Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Alliance leader stepping down

The executive director of the Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Alliance is stepping down.

The more than 500-member group announced Monday that Maureen Cottingham will leave the post she has held for 17 years in April.

“Maureen’s departure, while amazing for her family and the succession plan for her family ranch, is a deep loss to our community and to SVVGA,” stated SVVGA board President Prema Behan, co-founder of Three Sticks Wines in Sonoma. “We are truly grateful for her bold leadership, unwavering dedication and service to our vintners, winegrowers and community. Her accomplishments are extensive and have consistently elevated and coalesced our wine region over the years. We look forward to continuing the growth and partnerships that Maureen has worked so passionately to achieve. We will miss Maureen, her energy, her professionalism, and her great attitude and wish her the very best of luck as she steps into her new role to continue her family’s farming legacy.”

The announcement stated the Cottingham is leaving to manage her family’s farming operations. Among her accomplishments, the group credited her with coordinating its fundraising of over $25 million for children’s literacy programs and nonprofits in Sonoma Valley and across Sonoma County through Sonoma Wine Country Weekend and the Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction. It stated she also launched the “The Roots Run Deep” brand campaign for Sonoma Valley wines featuring the vintners and growers of the valley and secured the largest grant ever received by the trade organization, a California Specialty Crop Block Grant.

“I have the deepest gratitude to all of those who have been so supportive of the organization and our initiatives over the years, and I was honored to be called upon to bring our family’s farming tradition to the next generation,” Cottingham said. “My passion for Sonoma Valley and its winegrowers and vintners will always remain strong and while this transition is bittersweet, I look forward to continuing the work that is so important to me, championing California’s agricultural heritage and legacy.”

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