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The Wine Group Welcomes New Leaders to Executive Team


CFO, COO, and CMO Bring Global Investment, Wine Industry, and Consumer Goods Expertise

LIVERMORE, CA, September 18, 2023 – The Wine Group (“TWG”) today announced the addition of new leaders to its executive team: Jennifer Evans as Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Mike Donich as Chief Operations Officer (COO), and Helen Kurtz as Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). These leadership changes come amidst the planned retirements of three legacy executives after 12+ years of service with the company.

“Our people are our most important differentiator and I’m confident that our new executive leaders will help us drive forward the innovation, operational excellence, and growth that our TWG team is known for,” said John Sutton, Chief Executive Officer of The Wine Group. “I am very grateful for the contributions of our retiring leaders and wish them all the best as they begin the next chapter in their lives.”

CFO – Jennifer Evans

A seasoned financial leader, Evans brings more than 20 years of global finance, strategy, and commercial experience in the alcoholic beverage and consumer goods industries. Most recently, she served as CFO for KEEN, supporting the footwear company’s growth into a global lifestyle brand. Prior to that, she spent over 11 years at Constellation Brands in various finance leadership positions, including SVP and Global CFO of the Wine & Spirits division.

Evans replaces retiring CFO Tim Wiesner who served the company in various finance leadership roles for fourteen years, playing an instrumental role in supporting the company’s strong growth.

COO – Mike Donich

An experienced and well-respected leader at TWG for the past 18+ years, Donich has an established leadership track record within both operations and winemaking. Most recently, he was TWG’s Executive Vice President of Operations. Throughout his tenure at the company, Donich helped lead the development of many of TWG’s award-winning wines, its successful export business, countless winery enhancements, operational enhancements, M&A success, and more.

Donich replaces retiring COO Brott Ritzel, who served the company for 16 years, helping it become one of the most efficient and productive supply chains in the alcoholic-beverage space.

CMO – Helen Kurtz

Kurtz brings more than 25 years of experience as a transformative marketing leader and brand builder. Most recently, she was Senior Vice President and General Manager at Calavo Growers, where she led improved management practices, strategy, and innovation. Prior to that, she served as CMO for Foster Farms and also spent 20 years at General Mills in a number of progressive leadership roles representing key brands and divisions such as Yoplait, Big G cereals, Betty Crocker, and more.

Kurtz replaces retiring CMO Jeff Dubiel, who, over the past 13 years, established the company’s marketing group and led the creation of many TWG brands, including Chloe, Tribute and Cupcake LightHearted. 

About The Wine Group

An industry leader, The Wine Group is one of the world’s foremost producers of award-winning wines across more than 60 wine brands and many winery facilities in California, New York, and Australia. Headquartered in Livermore, California, TWG is an industry innovator when it comes to developing, marketing, and selling wine brands beloved by consumers around the world, including Cupcake, Franzia, Benziger, Imagery, Tribute, 7 Deadly, Cooper & Thief, The Dreaming Tree, Charles Smith Wines, and more. The Wine Group believes in producing wine using sustainable and earth-friendly practices to foster healthy land and agriculture for generations to come. The company demonstrates environmental stewardship through its commitment to clean energy and by ensuring that all its vineyards are certified sustainable or biodynamic. To learn more, please visit: www.thewinegroup.com.

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