SLO Wine Country Association welcomes new executive director
–The San Luis Obispo Wine Country Association recently announced that it has hired Anne Steinhauer as the new executive director.
“The search committee and the board are very excited about Anne joining us,” said SLO Wine’s Board President June McIvor of Tolosa Winery. “Her insights, experience, and fresh approach have truly inspired us.”
Steinhauer comes to SLO Wine from Napa Valley, where she ran 6539 Consulting. In that capacity, she was the consulting executive director of the Napa Valley Cannabis Association. She previously conducted community relations for the Napa Open Space District and was the interim executive director for the Napa Valley Coalition of Nonprofit Agencies. Her prior experience includes positions in the U.S. House of Representatives, Napa Valley Vintners and Napa County Red Cross. She holds a Master of Arts Degree in International Policy from the Monterey Institute of International Studies and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Anthropology from University of California, Santa Cruz.
“SLO Wine is in a great position of opportunity, with new branding coming soon and a recent California Department of Food and Agriculture grant that will enable us to reach new markets,” Steinhauer said. “This is a really exciting time to come in and make a difference as executive director.”
Steinhauer also brings personal affinities to the position. “I have always loved the SLO Coast region,” she said. “My father farmed vineyards in San Luis Obispo County, and I still have family here. I’m thrilled to bring my love of agriculture and wine to this amazing area.”
SLO Wine’s overarching mission is to increase local, regional and global awareness of the SLO Coast wine region, which is increasingly renowned for its impeccable cool-climate wines, welcoming hospitality and coastal lifestyle.
As executive director, Steinhauer is charged with providing high-profile leadership and hands-on implementation of the marketing, brand building, programs and events for SLO Wine. She will also use her expertise in public policy and community relations to secure grants, cross-promote with peer organizations and build positive relationships with local governments.
“This is all about advancing the reputation of SLO Wine, and that includes gaining the support of local community and elected officials,” Steinhauer said. “We want to get the word out globally, but it all starts at home.”
A six-person committee comprised of a variety of perspectives within the SLO Wine community led the search for the new executive director. They ultimately chose Steinhauer for her vision, experience and capabilities.
Said McIvor, “Anne is a strategic thinker and a tactical implementer who can help us seize opportunities and make significant strides in promoting the wine and winemakers of our ultra-coastal wine region.”