Napa, CA (November 20, 2019) – Festival Napa Valley has announced the election of two of Northern California’s most influential businesswomen and philanthropists to its Board of Directors: Proprietor of Ackerman Family Vineyards and Ackerman Heritage House, Lauren Ackerman, and co-owner of Golden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty and Owner and Publisher of Haute Living San Francisco magazine, Olivia Hsu Decker. Comprised of 24 prominent vintners, business leaders and philanthropists, the Board of Directors is responsible for overseeing Festival Napa Valley’s mission of enriching the community through innovative performances and inspiring educational programs.
“We are thrilled to add these two local leaders to our Board of Directors,” said Timothy Blackburn, Chairman of the Board of Festival Napa Valley. “Their passions align perfectly with Festival Napa Valley and we are grateful to Lauren and Olivia for agreeing to contribute their time and talent to helping our organization thrive.”
A former tech entrepreneur, Lauren Ackerman moved to Napa Valley in 1994 when she and her husband purchased the Stonehaven Vineyard property. They started making wine in 1995 for themselves and eventually began selling commercially. In 2010, she purchased a dilapidated Victorian in downtown Napa, restoring it meticulously and turning it into what is now the Ackerman Heritage House, a unique event space for weddings, corporate meetings, intimate food and wine experiences, afternoon tea and more. Today, she owns and manages Ackerman Family Vineyards and is one of Napa Valley’s most active philanthropists, serving in various board or committee capacities with numerous organizations.
“I am delighted to bring my passion for community building and the arts to Festival Napa Valley,” said Ackerman. “It is an honor to work alongside so many impressive board members to achieve our goal of making the arts accessible to all.”
Born in Shanghai, Olivia Hsu Decker immigrated to San Francisco in 1975. Olivia joined Merrill Lynch Realty in 1980 where she had great success, working her way up to become the company’s number one sales agent in the U.S. from 1986-1988 and eventually starting her own luxury real estate brokerage in 1989. Currently, she and her business partner, Bill Bullock, own Golden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty with 23 offices from Silicon Valley to Napa Valley and 15 cities in between. In March 2018, Olivia acquired Haute Living magazine San Francisco after serving as the magazine’s ambassador from 2008-2017. Olivia is the Publisher and a contributor to the magazine with content focused on luxury lifestyle with purpose. Olivia devotes her life, energy and resources to her business and performing arts and charity events.
“Having studied classical voice and performed on stage during my school years, I know the importance of giving inspiration and confidence to students through music,” said Hsu Decker. “I am looking forward to working with the Festival Napa Valley team to continue their work of bringing world-class music to Napa Valley and supporting music education programs in our community.”
The 15th edition of Festival Napa Valley will take place at venues throughout Napa Valley, July 17-26, 2020. View the full board roster at https://festivalnapavalley.org/about-us/board/.
About Festival Napa Valley: Festival Napa Valley is committed to enriching the cultural vitality of the community and making the arts accessible to all. Blending the beauty and bounty of Napa Valley with the very finest performing arts, the festival pairs world-class performances with culinary and wine pursuits staged in iconic wine country settings. The annual summer celebration of the art of life has transformed Napa Valley into a cultural destination. Festival Napa Valley is presented by Napa Valley Festival Association, a nonprofit public benefit corporation governed by a board of prominent vintners and local leaders. More than 200 artists, wineries, resorts, theaters, restaurants and vintners participate each year. Festival Napa Valley 2020 will take place July 17 – 26. To learn more, visit festivalnapavalley.org.