New Vice Chair, Officers and Board Representatives Elected

NGRA Vice Chair Tom Smith

Officers and Board Representatives Elected at Annual Meeting

SACRAMENTO, CA, February 11, 2019 – The National Grape Research Alliance (NGRA) held its Annual Meeting of Members on January 28, 2019, electing Vice Chair Tom Smith (shown here) of E. & J. Gallo Winery to succeed outgoing Vice Chair Rick Stark of Sun-Maid Growers of California. Its three additional officers were re-elected to their posts. New members from across the U.S. also were elected to the NGRA Board of Directors.

Vice Chair Tom Smith is Vice President – Winegrowing at E. & J. Gallo Winery. Tom has been involved with NGRA for much of its 15 years, and is currently California Regional Representative on the NGRA Board of Directors. He will continue as Regional Representative and will serve as Vice Chair until 2020.

Fellow NGRA officers Secretary/Treasurer Dan Martinez (Martinez Orchards) and Past Chair John Aguirre (California Association of Winegrape Growers) were re-elected for one-year terms. Board Chair Tony Stephen (American Vineyard Foundation) is now in his second year of his two-year term.

NGRA’s Board of Directors is comprised of 30 Commodity Sector, Regional and At-Large Representatives from across the U.S., each serving three-year terms. Six were installed at the January meeting, as follows:

Commodity Sector Representative

  • Table Grapes: Franka Gabler, California Table Grape Commission

Regional Representatives

  • Northeast: John Martini, Anthony Road Wine Company, New York
  • Southeast: Emily Pelton, Virginia Wine Board (Veritas Vineyard & Winery), Virginia

At-Large Representatives

  • Stephanie Bolton, Lodi Winegrape Commission, California
  • Jim Trezise, WineAmerica, New York
  • Sam Filler, New York Wine & Grape Foundation, New York

Additionally, the following Board representatives were elected in 2018, in off-cycle elections:

  • Juice Sector Representative Mark Amidon, National Grape Co-op/Welch’s
  • At-Large Representative Toby Halkovich, Heitz Cellar, California
  • At-Large Representative Melissa Hansen, Washington Wine Commission, Washington
  • Native Species Sector Representative Andy Timmons, Lost Draw Vineyards and Texas Wine Co., Texas
  • Midwest Regional Representative Jessica Youngblood, Youngblood Vineyard, Michigan

Click here to view the full list of NGRA officers, Board members and staff.

*Photo courtesy E. & J. Gallo Winery