Kathleen Naughton brings dynamic, bi-coastal experience to SLO Coast Wine.
The San Luis Obispo Coast Wine Collective (SLO Coast Wine) has hired Kathleen Naughton as its new Executive Director.
Naughton has been working part-time for the Collective for two years; assisting with marketing efforts, consumer events and the annual live auction. She has proven to be an astute problem-solver capable of prioritizing and managing complex projects with proficiency. Her experience in the beverage industry spans 14 years and has taken her from the Central Valley in California, to Washington DC, and finally settling on the Central Coast in 2013. Throughout her career, she has gained experience in almost every aspect of the wine industry from importing, distribution, e-commerce, and direct to consumer channels. Naughton received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from CSU Fresno, took a job with a wine and spirits distributor after she graduated and never looked back. She began her career with Youngs Market Co. in 2006. She moved to Washington DC in June of 2009 and worked for craft brewery, Flying Dog, in Maryland and wine importer, Calypso Organics. Her experience in DC lead her to obtain a Level II Certification with the Court of Master Sommeliers and Cicerone Certification. When she relocated to Paso Robles, she was part of the opening team at Law Estate Wines and after that, spent a couple of years overseeing direct to consumer channels at Hearst Ranch Winery.
Her passion for wine is what lead her to move to the Central Coast. “I’ve always loved this area and envisioned myself ending up here. When I was living in DC and I was offered the opportunity to open Law Estates, I had to take it. It’s been the best decision I could have made.” Naughton spends her free time exploring trails all over the coast from the back of her horse, wine tasting with friends, fishing, and has recently taken up worm farming and vermiculture.
SLO Coast Wine’s mission is to establish the San Luis Obispo Coast as a premier California wine region and is committed to promoting their wines and vineyards among consumers, businesses, and media. The Collective is comprised of 34 wineries and growers, spanning from Arroyo Grande Valley to Cambria, averaging only five miles from the coast and boasting one of the world’s longest growing seasons. With just 5,000 acres planted, the region produces 20 different varieties with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay leading the way.
The executive director is charged with implementing the Collective’s vision, facilitating relationships within the community, and building and executing strategic marketing initiatives. Naughton was chosen for the position based on her understanding of the Collective, extensive experience in the industry, and skills in collaboration and marketing.
“The board members and I are so pleased to have Kathleen Naughton take the helm of our organization. In addition to valuable experience in many sectors of the wine industry across the US, she brings the results-oriented energy we need. She is a professional and friendly go-getter, and we can hardly wait to see what we can accomplish under her leadership.”
-Stephen Dooley, Stephen Ross Wine Cellars, and president of the SLOCWC Board.
Naughton says, “The people that make up the SLO Coast Wine Collective are the most talented and determined that I have met in my career. The passion and drive that the people of this organization possess have created a force that I am ecstatic to be a part of.”
Kathleen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.