Speaker Date Topic
Cheryl Quist - Executive Director of Petaluma Gap Dec 13, 2018
Cheryl Quist is the Executive Director for the Petaluma Gap Winegrowers Alliance (PGWA), a wine trade organization comprised of winery, grower and associate business members and whose mission is to promote the country’s newest American Viticultural Area, the Petaluma Gap AVA.  As the Executive Director, she is responsible for all marketing, public relations, membership outreach, and operations of the approximately 100-member organization.  Prior to joining PGWA in May 2017, she held similar positions with the Rhone Rangers and the Anderson Valley Winegrowers Association.  She began her career in marketing and business development in the technology sector while working for Lotus Development, Cisco Systems, Silicon Graphics and Novell.  Cheryl grew up on the East Coast, but after her first trip to California was drawn by the allure of Northern California’s bounty of food and wine and subsequently relocated to the Bay Area in 1994. She earned her BA degree from Wheaton College and an MBA from Babson College.  Cheryl splits her time between Santa Rosa and the Mendocino Coast and is married to Chuck Byer.
From Wind to Wine in the Petaluma Gap
The Petaluma Gap AVA was approved by the US Treasury and the Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) in December 2017 and is the nation’s newest American Viticultural Area.  The AVA covers approximately 200,000 acres in Northern Marin and Southern Sonoma counties, 4,000 of which are planted to grapevines.  It is defined by the marine airflow over the low coastal hills near Bodega Bay, eastward toward Sonoma Mountain and then on a split path northward toward Santa Rosa and southward toward San Pablo Bay.  The resulting wind, fog and temperature changes have a profound effect on the grapevines, which is reflected in the taste profile of Petaluma Gap wines.  During her presentation, Cheryl will describe the organization and its members, the growing conditions in the Petaluma Gap, the AVA application process, the organization's mission, and its involvement in both the local community and the wine industry on a national basis. 
Pacific Empire Chorus dual quartet singers Dec 20, 2018
plus Santa and Helpers dress-up contest - Show us what you've got!
Dark Week Dec 27, 2018
Elece Hempel Jan 03, 2019
Executive Director of Petaluma Peoples Services Center
Executive Director of Petaluma Peoples Services Center
Elece Hempel, is  Executive Director of Petaluma People Services Center.  PPSC is dedicated to improving the social and economic health of our community by providing programs that strengthen the dignity and self-sufficiency of the individual.  A 26-year Petaluma resident, Elece joined PPSC in the spring of 2004. A 1983 graduate of Washington State University, she has enjoyed a rich career creating new business while growing and restructuring already established business. Prior to joining PPSC, Hempel served as Chief of Staff for a venture capital firm in San Francisco.  She has an extensive background in sales, marketing and general management gained from over fifteen years of experience in the software and services industry. In 2012 she was honored by the North Bay Leadership Council with the “We’re All in this Together, Community Building Award”; and was named California Woman of the Year for 2014, Assemblyman Marc Levin, representing Assembly 10th District.  Senator Wolk, 3rd District representative also named her California Woman of the Year 2015.  She holds a seat on the Petaluma Health Care District Board and was elected to serve as president for 2015, is a past president of the Petaluma Area Chamber of Commerce and a current board member, and also sits on many other county and local boards. Hempel was recognized in 2016 by the North Bay Business Journal Nonprofit leadership award. 
Teresa Barrett Feb 07, 2019
Petaluma Mayor Elect
Petaluma Mayor Elect