James W. Bernau
Mr. Bernau has been President and Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Company since its inception in May 1988. Willamette Valley Vineyards was originally established as a sole proprietorship by Oregon winegrower Jim Bernau in 1983, and he co-founded the Company in 1988 with Salem grape grower, Donald Voorhies. From 1981 to September 1989, Mr. Bernau was Director of the Oregon Chapter of the National Federation of Independent Businesses (“NFIB”), an association of 15,000 independent businesses in Oregon. Mr. Bernau has served as the President of the Oregon Winegrowers Association and the Treasurer of the association’s Political Action Committee (PAC) and Chair of the Promotions Committee of the Oregon Wine Advisory Board, the State of Oregon’s agency dedicated to the development of the industry. In March 2005, Mr. Bernau received the industry’s Founder’s Award for his service. Mr. Bernau’s qualifications to serve on the Company’s Board of Directors include his more than 20 years of leadership of the Company and his industry experience and contacts.
James Z. Voss, CPA
Mr. Voss has served as the Company's Financial Controller since May 2012. Prior to his appointment as the Company’s Controller, Mr. Voss served as Consulting Manager for Kuenzi & Company CPAs and Business Consultants, a position he held since January 2010. From October 2008 to 2010, Mr. Voss served as the Financial Controller for Golden Valley Farms, based in Silverton Oregon. Prior to his tenure at Golden Valley Farms, Mr. Voss worked at Willamette Valley Vineyards as Senior Accountant. Mr. Voss is a CPA, and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting from the University of Oregon. He is currently enrolled at Willamette University Atkinson Graduate School of Management seeking a Masters in Business Administration.
James L. Ellis
Mr. Ellis has served as a director since July 1991. Mr. Ellis retired from full time duties with the Company in July of 2009 and currently works part-time on selected projects. Mr. Ellis previously served as the Company’s Director of Human Resources from 1993 to 2009. He also served as the Company’s Secretary from 1997 to 2009, and Vice President /Corporate from 1998 to 2009. From 1990 to 1992, Mr. Ellis was a partner in Kenneth L. Fisher, Ph.D. & Associates, a management-consulting firm. From 1980 to 1990, Mr. Ellis was Vice President and General Manager of R.A. Kevane & Associates, a Pacific Northwest personnel-consulting firm. From 1962 to 1979, Mr. Ellis was a member of and administrator for the Christian Brothers of California, owner of Mont La Salle Vineyards and producer of Christian Brothers wines and brandy. Mr. Ellis’ qualifications to serve on the Company’s Board of Directors include his prior experience as a member of the Company’s senior management, as well as more than 40 years of business experience.
Stan G. Turel
Mr. Turel has served as a director since November 1994. Mr. Turel is President of Turel Enterprises, a real estate management company managing his own properties in Oregon, Washington and Idaho. Prior to his current activities, Mr. Turel was the Principal and CEO of Columbia Turel, (formally Columbia Bookkeeping, Inc.) a position which he held from 1974 to 2001. Prior to the sale of the company to Fiducial, one of Europe’s largest accounting firms, Columbia had 26,000 annual tax clients including 4,000 small business clients. Additionally Mr. Turel successfully operated as majority owner two cable TV companies during the 80’s and 90’s which were eventually sold to several public corporations. Mr. Turel is a pilot, was a former delegate to the White House Conference on Small Business and held positions on several state and local Government committees. Mr. Turel’s qualifications to serve on the Company’s Board of Directors include his more than 20 years of accounting and business management experience. Mr. Turel is also an author and is the Director for the United Way of Central Oregon.
Betty M. O'Brien
Ms. O’Brien has served as a director since July 1991. Ms. O’Brien is co-owner of Elton Vineyards L.L.C., a commercial vineyard located in Eola Hills in Yamhill County, Oregon and established in 1983. Ms. O’Brien was the Executive Director of the Oregon Wine Board from 2001 to 2004. Ms. O’Brien was employed by Willamette University as its Director of News and Publications from 1988 to 2000. She is a member of the Oregon Winegrowers Association, having previously served as its President and Treasurer and as a director. Ms. O’Brien is a member of the Vineyard Management/Winemaking Program Advisory Committee at Chemeketa Community College (CCC). She headed a wine industry task force developing a new wine marketing program and curriculum leading to a two-year degree at CCC. She now teaches Introduction to Wine Marketing. She serves as Chair of the Board of Directors of LIVE (Low Input Viticulture and Enology). Ms. O’Brien’s’ qualifications to serve on the Company’s Board of Directors include her industry experience and contacts.