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Mike Falasco to Retire; Tim Schmelzer to Succeed as Wine Institute VP, California State Relations

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Tim Schmelzer
Tim Schmelzer

SAN FRANCISCO—Wine Institute President and CEO Robert P. (Bobby) Koch announced today the appointment of Tim Schmelzer as Vice President of California State Relations for Wine Institute, effective Oct. 1. Based in Sacramento, Schmelzer assumes the position from Mike Falasco, who is retiring Sept. 30 after 25 years of service with Wine Institute.

Schmelzer has served as Wine Institute’s Director of Legislative and Regulatory Affairs since February 2008. His most recent focus has been in the environmental and labor policy areas, and he has also advocated in the alcohol beverage control law and taxation policy arenas. Earlier in his career, Schmelzer served as the Manager of State Legislative Policy for Southern California Edison, and the Legislative Director for the California Energy Commission. In total, he has over 27 years of experience working with California State Government.

Schmelzer was born in California and lives with his wife, Karen, and three children in Sacramento. He graduated cum laude from Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, Iowa with degrees in Politics and International Relations.

“Tim brings extensive senior level public policy experience working with the California State Legislature and the Executive Branch, and more than eight years experience representing our members’ interests,” said Koch. “I am very pleased to elevate Tim to the role of Vice President.”

“Mike Falasco has been an outstanding advocate for the California wine community, and his dedication and expertise in handling complex policy issues has earned him the respect and friendship of his colleagues and countless people within the industry,” said Koch. “I am so grateful for his service.”

Wine Institute is the public policy advocacy group representing nearly 1,000 California wineries and affiliated businesses responsible for 85 percent of the nation’s wine production and 90 percent of U.S. wine exports. The California wine industry generates 786,000 jobs in the U.S. and attracts 24 million tourist visits to the state’s wineries each year.

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