Bruce Lundquist, co-founder and co-owner of Healdsburg-based Rack & Riddle Custom Wine Services, was named 2016 chairman of the Family Winemakers of California trade group.
The board of directors for the roughly 400-member Sacramento-based nonprofit trade group (familywinemakers.org) also appointed Jon Phillips, co-owner of Inspiration Vineyards & Winery in Santa Rosa, as secretary-treasurer. Scot Covington, winemaker of Geyserville-based Trione Vineyards & Winery, moved up from that role to vice chairman.
Two priorities Lundquist said he has this year are deepening the close relationship with regulators and legislators that retired President Paul Kronenberg forged over 17 years and keeping membership effectively informed about new rules and proposed laws.
He said it will be particularly important to get to know officials from the state Alcohol Beverage Control Department is key, particularly with Governor Brown's early February appointment of Chief Deputy Director Lori Ajax as director of the new Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation in the Department of Consumer Affairs. Ajax previously was head of the ABC district office in Santa Rosa.
"There has been some history that the answers coming from one office vs. another one has not always been consistent," Lundquist said. "We'd like to work with headquarters to make sure there is clarity."
The ABC does issue policy notices and legal opinion letters on matters, but sometimes members haven't effectively grasped the importance of these changes or noticed them, he said.
Building bridges to Sacramento, other states and Washington, D.C., will be important with incoming President Jon Ballesteros, most recently senior vice president of public policy for San Francisco Travel, the city's official tourism booster group. He is set to start his new role March 14.
Started in 1990, Family Winemakers of California promotes the business via trade and consumer events as well as through political advocacy.
Lundquist started in the wine business nearly 20 years ago, first as the general manager at J Vineyards & Winery near Healdsburg then as a partner at Longboard Vineyards. Rebecca Faust and he founded Rack & Riddle in Hopland in 2007 and the company expanded in a move to two Sonoma County locations last year. He has been a board member of Family Winemakers of California since 2005.
"Bruce is well-respected by the entire board, and not only brings a toolbox filled with solid wine industry experience," Phillips said in a statement. "Bruce has consistently demonstrated real leadership through thoughtful and considerate dialogue while serving on the board."
Lundquist graduated from Linfield College in 1978 with a B.A. in accounting and business then earned an MBA from University of Portland in 1982. He completed the wine executive program at University of California, Davis, in 2005.