Auction of Washington Wines Appoints Jamie Peha Executive Director

Organization Achieves No. 3 Spot in U.S. Charity Wine Auction Rankings

The Auction of Washington Wines (AWW) has named industry veteran Jamie Peha its interim Executive Director, effective immediately.

Jamie Peha

Peha has already played a key role as part of the AWW team. As Director of the event’s Private Barrel Auction, she grew the program from eight wine lots in 2015 netting $48,000 to 31 lots and a record-breaking $251,000 in 2018.

Peha’s career highlights include building Taste Washington into a nationally recognized event, growing the Seattle Wine and Food Experience into a two-day financially viable event and serving as interim director for both Woodinville Wine Country and the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance.

“The Auction of Washington Wines has chosen Jamie so that we may continue to focus on thoughtfully and strategically fulfilling our mission to raise awareness of Washington state wine while raising much needed funds for Seattle Children’s and WSU’s Viticulture and Enology Program,” said Beth McCaw, Board President, Auction of Washington Wines. “We were recently listed as the third largest charity wine auction in the U.S. by Wine Spectator, and Jamie’s leadership will be critical in continuing to drive future growth, for both the Auction and the Washington wine industry.”

Former Executive Director Shelley Tomberg stepped down from her role at the end of January 2019 after a year and a half in the role. Her work contributed to the Auction’s 2018 weekend of events raising a record-breaking $4.3 million for Seattle Children’s and Washington State University’s Wine Program.

AWW’s Board of Directors, comprised of business, community and wine industry veterans, will continue to offer leadership. The team leverages the skills of seasoned leaders, including Laura Kleinhofs (Director, Marketing & Business), Stacey Donahue (Director, Operations & Events), Alexis Ip (Senior Events Manager) and Melissa Riley (Development Assistant) – as well as a team of vendors and other dedicated professionals.

No. 3 Ranking Nationwide

AWW bolstered its ranking among the nation’s largest charity wine auctions last year, landing third in Wine Spectator Magazine’s list of highest-grossing live charity wine auctions in 2018. AWW enjoyed a record-breaking year in 2018, raising over $2.7 million through live bids and over $4.3 million overall via its weekend of charitable wine events. The auction has raised over $46 million since its founding in 1988.

Funds raised go to Seattle Children’s Hospital and Washington State University’s Viticulture and Enology Program. AWW also gives to local organizations supporting the Washington wine community through its Industry Grant Program, launched last year.

Each year, Wine Spectator ranks the top charity wine auctions across the U.S. based on dollars raised in live auction bids.  AWW ranked third following Auction Napa Valley and Naples Winter Wine Festival.

“We are honored to be recognized as a part of a collective of auctions making a true impact on the future of the wine industry nationwide,” said AWW Board President McCaw.  “To earn the number three spot is extremely exciting and validates the hard work and generosity of many individuals. Our Board and staff are humbled by the dedication we witness from the Washington wine community coming together year after year. We are excited to see what 2019 will bring!”

About the Auction of Washington Wines

Since its inception in 1988, AWW has raised more than $46 million, benefitting Seattle Children’s Hospital and Washington State University’s Viticulture and Enology Program. Events hosted by AWW give wine lovers the chance to support the Washington wine industry and families in our communities around the region.

The 2019 Auction of Washington Wines events will take place August 15-17, 2019. Major sponsors include Wells Fargo, CenturyLink, Chateau Ste. Michelle, The John L. Scott Foundation, King 5, The Seattle Times and Wine Spectator Magazine. For more information, visit http://www.AuctionofWaWines.org.