2017 Board of Directors

Thomas Huges:  President

Co-Owner, Divine Llama Vineyards

Thomas H. Hughes is co-owner along with Michal West of Divine Llama Vineyards located in East Bend, NC. Their tasting room opened in 2009. Their vineyard property includes 10 acres with 5 acres in vines planted in 2007. Hughes is the founder and president of Thomas H. Hughes Architecture, a fourteen person firm located in Winston Salem. Hughes has been involved in the design of several tasting rooms in the Yadkin Valley region, including Shadow Springs which opened in 2008. Hughes is current president of the NC Triad Chapter of the Virginia Tech Alumni Association and has organized a number of wine trail trips for that organization to tasting rooms in the Haw River and Yadkin Valley Wine Company. Hughes is married to Julia and has two children and lives in a renovated log house on the property in East Bend. He is a member of the Yadkin County Chamber of Commerce.

Patricia McRitchie: Vice President

Co-Owner McRitchie Winery & Ciderworks

Patricia is the co-owner with her husband Sean of McRitchie Winery & Ciderworks located in the Yadkin Valley of North Carolina.  In addition to managing the winery Patricia is a consultant for the alcoholic beverage industry and has handled legal and regulatory affairs for businesses on both the East and West coasts. She successfully petitioned for the designation by the federal government of North Carolina’s three American Viticultural Areas, Yadkin Valley, Swan Creek, and Haw River Valley.  Patricia has over 20 years of experience in the wine industry and a deeply held belief in the potential for a vibrant progressive North Carolina wine industry. Patricia currently serves on the board of several organizations in her community and is past Executive Director of the Yadkin Valley Winegrower’s Association.

Gil Owens-Secretary

Owner Carolina Wine Supply

 The founder of Carolina Wine Supply, the largest winery supply company in the southeast.  An early student of the Surry Community College Viticulture and Enology program. Gil has over 11 years of experience in the production of North Carolina wines.  Communication with over 500 wineries per year, of all sizes, creates a unique perspective of trends and foresight.

Chuck Johnson-Treasurer

Co-founder and President of Shadow Springs Vineyard and Windsor Run Cellars both of Hamptonville, NC.

He is originally from Minnesota and attended the University of Wisconsin before moving to North Carolina in 1983. Prior to getting into the North Carolina wine business, he was a Vice President for a Fortune 500 worldwide logistics company. Chuck and his wife Jamey have 2 sons, one attending Appalachian State and one will be attending Duke University in the fall. He believes strongly in the North Carolina grape and wine industry and wants to help it grow however he can.


Directors-at-Large

Betty Fowler

Co-Owner, Lake James Cellars, Owner, The Old Mill Antiques

Betty Fowler is co-owner of Lake James Cellars Winery in Glen Alpine, NC.  The winery opened in 2005 and grapes were planted in 2008.  Lake James Cellars produce its wines by purchasing vinifera from approximately 12 different vineyards across NC.   The Tasting Room and winery is located in a historic 1915 textile mill building which Betty and her husband Mike restored.  Betty brings a background in investments, marketing and also decorating.  Betty is also the owner of The Old Mill Antiques which is located in the same building adjacent to the tasting room.

Amy Helton 

Co-Owner, Hanover Park Vineyards

Amy has been involved with grapes and wine since 1996 after a honeymoon to the South of France. Amy and her husband Michael own Hanover Park Vineyard in Yadkinville, NC where they have been producing wine since 1999. A former art teacher, Amy now dedicates all of her time to the wine business. Producing Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Chambourcin, Mourevdre, Chardonnay and Viognier for starters, Amy and Michael project to make up to 3,000 cases of wine per year from Hanover Park.

Ken Gulaian

Co-Owner, Round Peak Vineyards

Ken Gulaian and his wife Kari Heerdt took over as the owners of Round Peak Vineyards in December 2008, shortly after returning to North Carolina from a two year assignment in the bay area of California, where they spent a lot of time enjoying wine in Napa, Sonoma, and the Dry Creek Valley, and particularly enjoyed the small family owned wineries. Ken & Kari have spent two exciting years learning about the North Carolina wine industry, getting to know many of the people, learning the challenges, and looking for ways to further increase the great opportunity that already exist for producing and promoting North Carolina wines.
Ken has an engineering degree and has a 20 year background in Industrial equipment design, service, marketing and sales. He most recently was a general manager for a $40 million services business for Ingersoll Rand in Davidson, NC. With a range of experience in sales, marketing, and management he would welcome the opportunity to help the North Carolina Winegrower's Association in whatever capacity is needed.

Amie Baudoin

Owner, Morgan Ridge Vineyards.

Established since 2004, Morgan Ridge Vineyards acquired its name from owner operator, Amie Baudoin (formerly Morgan).  Her family has owned the land, located in Gold Hill, for over two hundred years and was used predominantly for agricultural purposes.  Amie met her husband, Tommy Baudoin and decided because of their passion for food and Tommy originally from Louisiana and Cajun influence they opened a restaurant, which they ran successfully for over 10 years. 

After visiting several wineries and their shared interest in fine wine they decided to use the land & plant 7 acres of grapevines.  Amie and Tommy discovered that the site is unique to the area as it has a South Eastern exposure.  They especially enjoy the viniferous varietals, so after much deliberation they decided on planting 5 viniferous and 2 hybrid varieties, each one having unique characteristics.   Amie and Tommy live on the vineyard so are able to give undivided attention to the grapes throughout the growing season; they both enjoy being out working in the vines and love the tranquility of the land. Before investing in a winery Amie and tommy wanted to ensure that they could produce superior quality fruit, hence all the hard work in the vineyard had paid off.  In February 2010 they broke ground on the winery. Just recently Amie & Tommy was recognized and awarded 2012 Grape Growers Excellence Award, given by the N.C. Grape Growers Association. With the winery now open this is not the end goal for Tommy & Amie. They are continuously aspiring towards the future and have recently been approved for their on premise malt beverage permit

Mark Friszolowski : Past President

Winemaker at Childress Vineyards

A native of Long Island, Mark came to Childress from Pindar Vineyards, the largest premium winery on Long Island, where he apprenticed under famed California enologist Dimitri Tchelistcheff. At Pindar, he rose from cellarmaster to become the winemaker and general manager for 650 acres of grapes and production of 100,000 cases annually. Winning over 300 awards in his career, Mark has served on judging panels and seminars around the world. Currently, Mark has sat on the Board for the NC Grape Council.