What is your favorite food & wine pairing?
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..
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.
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.
Heather spent the first 25 years of her career in business and technology consulting as a Senior Executive with Accenture, helping fortune 500 clients design and implement strategies, operations, and programs. She also helped clients define their path around Social Responsibility topics such as ethical artificial intelligence, accessibility, community engagement, and environmental sustainability. Her numerous clients included Microsoft, AT&T Wireless, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Within Accenture, she held various leadership roles around 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. As a wine enthusiast, Heather is a part-owner and board member of Damsel Cellars. She holds a Wine Spirits Education Trust (WSET) Level 1 certificate and will be taking the WSET Level 2 this Spring. She is also serving in her 3rd year as an Ambassador for Auction of Washington Wines. As a climate enthusiast, Heather is an avid supporter of the environment, and is a certified Climate Leader with the Climate Reality Organization. For the past three years, she has served on the Board of Directors of Vertuelab, a climate technology accelerator that helps pacific northwest entrepreneurs get their climate solution innovations to market. As a business leader, Heather serves as a strategic advisor to Radious, a B2B office space startup, and serves as the weekly business reporter for the Issaquah Daily online newspaper. In addition to volunteering with the Issaquah Daily newspaper, Heather is part of National Charity League, with her 6th grade daughter. She served on the board of Youth in Focus, teaching at risk youth photography skills, and was active with Seattle Works. A graduate of the University of Southern California, and a Gamma Phi Beta alumna, Heather resides in Issaquah, Washington with her husband and four children, three of whom will be in college this fall. She enjoys wine, travel, cooking, writing, hiking, reading historical fiction and cookbooks, and loves connecting people and ideas.
Ted Baseler is Emeritus President & CEO of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, where he has been for 30 years. Ted is the architect of the company’s expansion throughout WA, winery acquisitions in CA and OR, and the development of an imported wines portfolio including wineries from Italy, Spain, Chile, France and New Zealand. Throughout his career, Ted has been committed to community service holding board positions at Washington State Wine Commission, Wine Market Council (Napa-based), Auction of Washington Wines and Seattle Children’s Hospital. Ted has earned gubernatorial appointments to the WSU Board of Regents where he has served since 2006. Recently, he led the campaign to build a world class enology and viticulture institution at WSU, raising $23 million in private and government support. Ted also founded Ste. Michelle’s scholarship program benefiting students in need which has granted more than $3 million in scholarships in recent years.
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.
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.
Renee Brisbois is a Managing Director and Banker with the J.P. Morgan Private Bank. With 35 years of experience in the financial services industries, she is responsible for developing wealth management solutions in the areas of planning, lending, fiduciary, charitable giving and investments. Before joining J.P. Morgan in 2010, Renee worked at Citi Smith Barney and has years of experience working in Private Banking at both Key Bank and Seafirst Bank.
Raised and educated abroad, she attended various international schools, including the Brent School in the Philippines. After graduation from Washington State University with a major in political science and a minor in French, she continued her studies at Japan University in Tokyo.
Rennee is actively involved in the local community, supporting the arts and numerous non-profits, is a member of the Washington Women’s Foundation and formerly sat on the Board of Directors of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra. She resides in Woodinville with her husband and has three adult children and a chocolate lab. In her spare time, she enjoys travel, skiing, hiking and cooking for family and friends.
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.
Juan Muñoz-Oca is the Chief Winemaker for Ste. Michelle Wine Estates. Based in Washington State, Ste. Michelle is a premier wine company with a collection of distinctive estates in Washington, Oregon and California. As a winemaker, expert, and business leader, Juan strives to provide the right tools and education to his team and both other winemakers and enthusiasts alike. Describing himself as “stupidly obsessed with wine”, Juan has a true passion not only making great wine but influencing the way people experience it. He believes that wineries have the ability to influence geography, communities, and social environments. Raised in Mendoza, Argentina, Juan gained respect for wine at an early age. Owing his love of wine to his Spanish roots, Juan began picking his first grapes at the age of 8 and later worked at wine cellar for an after-school job. During his college years, Juan gained more wine industry experience during stints at various wineries in Argentina. After graduating from Argentina’s National University of Cuyo, he joined the winemaking team at Terrazas de los Andes, an Argentine premium winery owned by LVMH. After multiple harvests in Australia, France, and Spain, Juan met the legendary Dr. Robert Wample a top viticulturalist at Washington State University. Wample convinced him to further his winemaking career in Washington. Juan joined Ste. Michelle Wine Estates in 2001 as a viticulturist, and then quickly rose through the winemaking ranks at Columbia Crest Winery. Most recently, he was the creative force behind some of the most daring wines ever made in Washington: BORNE of FIRE and Intrinsic. Today he stylizes all wines in the company’s portfolio of wineries in Washington, Oregon, and California. Juan holds dual degrees in agricultural engineering as well as enology and viticulture from the National University of Cuyo and is a graduate of Columbia Business School at Columbia University in New York.
Cameron 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.
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.
Steve Warner has served as President & CEO of the Washington State Wine Commission since 2012. Steve came to the Commission from Merck & Co., Inc., where he was the Managing Director based in Romania. Prior to that, he held General Manager and marketing positions and led teams while living in Seoul, South Korea; Bangkok, Thailand; and several domestic markets. Steve graduated from West Seattle High School before serving in the United States military’s Special Operations Command, first as a Sergeant in Pararescue and then as a Lieutenant Commander in U.S. Navy Special Operations. In addition to a bachelor’s degree in biology, Steve holds an MBA in international business and finance from Rutgers University.
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.
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.
2200 6th Ave Suite 411
Seattle, WA 98121
The Northwest Wine Benefit Foundation, dba the 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 $55 million since our inception in 1988.