Following an exhaustive national search that began in June, veteran nonprofit expert Alison Laslett has been chosen to lead the Santa Barbara Vintners (SBV), which is the primary wine association for all of Santa Barbara County. Her role as CEO, which started today, November 29, includes strategic planning, events promotion, and community outreach. She follows former leader Morgen McLaughlin, who started in April 2013, defeated the county’s push for a new winery ordinance earlier this year, and left to lead the Willamette Valley Wineries Association in Oregon in July.
For the past three years, Laslett ran Represent Consulting, a leadership coaching service for nonprofits, companies, and executives, and also worked on public education reform with Parent Revolution from 2013 to 2015. Prior jobs included leadership positions in the nonprofit sector
In a press release. SBV board president Matt Murphy, who owns Presqu’ile Winery, said, “Her extensive experience as a consensus builder, innovator and leadership expert in the nonprofit arena will serve our industry and community well.”
Laslett expressed deep interest in the position from her first interview. “The people are tremendous,” she said in the release. “They’re authentic and driven, and obviously what makes this industry thrive. Between the stunning beauty of this land and the magnetism of these winemakers, Santa Barbara Wine Country has it all. We’re going to share that with the world.”