Celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month
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Jeff Knapp is CEO/President of Visit McMinnville, an Economic Development organization overseeing the promotion and development of McMinnville as a sustainable and profitable destination. Prior to this role, Jeff spent eight years leading Direct to Consumer Sales at Sokol Blosser Winery, programming and developing next level hospitality and sales through relationships. He works in leadership on local, regional and state issues involving strategic planning and the Oregon Visitor Economy.
Kitri McGuire is a native Oregonian and the VP for Strategic Communications for Visit McMinnville. She gained local hospitality and wine industry experience at Sokol Blosser Winery, where she served in marketing roles for 8 years, and in PR and marketing at Leatherman Tool Group, a renowned Oregon manufacturer and outdoor brand with international reach.
McGuire is involved in a number of professional organizations, including on the board of directors for the International Pinot Noir Celebration, Assemblage Symposium, the Willamette Valley Visitor’s Association, and as President of the McMinnville Library Foundation.
James Howe, a Wyoming native, relocated to McMinnville with her family in 2009. She has enjoyed exploring several creative outlets in McMinnville, such as acting on the Gallery Theater stage, playing her flute in Second Winds Community Band, and as a singer/songwriter and guitarist in a local duo. In 2018, James received her bachelor’s degree in Public Policy & Administration with an emphasis on Communications. James is Visit Mcminnville’s Marketing Coordinator & Arts Liaison, and she is the editor of CRUSH, Visit McMinnville’s monthly printed arts & culture publication.
James serves on the Gallery Theater Board of Directors, Gallery’s marketing and grant writing committees, McMinnville Urban Renewal Area Committee, Walnut City Music Festival Committee, and is a co-founder of Make Music McMinnville.
Lee McCollins grew up in the mid-Willamette Valley, moved to Portland in 2001, and has called McMinnville home since 2016. Before joining Visit McMinnville as Director of Marketing and Communications, Lee wore many hats as Director of Marketing at Durant Vineyards, Durant Olive Mill, and Red Ridge Farms. Before his eight years at Durant, Lee worked in Marketing at Whole Foods Market.
When not being a champion for the great town of McMinnville, Oregon, Lee spends his time gardening, exploring Oregon’s countryside, cooking, and baking. Lee co-owns a small wine brand in Portland, OR, called Augustina Cellars. He serves on the Edible Landscapes of Yamhill County Board of Directors, volunteers as a Yamhill County Court Appointed Special Advocate, and lends his creative talents to the team at Wine Country Pride.
Kris Wessel is Visit McMinnville’s ‘Hello McMinnville’ Community Connector.
Originally from Illinois, Kris moved to Oregon in 2001 and then to Yamhill County in 2006. Dogs, yoga, and bocce formed the base on which to build great friendships.
Kris has worked for many years in the non-profit world, healthcare, social services, and education. She has developed skills to assess and evaluate organizations and create systematic approaches to programs and projects, streamline operations, employ targeted use of technology, and achieve measurable outcomes.
Off the clock, she enjoys spending time with friends, the countryside, dogs, yoga, and bocce.
Olivia Rovang is a native Oregonian who is serving with Visit McMinnville as the Associate Development Coordinator through the RARE program.
Olivia has spent the last 5 years living in Prescott, AZ, obtaining degrees in Sustainable Food Systems, where she completed coursework in agroecology, sustainable community development, food justice, and value chain assessment. Additionally, during school, Olivia worked as a barista, gaining customer service experience and connecting with the community through the customer service lens.
Generally, during non-working hours you can find Olivia on the nearest hiking trail, wandering through the trees looking at birds or some interesting moss. She also enjoys reading, crafting, live music, and yoga.