Candidates on Board of Director Ballot for 2020

President Elect Nominee

Roxanne Myers, Lost Oak Winery

A mother, globetrotter, and member of the Lost Oak Winery family, Roxanne grew up in Texas. She earned her BS in Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Wisconsin – Madison.  From Tasting Room to President, she can be credited with growing Lost Oak Winery 600% in the last 13 years, developing a robust event and tour business and helping Lost Oak to expand into new markets, including the Texas Hill Country. Under Roxanne’s leadership, Lost Oak Winery has been recognized for both its products and venues.  Two-time double gold medal winning wines and numerous gold medals in International wine competitions. Wine Enthusiast Magazine Top 10 Winery Wedding destinations in the United States.   Best Small Business of the year City of Burleson 2017. Roxanne has also been recognized as an Entrepreneur of Excellence Finalist from Fort Worth Magazine.

Involved in various civic organizations, she is currently Vice Chair of the Board for the Burleson Area Chamber of Commerce. As a leader of the Burleson Tourism Alliance, Roxanne led her team to establish a focused tourism bureau for the City of Burleson.  From 2013 – 2015, Roxanne served as director for the Texas Wine and Grape Growers Foundation where she chartered new fundraising methods when state assistance was withdrawn.

Strong work ethic, creativity, education advocacy, 13 years of experience in the wine industry, 20+ years in national and international sales detail just a few of Roxanne’s talents that have helped her to establish a thriving business at Lost Oak Winery as well as strong relationships with thought-leaders of the wine industry here and abroad.

Physical fitness enthusiast – who can’t resist chocolate – Roxanne has three major loves in her life: husband, Eduar Lamprea from Colombia to whom has been married for 15 years and her sons, Noah and Stefano.

 

At-Large Directors Nominees

Keith Burch, Burch Family Vineyards – Region 1

Andy Timmons, Lost Draw Vineyards – Region 1

Meredith Eaton, Firelight Vineyards – Region 2

James Hanger, OG Cellars – Region 2

Tiffaney Farrell, Haak Vineyards and Winery – Region 3

Jason Englert, Grape Creek Vineyards – Region 5

Sherah Mills, Rustic Spur Winery – Region 5

 

At-Large Directors Nominees

Keith Burch, Burch Family Vineyards – Region 1

Keith Burch grew up in Lazbuddie watching his father and grandfather farm, and joined in as soon as he was old enough.  He knew from a young age that he wanted to be a farmer.  His love for the land and growing things were in his heart and soul from the very beginning.  Keith graduated from Texas Tech University with a bachelor’s degree in Agronomy and worked through the master’s program in Crop Science before coming home and starting his farming operation in 2002.  He started with just 800 acres his first year, and has since grown his farm to more than 5,000 acres.  Keith grows a variety of row crops — cotton, corn, milo, wheat, green beans, black eye peas, and sunflowers are some that he has grown before and is currently producing.  Keith also serves on various boards and advisory committees in the area.  He currently serves on the Parmer County Ag Advisory Board and the Plains Cotton Growers Board.  He is also currently on the board of directors of Five Area Telephone Cooperative in Muleshoe, Texas.  He has previously been on the Parmer County Appraisal Review Board as well.

How did a farmer start growing grapes?  Keith and his wife, Brenna, had always talked about owning a vineyard but merely considered it a dream.  After surviving the hellacious drought of 2011 and the drab years to follow, they both knew something had to change.  The irrigation wells were losing their water supply fairly rapidly and the outlook of a successful farming operation seemed grim.  The couple decided to attend the Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association (TWGGA) annual conference in Frisco, Texas in February 2014.  Keith and Brenna learned as much as they could about growing grapes and the wine industry in that short weekend.  After discussing the possibility on the way home, the pair decided to go for it!  They soon got on the phone and began trying to find the vines and supplies they would need to plant soon.  Keith quickly planned and built a planter that would work to plant the first seven acres.  He also used his innovative skills to design and build other equipment that would be needed in the vineyard – a mist sprayer and a small grain drill were the first.  Keith and Brenna planted the first vines on Good Friday 2014.  They have since expanded the vineyard to its current 25 acres. They grow five varieties – Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Riesling, Roussanne, and Tempranillo.

Keith Burch is a knowledgable farmer and grower.  Many peers call on him for advice and he is always willing to help.  He is a conscientious decision maker and an innovator.  He takes pride in his work as well in his family.  He and Brenna have two children – Libby (7) and Keller (4).

 

Andy Timmons, Lost Draw Vineyards – Region 1

Andy Is a multi- generational High Plains farmer that has lived and farmed in the area all his life. After graduating Texas Tech in 1992, he began farming cotton and eventually grew his operation to 3,500 acres across 3 counties by 2002. After enduring several years of drought, the family decided to diversify into wine grape growing and away from traditional row crops.

He planted his first vineyard in 2005 and in 5 years had planted 50 acres. In 2012 he partnered with the Paddack family on a 100 acre vineyard called La Pradera. The following year he assisted Lahey Vineyards in planting what would become the largest vineyard in the state at 1,000 acres.   Today he manages 350 acres of vineyards and is partnered in Lost Draw Cellars in Fredericksburg and is managing partner of the custom crush facility, Texas Wine Co in Meadow Texas. Andy has served on multiple commodity boards and was appointed by Secretary of Agriculture Ann Venemen to serve on the peanut standards board in 2002.

His wife Lauren of 31 years has been his support and partner in the family’s transition to the wine industry.  Andy and Lauren have 3 children. Taylor and Jenny Timmons of Oklahoma City and their children Perri and Briar. Alyssa of Lubbock and Victoria also of Lubbock.

 

At-Large Directors Nominees Continued

Meredith Eaton, Firelight Vineyards – Region 2

Meredith has a background in the service industry and in property management.  When Meredith decided to start a vineyard and winery, she went back to school in order to sharpen her business and marketing skills with a great focus toward extending her knowledge of grape growing and wine making. Meredith earned her degree in viticulture & enology in the spring of 2014. During her time in school Meredith was recognized academically, graduated with Summa Cum Laude honors, and she earned three wine medals, including one gold, in two state-wide non-commercial wine competitions.

In 2014 Meredith directed her focus to designing the Firelight Vineyards business and she quickly began to set everything into motion. She found the perfect building nestled on the quaint historic square of Valley View, TX. Meredith turned her vision into reality and the dream was born in 2015. In addition to running both wineries and the tasting room in Valley View, Meredith is growing her own small vineyard in Valley View, TX which is part of the Texoma American Viticulture Area.

 

James Hanger, OG Cellars – Region 2

James grew up and currently resides in Wichita Falls. After graduating Texas Tech, I spent twenty years bouncing around the oil patch with several stints in Midland and Dallas. Although cheap Texas wine was consumed in great quantities in Lubbock, it was while living in Dallas that I developed an affinity for wine. In 2014, I convinced my beautiful wife, Sammi, that we should start a winery on our family ranch. Our daughter, Olivia Grace was born that spring and that fall OG Cellars had its first vintage. We now have a son, Grayson Oliver, and just wrapped up our sixth harvest. We love the Texas wine industry and have enjoyed the ride thus far. Cheers!

Tiffaney Farrell, Haak Vineyards and Winery – Region 3

Tiffany Farrell, Winemaker and Outside Sales Manager for Haak Vineyards and Winery, stands among the “Young Turks of Texas Wine”. Inspired by passion, she has acquired over 9 years of well-rounded production experience working in AVA’s of California including Russian River Valley and Mendocino, as well as Snake River Valley in Idaho. Tiffany returned home to the great state of Texas to work with her Haak team producing wines of distinction in Galveston County. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi in 2004 and Master of Science in Hydrologic Sciences at Boise State University in 2016. She is currently working to obtain her winemaking certificate from Texas Tech University.

 

Jason Englert, Grape Creek Vineyards – Region 5

Jason has been with Grape Creek Vineyards since 2004. Prior to joining Grape Creek Jason spent 8 years as the assistant winemaker for Llano Estacado Winery in Lubbock. Jason’s focus is making wines from the highest quality selection of grapes and use of both advanced and traditional wine-making practices.

Since Jason’s arrival at Grape Creek Vineyards the quality of the wine continues to reach new heights and has been recognized with awards in the most challenging competitions in the country, including double golds, best of class designations and multiple 90+ ratings. Jason and his winemaking team like to make wine right the first time, by keeping a spotless winery, planning ahead and letting the developing wines create their own path to the bottle.

 

Sherah Mills, Rustic Spur Winery – Region 5

Not yet submitted

Region 1 Directors

Winery Director – Bill Day, Buene Suerte Vineyards

Raised in a farming and ranching family south of Roswell, NM, Bill received his degree in Agri-Business from Abilene Christian University. Bill farmed at Roswell for six years during the worst inflation since the 1860’s. Leaving the farm to better feed his family, Bill worked in the Permian Basin oil field for three years, then moved his family to Houston where he spent 35 years practicing financial planning after earning the Certified Financial Planning certificate in 1987.

During this time, Bill searched for ways to return to farming and found it during a “Growing Grapes in Texas” course taught by Fritz Westover, then a Texas Department of Agriculture Extension Specialist. Armed with that information, he combed Texas for the best location to grow wine grapes in Texas and found it on the High Plains in 2009, and began planting what became a 50-acre vineyard in 2011. Bill and Gail joined TWGGA in 2010 and have attended most of the meetings since, learning much from other members who’ve graciously shared their experiences. Dustin Gilliam is now the vineyard manager of the operation.

During 2017, Bill added Buena Suerte Cellars to the business mix. The first vintage is now available in the Lubbock Market Street stores under the Buena Suerte Cellars label. Bill is working to expand that brand, adding both additional grapes and preparing to bottle the 2019 vintage as the wine is ready. Now living full time at the vineyard and focusing on both growing quality grapes and making and marketing great wine, Bill is living the dream.

 

Vineyard Director – Kirk Williams, Williams Ranch Vineyard

Kirk Williams, a native of Plains, Texas, earned his bachelor’s degree in Crop Science from Texas Tech University and his Master’s Degree in Agronomy from Oklahoma State University.    Kirk worked as a Pest Control Advisor/Technical Sales Representative for an agricultural chemical company for eight years in Sacramento, California where he covered the Central Valley and North Coast Regions.  It was during this time that Kirk developed an interest in grapes and wine.   Upon his return to Texas, Kirk and his family including his wife Shawn, his mother and step dad planted grapevines in 1998.   Kirk has continued to manage and expand the vineyard that is located northeast of Plains for the past 20 years.   Kirk has taught in Agriculture and Horticulture in higher education for the past 20 years as an instructor at Palo Alto College in San Antonio and at Texas Tech University in Lubbock.   At Texas Tech, Kirk teaches the Viticulture Certificate Program.   Kirk has served on the TWGGA By-Laws Committee and was honored with the T.V. Munson award in 2018.

 

Region 3 Directors
Winery Director – Ryan Levy, The Nice Winery

Ryan Levy is a native Houstonian, a lifelong Texan, and owner of Nice Winery in Houston.  Ryan graduated with honors from Rice University and earned his JD from the University of Texas School of Law.  Ryan practiced law at the national firm Zelle Hofmann LLP in Dallas before finding his passion for winemaking after studying at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, France, becoming a Certified Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers, earning a Certified Specialist of Wine distinction with the Society of Wine Educators, and completing winemaking coursework at UC Davis.  Nice Winery has become known for their dry Blanc du Bois wine, recently winning the Grand Reserve Champion at the Ft Worth Stock Show.  In addition to making Texas wine, Nice is planting Blanc du Bois vines at its new vineyard and wine education center in Houston.

 

Vineyard Director – James Kasparek, Starry Night Farms

James Kasparek is a wine grape grower in the Texas Gulf Coast.  James’ vineyard is located in Welcome, near Industry, Texas.  He grew up in the area and spent his summers helping various family members with their small farms, learning to ride horses, hoe fields, hauling hay, picking cotton and corn.  At an early age James was picking cotton by hand and pulling a tow sack in the Texas Gulf Coast in August.  The experience gave him all the incentive that he needed to go to college.   Taking care of the land that he lives on and working it is part of his DNA.  He is a graduate of Texas A&M University with a degree in Electronic Technology and has worked in the seismic industry for most of his career.  Recently he completed the Texas Tech Viticulture Certificate program and continues his viticulture education by participating in the many Field Days and Workshops organized by Texas A&M Agrilife.  James continues to work and travel in the seismic industry giving him many opportunities to visit vineyards and wineries worldwide.  These visits present opportunities to learn different techniques, hear other ideas, discuss common issues and bring back home new information.  James is currently the Treasurer of the Gulf Coast Wine Growers Association.

James began growing grapes as a hobby in 1999.  The attraction for growing grapes came both from the agricultural side and the friendliness and enthusiasm of the other local growers.  In 2012, after a lot of discussion, he and his wife purchased a property in Welcome, Texas.  James attended his first Grape Camp in 2013 and in early 2014 they planted their first block of Blanc du Bois.  The TWGGA Grape Camp provided a fundamental reference and an opportunity to network with grape growers.  The event gave James and Debbie the foundation they needed to get their vineyard started.  They currently have in commercial production a 3 acre vineyard.  The successful establishment of their vineyard would not have been possible without help from the Viticultural Specialists of Texas A&M Agrilife and learning from other growers in the area.  James and his wife continue that tradition by supporting Texas A&M Agrilife and sharing information and tips with new growers.  Neighbors helping neighbors is a standard operating practice for them.  James is passionate about him and his wife’s vineyard and the Texas Wine and Grape industry.

He strongly feels that:

  • For the Texas Wine and Grape Industry to continue to grow and become even more successful the public needs to be better informed about the quality and availability of Texas wines.
  • For a vineyard to be commercially successful it is of paramount importance that growers and wineries communicate.
  • Education, the exchange of information and knowledge between growers, are keys to producing quality fruit and having a successful vineyard.

Region 5 Directors

Winery Director – Bret Perrnoud, Becker Vineyards

Not yet submitted

 

Vineyard Director – Penny Adams, Wedding Oak Winery

Adams joined Wedding Oak Winery in early 2012 and has led the winemaking team as well as served as viticulturist. She is widely recognized as a vineyard management expert in the wine industry with experience in all aspects of viticulture – from site and varietal selection through proper pruning techniques, controlled irrigation, canopy management, and careful harvesting.  She completed her B.S. in Horticulture from Texas A&M and earned her M.S in Agriculture-Plant Science with a specialty in Viticulture from California State University-Fresno. In her new role, Adams will manage all Wedding Oak Winery estate vineyards, as well as vineyards under contract, and will continue to serve as vineyard consultant. Adams recently was awarded the Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association’s T.V. Munson Award for her contributions to Texas grape growing.