MWC Presents: 2024 Michigan Wine Industry Funding Town Hall Panel
Michigan Wine Collaborative is excited and honored to present our 2024 Town Hall panelists who will be engaging in an important discussion on wine industry funding at the 2024 Northwest Orchard & Vineyard Show. This will be a great opportunity for the industry to ask questions, express concerns, share ideas, and ignite a conversation to bring the Michigan wine industry to the next level. Here are the 2024 MWC Town Hall Panelists:
Nate Love: Lobbyist at Kelley Cawthorne on behalf of the Michigan Wine Producer’s Association
Nate Love has over a decade of experience in Lansing politics working at the multi-client lobbying firm Kelley Cawthorne. In his role, he specializes in wine and spirits issues and advocates for the legislative priorities of wineries across the state through the Michigan Wine Producers Association. He also represents various liquor licensees on regulatory issues before the Michigan Liquor Control Commission. He received his B.A. from Albion College and J.D. from Michigan State University College of Law.
Chad Reeenders of the Michigan Blueberry Advisory Committee
Chad Reenders has been farming Michigan Blueberries since 2006. His family has been in the industry since 1956 and he is a 4th generation farmer. He recently worked at Reenders Blueberry Farms for 15 years on over 800 acres. There he ran mechanical harvesters, a social media page, and a packing facility. The last 2 years he has been farming in Holland Michigan with his brother in law on 120 acres. Picking Berries and fresh packing. Chad joined the Michigan Blueberry Advisory Committee 4 years ago. Learning about how the whole industry works and issues that need to be addressed. He has been to Lansing and Washington DC on behalf of the Michigan Blueberry Industry to make sure his farmers are heard on issues big and small. Serving as the acting President, he runs the committee meetings once and month and any other meetings with his board. This year he won the “40 under 40” award from Fruit Growers News at the Great Lakes Expo. President Chad Reenders volunteers his time to his industry. And relies on its members and sponsors to help support the Board as it is a non-profit. The MBBAC is committed to talking to Representatives that make decisions to Michigan Farms.
Diane Smith of the Michigan Apple Committee
In her 29th year of work on behalf of the Michigan Apple Industry, Diane Smith continues to support the success of Michigan Apple growers and work toward profitability and sustainability of the Michigan Apple Industry. Diane has served as executive director of the Michigan Apple Committee since 2012, and before that was the organization’s Director of Finance & Administration. In 2014, Diane was appointed to the USDA Fruit and Vegetable Advisory Council and she is passionate about In addition to leading the commodity group, she also serves on the board of the US Apple Export Council, and on the board and committees on the US Apple Association. Diane’s breadth of knowledge of legislative and policy issues both on the federal and state levels help to strengthen the Michigan Apple Industry domestically and in global markets.
Michael Kaiser of WineAmerica
Michael is the main voice of WineAmerica on Capitol Hill, taking WineAmerica’s message to Members of Congress and their staff. Michael is also the main point of contact between the organization and the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) and handles general regulatory concerns for WineAmerica members. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Free the Grapes. Michael is a regular fixture at industry trade shows and conferences throughout the country. He has been quoted in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Associated Press, USA Today, Wine Business and Wine Spectator. Michael has also judged statewide wine competitions in Colorado and Maryland, as well as in the 2023 Monticello Cup in Virginia. Prior to joining WineAmerica, Michael provided research and logistical support to two DC based lobbying firms. He also handled compliance issues with a major political party. Michael earned his BA in American Studies and Political Science from Rider University in Lawrenceville, NJ and a MA in Political Science from American University in Washington, DC.
Morgen McLaughlin of Willamette Valley Wineries Association & Willamette Valley Wine Foundation
Morgen McLaughlin is the Executive Director of the Willamette Valley Wineries Association (WVWA). The WVWA is an Oregon-based non-profit wine trade association missioned promote, preserve and advance the prestige of Oregon’s Willamette Valley AVA and its wines through the support of its members, community and environment. She previously was the Executive Director of the Santa Barbara County Vintners Association in California, President of the Finger Lakes Wine Country Tourism Marketing Association in New York, and managed a small family-owned winery and vineyard in Connecticut.
Sam Filler of the New York Wine & Grape Foundation
Sam Filler serves as the Executive Director of the New York Wine and Grape Foundation, the main trade association responsible for statewide investments in research and promotion on behalf the New York wine and grape industry. He previously served as Director of Industry Development at Empire State Development, New York State’s chief economic development agency. In that role, Sam worked closely with the alcoholic beverage industry and policymakers to implement Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s craft beverage initiative. Sam is a graduate of the LEAD NY program and serves on the boards of the Cornell AgriTech Advisory Council, the Empire State Council of Agriculture Organizations, the USDA Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee for Processed Foods, and the Wine Market Council.
Do you have questions, concerns, topics, or ideas you would like included in this panel discussion? Please submit them below.
Keep in mind we only have one hour to discuss a lot of essential topics and we may not get to every submitted item. Let’s keep the conversation going past this event. Make a bigger difference by volunteering with the Michigan Wine Collaborative on a committee or project. Contact Us to find out how! Not a MWC member yet? JOIN TODAY!
If you are unable to attend in person MWC has arranged remote participation options are available. Zoom call in information is listed below…
Meeting ID: 928 1137 5369