intrigued by vineyards even though she didn’t have a family connection to the wine business. While studying biology in college, she was hired to run the vineyard office for Hoot Owl Creek and Alexander Valley Vineyards. At harvest time, she quickly realized that the real action was in the vineyard and learned how to drive a forklift wearing sandals and a sundress. After five years of working in the vineyards, she joined Jordan in 1999 as estate viticulturist and transitioned to vineyard manager during her 13 years with the company. When Jordan sold its first estate vineyard in 2012, continuing a shift toward focusing more on grower fruit, she decided to move to Ferrari-Carano Winery to be grower relations manager—a position that didn’t exist at that time at Jordan. After eight years of working with the Carano family’s grape growers, Grande returned to the Jordan family in February 2020, where she’ll work with Jordan’s cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay growers.

About Jordan Vineyard & Winery

Founded in 1972, Jordan Vineyard & Winery was inspired by the great wine estates of France and the timeless connection between food, wine and hospitality. Under the guidance of second-generation vintner John Jordan, Jordan Estate is an extension of these traditions, with its iconic chateau, breathtaking views, sustainably farmed vineyards, natural habitat for wildlife and gardens for the chef’s inventive cuisine, offering a distinctive sense of place in Sonoma County wine country. Learn more at www.jordanwinery.com.

Region: Napa & Sonoma
Job Function: Winemaking

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