February 2017
The NGWI's vision is to maximize the productivity, sustainability and competitiveness
 of the American grape industries.

NGWI Welcomes New Board Members and Officers 

Thirteen board members and new officers from across the U.S. were elected at the National Grape & Wine Initiative (NGWI) Annual Meeting of Members held in Sacramento, California in late January.

In 2005, NGWI was organized to drive research to strengthen the competitiveness of America's grape and grape product industries. The group partners with all grape sectors including raisin, juice, table and wine plus non-profits, academic institutions, and government agencies in a unique collaborative effort that targets research.
In This Issue
NGWI has developed a national network that brings together the industry with researchers and grant funders on game-changing research projects to produce better results than a single grape industry segment could do on its own.

NGWI has a board of 29 with representatives by commodity and by region with additional at large members. Officers for 2017 include Chair Craig Bardwell, National Grape Cooperative; Vice Chair Rick Stark, Sun-Maid Growers of California; and Secretary/Treasurer Dan Martinez, Martinez Orchards.
NGWI Research Committee Gets Retooled

A process that started a year ago to retool the Research Committee and its theme areas culminated in Board approval last month. The process began by assessing each existing committee with challenges identified. The current committee were established in 2005. The Board agreed the existing structure didn't align with current research issues or with traditional sources of grape and wine research funding. Now, the Theme Committees and their new chairs will include:

Natural Resources and Environment
Anji Perry, J.Lohr Vineyards & Wines

Genomics and Grapevine Improvement
Franka Gabler, California Table Grape Commission

Integrated Production Systems
Russ Smithyman, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates

Extension and Outreach
Keith Striegler, E. & J. Gallo

The next steps will be to align roles and responsibilities of the committee and the committee chairs, appoint members of each committee, gather all committees to (re)organize research priorities and being preparations for the USDA ARS research workshop to be held in late November. 
NGWI Seeks New President

A search committee was appointed and is led by Kathleen Nave of the California Table Grape Commission to find and interview candidates for President. A professional search firm was hired and a short list identified last week. The final candidates will be interviewed in Sacramento in early March.
NGWI Hires Interim Management

The Executive Committee hired 501 Consultants, Inc. of Cashmere, WA in December to provide interim management until a new President is hired. However, NGWI continues to lease office space in Sacramento. Interim management includes general organizational management, continued work to implement new Research Theme Committee's structure, coordination for the National Viticulture and Enology Extension Leadership Conference and the ARS Workshop, administrative support in the President search process, communications, database management, bookkeping plus legal and financial oversight.
Upcoming Events

NGWI Executive Search Committee
Wednesday, March 8 and Thursday, March 9

NGWI Executive Committee
Friday, March 17, 2017
Conference Call

NGWI Board of Directors Meeting
June 2017

ARS Grape Research Workshop and
NGWI Board Meeting
Wednesday, November 29 - Friday, December 1
West Coast Location, TBD
Please plan to arrive late Tuesday, November 28 and depart after 3PM on Friday, December 1.