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SLO Wine Country seeks new executive director 

–The San Luis Obispo Wine Country Association (SLO Wine) has announced its search for a new executive director heading into 2019.

The new executive director will provide high-profile leadership, vision, and hands-on implementation for the marketing, brand building, public profile, programs and events for SLO Wine. The overarching mission is to increase local, regional and global awareness of the San Luis Obispo Coast wine region, which is increasingly renowned for its impeccable cool-climate wines, welcoming hospitality and coastal lifestyle.

A six-person committee comprised of a variety of perspectives within the SLO Wine community is leading the search. Prospective qualified applicants may apply for the position at

The new executive director will succeed Heather Muran, who is leaving the position to pursue other interests after more than six prolific years at the helm. Muran will continue to assist the association on an interim basis during the transition period.

“I am beyond blessed to have been part of this incredible winegrowing community,” Muran said. “I have appreciated the opportunity to work alongside some of the most talented, passionate and caring people, all while growing, learning and sharing in the success of SLO Wine. The time has now come for a new leader to take our region to the next level.”

During Muran’s tenure, she developed a range of consumer and public relations marketing strategies that brought expanded regional and national awareness to SLO Wine, including first-ever dedicated regional tastings by Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate and Antonio Galloni’s Vinous, as well as a cover feature in Wine Enthusiast as one of the world’s Top 10 Wine Getaways. Among numerous achievements, she grew attendance to the association’s annual Harvest on the Coast event from 600 to more than 1,500, while increasing the event’s auction revenues from $40,000 to more than $125,000. During the last eight years, the association has raised and donated more than $150,000 to local nonprofits. Muran also worked to earn SLO Wine’s first-ever federal grant through the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Grant Program. SLO Wine was the recipient of a $196,000, two-year grant that will be used to help increase SLO Wine’s awareness among wine consumers in key target regions.

San Luis Obispo Wine Country Association Board President June McIvor of Tolosa, past president Mike Sinor of Sinor-LaVallee and numerous other association members feted Muran on stage at SLO Wine’s Harvest on The Coast grand tasting event on Saturday, Nov. 3.

“SLO Wine has benefitted immeasurably from Heather’s leadership and dedication to our coastal wine region and our members,” McIvor said. “Her tireless efforts to educate consumers and industry professionals about our unique winegrowing region and our world-class wines have set the stage for her successor to focus the national wine spotlight on SLO Wine.”

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