[caption id="attachment_28277" align="alignleft" width="313" caption="Kathleen Heitz Myers"][/caption]

ST. HELENA -- The Napa Valley Vintners board of directors elected Kathleen Heitz Myers of Heitz Wine Cellars as president of the 400-winery trade group for 2011.

Ms. Heitz Myers has been president and chief operating officer of the winery since 1998 and was elected treasurer of the San Francisco-based industry advocacy organization, the Wine Institute, in mid-2010. Her parents, Joe and Alice Heitz, started the St. Helena operation five decades ago this year. He was president of the trade association in 1971.

The 67-year-old association has made progress in protecting Napa-related names as well as safeguarding the environment through the Napa Green Land and Napa Green Winery programs, according to Ms. Heitz Myers.

"The work on protecting the Napa name has earned us recognition with Geographic Indication Status in mature markets like the European Union as well as emerging markets like India," she said. "Our mission to promote, protect and enhance the appellation as the premier wine region is important to our success now more than ever and I am happy to keep working hard on all of our issues and promotions to keep the Napa Valley front and center in the world of fine wine."

Other officers of the 2011 association board are Vice President Jeff McBride, general manager of Stag's Leap Wine Cellars; Secretary Doug Shafer, president of Shafer Vineyards; and returning Chief Financial Officer Rick Jones, owner of Jones Family Vineyards.

Members of the board this year are Bruce Cakebread of Cakebread Cellars, Stephen Corley of Monticello Vineyards, Pat Stotesbery of Ladera Vineyards, Bob Torres of Trinchero Napa Valley, Janet Viader of Viader Vineyard and Winery and Russ Weis of Silverado Vineyards.

Overseeing the association's annual fundraiser, Auction Napa Valley, are Dave Meyers, retired from Dickenson, Peatman & Fogarty; Clay Gregory of the Napa Valley Destination Council; Ed Matovcik of Intervine; and Rachel Wyckoff of The Monticello Group.