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Washington State Wine Commission executive director to leave


SEATTLE (October 6, 2011) – After nearly 30 years in public service, Washington State Wine Commission executive director Robin Pollard today announced that she will leave her current post at the end of this year to pursue new ventures in the private sector.

“This has been the pinnacle of my professional experience,” said Ms. Pollard. “After a wonderful six years with the Commission, I am excited to pursue some business opportunities of my own,” she continued.

Ms. Pollard has served during a period of rapid expansion in the Washington State wine industry. There are now more than 740 wineries in the state, up from 360 wineries in 2005, when Ms. Pollard joined the Commission.

Kent Waliser, chairman of the Commission, said “Robin Pollard has contributed creative energy, passion, and leadership to the Washington State wine industry during a period of explosive growth and change.” “The Commission thanks her for her service and dedication, and we all wish her the very best in her future endeavors,” he added.

During her tenure with the Commission, Ms. Pollard has led the development and implementation of a comprehensive strategic marketing plan, paving the way for successful campaigns in major domestic markets including Tampa Bay, Austin, Denver, Phoenix, and Chicago. She was also instrumental in leading the Commission’s efforts to open new export markets including Canada, Japan, Northern Europe, Southeast Asia, India, and Mexico.

Before joining the Commission, Ms. Pollard was integral to the state’s successful recruitment of the final assembly of the Boeing 7E7. Prior to that, she was director of the Economic Development Division at the Washington State Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development (CTED). While at CTED, she also served as state tourism director for six years.

A committee consisting of current Commissioners, Ms. Pollard, and other members of the Washington State wine industry will be formed to lead the search for a new executive director. After December 31, 2011, Chris Stone, deputy director for the Commission, will assume responsibility for day-to-day operations on an interim basis.

For information on the Washington State Wine Commission, please visit

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Washington State Wine Commission
1201 Western Avenue, Suite 450 | Seattle, WA 98101-3402 | p: 206.667.9463 | f: 206.583.0573 | Twitter: @WineCommission | Facebook: WashingtonStateWine