Gov. Kate Brown has appointed three industry members to the Oregon Wine Board (OWB) and reappointed one current director, for service beginning on Jan. 1. Kevin Chambers of Koosah Farm, Eugenia Keegan of Jackson Family Wines and Jason Tosch of Anne Amie will serve as new directors. John Pratt of Celestina Vineyard was reappointed for a second term.
Chambers, Keegan and Tosch will replace David Beck of Crawford Beck Vineyard, Michael Donovan of Irvine and Roberts Family Vineyards, and Bill Sweat of Winderlea Vineyard and Winery. The OWB is deeply indebted to the outgoing Directors for their years of service, providing insights, energy and advocacy on behalf of their colleagues around the state.
The industry’s nominating committee, comprised of 13 growers and winemakers from across the state, made its recommendations to the Governor after evaluating some exceptional candidates from the Willamette Valley who volunteered for the open positions. The nominating committee continues to encourage Board applications from the Columbia Valley as well as southern and eastern Oregon.
Consistent with the 2003 legislation establishing the OWB, prospective directors must be actively engaged in wine grapegrowing or winemaking and be an Oregon resident, officer or principal owner of an entity organized or registered to do business in the state. Especially important is that volunteer Board Directors must have a demonstrated interest in the positive statewide development of the Oregon wine industry.
Kevin Chambers has served in key roles at some of Oregon’s largest wineries. He also owned industry service provider Oregon Vineyard Supply and Results Partners. In 1990, he purchased the property that would become Resonance Vineyard in Yamhill-Carlton, later selling it to Maison Louis Jadot. Recently, Kevin and his family purchased land in the Eola-Amity Hills to develop Koosah Farm, a permaculture vineyard, orchard and pasture operation. This is Kevin’s second term on the OWB having served previously from 2005 – 2007.
Eugenia Keegan has held many top positions during her 40 year career in the wine business: A vineyard/cellar worker at Joseph Swan Vineyards in the 1970s, business manager followed by president and CEO at Bouchaine Vineyards in the 1980s, winery owner of Keegan Cellars in the 1990s, and a distributor/wholesaler in the 2000s. In July 2013, Eugenia joined Jackson Family Wines, where she now serves as the company’s Oregon general manager. Eugenia stays active in the wine community on the Willamette Valley Wineries Association Board, the LIVE board and the Chemeketa Wine Advisory Committee.
Jason Tosch earned his degree in horticulture from Oregon State University and has made his career farming premium quality winegrapes in the Willamette Valley. Since 2006, Jason has served in leadership roles for the Oregon wine industry’s research and sustainability-focused communities. He currently serves on the OWB’s two technical research focused committees and is a past chairman and technical chair for LIVE.