September 2020

President’s Message

Thanks to all of our members who joined the virtual Annual Business Meeting on Friday, September 11. Highlights of the year’s past events and the financial health of the organization were reviewed. A recording of this meeting will be available on the OCWS website to those of you who missed the live meeting. Special thanks to all of our presenters for helping to pull off this event. The highlight of the evening was the recognition of our volunteers who this past year contributed over 1,034 hours of volunteer time in support of the OCWS up through March when COVID-19 restrictions were implemented. Please see George Craven’s article in this edition for the details of those recognized.

This year, it was my honor and privilege to present the President’s Award to Kevin Coy for his many years of outstanding dedication and service to the OCWS as a Director, President, Cellar Master, and Director of Judges for the Commercial Wine Competition. Pictured is Kevin holding his award. Congratulations, Kevin!

At the September BOD meeting, Jim Beard, was recognized with the President Emeritus Award. This award is presented by the President with Board recommendation, as a special designation to acknowledge the dedication, time, and effort given to the OCWS by those who served as OCWS President, and who have continued to volunteer after their term of office has concluded. Congratulations, Jim!

This year’s BOD election has brought forth a great turnout of candidates. In addition to our first “virtual” Annual Business Meeting, we are conducting the election electronically this year. Thanks to Greg Hagadorn and the Election Committee for pulling this off. Please stay tuned to ocws.org for information on the election results. Unfortunately, the Annual Installation Dinner is cancelled. I would like to thank outgoing Directors Brian McDonald for his dedicated service over the past six years, and Ken Scott for his expertise over the past three years. This will also conclude my six years of service on the Board.

As the outgoing President, I wish to thank all of my past fellow Board members for their service. A special thanks goes to my wife, Carolyn, whose encouragement and delightful sense of humor has supported me over the years and who introduced us to the OCWS over 19 years ago—it has been quite a journey!  Cheers,

 Bill Redding, President

OCWS Virtual Entertainment Seminars

In looking to find some fun alternatives to The Courtyard at the OC Fair that, sadly, were not able to  be held this year, Summer Sunday Seminars were created. Ten weeks of entertaining seminars were developed by a talented team of people who combined their passion for the OC Fair seminars and their love of our organization and its members.

Carolyn Christian, Dawn Iglesias, Ed Reyes, Ken Knapp, Kevin Donnelly, and Sara Yeoman combined their collective talents to bring enjoyable and unique topics to life. Ten seminars were presented via Zoom, with an average of 75 attendees each week. All seminars were recorded and are available to members for playback when logged into the OCWS website; the main menu item Webinars will appear.

The seminar group was also very honored to be invited to participate in the OC Fair & Event Center’s Virtual OC Fair and recorded fun wine-related clips that were featured on the OC Fair’s website and social media.

After receiving overwhelmingly positive responses to the Summer Seminar Series, this group is excited to announce that they will be retuning with a Winter Series beginning Sunday, December 6 and running through Sunday, February 28, 2021. Watch your inbox in November for more details and the full seminar schedule. 

If you have any questions, feedback, or suggestions, you can reach out to us at Seminars@ocws.org. We look forward to having more fun with you this winter in today’s virtual world.

– Sara Yeoman, Director

In Recognition and Appreciation of the OCWS Volunteers

While our most volunteer-intensive events weren’t held this year, there were still a number of members who put in significant time helping plan and run the events that we did have. As the organization has only part-time employees, it relies on our volunteers for everything from guiding and managing our organization to planning and running our events. Most volunteer work is done “behind the scenes” and unnoticed by many.

In recognition of the hours of service, the Wine Society rewards its volunteers with gift certificates redeemable for admission to OCWS events.

Thank you to the following volunteers for their efforts during the 2019-2020 Board year. Our volunteers make this the successful organization that it is. We encourage you to get involved. It is a great way to see how the OCWS works and meet new friends. NOTE: The volunteer coupons will be posted to each member’s account by the end of September, and can be used for events through the end of September 2021. The Board has also agreed to extend the expiration of unused volunteer coupons from 2018-2019 so they will be useable for events through the end of September 2021.

– George Cravens, Volunteer Recognition Chair

Award Coupon Recipients
$50 Discount
Coupon
$25 Discount Coupon$10 Discount Coupon
Leslie Brown
Chris & Hank Bruce
Carolyn Christian
Liz & Lloyd Corbett
Kevin Coy
Kevin Donnelly
Bill Forsch
Fran Gitsham
Terry McLean
Betty Jo & Jay Newell
Karyl Newton
Bruce & Jeannine Powers
Rochelle Randel
Ed Reyes
Germaine & Rob Romano
Peter Schlundt Bodien
Stacey Taylor
Barb & Dave White
Lynda Edwards
Carol Esslinger
Jane Goodnight
Larry Graham
Greg Hagadorn
Dawn Iglesias
Virginia Kawai
Jim Kerins
Linda McLean
Irene Scott
Dave & Tami Stancil
Richard Ward
Dave Wiegand
 

Damian Christian
Michael Del Medico
Jerry Guerin
Shelly Jayne
Karl Kawai
Ken Knapp
John Lane
Kevin Lite
Sam Puzzo
Dana Rutledge
Bob Topham
 
$50 Discount Coupon
Leslie Brown
Chris & Hank Bruce
Carolyn Christian
Liz & Lloyd Corbett
Kevin Coy
Kevin Donnelly
Bill Forsch
Fran Gitsham
Terry McLean
Betty Jo & Jay Newell
Karyl Newton
Bruce & Jeannine Powers
Rochelle Randel
Ed Reyes
Germaine & Rob Romano
Peter Schlundt Bodien
Stacey Taylor
Barb & Dave White

2020-2021 OCWS Scholarship Drive—Time to Wine-Up

Scholarships are important to the core of the OCWS, especially to the dedicated students we support. Due to COVID-19 and the cancellation of scholarship fundraising sources, the scholarship account has only 10% of what we funded last year at this time. We have lost the top three and more of five sources that account for Undesignated (shared) and Designated (specific) Scholarship funds. We need the help of our generous OCWS members to Wine-Up Scholarships this fall. 

Every new OCWS membership and renewal provides $12.50 into our Scholarship Fund. This past year, the BOD twice suspended expiring memberships, for a total of 8 months of no incoming undesignated funds.

Judges’ donations from our Commercial Wine Competition are combined and rotated in an annual order to one of our seven colleges and universities. There was no designated 2020 Judges’ donation. The Courtyard at the OC Fair generates funds in two areas. Donations awarded from the onsite Featured Winery Program and winemakers serving at the Express Bar are divided between colleges that officially enter our competition. There was no 2020 designation.

The largest incoming annual source of almost half of the total OCWS scholarship funds every year are the tips/gratuity donations our fabulous volunteers generate over The Courtyard counter during the OC Fair. There are no undesignated sources this year from The Courtyard either.

Ways to Wine-Up. For this 2020 tax year, the CARES Act allows tax benefits in the form of a universal deduction up to $300 toward 501(c)(3) organizations for those that do not itemize their deductions. As an alternative, you can make contributions directly from your IRA or 401(K) and avoid additional income on your individual return. Always check with your tax professional as how it applies to you.

On our OCWS website, click on Scholarship Program and Donations. You may designate your contribution toward a specific college. An undesignated option is to divide your contribution to be equally distributed between seven colleges. After you make your donation, you will be able to print your receipt for your tax records. The Cunningham Endowment is specifically designated to Sonoma State University and you must contribute separately to that account. With unprecedented disappointments this year, let’s show that the OCWS can Wine-Up as a scholarship organization with benefits toward grateful recipients for 2021. 

– Leslie Hodowanec, Director & Scholarship Chair

Meeting and Staying Social from a Distance

These past months have been challenging for all of us in the Orange County Wine Society. This has caused the OCWS to rely more heavily on our older methods and get creative with new ways to keep in touch with our members. Our last in-person Quarterly Meeting was held in February, and we all miss them dearly.

The Winemakers’ Group has leaned in to use all tools available to communicate with both our new winemakers as well as our more experienced (notice I’m not saying “OLD”) members. We collaborated with Sara Yeoman and her team to provide additional content to be included in the virtual Summer Sunday Seminar series under topics titled “Winemaking for Mere Mortals” and twice-featured “Filtering, Fining and Bottling.”

Adapting to this “2020 norm” (hoping it’s not the NEW norm), we have conducted our Group Bottle and Group Cork Purchases, and now that we are in grape picking season, we are conducting our Group Grape Purchase over email and Constant Contact.

The Winemakers’ Group continues to conduct its programs, and for that, we have also turned to video conferencing over the Zoom platform. Thus far, under our group training program, we presented a 5-session class on “Kit Wine Making” where viewers followed along with their kit wines while instructor, Karyl Newton, made a kit wine on camera. We just conducted a lecture to support the Group Grape Purchase, discussing “How to Order Grapes,” and “How to Pick Up the Grapes” in which Bill Forsch discussed procedures, and Bruce Powers did some crushing and destemming of his estate Sangiovese grapes over the Zoom virtual platform.

We conducted our “Pre-Fermentation” seminar for both red and white wines, and will be hosting a “Post Crush” seminar in a virtual setting. In spring, we will repeat the “Filtering, Fining and Bottling” seminar as we get ready to finish up our 2020 vintage wines and start all over with 2021. We are also brainstorming with the idea of having a Winemakers’ Group meeting in a virtual platform where everyone has their video turned on so that we may see dozens of “newer and older” faces.

While utilizing a virtual platform is not an ideal substitute for in-person meetings, it offers us a new way to snub our noses at the quarantine, while staying safe and keeping a safe distance. Continuing to build close, strong relationships can be challenging when communicating and connecting in a virtual setting with our remote members in order to engage, educate, and entertain – meeting that challenge is top of mind.

We all hope and look forward to when we can return to our “pre-2020 norm,” but in the meantime, keep a bottle of (maybe homemade?) wine close, and I look forward to seeing you all, for the time being, in a virtual setting soon!

– Kevin Donnelly

Scholarship Thank you from OCC Student

August 21, 2020

Dear Leslie Hodowanec,

I want to express my sincere gratitude for selecting me to receive the Orange County Wine Society, Inc scholarship. I was excited to be chosen and I am deeply grateful for your support, especially because I took a great class Fall 2019, Bar Management with Professor Yates, and I learned quite a bit about wine, there is still so much more to learn but I’ve got a great start. 

I have been continuing my culinary degree even with all the madness going on today, I am happy to report that I passed Spring 2020 with another 4.0 semester. I could not have done it without all of the resources that Orange Coast College has given me.  Your donation will allow me to have less financial stress this coming quarter and I cannot express to you how much it means to me. My current career plan is to open my own small meal prep/meals to go business once i complete my schooling this coming year. 

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your gracious generosity and support me in my education.  You have inspired me to help others and give back to the community one day.   I promise to work hard and hope I will be able to help other students achieve their goals just as you have helped me.

Sincerely,

Genevieve Clay-Poor

Huntington Beach, Ca 

Scholarship Thank you from OCC Student

Cameron Wilson

OCC Student

July 14, 2020

Dear Mrs. Leslie Hodowanec,

            I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for selecting me for the Orange County Wine Society scholarship. I am grateful to you and your organization for selecting me.

            I am currently enrolled in the advanced baking and pastry program at Orange Coast College. I have one more semester left until I earn my degree and the opportunity you have given me will allow me to reach the finish line. I cannot express to you how much this means to me and to have your support. I plan to be in the food industry in some way so I can feed people and make them happy.

            Thank you again for all of the support you have given me. I hope one day I may be able to do the same for others.

Sincerely,

Cameron Wilson

Anaheim, CA,

President’s Message

It is my sincere hope that everyone is staying safe, staying busy, and drinking great wines!

I am pleased to report that at the August BOD meeting, it was unanimously approved to extend all memberships an additional four months. 

In last month’s issue of The Wine Press, I highlighted some of our virtual seminar offerings. We hope you have enjoyed the offerings during July and August which have been produced by our members: Ed Reyes, Carolyn Christian, Ken Knapp, Sara Yeoman, and Kevin Donnelly. Thank you all for such an outstanding job!

If you missed attending a virtual seminar, they have been uploaded on our website, and you can locate them after signing in and clicking Zoom Seminars. Simply locate the seminar you missed, click on the name of the seminar, and watch the ones you missed . . . or watch them again!

The OCWS Winery Program is also making plans to conduct programs virtually. On September 20, we will be featuring ZD Wines. More details are provided in this month’s newsletter. Thanks to Rich Skoczylas and Leslie Hodowanec for your efforts. 

I am very pleased to see that as I am writing this article we have five members who have submitted their intent to run for the Board of Directors. You can find their candidate statements on our website.

The candidates will also be providing a brief statement at the “Annual Business Meeting” as required per Article 6 of our By-laws. The 2020 Annual Business Meeting will be held on Friday, September 11. Due to gathering restrictions currently in place, the meeting will be held “virtually.” The announcement for signups for this meeting was sent out via email and posted on the ocws.org website. As a reminder, for those with a dual membership only one individual needs to sign up to attend this meeting. 

According to our By-laws, the Board of Director election must be held three weeks from the Annual Business Meeting. This year, we will be conducting the election electronically. A ballot will be sent out to members after the September 11 meeting.

Please be sure to update your email address to a current and valid email address using the edit profile feature on the OCWS website. More information on the electronic voting process and what you can expect can be found under the Electronic Voting article contained in this newsletter.

Cheers,

 Bill Redding, President