Ste. Michelle Wine Estates Names Shawn Conway as Chief Executive Officer
Winemaker Katie Nelson Honored with Grand Vin Award by Washington Winegrowers
Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, the largest winery in the Pacific Northwest and among the largest premium wineries in the U.S., has announced that Shawn Conway has been named Chief Executive Officer. Conway is a seasoned executive with 30 years of experience in leadership roles across several consumer product categories. Most recently he served as the CEO of Peet’s Coffee, and prior to that he spent nearly a decade at SKYY Spirits.
“I couldn’t be more thrilled to join this incredible company,” said Conway. “Ste. Michelle has long been one of the most admired and respected wine companies in the world, with a portfolio of iconic and renowned wines. I look forward to working with this very talented and dedicated team to bring an unparalleled wine experience to our existing customers and extend our reach to the next generation of wine lovers.”
“Shawn is a proven leader and the ideal person to help us achieve our strategic vision of sustainable, profitable growth,” said Brian Vos, Ste. Michelle Board Member and retired CEO of The Wine Group. “We’re confident that under Shawn’s leadership the company will deliver a premium wine experience to even more consumers.”
Conway has held multiple positions in general management, operations, supply chain, and finance in high-growth, premium-branded specialty food and beverage, and consumer packaged goods companies. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Commerce with a major in Finance from Santa Clara University.
Ste. Michelle’s Executive Leadership Team, comprised of Toby Whitmoyer, President, Washington; Amy Prosenjak, President, Oregon; David Bowman, President, California; and Mike Lee, Chief Financial Officer and President, Operations & Supply Chain, will continue in their respective roles and report directly to Conway.
For more about the history of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates and its entire portfolio of premium wineries, visit www.smwe.com.
Katie Nelson Honored
Katie Nelson, Chateau Ste. Michelle Vice President of Winemaking, was honored with the Grand Vin Award by the Washington Winegrowers Association at the Association’s annual WineVit Convention in February. The Grand Vin Award is given in recognition of extraordinary winemaking talent, crafting exceptional wines impacting the winery, brand, winemaking process and industry at large.
Colleagues Will Wiles, Columbia Crest winemaker, and Jessica Munnell, owner and winemaker of Wautoma Springs Winery, presented Nelson with the award describing her as “being on the cutting edge, putting quality first and always willing to try innovative techniques resulting in the best wines possible. For her, quality is priority and shortcuts should never be taken. She spends time in vineyards, building great relationships with growers and has continuously created award-winning wines. She’s the perfect balance between creativity and tenacity, has a steel trap memory and is three steps ahead of everyone. She is passionate about wine and has amazing attention to detail, excellent communication with her team and willingness to push everyone resulting in outstanding wines year after year. She is an amazing mentor and friend.”
Katie is the first woman to receive the Grand Vin Award.
“It was a surprise and an honor to be nominated by wine industry peers in a room full of many I have respected and worked closely with over my career as a winemaker in Washington,” said Nelson. “One of the most rewarding parts of my job is partnering with our family farmers to craft exciting, food-friendly, flavorful wines for people to enjoy and to continue to help Washington wines find their place on the world stage. It was a day I’ll never forget.”
With nearly 30 years of winemaking experience, Nelson leads the state’s largest, most iconic and acclaimed winery, crafting a diverse range of Chateau Ste. Michelle’s award-winning wines. She began her career at Ste. Michelle Wine Estates in 1999 as an enologist, left briefly in 2015 only to return in 2018 as head winemaker for Columbia Crest, and ultimately promoted to Vice President of Winemaking for Chateau Ste. Michelle in 2021.
About Ste. Michelle Wine Estates
Ste. Michelle Wine Estates is among the largest and most admired premium wine companies in the U.S. and the pioneering winery of the Pacific Northwest. With a distinguished history that began on December 5, 1933 – when the founder filed the original articles of incorporation at 9:02 a.m. on the very day Prohibition was repealed – Ste. Michelle has always challenged convention and seized opportunity.
Principles rooted deeply in executional excellence and relentless focus drive Ste. Michelle’s passion for producing the highest quality wines, dedication to the consumer and a commitment to our communities.
The Ste. Michelle Wine Estates portfolio features the leading wineries from the world’s most renowned wine regions, including Chateau Ste. Michelle, 14 Hands, Columbia Crest, Col Solare and Spring Valley Vineyard in Washington; A to Z, Erath, and REX HILL in Oregon; Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars and Patz & Hall in Napa and Sonoma, California, respectively; Marchesi Antinori of Italy; and Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte of France.
For more about the rich history of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates and its entire portfolio of premium wineries, visit www.smwe.com.