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Washington wine boss quits

Washington State Wine Commission boss Robin Pollard is to quit – less than four months after the head of neighbouring Oregon's generic wine body also stood down.

Robin Pollard (pictured), who joined the commission in 2005, leaves at the end of the year to ‘pursue new ventures in the private sector’ and described her tenure as ‘the pinnacle of my professional experience’.

Her six years at the commission have coincided with rapid growth in the state’s wine industry, with the number of wineries in Washington State more than doubling from 360 to over 740.

Commission chairman Kent Waliser praised Pollard’s ‘creative energy, passion and leadership’ during a period of ‘explosive growth’.

Commission deputy director Chris Stone will assume responsibility for day-to-day operations on a temporary basis from 31 December, while a committee of commissioners and winery representatives search for Pollard’s successor.

Her resignation comes less than four months after the sudden departure of Jeanette Morgan as executive director of the Wine Board of neighbouring Oregon, less than seven months after her appointment.

Morgan was replaced in Oregon on an interim basis by experienced wine marketing specialists Steve Burns and Stacie Jacob – who previously worked together to develop successful marketing campaigns for the Washington State Wine Commission.

Written by Richard Woodard

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