Sonoma County Vintners Announces New Organization Appointments

Community Connection Compliance Manager and 2017 Board Members 

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (February 2, 2017) –Sonoma County Vintners announced several new organizational appointments during their 2017 Annual Membership meeting on February 1, 2017. These included the hiring of a new Compliance Manager, as well as the appointment of two new Sonoma County Vintner Board members.  Over 200 guests attended the meeting held at the Vintners Inn in Santa Rosa.

New Compliance Manager

Ben Neuman has been hired as the organization’s Compliance Manager. The role will support Sonoma County Vintners’ Community Connection Initiative, a program launched in 2016, designed to increase communication with neighbors, develop Best Practices education for the community, and provide solutions to challenges the County’s success and growth have created.  Neuman will focus on assisting Sonoma County Vintners winery members with use-permit education and compliance matters.

Neuman has over 30 years in government service working for the County of Sonoma since 1987.   He began working with the County as a building inspector, before transferring in 1995 to a newly created Code Enforcement Division. That position focused on permitting as well as a multitude of county code and land use issues.  He was promoted in 2002 to Code Enforcement Supervisor and in 2011 he accepted a position as Building and Safety Division Manager. Retired since 2015, Neuman is a native Californian who graduated from Santa Rosa Junior College and started his career working at Mare Island Naval Shipyard as a Technical Naval Architect where he assisted with nuclear submarine overhauls.

The Vintners are committed to working with our county officials and communities to ensure the longevity of Sonoma County’s wine industry and Ben Neuman is the perfect person to continue to support our endeavor,” said Corey Beck, Sonoma County Vintners Board Member and Government Relations Committee Chair.

Board of Directors Appointments

Also announced during the Sonoma County Vintners Annual Meeting were two new appointments to the organization’s Board of Directors:  Stuart Bryan, of Pride Mountain Vineyards and Clay Mauritson of Mauritson Family Wines.

We are very excited to welcome Stuart Bryan and Clay Mauritson to the Sonoma County Vintners Board of Directors,” said Jean Arnold Sessions, Executive Director, of Sonoma County Vintners.  “It is important to acknowledge that our Board of Directors is very active and engaged in developing strategies that support our vision and our work. Mr. Bryan and Mr. Mauritson have been strong committee members at Sonoma County Vintners for several years and bring their passion now to the Board level embracing and promoting Sonoma County Wines to the world.”

Stuart Bryan is Vintner Ambassador with Pride Mountain Vineyards.  After 30 years in national wine sales, including nearly two decades at Pride Mountain Vineyards, Bryan transitioned from his position as Director of National Sales in 2014 to the role of Vintner Ambassador.  In this position, he travels with his wife and winery co-owner, Suzanne Pride Bryan, to further the winery’s philanthropic efforts at the nation’s finest and most prestigious charity wine events including: Red, White and Snow in Utah, the Nantucket Wine Festival, Emeril Lagasse’s Carnival du Vin, and the V-Foundation Wine Celebration, while bringing awareness of Pride wines to new fans.  Stuart first started in national sales as a sales manager for Chalone Vineyards and was the first national sales manager for Shafer Vineyards.  He founded and managed a national wine sales company for over 17 years and also represented a number of wineries throughout California and Oregon, along with his own wine production company. In 2005 he sold his company to focus exclusively on Pride Mountain Vineyards.

Clay Mauritson, Owner and Winemaker of Mauritson Family Wines is the sixth generation in a family of grape growers.  Born and raised in the Dry Creek Valley, Clay played outside linebacker in college for the University of Oregon Ducks in the 1995 Rose Bowl and the 1996 Cotton Bowl.  After graduation he worked for five years at Kenwood Vineyards in the Sales & Marketing Department, and then with winemakers at Taft Street Vineyards and Dry Creek Vineyards allowing him to hone his winemaking skills and gain additional knowledge of winery operations.  In 1998, Clay produced his first bottling of Dry Creek Zinfandel under the Mauritson label and, in 2002 he began devoting his efforts full-time to the Mauritson Family Wines project.

In addition to the new members noted above, members of the Sonoma County Vintners Board of Directors are:

Executive Committee
Caroline Shaw
Jackson Family Wines

Russell Joy
Vice President
Patz & Hall

Bettina Sichel
Laurel Glen Vineyard

Carmen Castaldi
Marketing Committee Chair
Rodney Strong Vineyards

Mark Malpiede
Foundation President
Williams Selyem Winery

Board Members

Corey Beck, Francis Ford Coppola Winery; Stuart Bryan, Pride Mountain Vineyards; Bahaneh Hobel, Esq, Dickenson, Peatman & Fogarty; Ana Keller, Keller Estate; Dan Kosta, Kosta Browne Winery; Rachel Lehman, P4G Capital Partners; Clay Mauritson, Mauritson Family Wines; Joel Peterson, Ravenswood Winery; David Ramey, Ramey Wine Cellars; Dr. William Silver, Sonoma State University; Kim Stare Wallace, Dry Creek Vineyard

About Sonoma County Vintners

Sonoma County Vintners (SCV) is the leading voice of Sonoma County wine, dedicated to raising awareness of Sonoma County as one of the world’s premier wine regions, noted for its heritage of artisan winemaking, distinct growing regions, and extraordinary quality. Founded in 1944, SCV represents more than 200 wineries and affiliated businesses throughout the county. To learn more about Sonoma County Vintners, visit


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