SEATTLE (May 23, 2023)—The Washington State Wine Commission (WSWC) has hired Kristina Kelley as its new Executive Director. The WSWC Board of Commissioners unanimously selected Kelley after a nationwide search led by SearchWide Global.
“We couldn’t be more excited to welcome Kristina to the team,” said WSWC Board Chair Sadie Drury. “She has decades of experience in nearly every facet of the wine industry, along with a proven track record of strong leadership, strategic thinking, and great enthusiasm. We have every confidence that she will successfully lead Washington Wine into the future.”
The WSWC is a commodity commission which represents every licensed winery and wine grape grower in Washington. In her new role, Kelley will lead the WSWC with the main responsibilities of marketing, communications, special events, branding of Washington wine and the state’s wine regions, and viticulture and enology research.
“Washington is a tremendously exciting wine region, and now is a critical time to grow and evolve the industry,” Kelley said. “I look forward to working collaboratively with the staff, board, winegrowers, vintners and industry stakeholders to implement our next five-year strategic plan.”
Kelley comes to the WSWC after spending more than 25 years with E. & J. Gallo Winery in roles in sales, premium marketing, and most recently as Senior Director of Public Relations and Corporate Communications. She retired from her fulltime position in 2021 to relocate back home to Washington, but was retained as a strategic marketing communications consultant across a luxury portfolio of wine.
Kelley has strong ties to the Pacific Northwest, having worked in Washington two different times over the course of her career and owning a vineyard for 18+ years in Oregon’s Dundee Hills.
About the Washington State Wine Commission:
The Washington State Wine Commission (WSWC) represents every licensed winery and wine grape grower in Washington State. Guided by an appointed board, the mission of the WSWC is to drive growth of Washington Wine through Marketing, Communications, and Viticulture & Enology Research. Funded almost entirely by the industry through assessments based on grape and wine sales, WSWC is a state government agency, established by the legislature in 1987. To learn more, visit www.washingtonwine.org.
Heather Bradshaw, Communications Director
(206) 495-5844 / [email protected]