Kristina Kelley
Kristina Kelley

The Washington State Wine Commission has hired Kristina Kelley as its new executive director. According to a news release, the organization’s board of commissioners unanimously selected Kelley after a nationwide search.

“We couldn’t be more excited to welcome Kristina to the team,” said Sadie Drury, board chair. “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.”

In her new role, Kelley will lead the commission with a focus on marketing, communications, special events, branding of the state’s wine and 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 spent more than 25 years with California-based E. & J. Gallo Winery, holding roles in sales, premium marketing and, most recently, as senior director of public relations and corporate communications. She has strong ties to the Pacific Northwest, also having worked previously in her home state of Washington and owning a vineyard for more than 18 years in Oregon’s Dundee Hills.

by Jonelle Mejica