Donovan follows other Southern Oregon representation with Earl Jones of Abacela and Kara Olmo of Wooldridge Creek holding the position in recent years. Terry Brandborg of Brandborg Vineyard & Winery is also currently serving on the Board of Directors.
The two boards, OWB and OWA, each has a separate area of responsibility to the Oregon Wine Industry. The Oregon Wine Board is a semi-independent state agency managing marketing, research and education initiatives that support and advance the Oregon wine grape industry. Whereas the Oregon Winegrowers Association is a voluntary membership-based organization that provides legislative and regulatory advocacy and lobbying for the wine grape and wine industry.
OWB: Work with our new Executive Director, Tom Danowski and his staff, developing and funding a new strategy for marketing Oregon wine.
OWA: Work with Kara Ruecker, the new Government Affairs & Member Relations Manager to focus on legislative and regulatory advocacy to ensure that the interests of the Oregon Wine Industry are well represented at the State and Federal levels of government. We will continue to be actively involved in issues such as Oregon land use guidelines, OLCC regulations, Immigration and a myriad of other important issues which may present a challenge to our industry. We also want to foster better communication with our members; in addition to offering added benefits like group health insurance to our OWA membership.
Donovan notes that the response to a Southern Oregon-based leader has been very favorable from his Willamette Valley counterparts. "I have enjoyed working closely with members of the Willamette Valley wine industry. I look forward to a continued collaboration with members from every region of the state to ensure that both the OWA and the OWB represent the best interests of the entire Oregon wine industry."