Current Executive Leadership Board Members

Vernon Altman

Vernon Altman

Peter Byck

Peter Byck

Bruce Cakebread

Bruce Cakebread

Edward Frank

Edward Frank

Lynn Fritz

Lynn Fritz

Kurt Hoefer

Kurt Hoefer

Jeff Meier

Jeff Meier

Merle Mullin

Merle Mullin

Peter Mullin

Peter Mullin

Bill Murphy

Bill Murphy

Edward S. Ojdana

Edward S. Ojdana

Jeffrey B. O’Neill

Jeffrey B. O’Neill

T.J. Rodgers

T.J. Rodgers

David Ruegg

David Ruegg

Robert H. Smiley

Robert H. Smiley, PhD

Tom Smith

Tom Smith

Marko Zaninovich

Marko Zaninovich

Vernon Altman

Vernon Altman

Vernon Altman is currently Advisory Partner of Bain & Company. Formerly, he was Bain’s Senior Partner, globally, and a member of its Board of Directors and Policy Committee. Mr. Altman joined Bain at its founding in 1973 and is the only remaining founder in the firm. He has experience in virtually every important industry sector, with particular emphasis on Technology, Telecommunications, Media, Aerospace & Defense, Industrial and Consumer products/services, Retailing and Pharma.

Mr. Altman founded Bain’s Technology and Telecommunications Practice, as well as its A&D practice, together representing about one third of Bain’s world-wide business. Mr. Altman also founded Bain’s Full Potential Transformation Practice, focusing on assisting companies Transform themselves and achieve their Enterprise Full Potential. He also founded the firm’s European, Asia and U.S. West Coast practices, and has broad experience in strategy development and implementation for U.S. and international corporations.

Mr. Altman is Lead Director of publicly-held Abaxis Corporation (point of care human and animal blood testing equipment), and is Chairman of Vobile Inc., a private digital media company focusing on media content protection (movies and TV shows) and related content identification applications. Formerly he was Director of publicly-held Napster.

In the non-profit world, Mr. Altman has served on the Boards of The San Francisco Bay Area Council, The California Business Roundtable, The California Chamber of Commerce, KQED, and The Tech Museum of San Jose. Prior to joining Bain, Mr. Altman held positions at General Electric and Honeywell.

He received Bachelors and Masters degrees in Electrical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a Masters in Management from MIT’s Sloan School. He currently serves on two MIT Corporation Visiting Committees: Engineering Systems Division and Sloan School of Management.


Peter Byck

Peter Byck
President & CEO, Winery Exchange and TradePulse

In 1999, Peter Byck co-founded Winery Exchange, the only full-service, private brand beverage alcohol company that sources beer, wine and spirits for major retailers in the U.S. and abroad. The company’s portfolio of brands includes Our Daily Red and Orleans Hill, the leading USDA-certified organic and sulfite-free wines, which allow sulfite-sensitive consumers to enjoy great wine. The newest addition to the Winery Exchange brand portfolio is Chronic Cellars, an edgy, up-and-coming brand that is a phenomenon in the market place that resonates with millennial consumers.

Before co-founding Winery Exchange, Peter served as VP of Strategy & Business Development for Golden State Vintners. Prior to GSV, Mr. Byck was CEO of Applied Scanning Technology, a software and scanning company focused on the industrial automation of the forest products industry. Mr. Byck was also a Senior Consultant for the LEK Partnership, a global strategic management consulting firm in Sydney, Australia. At LEK, he developed a sales, marketing, export, information systems, and production strategy for Southcorp Wines, the largest winery in Australia. Mr. Byck has also been a software engineer developing electronic data-interchange (EDI) systems for retailers with AT&T and Levi Strauss.

Mr. Byck is also the President and CEO of TradePulse, the leading provider of strategic information services to the beverage alcohol industry. TradePulse offers a family of Cloud-based applications for the wine and spirits industry including depletion data and reporting, Nielsen scan data, pricing management, CRM, and trade promotion management.

Mr. Byck holds an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and a BS in Computer Science and Math from the University of California at Davis. He was raised in Sonoma County in the heart of California's wine country, and his family owns and operates Paradise Ridge Winery in Santa Rosa, CA, where Peter sits on the Board of Directors.


Bruce Cakebread

Bruce Cakebread
President and Chief Operating Officer

Bruce Cakebread is President and Chief Operating Officer of Cakebread Cellars since 2002. Bruce first studied Pomology (Tree Fruits) at California Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo in 1974. When he decided to enter the family business he transferred to the Viticulture and Enology program at the University of California at Davis, where in 1978, he completed his studies in Viticulture and Enology.

After working alongside his father since 1977, Bruce assumed the winemaking role in 1979, overseeing all vineyard operations and winemaking duties until 2002 when he became President and COO.

Bruce is past President of the Napa Valley College Foundation Board in 2012 and 2013, his term as a Board member ended in 2014. He currently serves on the Department of Viticulture and Enology’s Executive Leadership Board at UC Davis and the Bush Brothers Board. He is an alternate on the Napa County Flood Control District, is a past member of the Napa Valley Vintner Board from 2008 to 2013 and was the Chairman of the NVV Board in 2010 and 2013.

Bruce and his wife Rosemary live in St Helena California and have two grown children.


Edward Frank

Edward Frank

Dr. Edward (Ed) H. Frank is co-founder and CEO of Cloud Parity Inc, a stealth-mode social networking company based in San Jose. Previously, he was Vice President of Macintosh Hardware Systems Engineering at Apple, Inc. where he lead the development of four generations of Macintosh laptop and desktop computers. Before joining Apple in 2009 he was Corporate Vice President of Research and Development at Broadcom, where he was responsible for Broadcom's overall engineering execution and played a key role in corporate business and IP strategy. Prior to becoming Corporate VP of R&D, Frank co-founded and co-led Broadcom's Wireless LAN business, which is now one of Broadcom's largest business units. Frank joined Broadcom in May 1999 following its acquisition of Epigram, Inc., a networking startup, where he was the founding CEO and Executive Vice President. From 1993 to 1996, he was a co-founder and Vice President of Engineering of NeTpower, Inc., a computer workstation manufacturer. From 1988 to 1993, Frank was a Distinguished Engineer at Sun Microsystems, Inc., where he co-architected several generations of Sun's SPARCstations and was a principal member of Sun's Green Project, which developed the precursor to the Java cross-platform web programming language, as well as intellectual property for many aspects of today¹s mobile devices.

Dr. Frank holds over 50 issued patents. He serves on the Boards of Directors of Analog Devices (ADI) and eASIC, is an advisor to several venture capital firms and startups, and a member of the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board of the National Research Council. Frank received BSEE and MSEE degrees from Stanford University and a PhD in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University, here he was a Hertz Foundation Fellow. He is a Life Trustee of Carnegie Mellon University, served as the public-phase chairman of CMU's $1.2B Inspire Innovation Capital Campaign, and endowed Carnegie Mellon’s Frank-Ratchye Studio for Creative Inquiry, which recently led the discovery and decoding of Andy Warhol’s only known digital works.

Frank owns and operates Compass Vineyards, a boutique grower and producer in Oakville, focused on 100% estate-grown Cabernet Sauvignon. He and his wife, Sarah Ratchye, an artist, are avid collectors of contemporary art and are very active in the Bay Area arts and cultural community.


Lynn Fritz

Lynn Fritz
Proprietor, Lynmar Estate

Mr. Fritz developed the concept of third-party logistics, and outsourced supply chains during his 30-year career as Chairman and CEO of Fritz Companies, Inc., which enabled this small San Francisco customs brokerage company to expand to 120 countries and 11,000 employees. It went public in 1992, and was sold to UPS in 2001. Mr. Fritz now leads LynnCo, a domestic third-party logistics company headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

He also is the Owner and General Manager of Lynmar Estate Winery, a 100-acre property located in Sebastopol in West Sonoma County. Lynmar produces approximately 12,000 cases a year of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Lynmar owns and internally farms all of its own vineyards and produces all its wine from its gravity flow winery on the property.

He serves on the boards of the Exploratorium and the Green Music Center, as well as, Sonoma Country Day School, which his son, Adam, attends. He was formerly on the Board of Trustees of Georgetown University and Pepperdine University, and was awarded Honorary Degrees from Drexel University and Pepperdine.

He received a BA from Georgetown University, and JD from Lincoln School of Law.


Kurt Hoefer

Kurt Hoefer

Kurt Hoefer is a Partner of Golub Group, LLC, a firm that advises families, businesses and charitable organizations in California on a broad range of financial issues and invests on behalf of its clients in diversified portfolios of securities. The firm also manages a no-load equity mutual fund. Mr. Hoefer serves as a voting member of the firm’s investment committee and oversees the efforts of its Business Development team. As a member of the firm’s leadership team, he is involved in the development of strategies and policies for the firm.

Mr. Hoefer attended Stanford University, earning a Bachelor degree in Economics in 1987, and UCLA-Anderson School of Management, earning an MBA in 1995. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst. Prior to Golub Group, he worked for Salomon Brothers in New York as an equity analyst, and with Banc of America Securities and Thomas Weisel Partners in San Francisco as an investment banker.

Mr. Hoefer was elected to the Executive Leadership Board of the University of California Davis Department of Viticulture and Enology in 2014. He also serves as an officer and director of a non-profit that supports educational and cultural institutions, and is a past Trustee of Cathedral School for Boys and board member of Helpers of the Mentally Retarded in San Francisco. He lives in Hillsborough with his wife, Melanie.


Jeff Meier

Jeff Meier
Director of Winemaking
President/Chief Operating Officer
J. Lohr Winery

Jeff Meier, Director of Winemaking, President and COO for J. Lohr Winery directs all aspects of winemaking, while also leading efforts in marketing, operations and production. The 2014 vintage marks Jeff’s thirty first harvest with J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines

Raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Jeff would often accompany his parents on wine tasting trips to Napa and Sonoma counties during his youth. Although he was too young to taste, Jeff fell in love with the beauty and tranquility of the vineyards, which led to a lifelong passion for wine. This passion eventually steered Jeff to the University of California, Davis, where he was inspired to become a winemaker and earn a degree in viticulture and enology.

An active member of the American Society of Enology and Viticulture, Jeff has worked on tannin management experiments as well as numerous vineyard exeriments in conjunction with the University of California, Davis and currently serves on the Executive Leadership Board for the Department of Viticulture and Enology. Jeff is also a member of the American Chemical Society. Constantly challenging himself, he enjoys the freedom to experiment creatively. Jeff’s staunch commitment to making the absolute best wines he can is reflected in his work and the rich flavorful depth of the J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines portfolio. This portfolio, which Jeff has helped to develop in partnership with Jerry Lohr, has yielded such celebrated brands as J. Lohr Estates, J. Lohr Vineyard Series, J. Lohr Gesture and J. Lohr Cuvée Series, each invoking the best possible flavors from J. Lohr’s approximately 3,700 acres of estate vineyards.


Merle Mullin

Merle Mullin

Merle Mullin is the Director of the Mullin Automotive Museum in Oxnard, California and is a Fellow of Huntington Gardens and Library in San Marino, California. She serves on the Board of Directors of FAI, the National Trust of Italy, whose objective is to preserve and restore many important gardens, Palazzi, and works of art in Italy; the Board of Directors of the Blue Ribbon of the Music Center of Los Angeles, California; the Council of Library Foundation of Los Angeles, California; the Board of Directors of Diadames, an assistance charity serving gifted children in Los Angeles; and the Executive Leadership Board for the UC Davis Department of Viticulture and Enology in Davis, California.

In Umbria, Merle and her husband Peter raise rare, black Cinta Senese pigs, for their own production of Prosciutto. They also produce Sage, Rosemary and Lavender honey, from their own bees and produce wonderful, organic olive oil. They also produce two varietals of red wine from their own vineyards.

They are proprietors of Ram's Gate Winery in Sonoma, where they produce outstanding, highly rated wines: Pinot Noir, Syrah, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Merle and Peter reside in Brentwood, California and have six children between them and twelve grandchildren.


Peter Mullin

Peter Mullin

Peter Mullin is the co-founder and Chairman of the Board of M Financial Holdings Incorporated (M Financial), a national reinsurance company and network of independent firms which serves the financial and life insurance needs of corporations, executives and affluent individuals. Mullin is also Chairman of Mullin| Barens| Sanford Financial, an independent executive benefits and solutions provider and a member of M Financial Group. Peter has consulted on executive compensation and benefit issues for more than 30 years for public and privately held firms across a variety of industries, including many Fortune 500 companies.

Peter serves on the Board of the Art Center College of Design; Guggenheim Foundation Advisory Board; Occidental College, St. John’s Hospital and The UCLA Foundation Board of Trustees. He is Chairman of The Music Center Foundation of Los Angeles, as well as past Chairman and current member of the Board of Visitors of the John E. Anderson Graduate School of Management at UCLA, Chairman of the Peter Mullin Automotive Museum Foundation and Chairman of the Petersen Automotive Museum. He is also President of the American Bugatti Club. Peter earned his Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of California at Santa Barbara.

For much of his life, Peter has had a great love of 1930s French cars with their curvaceous, custom built bodies. After his first sighting of a Delahaye, he was smitten. He began to collect, restore, show and even race some of these great French "beauties." His passion soon gave way to a cause – the preservation of the classic French automobile. The Mullin Automotive Museum serves as a legacy that captures and preserves a historic movement embodying both sublime style and superb engineering.


Bill Murphy

Bill Murphy

Bill Murphy is the CEO and co-founder of Clos LaChance Winery. He runs day-to day management operations in all aspects of the business. He retired in 2000 after 30 years in the high-tech business as Director of Internet Marketing at Hewlett-Packard. His passion for wine was invoked in his formative years after working part-time jobs at the local white-tablecloth restaurant in Lawrence, MA. A move to Northern California created the opportunity to make wine on a hobby level. Clos LaChance was born from this hobby “run amok,” and Bill’s true passion in life has been “unearthed”—to develop a successful family wine business. Throughout both his careers in technology and the wine industry, Bill has been very active in industry and non-profit advisory boards.

Mr. Murphy joined Hewlett-Packard in 1969 as a service engineer at the San Diego Division, after spending two years at General Electric as an Electronics Engineer. In 1975, he was appointed Marketing Manager of the Boise Division for Hewlett-Packard. In 1981 he was named Group Marketing Manager of the Peripherals Group, located in Boise, Idaho, and promoted to Group Marketing Manager of the Personal Computer Group in 1984. During this time, he was instrumental in establishing HP's dealer distribution network, and established the brand "LaserJet".

In 1989, he was named Director of Marketing for Hewlett-Packard's Computer Systems Organization, where he was responsible for worldwide marketing of Hewlett-Packard's Computer Systems and Workstation products. In 1991, he was named Director of Global Accounts, with marketing and sales responsibility for Hewlett-Packard's largest worldwide accounts. In 1996, Bill was named Director of Internet Marketing with worldwide marketing responsibility for all of HP Internet activities.

Bill Murphy holds a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from Tufts University and a Master's in Business Administration from San Diego State University.


Edward S. Ojdana

Edward S. Ojdana
Co-Owner, Vineyard {511}
Former CEO, Experian Interactive

Ed retired as chief executive officer of Experian Interactive, a business unit of Experian Group, LLC, the leading global information services company. He founded Consumerinfo.com (aka FreeCreditReport.com) in 1995. The company was acquired by Experian in 2002. Under his leadership, Experian Consumer Direct became the market leader of direct-to-consumer credit reports, scores and monitoring products.

He is the recipient of several Echo Awards for FreeCreditReport.com's innovative direct response TV commercials. He was an executive producer on the feature film Rock Slyde, starring Patrick Warburton and Andy Dick, and on the award winning documentary film Jiro Dreams of Sushi.

Ed currently sits on the Boards of Dynasty Footwear, Velocify, Amplify Releasing, (Executive Chairman), SavvyMoney.com, RevolutionCredit.com (Executive Chairman), Preferred Ventures, LLC, the Napa Valley Film Festival, and the UC Davis Department of Viticulture and Enology. He is an advisor to Montage Ventures, a formation stage VC firm focused on financial services, e-Commerce and resources opportunities.

He received a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the University of Notre Dame, a master’s degree in engineering from Ohio State University and a master’s in business administration from the University of Dayton. He also holds a doctorate in marketing and business economics from the University of Southern California.

Ed and his wife, Irene, are co-owners of Vineyard {511} located in the Diamond Mountain District of Napa Valley.


Jeffrey B. O’Neill

Jeffrey B. O’Neill

Jeffrey B. O’Neill is Chief Executive Officer of O’Neill Vintners & Distillers, a large distiller and vintner located in California’s Central Valley. The winery crushes approximately 160,000 tons of California grapes annually, and is the sixth largest winery by volume in the state.

Mr. O’Neill attended the University of the Pacific Eberhardt School of Business and Public Administration and earned a B. S. in 1978. He entered the wine business in 1980, and founded Golden State Vintners with a group of venture capitalists in 1985. Mr. O’Neill was CEO of Golden State Vintners until its sale in 2004.

In 2011, O’Neill launched the luxury wine producer, Ram’s Gate in the Carneros region of Sonoma County which specializes in ultra premium Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Also, he founded XTANT Wines to produce Napa Cabernet in 2000.

O’Neill’s industry activities include past Chairman of the California Wine Institute, current Chairman of The Presidents’ Forum of the Distilled Spirits Industry, past Chairman of the Board of Directors of Woolf Farms, a 125,000 acre farming conglomerate, and a member of the YPO.

In 2005, Mr. O’Neill was elected to the Board of Visitors and Fellows at the University of California Davis Department of Viticulture and Enology. He also serves on the Board of Summer Search, a national leadership development program for low-income high school students providing support and funding beginning in high school through college.


T.J. Rodgers

T.J. Rodgers

T.J. Rodgers is the founder, president, chief executive officer, and a director of Cypress Semiconductor Corporation. He sits on the board of directors of Cypress's internal subsidiaries, AgigA Tech, Inc. and Deca Technologies Inc.

He is a former member of the board of trustees of Dartmouth College, his alma mater. Mr. Rodgers was a Sloan scholar at Dartmouth, where he graduated as salutatorian with a double major in physics and chemistry. He attended Stanford University on a Hertz fellowship, earning a master's degree (1973) and a Ph.D. (1975) in electrical engineering. At Stanford, Mr. Rodgers invented, developed and patented VMOS technology.

He managed the MOS memory design group at American Megatrends Incorporation, a company specializing in computer hardware and firmware, from 1975 to 1980 before moving to Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), a developer of computer processors and related technologies for business and consumer markets, where he ran AMD's static RAM product group until 1982, when he founded Cypress.


David Ruegg

David Ruegg

Mr. Ruegg is the vice-president and co-fiounder of Rue-Ell Enterprises, a commercial real estate investimment, development and management company established in 1965. Additionally, he is a partner is Ruegg & Ellsworth in Berkeley, California, and the president and founder of Kar Kove Kings, a property management and real estate brokerage.

A member since 1961 of the Berkeley Association of Realtors, Mr. Ruegg is also past president and a current member of the Berkeley Chamber of Commerce, as well as a former director of the California Association of Realtors, the Berkeley YMCA and the Berkeley Reperatory Theater. He is also a member of the Berkeley City Club, the University Club of San Francisco, The Family of San Francisco and the Pacific-Union Club of San Francisco.

Mr. Ruegg received a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of California, Berkeley.


Robert H. Smiley

Robert H. Smiley, PhD

Robert Smiley started his career at the Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University as a professor of economics and policy. In 1989, he was appointed Dean of the UC Davis Graduate School of Management. In 2003, he left his deanship, but remained on the faculty as Professor of Management. In 2009 he retired his full time teaching position at the University.

He remains as Director of Wine Industry Programs. Dr. Smiley has also served as a visiting professor of economics and management at Bocconi University in Milan, the University of Pisa, and Johns Hopkins University in Bologna, Italy. During his tenure as dean of the Graduate School of Management, UC Davis was ranked among the top twenty public MBA programs in the nation by Business Week, The Wall Street Journal, and U.S. News & World Report. Under his leadership, the school successfully launched the Working Professional MBA program, which now boasts 580 students, and the Business Partners program, which had more than eighty companies participating.

Dr. Smiley has done consulting work for a wide variety of public and private sector businesses. His clients included Unisys Corporation, IBM, General Motors, Shearson/Lehman American Express, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Small Business Administration, Attorney General of the State of California, McCaw Cellular Communications, Beringer Vinyards, and Stags Leap Wine Cellars. He is a member of the board of directors for Sacramento Commercial Bank and Placer Sierra Bank (sold to Wells Fargo 6/07, no longer on Board), Calpine Containers Corporation, Cakebread Cellars, Vinperfect Inc., and Delicato Family Vineyards (2001 - 2007).

Dr. Smiley's educational background includes two degrees from UCLA – a BS in Engineering and an MS in Business Economics. In 1973, he received his PhD in Economics from the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University.



Tom Smith

Tom Smith
E. & J. Gallo Winery
Modesto, California

Tom Smith is Vice President, Winegrowing, at the E. & J. Gallo Winery. Gallo’s Winegrowing group is accountable for grape growing, grower relations, winemaking, and spirits making for Gallo in California’s Central Valley and internationally. Also under the purview of Gallo’s Winegrowing group is viticulture, enology and chemistry research, which focuses on product innovation as well as moving the state of the art forward in grape growing and winemaking. Much of the success Gallo has achieved since its founding has been from fruit borne from its research commitment.

Prior to Gallo, Tom was Chief Winemaker for Delicato Vineyards, from 1994 to 2002, helping to set the direction for a winery which won the Best USA Wine Producer at the International Wine & Spirits Competition in London for the first time in 2001.
Earlier in his career, Tom was Winemaker and Production Manager for Hess Collection Winery in Napa, including during its construction and startup, and Assistant Winemaker at Callaway Vineyards and Winery in Temecula and Freemark Abbey Winery in St. Helena.
Tom is an active member of the grape growing and winemaking community, volunteering now and in the past for the American Vineyard Foundation, the National Grape and Wine Initiative, the Napa Valley Wine Technical Group, the American Society for Enology and Viticulture, and the Wine Institute Technical Committee. Tom was President of the American Society for Enology and Viticulture in 2005.
Tom earned his MS in Food Science at the University of California, Davis in 1984, after graduating from Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California, in 1980, with a BS degree in Chemistry.

Tom and his wife, Krista, live in Oakdale and have two children, Patrick and Gavin.


Marko Zaninovich

Marko Zaninovich

Born in 1942, Marko Zaninovich is the youngest child of Yugoslavian immigrant parents. He was educated in California, culminating in a B.S. from University of California, Davis. He entered his family business in June, 1964, and became the head of the business in October, 1966.

Mr. Zaninovich has been active in the California Agricultural Industry, working with the California Grape & Tree Fruit League, the California Table Grape Commission, and the California Wine Institute throughout his career.

He is a supporting member of California Historical Society, the Commonwealth Club, the California Club, and a member of the San Francisco chapter of the International Wine & Food Society.

Mr. Zaninovich and his wife, Theo, have three sons who are involved in managing Zaninovich entities. Mr. and Mrs. Zaninovich are advocates of community endeavors as well as KCET-LA public television and the U.C. Berkeley Library