WALLA WALLA, WA (March 5, 2019) — Ashley Mahan is resigning from her post as the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance’s Chief Operating Officer. Mahan, who has served at the WWVWA since spring 2016 and as its COO since late 2017, is leaving the organization to pursue other business opportunities.
“Ashley’s replacement will have big shoes to fill, but we are confident we will find an Executive Director who can build on the solid infrastructure that she has put into place,” said Muriel Kenyon, WWVWA Board President. “We are sad to see her go, of course, and we wish her the absolute best in her path forward. But we are excited for the next chapter for the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance.”
The WWVWA has flourished under Mahan’s leadership, with nearly 150 members, which includes wineries, vineyards, and partner members. Events such as Reveal Walla Walla Valley Wine and the membership-only Pre-Harvest Party have grown dramatically since she joined the organization. And the organization's WWander ad campaign that launched in 2017 helped generate a significant year-over-year spike in website views and itinerary downloads.
As important, Mahan put in place critical infrastructure that will help her successor thrive. This includes hiring a talented staff of two — who have each helped the WWVWA create new events and elevate existing programs — and creating strong internal processes that have made the WWVWA more efficient.
“Through her time, energy, creativity, and the respect she has given to our organization, Ashley Mahan has been the stabilizing force,” Kenyon said. “Her
dedication and incredible hard work have allowed the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance to continue to build momentum and resources towards achieving its mission of building an internationally acclaimed wine brand among consumers, trade, and media.”
No official timetable has been set for the departure of Mahan, who plans to remain in her current position until her replacement is found. The search for Mahan’s replacement, which will be led by the organization's board of directors, will begin immediately.
“As a native Walla Wallan, I am extremely grateful for the opportunities that have come my way and allowed me to contribute to the growth of our economy over these last three years,” Mahan said. “I have so much love and respect for the town and the wineries, and I will be the strongest Walla Walla Valley Wine advocate wherever life takes me next.”
About the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance
The Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance is a non-profit wine industry membership organization whose primary mission is the marketing of the Walla Walla Valley’s American Viticultural Area (AVA). The Wine Alliance functions as the leading informational resource for consumers, media and trade interested in learning more about the Valley’s wine industry.
Muriel Kenyon, Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance