The Washington State Wine Commission (WSWC) hired Kristina Kelley as its executive director in late May. The WSWC represents all licensed wineries and wine grape growers in Washington State with the goal of driving growth of the state’s presence in the wine industry through marketing, communications, and viticulture and ecology research. Kelley comes to the organization with more than 25 years of experience in the wine business.
“We couldn’t be more excited to welcome Kristina to the team,” says WSWC Board Chair Sadie Drury in a prepared statement. “She has decades of experiences in nearly every facet of the wine industry, along with a proven track record of strong leadership, strategic thinking, and great enthusiasm.” Kelley will lead the WSWC with primary roles in marketing, communications, special events, branding, and viticulture and ecology research.
“Washington is a tremendously exciting wine region, and now is a critical time to grow and evolve in the industry,” Kelley says in a prepared statement. “I look forward to working collaboratively with the staff, board, winegrowers, vintners, and industry stakeholders to implement our next five-year strategic plan.”
Prior to this new role, Kelley held positions in sales and premium marketing, and most recently served as senior director of public relations and corporate communications for E. & J. Gallo Winery based out of Modesto, California. She holds strong ties to the Pacific Northwest’s wine scene, owning a vineyard for 18 years in Oregon’s Dundee Hills.