Board of Directors
John F. Dunbar
In February 2012, John F. Dunbar was a Governor's appointee to the 25th District Agricultural Association. Napa Valley Exposition's Board of Directors, where he now serves as the Board President.
Dunbar is Mayor of Yountville, having been elected in November 2012 after serving on the Town Council since 2004.
Dunbar sits on numerous county municipal and regional boards, as well as in several non=profit organizations, including on the Board of Directors for The Pathway Home, a trauma treatment program for military veterans. He also serves on the Executive Leadership Committee for the North Bay Division of the League of California Cities. Dunbar advocated for local and State support to launch the Napa Valley Performing Arts Center at Lincoln Theater in 2012, where he sits on that organization's executive board. He also helped establish the Yountville Arts Commission and Public Art Walk.
A Native of Oakland, CA, and a graduate of UC Davis, he has lived in Yountville with his wife, Robin, since 1998. They are patrons of the Napa Valley Film Festival, the Napa Valley Museum and support numerous charitable organizations throughout Napa County.
Jeri Gill is CEO of Sustainable Napa County (SNC). SNC is a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization that started in 2007 as an initiative of the Gasser Foundation. SNC actively engages the community in issues related to energy - exploring opportunities and finding practical solutions to our challenges. SNC believes that together we can make our economy stronger, our environment healthier, and our communities more connected.
Jeri is experienced in non-profit and trade association management, community relations and public policy. Before taking the reins of Sustainable Napa County, she was Public Affairs Manager for the Napa Valley Vintners.
Her other professional and management experience includes serving as founding Executive Director of the Lodi Conference and Visitors Bureau – a public private partnership between the City of Lodi and the Lodi-Woodbridge Winegrape Commission; Program Director for the San Joaquin Farm Bureau; and coordinating competitive exhibits and agriculture education programs for the Solano County Fair Association.
Jeri is Past Chair of the Board of the Napa Chamber of Commerce and is a member of the Chamber Board of Directors and the Legislative Action Committee.
She is the current Chair of the Napa-Lake Workforce Investment Board and also serves on the Board of Directors for the Napa County Business Incubator, and Napa Humane. She is a graduate of Leadership Napa Valley (LNV) Class 15.
Jeri is Past-State President of California Women for Agriculture, the state’s largest all volunteer agriculture organization with over 3,000 members in 24 chapters statewide and served for six years as a member of the University of California President’s Advisory Commission for the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources. She studied Agriculture Business Management at California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) San Luis Obispo with a concentration in Agriculture Policy, including coursework in Fair and Exposition Management.
In 2007 she was awarded the Common Threads Award recognizing women in agriculture who are also active in philanthropic and community service, and was named one of North Bay Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 in 2008.
Jeri and her husband Jim live in Napa and are partners in Wooden Nickel Wine Company.
Don J. Huffman Jr.
Don J Huffman - Sr. Trade Marketing Manager, Nomacorc LLC, Benicia, California
Don is a 25 year wine industry veteran, entrepreneur, agriculture advocate, winemaker, alternative energy lobbyist, and marketing communications professional. With agency and client-side marketing communications expertise, Don has worked with such as brands - Stag's Leap Wine Cellars, Delicato Family Vineyards, Paso Robles Vintners and Growers, Mendocino Wine Growers, Miller/Coors, Sodexo/Marriott, Safeway Stores, Napa Auto Parts, McDonald's Restaurants, Pella Windows, Macromedia, Hewlett-Packard and more.
An extremely creative, strategic contributor to the marketing/communication process, Don is always mindful of all green oriented issues relating to communications, farming and operations. Today, Don's primary responsibilities for Nomacorc LLC include: North American on/off-premise wine education; developing retail marketing intelligence and strategic planning; initiating pre/post-consumer sustainability programs; and fostering relationships with private label and custom-crush providers.
Don lives with his wife and three girls in Napa, California and is a community advocate serving on several boards including: serving as the current board President for the Napa County Office of Education and as a Director on the 25th District Agriculture Association for the State of California.
Jose is a life long resident of Napa Valley. Graduated for St. Helena High School. Attended and graduated from Napa Valley College, the University of California, Davis and has a Masters from California State University, Sacramento. Appointed to the Board in November of 2014. Has worked at Napa Valley College for over thirty (30) years as a counselor. Jose was elected to the Napa Valley Unified School District board in 2004 and is still serving. Jose is a member of Community Action Napa Valley board and was elected Chair in January of 2014.
In the past, He has served on many boards and worked with agencies that addressed the need of the most vulnerable and needing members of our community.
In December 2016 Belia was reappointed to the 25th District Agricultural Association’s Board of Directors by Governor Jerry Brown. She is a Napa County Supervisor (District 5). Prior to becoming a supervisor, Belia served as a Council Member with the City of American Canyon for six years. Additionally, Belia is a professor at UC Davis Law School. Belia is the President and Principal Tutor of Raise the Bar, LLC, a writing company that prepares applicants of the California Bar Exam. Belia has been a bar tutor since 2006. Prior to that, she served as a grader for the California Bar Exam. Belia has worked as a civil litigator and employment counselor, advising Fortune 500 Companies on labor and employment policies and counseling.
Belia is a graduate of St Mary's College of California and UC Hastings College of Law. She was admitted to The State Bar of California on December 1, 2004. Belia and her active 4-H family reside in American Canyon.
Vanessa Robledo is CEO and Majority Owner of Black Coyote Wines in Napa Valley. In the five years since she took over the reins, Vanessa has established Black Coyote Wines as a multicultural wine brand with national distribution in 18 states and increased direct consumer sales and wine club 100 fold. Her Black Coyote Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon has a stunning record of consistent excellence among critics. The 2007 Black Coyote Reserve Cabernet received 97 points from Wine Enthusiast Magazine and was selected as one of the “Top 100 Wines of the World” out of 16,000 entrants. All Black Coyote Reserves have won Best of Class, Gold or Double Gold medals from National and International competitions, including the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, Sunset Magazine International Wine Competition, and XVII Concurso Internacional.
As a subject of dozens of feature stories and numerous radio and television appearances on everything from Univision to the Food Network, Vanessa has been an important voice in the wine industry. She has become the face of a new generation of Hispanics who are well educated, hard-working, and eager to spread the gospel about food and wine to anyone who will listen. In a feature story in Sonoma Woman Magazine, author Rhoann Ponseti wrote, “She is not only the American dream personified, she is reinventing that dream as she goes along, serving as a bridge over cultures, gender, wine industry, age and family stereotypes.”
Committed to helping others, Vanessa Robledo serves as President of the Ernest Bates Foundation, which established a pre-school at El Verano Elementary School in Sonoma for children from the under-served community. Most of the students enrolled in the program were native Spanish speakers. Working with Girl Scouts of Northern California, she has served as a mentor of Camp CEO in a program for young girls from 13 counties in Northern California.
Vanessa has a long history of exemplary service to the community. In 2012 Vanessa was recognized as one of 100 women honored as a Forever Green Girl Scouts Honoree. The award was given to women who made a significant impact to sustaining the environment, economy, or community while reflecting the ethnic and geographic diversity of Northern California. Napa Valley Life Magazine selected Vanessa as “2010 Intriguing People of Napa Valley”. In 2008 she was selected as Entrepreneur of the Year by Latina Magazine. The North Bay Business Journal recognized Vanessa as one of 2007’s leading young professionals. She was awarded the 2006 Latino Business Leadership Award given to the most influential Hispanic leaders in the Bay Area. She has been honored in 2005 by the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors as the first district recipient of the Women of Color Humanitarian Award.
All of these accomplishments have been achieved while Vanessa has worked as an expert, skilled business person running Black Coyote Wines, or serving as President of Robledo Family Winery. While there, she grew the brand from a tiny 100 case producer in 1997 to a very healthy and thriving business doing 20,000 cases a year in 2007.
As a fourth generation Hispanic woman working in the wine industry, Vanessa Robledo has a strong track record of business success and community involvement. As her grandfather once advised, “You must know how to appreciate the land and know that if you take care, love and nurture the vines, then they will always take care of you.” Vanessa has lived her grandfather’s philosophy since she began working in the vineyards at eight years old.
Devonna Smith, 50, of Napa, has been appointed to the 25th District Agricultural Association, Napa Town & Country Fair Board of Directors. After graduating from CSU Chico with a Business Administration degree, Smith moved to Napa in 1988 with her husband, Andy Smith. Both were born and raised in Colusa, CA. They have raised their 2 sons, David and AJ, in Napa and have been very involved with various community organizations. Devonna is currently the Las Amigas Swine leader and has been very actively involved in 4-H for the last 15 years. Smith has worked in the Napa Valley for over 27 years as a CPA, CFO and business owner. She currently works as the Chief Financial Officer/Chief of Staff for Chappellet Winery and Vineyard in St. Helena since March, 2013
Thomas Trzesniewski, 63, of Napa, was appointed to the 25th District Agricultural Association, Napa Valley Exposition in June of 2013. Thomas has been general manager at the Bremer Family Winery since 2011. He was retail manager at Chimney Rock Winery from 2006 to 2010 and worked in multiple positions at Silverado Vineyards from 2005 to 2006. He was an outside salesperson at Hartwell Estate Vineyards from 2004 to 2005, meat manager at American Stores Company LLC from 1996 to 2003 and owner of the Box Office and Ranch Video from 1985 to 1996. Trzesniewski is a member of Friends of the Napa River and the City of Napa Planning Commission. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Trzesniewski is registered decline-to-state.
Born and Raised on a tobacco and Apple Farm in Central Connecticut. At age 16 Al moved to California with his parents and Graduated from Newbury Park High School. After Graduation High School Al attended Arizona State University with an Emphasis on Cooperative Mgt and Livestock Nutrition after 3 years Al decided School wasn’t for him and took a Job with the Lakken Land and Cattle Company in Laveen Arizona as head Livestock Nutritionist for the 175,000 head feed lot. Shortly after his first year of employment he was promoted to the Head of the Feedlot and Farming Operations overseeing all of the Day to day operations of the Company’s 175,000 head Feed lot and the 110,000 acre Farming operation. Which span into 2 states and 9 counties. On weekends Al and his friends would fire up the truck and head out on the road in search of the perfect ride Al was a Bull Rider the PRCA circuit until being injured in 1985. Al Also Enjoyed hanging out at the Auctions and in 1982 Graduated from the Missouri Auction School and still today enjoys a chance to get up and sell something. Al has had the Opportunity and Privilege to sell 4H and FFA Animals at over 50 Fairs in California, Arizona and Nevada over the past 30 years. In 1986 Al Moved to the Town Of Shandon east of Paso Robles in San Luis Obispo County in 1988 Al Met his wife Giny and were married in 1990. The two together ran a successful Hay and Livestock and Commodities business. In 1993 Al and Giny Adopted the first of three Children Nathan In 1993, Malisa in 1995 and Now recently Robert who all will be Celebrating their 21th Birth Days in 2014. In 1996 the Grape Plantings boomed across California. Al took the opportunity to make a career change Into the Wine Business. Al and Giny sold the Hay and Commodities business and Al Accepted a Position with South Corp Wine Estates of the Americas as Development and Vineyard Manager for this Australian Based Company. Al oversaw all of the New Development, Land Acquisitions and Day to day Framing Operation of more than 1000 acres of Vineyards in San Luis Obispo County. In 2001 after being contacted by an Executive recruiter Al and his Family accepted a position as Director or Vineyard Operations for Clos Du Val Winery. Were he still is today.
Al was appointed to the 25th DAA Association Fair Board in 2008 and has been the Board President for the past 4 years, Past President and Current Board Member of the Napa County Farm Bureau. Past board member of the Napa County Wine Grape Pest and Diseases Control District Board of Directors from 2003-2011. Al is the Founding Chair of the Napa County Farm Bureau’s Ag in the Classroom Meadow Muffin Golf Tournament which has successfully raised almost $350,000 For the Ag Education Program over the past 10 years.