Candidate Statements for Board of Directors 2018 – 2021 Term

Interested in becoming a BOD candidate see the following posts for information on how to apply:

The candidate statements of Mel Jay, Janet Hammond, Sara Yeoman and Leslie Hodowanec are listed below.  Candidates statements will be added as they are submitted to Greg Hagadorn, 2018 Election Chair.  Greg can be reached at

Mel Jay
Orange County Wine Society
Statement of Candidacy

I am asking for your vote to become a returning member of the Orange County Wine Society Board of Directors. I bring experience, professionalism and a willingness to serve. Since its incorporation in 1978, the OCWS has grown to one of the finest wine educational societies in the United States. My goal is to ensure that this continues. There have been many beneficial changes and improvements in the last several years. My focus will be to continue the modernization and improvements without losing the positive experiences that encourage our members to remain enthusiastic and active.

OCWS Experience:
• Served on the Board of Directors and was Treasurer from 2010 to 2013.
• Prepared not for profit compliance documents for the IRS and Franchise Tax Board since 2013.
• Chairman or member of the finance committee since 2006.
• Chair of Champagne Brunch
• Served as a manager and lead seminars in the Wine Courtyard since 2009.
• Served on the Wine Classic and Extraordinaire committees for several years.
• A judge at the OC Fair Home Wine Competition since 2011.
• Worked at the Commercial Wine Competition.
• Served as Office Procedures Coordinator.

Professional Experience:
• A Certified Public Accountant and business consultant in public practice for over 40 years.
• Member of AICPA and California Society CPAs
• Former Westminster Mayor and Councilmember for two terms.
• Former Member of the Westminster Planning Commission
• Past President of the Westminster Chamber of Commerce.
• Currently Treasurer and Board member of the Los Angeles and Orange County Audio Society.
• Former Director of American Institute of Wine and Food, Orange County Chapter.
• Received the CalCPA’s Distinguished Service Award.
• Received the President’s Award for Outstanding Service to the Los Angeles and Orange County Audio Society.

I have been attending OCWS events for over 35 years and have been an active member many of those years. I will work to enhance and expand the goals and purposes of our society while keeping it financially responsible. I will strive to promote new and novel events for our members as well as improving existing ones.

I believe everyone’s opinion and ideas are important. If you have any questions of me or would like to give me your input, I can be reached at or (714)451-2688. Thank you in advance for your vote!

Janet Hammond

For your consideration

Good evening, many of you already know me, I was the voice on the other end of the line for 18 years when you called the Wine Society but for those of you who don’t know me, I am Janet Hammond. I have been a member of the Wine Society for 21 years, volunteering on many committees such as planning the Classic, Extraordinaire, BBQ, Chili Cook-off, Commercial and Home Wine Competitions and Monthly Meetings. My 21 years as a member, 18 years as the Office Administrator have given me an excellent understanding what it takes to make an event a success, it’s not just the planning, it’s the people on your team and that is what a committee is – a team. I want to help move the Wine Society forward and am requesting your vote to continue working for the betterment of the organization. Thank you.

Sara Yeoman
Orange County Wine Society
Statement of Candidacy

I, Sara Yeoman, respectfully declare my candidacy for a position on the Board of Directors of the Orange County Wine Society. I have been a member for seven years and look to bring my business expertise to the organization, as well as my level of high energy and enthusiasm.
Professionally, I am a general manager for a national corporate group within the hospitality industry and currently oversee a multi-million dollar establishment. I am responsible for controlling all financial matters including, but not limited to, purchasing, labor, food and beverage costs, as well as analyzing financial statements and meeting established corporate budgets. In my chosen career I am expected to be proficient with people skills and communications. As well, for twelve years, a great portion of the time while attending college, I ran a promotions company that utilized my skills in sales and marketing and feel these are integral qualities in helping run an organization that is in the public eye.

Being of a younger generation, I would appreciate the opportunity to bring a different perspective to the OCWS. I have watched the organization change during my membership insofar as technological growth, broadening marketing to encourage participation of younger members and bringing a fresh enthusiasm to our largest fundraiser of each year, the Courtyard at the OC Fair, of which I am a manager and seminar creator and presenter. As a volunteer I have also worked on event committees and volunteered
in various positions at countless events.

I feel I have the time to commit to the position and would appreciate the opportunity to help continue the modernization of the organization, promote the educational mission and will strive to continue the high standards that have come to be associated with the OCWS. If elected, I will work diligently on behalf of the organization in whatever capacities are required of me and promise to represent the entire membership to the best of my capabilities.

If you have any questions of me, please do not hesitate to ask. I can be reached at

I am hopeful of being given the opportunity to represent you. Thank you for your positive consideration and support.

Leslie Hodowanec
Declaration of Candidacy
2018 Orange County Wine Society Board of Directors

My name is Leslie Hodowanec and I am respectfully declaring my candidacy for the OCWS Board of Directors.

I grew up in Orange County and went to the fair before I could drive; attended high school, colleges and entered a professional career in law enforcement spanning almost 40 years. Of those, 32 years were proudly serving with the Santa Ana Police Department (8 years in Traffic Investigation and 24 years as a Forensic Specialist) where I earned a full service retirement. During that time, I was elected twice to 2-year terms as a non-sworn representative with the Santa Ana Police Officers Association. The 70 year old SAPOA provides support and assists Santa Ana Police members and their families, widows and orphans, as well as many local organizations including issuing scholarships and donations toward youth athletics and activities. During that time, I attended CSULB, both as a BS student, and also as a guest instructor/lecturer in forensics courses and on crash testing and reconstruction. I held specialized legal investigator positions with a prominent product liability law firm and with private investigation firms.

As an OCWS member in good standing for 18 years, I have experience volunteering at almost every event and as many positions. Within this past year, I volunteered to become a secondary TIPS instructor and offered to assist with the fair wine seminars. I’ve affectionately been called a “Floater” as I try to cross-train wherever I can and have enjoyed participating with the internal workings of the organization as much as possible to this point.

The OCWS and I need your vote for a goal-oriented person with attention to detail. An efficient multi-tasker, I am always thinking ahead and have a fun-loving imagination. Based on applying training, standards, rules, laws and techno-dynamics, I greatly appreciate the direction the organization is taking and pledge to assist the leadership with the multitude of requirements to fulfill long term goals that add to the professionalism of the organization. My desire to promote the OCWS, my dedication to serve and my energy levels are boundless and I hope to have the opportunity to apply these qualities as a board member. Thank you.

I can be reached at Please don’t hesitate to contact me.