The Napa Valley Vintners Wins Two Association Excellence Awards

Trade Group's Leadership Recognized for its Adopt-a-School Program and its Community Promise


2/24/2010 - St. Helena, CA--The Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) non-profit trade association of 375 member wineries in California's legendary Napa Valley has been awarded two Awards of Excellence for its programs. There were thirteen awards overall awarded to only 12 organizations nationally in the first round for the 2010 Associations Advance America (AAA) Awards program, a national competition sponsored by the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) and the Center for Association Leadership in Washington, D.C.

The NVV received one award for its Adopt-a-School program which is a cooperative effort to stimulate business, industry and government in support of education, while enriching the educational experiences of public school students. The NVV and the Napa County Office of Education have been collaborating to have NVV member wineries adopt each of the 47 public schools (K-12) in Napa County. Currently 80% of the schools in Napa County have been "adopted," thereby enriching the educational experience of an estimated 7,500 students.

"The Napa Valley Vintners is thrilled to receive recognition for its Adopt-a-School program! Many of our wineries have adopted schools and we have enjoyed participating with the schools to enhance the education process -- it truly is a mutually rewarding program," said Jackie Downer, vice president and general manager for Clos Pegase Winery, and chair of the 2010 NVV Community Outreach Committee.

The NVV also received an award for its charity fundraiser's commitment to the community known as the "5x5 Community Promise." Back in 2007, the board leadership could see financial uncertainty on the horizon, so the NVV made a $25 million pledge ensuring that its annual community fundraiser, Auction Napa Valley, would distribute a minimum of $5 million to Napa County non-profits each year over the next five years whether or not the Auction raised $5 million.

The NVV's 5x5 Community Promise demonstrates how an industry can come together to support its community, especially in times of increasing need. During the first two years of the pledge the Auction raised and gave significantly more than the $5 million commitment. However, this year as the economic downturn worsened and the Auction experienced a short-fall in fundraising, the NVV was still able to continue to support those organizations in the community that sustain those whose need is even greater in this challenging economy.

Both NVV programs are now in the running to receive a Summit Award -- ASEA & the Center's top recognition for association programs, to be presented at ASAE's 11th Annual Summit Awards in Washington, D.C. in September.

Now in its 20th year, the prestigious Associations Advance America (AAA) Award program recognizes associations that propel America forward -- with innovation, knowledge creation, citizenship and community service. Although association activities have a powerful impact on everyday life, they often go unnoticed by the general public.

"The NVV Adopt a School program and its 5x5 Community Promise truly embody the spirit of the Associations Advance America campaign. It is an honor and an inspiration to showcase these activities as examples of the many contributions associations are making to advance American society," remarked 2009-2010 AAA Committee Chair Ping Wei, director of educational opportunities for the American Society of Civil Engineers.

About the Napa Valley Vintners:
The Napa Valley Vintners is the non-profit trade association responsible for promoting and protecting the Napa Valley appellation as the premier winegrowing region. From seven founding members in 1944, today the association represents 375 Napa Valley wineries and collectively is a leader in the world-wide wine industry. To learn more about our region and its legendary American wines, visit

Contact: Terry Hall, Communications Director 707-968-4217