WOODINVILLE, Wash. – Woodinville Wine Country has named Sandra Lee as its new director.
Woodinville, a suburb of Seattle, has grown to nearly 100 wineries and tasting rooms in the past decade. The Woodinville winery group, created in 2002, lists 68 member wineries – including Chateau Ste. Michelle – on its website.
Lee’s 15 years in the marketing and catering industry includes management with Aramark, the Washington State Trade Convention Center and the Future of Flight Foundation at Paine Field in Everett.
More recently, she worked at JB Consulting Systems, a human resources and business services consulting firm. Her online bio also lists two years in the world’s most populated city – Shanghai, China – working with the American Women’s Club of Shanghai and the Shangai American School. She received a bachelor’s degree in sociology from West Chester (Pa.) University.
Lee will start July 8.
“Sandra’s expertise in marketing and event planning will allow us to build on the programs and partnerships we have put in place over the last 12 months to grow awareness for Woodinville’s world-class wines,” Carol Munro, Woodinville Wine Country president and director of community relations at Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, said in a news release.
Lee will be the full-time replacement for Cynthia Dasté, who served as Woodinville Wine Country director for nearly five years. Dasté’s background included eight years as executive director of the Auction of Washington Wines.
Jamie Peha of Peha Promotions has served as the group’s interim director and spearheaded Woodinville Wine Country’s growing list of marketing and community events. Those included the recent launch of Woodinville ZIP – an innovative tasting room program focused on residents in Woodinville and those living in two adjacent zip codes.
“Woodinville is just now turning the corner to greatness, and I wanted to be a part of helping that happen,” Peha said in an email. “I came in equipped with my team and the alliances I have through business and was able to get up to speed quickly. Because of my prominent events, the perception is that I just do events, however I do much more than that. Creative thinking, idea development, strategic program planning and the ability to effectively execute working plans with the right players is my strong suit. “
Peha spent 10 years handling marketing and promotions for the Washington Wine Commission prior to creating her PR company and launching the Seattle Wine and Food Experience. She also organizes other annual major events in the Puget Sound, such as Wine Rocks Seattle (July 11) and the Kitsap Wine Festival (Aug. 17), Lamb Jam, Chefs Night Out and. BLEND.
“This has been a year of terrific growth for Woodinville Wine Country, and Jamie’s contribution to the organization has been invaluable,” Munro said.
And if a full-time director position with a larger winery association on the West Coast came available, Peha would consider it.
“Never say never!” she said. “I do love the Northwest and my family is here. However my husband just retired after 39 years at Boeing and we are starting to look at our next life adventures; and I am refreshing my business brand in order to incorporate new types of creative work and life balance, so I am open to opportunities.”