What is our favorite food & wine pairing?
Heather became an Ambassador for the Auction of Washington Wines (AWW) in 2018, and joined the AWW Board of Directors in 2020. Heather and her husband are part-owners of Damsel Cellars, a boutique winery located in Woodinville. She holds a Wine Spirits Education Trust (WSET) Level 2.
Heather spent 25 years in business consulting as a Senior Executive with Accenture, helping clients design and implement strategies, operations, and programs. She also helped clients define their ESG programs, including accessibility, community engagement, and environmental sustainability. Within Accenture, Heather held various leadership roles in inclusion & diversity, women’s leadership, sustainability, corporate citizenship, and served as a liaison to various local nonprofits such as VertueLab, Year-up, and Puget Soundkeeper.
Heather is an avid supporter of the environment and is a certified climate leader with the Climate Reality Organization. Since 2019, Heather has served on the Board of Directors of VertueLab, a climate technology accelerator and impact fund that helps entrepreneurs launch innovative climate solutions into the market. Heather is also a founding board member for a 501(c)(3) that produces a private label wine benefiting PNW wild salmon restoration. In the community, Heather is a volunteer writer for the Issaquah Daily news and a member of National Charity League. She is also a certified etiquette trainer and is a member of the International Etiquette Trainer Society.
A graduate of the University of Southern California and a Gamma Phi Beta alumna, Heather resides in Issaquah, WA with her husband and four children. She enjoys wine and cheese, travel, cooking, writing, hiking, reading historical fiction and cookbooks, and loves connecting people and ideas.
Greg Porter co-founded Berntson Porter & Company in 1985 with Bob Berntson. Greg and Bob grew the firm to the 8th largest CPA firm in the Puget Sound Area with over 120 employees and 20+ partners before merging in May 2021 with CBIZ/Mayer Hoffman McCann, the nation’s 10th largest accounting firm, headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio. In addition to Greg’s tax and consulting work as a Managing Director for CBIZ, as a Certified Valuation Analyst and a Master Analyst in Financial Forensics Greg is well known for his work in the Forensic, Economic and Valuation areas as an expert witness and impartial Special Master to the Court. Greg holds two Master’s degrees – an MBA from Washington State University and a Master’s Degree in Taxation from Golden Gate University. Greg serves on numerous boards of directors, including the Washington Policy Center where he was the longest running Chairman of the Board, Gen Next, The National Football Foundation, The Auction of Washington Wines as well as Washington State University’s College of Business National Board of Advisors. Greg was recognized in the first group of “40 under Forty” honorees by the Puget Sound Business Journal in 1999; He was awarded the National Football Foundation 2006 E.R. Rusty Young Memorial Award in 2006 and the Washington Policy Center Champion of Freedom Award in 2016. Greg played football for Washington State University where he was named to the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame Scholar-Athlete Team and awarded an NCAA post-graduate scholar-athlete scholarship.
As the president of Bookwalter Winery, founded in 1983, John is responsible for overseeing all operations as it relates to winemaking activities, vineyard management, sales and marketing initiatives and strategic planning for the company.
John is active in his home state and local community, currently serving on the Tri-Cities Cancer Center foundation board and recently served as treasurer on the executive board of the Washington Tourism Alliance. John is the past board chair for the Tri-Cities Visitor and Convention Bureau and of the Washington Wine Commission.
John joined the family Winery in 1997 following a 10-year career in sales and marketing in the beverage industry. Prior to joining Bookwalter Winery, John most served as the Northwest Business Manager for the Coors Brewing Company, the nation’s third largest brewer. Before joining Coors, he spent five years with the WinterBrook Beverage Group. While there, he successfully helped to develop and launch the Cascadia, WinterBrook and LaCroix brands.
John began his career with the Gallo Wine Company in Southern California where he held sales and sales management positions in the grocery chain division. He received a Bachelor of Science Degree in marketing from Arizona State University.
Yahn Bernier is a computer game programmer and executive for Valve corporation in Bellevue. He grew up near the beaches of Florida, and attended Harvard where he received a degree in Chemistry before attending the University of Florida where he received his law degree. After law school, Yahn worked as an attorney for a patent law firm in Atlanta. After writing one too many patents for polyester chemicals, Yahn and his wife Beth McCaw moved to Seattle in 1998 when Yahn retired from the practice of law to pursue his hobby of making video games. Soon after moving to Seattle, Yahn and Beth discovered an appreciation for the wines of the local area and the world. Yahn has built wine cellars in his last two homes and has sadly come to realize that you can never build too large of a wine cellar. His collection is currently focused on the wines of Washington, Oregon, Bordeaux and the Rhone region. Yahn and Beth currently reside in Bellevue with their daughter Cameron and their cat Ben.
Dick has been involved with many industry organizations, and currently serves on the Washington Wine Commission board, the Wine Research Advisory Committee, Auction of Washington Wines board, National Grape/Welch’s board and is past president of WA Wine Growers and Past Chairman of Wine Yakima Valley board. Dick is a graduate of U. of Puget Sound and is the recipient of several distinguished industry awards; the “Walter Clore Award” from the WA State Grape Society; “Grower of the Year” Eric Hanson memorial award from the WA Assoc. of Wine Grape Growers; “Honorary Grower Chair” for Auction of Washington Wines; “Industry Service Award” from the wine grape growers and the “2007 Grower of the Year” Wine & Spirits Magazine.
Reggie is an award-winning innovator and disrupter most recognized as the retired President and Chief Operating Officer of Nintendo of America (NOA), the largest division of the Japanese entertainment company Nintendo Co., Ltd. (NCL). In this capacity, he helped bring Nintendo’s greatest successes to the global marketplace.
Fils-Aimé was the first American and African American to be President of NOA, and the first American and African American named as an Executive Officer of NCL. He retired in April 2019 and was inducted into the International Video Game Hall of Fame later that year. Before Nintendo, Fils-Aimé graduated with distinction from Cornell University’s Dyson undergraduate business school which launched a 35+ year career as an operating executive spanning the consumerpackaged goods, restaurant, beverage, durable goods, and media/entertainment industries.
Since retiring, Fils-Aimé has focused his energy on cultivating the next generation of business leaders. In August 2019, he was named Dyson’s inaugural Leader in Residence for the 2019/2020 academic year where he instructed students on leadership and innovation. He also founded Brentwood Growth Partners to help emerging companies scale and enable leaders to create world-class cultures.
Fils-Aimé currently is a non-executive director for Spin Master Inc.(TOY.TO),and Brunswick Corp. (BC). He is also a special advisor for Rogue Co., an innovative video games publisher and developer. Most recently, Fils-Aimé was named Chairman of the Board for a special purpose acquisition company (UTA Acquisition Corp.) focused on gaming and its adjacency markets. Fils-Aimé’s first book, DISRUPTING THE GAME: FROM THE BRONX TO THE TOP OF NINTENDO was published by HarperCollins Leadership on May 3, 2022, and became a Wall Street Journal bestseller.
For the latest news about Fils-Aimé’s activity, follow him on Twitter @Reggie or go to www.reggiefils-aime.com.
Matt is a tech entrepreneur, product manager, investor, father, and husband living in Seattle, WA. He grew up in central Washington, between Yakima and the Tri-Cities with family both in and around the grape growing industry. Matt went to Washington State University in the late 90’s to study business, technology, and entrepreneurship before moving to the ‘wet-side’ of Washington. Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood is his chosen area of residence that he enjoys with his wife of 20+ years and two young children. Matt frequently visits the Yakima Valley to see family and friends in and around the wine industry. He sits on the board of tech start-ups, various non-profits, and specializes in Marketing Technology and Customer Database Management.
Fidelitas Owner and Winemaker Charlie Hoppes is a veteran Washington winemaker with more than three decades of experience. He founded Fidelitas as a family-owned brand in the 2000 vintage after serving as the Head Red Winemaker at Chateau Ste. Michelle, as well as launching Three Rivers Winery and Goose Ridge Estate Winery.
Charlie is all in on the Red Mountain AVA, home to his own Estate Vineyard, and many of Washington’s most notable growing sites. His winemaking focuses on small lots and individual fermentations, keeping components separate through aging, then composing blends that highlight the complexity, diversity, and structure of Red Mountain.
Charlie currently produces 10,000 cases of Bordeaux-style red and white wines for Fidelitas, most of which are allocated for Direct to Consumer sales through Fidelitas’ tasting rooms and Wine Club.
Charlie Hoppes has been honored with the Grand Vin award in 2019 by the Washington Winegrowers Association, named as Auction of Washington Wines Honorary Vintner in 2018, and Winemaker of the Year by Seattle Magazine in 2013. Charlie served on the Red Mountain AVA Alliance Board from 2015 through 2017, and is an active member of the Washington Winegrowers Association and the American Society for Enology and Viticulture.
Jessica Munnell began her career as a viticulturist for Ste. Michelle Wine Estates in 2000. In 2003, she worked harvest for Bleasdale Vineyards in South Australia. Upon her return, she worked as Enologist at Prosser’s Snoqualmie Vineyards training under legendary winemaker, Joy Andersen. Munnell’s winemaking skills then took her to Chateau Ste. Michelle as Assistant Winemaker. In 2008, Jessica started the ultra premium winery Wautoma Springs Wines and following that produced wines at Artifex Wine Company, a custom crush facility in Walla Walla. In 2012, she joined the Mercer Estates team as Winemaker, where she produced 25 different wines. Currently, Jessica consults for winemaking clients while focusing on her brand, Wautoma Wines. Munnell holds a Master’s of Science degree from WSU where she studied enology and viticulture. She has travelled around the world to better understand the nuances of different wine-growing regions; when she is not cooking for friends or traveling, she is spending time with her husband and two children at their home in Richland, WA.
Cam Myhrvold is a founding partner with Ignition, helping to start the firm in 1999. Mr. Myhrvold invests in software and infrastructure companies and especially big data, mobile and social solutions for the Enterprise. He worked as a top executive at Microsoft for more than a decade and previously co-founded a start-up software company that he sold to Microsoft. While at Microsoft, Cam mainly worked on operating system products. He was most recently the vice president of the Internet Customer Unit, where he was responsible for building business relationships with network operators and a broad range of telecommunications providers. Prior to that Cameron created the Developer Relations Group at Microsoft, which evangelized Windows and Microsoft’s other operating-system technologies to independent software vendors and third-party developers. This effort eventually became a 320-member team with an annual budget of $65 million, and was responsible for revenue of over $400 million. It created a community of 44,000 independent software vendors to develop Windows software. Cameron is an avid wine lover and is part owner of vineyards on Red Mountain. He also a long-time supporter of Seattle Children’s Hospital.
Mark is Senior Vice President for the Commercial Bank at Wells Fargo, working with clients from startups to global, helping each address a wide range of needs including working capital, trade finance, treasury management, FX and equipment finance.
Mark serves as the current board chair of the Washington Policy Center. He is an MBA Student Mentor at Seattle University serving in that capacity for over 20 years. He previously served on the Deans Advisory Board at the Albers School of Business & Economics. Mark was a founding member and previously served on the board of the Ethnic Chamber of Commerce Coalition (ECCC) as treasurer.
Mark holds a Wine & Spirits Education Trust -WSET Level 2 Award In Wines – Pass with Distinction designation. He has attended the NW Wine Academy for wine history and winery operations and is a WA State Class 12 Permit holder. Mark enjoys helping friends and acquaintances in the wine industry serving guests in their tasting rooms, private events, wine education / industry special events.
Tama is the head of Women Living Richer Lives at Brighton Jones, an award-winning independent Registered Investment Adviser and national wealth management firm. She leads client engagement around women, well-being, and financial empowerment. Tama was the former CEO of Saventure, a strategic advisory firm. Prior to that, she was the CEO of The Tyra Banks Company, and she has served as advisor and dealmaker to numerous celebrity family offices.Tama earned her MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, studied international finance and multinational management at the London Business School, and received a B.S. degree from the University of California, Berkeley. She currently serves on the corporate advisory board of Syndio.
Yvonne has spent more than two decades working in and across philanthropy, communities, nonprofit organizations, and the private and public sector. She is the founder and principal of Proximity, a social impact advising firm that helps individuals and organizations find the intersection between their interests and goals, and the needs and interests of the issues, causes and communities they care about to create greater social impact.
Prior to launching Proximity, Yvonne spent nineteen years at Microsoft. Most recently, she was the director of global programs for Microsoft Philanthropies, responsible for global strategy, programs and partnerships across more than 60 countries. Before joining Microsoft, Yvonne worked in the nonprofit sector with a focus on youth development.
A lifelong resident of the Pacific Northwest, Yvonne enjoys spending as much time as possible outdoors, and coaching youth soccer. In addition to her board service for the Auction of Washington Wines, she also serves as advisory member of the Play Equity coalition. Yvonne is a graduate of Washington State University.
Christina Watt has nearly 30 years of award-winning marketing communications, cultural transformation, and change management experience, and is a certified Executive Coach through the Coaches Training Institute (CTI).
Christina is currently Global Director for HR Communications at Microsoft, where she has launched numerous high-impact programs to reinforce the culture, manages communications and thought leadership for the Hybrid workplace, and runs global communications for the nearly 30,000 Microsoft Managers to land strategy and business imperatives. She is the former Director of Communications for the Seattle Children’s Research Institute, and past President of the Phil Smart Sr. Guild for Seattle Children’s. She has also served on the board of Seattle Works and the Pacific Northwest Ballet and is a family board member of the Cedarmere Foundation.
Christina is an alumni of the LEAD program from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and is currently obtaining a Masters Program in Organizational Development at Pepperdine University.
Beth McCaw is President & CEO of Bernier McCaw Foundation and is the founding funder of Threshold Philanthropy LLC. Beth previously served as President & CEO of Washington Women’s Foundation and was a shareholder in the Seattle-based estate planning group of the law firm Stokes Lawrence PS. In addition to serving as Board President of the Auction of Washington Wines, she currently serves on the Boards of Directors of YWCA USA and Bellevue LifeSpring. Beth has served on a number of other Boards, including YWCA of Seattle-King County-Snohomish County and Overlake Medical Center. She earned a Masters in Not-for-Profit Leadership from Seattle University, a J.D. from University of Georgia School of Law and a B.A. with honors from Davidson College..
Prior to his career in real estate, Eric’s business expertise was honed over the course of 25+ years as a global product and branding executive with iconic brands including adidas, Starbucks and Nordstrom. His approach to real estate is based in authentic storytelling, world-class marketing and strong customer service. Eric combines his business experience with a passion for design and architecture. He works tirelessly for his clients, so they have peace of mind knowing that every detail will be looked after, and their best interests will always come first.Eric is a Pacific Northwest native and a proud husband and father. He graduated from the University of Puget Sound after spending a year attending the Albert Ludwigs Universitaet in Freiburg, Germany. Eric’s love for travel, design, and culture is reflected in the architecture of the homes he loves to sell. Outside of work, Eric and his family enjoy spending time in Sun Valley, Idaho recreating in the outdoors, attending his daughter’s sporting events and giving back to the community through their involvement with the Hamlin Robinson School, the Frye Art Museum and the Auction of Washington Wines.
McKenzie is a third grade teacher and has been teaching in the Lake Washington school district for the past ten years. She grew up as an only child to wine-loving parents who brought her along on wine tasting trips from a young age. You might find her pouring at Callan Cellars where she works as a hobby job a few times a month.
Wendy’s fascination and adoration for wine came later in life when she made a friend with deep connections in the Woodinville winery scene. Through this friendship, her love of wine was born. When she’s not visiting wineries throughout the US, you can find her in the greater-Seattle area enjoying its vibrant food and wine scene and all the perks that city life has to offer. Wendy became an AWW Washington Wine Ambassador because she felt it was a perfect blend of her love for wine and giving back to the community. Being a wine ambassador gives her the opportunity to promote the WA wine region while simultaneously helping the non-profits that AWW supports.
Denica is a Seattle area native who recently retired from 27 years as the CFO of Long Painting Company. She has been a CPA for over 40 years with a specialization in the construction industry. Her passion is glassblowing and she now has time to devote to the many different aspects of this amazing art. Usually she can be found in the hot shop at Pratt Fine Arts two or three times a week. In addition, she loves to travel and is enjoying having the freedom to take off on an adventure at a moment’s notice. Last year she explored the Galapagos Islands and went on wine tasting tour of Northern Spain with a local winemaker.
Heidi is a corporate and business lawyer, practicing in Seattle since 1997. She’s been following Washington wine for over three decades and loves to show others outstanding wines. She became an AWW Washington Wine Ambassador to support the amazing Washington winemakers and growers that continue to raise the bar in Washington. Outside of wine, her passions are her two dogs, Dalla, an English Cream Golden Retriever, and Titan, a Belgian Sheepdog. She also enjoys cooking with friends and sailing.
John is a corporate finance professional, aspiring winemaker, father and husband. He grew up in Skagit Valley, Washington where he spent the summers during his teen years working in the local agricultural industry. John went to the University of Washington to study international business for his undergraduate degree and has an MBA from Seattle University. He chose Sammamish, WA as his place of residence where he lives with his wife of 25+ years and two teenage sons. John has worked in multiple finance roles at T-Mobile over the past 22 years and currently supports the T-Mobile for Business organization with insightful data analysis. John is a second generation Argentine-American and has spent extended periods living, working and studying in Argentina, Spain and Mexico. He loves traveling, meeting new people, speaking Spanish, watching soccer, and tasting interesting new wines.
Stewart and Sue have been collecting wines for over 20 years – mostly Washington wines, but also wines from all over the world that they have collected throughout their travels. Over the years, they’ve gotten to know Washington winemakers and enjoy spreading the word about local wines to friends and neighbors.
Being Washington Wine Ambassadors gives them the opportunity to enjoy local wine and support some of their favorite causes, such as the WSU Viticulture Program and Children’s Hospital Uncompensated Care Fund.
John and Lia McClellan moved to Woodinville 30 years ago from Los Angeles to raise a family and attend to their real estate investments. Lia likes to spend her time gardening and John like to drive fast cars; together, they enjoy travelling and eating good food. Their first experience with fine wine was when a sommelier recommended an excellent Leonetti at Daniel’s Broiler for a work celebration 20 years ago. Over the years, they have enjoyed getting to know winemakers and observing the camaraderie and creativity that is present throughout the industry, leading to their interest in becoming ambassadors.
Sanaz works as a VP in Dell’s Corporate Strategy. She studied Electrical Engineering at UW and currently studies Organizational Psychology. She loves to travel, experience different cuisines and wineries, go skiing, and paint.
Crystal became a convert to WA wines after having moved to the state in the early 1990’s. After having worked at Microsoft for 24 years, she’s now working for the Microsoft Alumni Network and happy to have so many fellow alumni in the wine industry. Her work as an Ambassador helps connect AWW with Microsoft alumni. She’s always in search of her next great travel adventure, vegetarian meal, or fantastic wine. She’s a Wine Scholar Guild Spanish Wine Scholar and has achieved WSET Level 1.
The Northwest Wine Benefit Foundation, DBA Auction of Washington Wines, is committed to supporting the growth and awareness of the Washington state wine industry through a series of celebrated events benefiting our community. We have raised over $63 million since our inception in 1988.
The Auction of Washington Wines is an equal opportunity employer and prohibits discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital or familial status.