HEALDSBURG -- San Francisco-based Wine Institute today announced that Tom Klein, owner of Rodney Strong Vineyards, has been elected chairman by the board of the 1,000-plus-member public policy advocacy group.

Mr. Klein, whose family acquired the Russian River Valley winery in 1989, has been a voice for promotion of California as a wine and food destination as well as for environmentally sensitive winemaking and grapegrowing.

He backed the institute’s California First campaign to communicate the cultural and economic value of the state’s wines.

Mr. Klein is a member of the California Travel & Tourism Commission board and in that role helped forge a partnership between commission and the institute on wine and food offerings that attract the state’s 20 million visitors to its wine regions.

Rodney Strong Vineyards installed a large solar array, is certified by Fish-Friendly Farming and last year became a carbon-neutral facility.

New board directors from the North CoastDistrictDirectorAlternateNorthernKaj Ahlmann, Six Sigma Winery, Lower LakeFred Weibel, Jr., Weibel Family Vineyards & Winery, HoplandSonomaLouis M. Foppiano, Foppiano Wine Company, Healdsburg; Thomas Klein, Rodney Strong Vineyards, Healdsburg; Julie Pedroncelli St. John, J. Pedroncelli Winery, Geyserville; Jeff Kunde, Kunde Estate Winery & Vineyards, KenwoodHank Wetzel, Alexander Valley Vineyards, Healdsburg; Walter Schug, Schug Carneros Estate, Sonoma; Greg Wilcox, Lambert Bridge Winery, Healdsburg; Corey Beck, Francis Ford Coppola Presents, GeyservilleNapaKathleen Heitz Myers, Heitz Wine Cellars, St. Helena; Dennis Cakebread, Cakebread Cellars; Suzanne Groth, Groth Vineyards & Winery, Oakville; Paula Kornell, Oakville Ranch, NapaPat Stotesbery, Ladera Vineyards,  Angwin; Michael Honig, Honig Vineyard & Winery, Rutherford; Stephen Corley, Monticello Vineyards, Napa; Robin Baggett, Alpha Omega Winery, RutherfordNew directors at large from the North CoastAt-Large DirectorAlternateStephen Brauer, Foster’s Wine Estates Americas, NapaDouglas Roberts, Foster’s Wine Estates Americas, NapaCharles Broll, Jr. , Diageo Chateau & Estate Wines, NapaLisa Hageman, Diageo Chateau & Estate Wines, NapaGary Bulger, The Hess Collection, NapaBrian Dunn, The Hess Collection, NapaCindy DeVries, Brown-Forman Corporation, HoplandTimothy Nall, Brown-Forman Corporation, HoplandMatthew Gallo, Gallo Family Vineyards, Healdsburg Stephanie Gallo, E. & J. Gallo Winery, Modesto Margie Healy, Korbel Champagne Cellars, Guerneville Daniel Baker, Korbel Champagne Cellars, GuernevilleEdward Matovcik, Foster’s Wine Estates Americas, NapaVacantJonathan Pageler, Diageo Chateau & Estate Wines, NapaStephenie Shah, Diageo Chateau & Estate Wines, NapaRobert Torkelson, Trinchero Family Estates, St. HelenaRonald Larson, Trinchero Family Estates, St. Helena Roger Trinchero, Trinchero Family Estates, St. HelenaMichael Maher, Trinchero Family Estates, St. Helena