Candidate Statements for Board of Directors 2020 – 2023 Term

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

OCWS Board of Directors: Call for Candidates

The candidate statements of Frank Deptola, Carolyn Christian, Kevin Donnelly, Fred Heinecke and Lisa Viceroy are listed below.  Candidates statements will be added as they are submitted to Greg Hagadorn, 2019 Election Chair.  Greg can be reached at

Frank  Deptola
Orange County Wine Society
Statement of Candidacy

I have been a member of the OCWS, for 4 or 5 years. My membership lapsed at one point during that period, but I renewed it last year. I also bought memberships for two of my employees as part of our regular time commitments to give back to the community.

During my memberships(s), I have been a judge several times on your OC home wine makers contest at the Courtyard. I have also participated over the last year in two of your “Meet the Winery Owner” type dinners at the Ave. of the Arts Hotel. Both experiences were terrific. I attended, along with the above two employees, your annual meeting last year. My interest in wine started back to the 1970’s where as an outside salesman we were “required” (I loved it) to entertain clients at fine NYC restaurants multiple times a week. That only was enhanced as I moved up through the ranks into general management of large companies. My clients included wealthy business owners and top executives who taught me the beauty of exploring different wines – all over the world. That interest continued when I started my own business, Frank Deptola & Associates, in May, 2012. As I mentioned to Mel, we have been holding annual “Taking Care of Your Financial Well Being” weekend seminars at the Hotel Cheval, Paso Robles for many years. During that time, I was fortunate to have visited many different wineries in the Paso area over the years. About 3 years ago I became, and remain, a active member of the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance. I travel to Paso for their semi-annual and annual meetings each year, and several other times during the year for the above seminar weekend and/or their other special events. In April, 2019 I had a 10 day trip to the wine regions of Spain / France with Gelfand Vineyards. We have short 1 – 2 minute video clips of the different stops up on our website:

I have served on charity boards in the past, and have a well documented history of regularly giving both time and money to good causes in our community. As there is a large amount of information on me on our website: rather than repeat that here, I would encourage any board member who is interested to consider clicking through it. I am confident that you, and the other board members, will find my background and experience useful to your needs on the OCWS Board.

Any consideration you could give my candidacy would be appreciated. Thank you!

Carolyn Christian
Orange County Wine Society
Statement of Candidacy

My name is Carolyn Christian, and I am proud to submit my candidacy for the Orange County Wine Society Board of Directors.  As a member for over 30 years,  I have seen the organization and the wine industry go through many changes over the years.  I bring to the table many years of experience with nonprofit management and human resources, a profound respect for the Orange County Wine Society’s history and traditions, and an interest in ensuring that the organization endures and stays relevant and successful during these uncertain and ever-changing times.

I joined the Orange County Wine Society in 1986, while I was studying Cultural Anthropology.  I have served on the OCWS board of directors for 3 separate terms (9 years total) and went on to serve on four other nonprofit boards in various capacities.  During my time on the OCWS board, I served as secretary and vice president, and chaired many events including the Wine Classic, Wine Extraordinaire, Membership BBQ, Scholarship Committee, Holiday Dinner and Dance, Dine with Wine Program, and many more.  Since serving on the board, I have continued to volunteer for events, work at the OC Fair, and give educational seminars in the Wine Courtyard.

Professionally, I have worked in Human Resources for over 20 years and prior to that taught at several colleges and conducted research.  My focus has included educational development, data systems, and website administration.  Most recently, I returned to school for a master’s in human resources from a prestigious business school to become a better strategic partner in the corporate world.  I passionately believe that we are all students of life and should continually learn from the world around us.

My interest in wine began during my years at Fresno State University.  Over the years I have worked for several wineries and nonprofit wine organizations.  The work that OCWS is especially important, and I hope that serving on the board again will give me an opportunity to help continue its legacy.  As a cultural anthropologist and HR professional, I have been able to assist various organizations better serve their changing membership base and ensure sustainability.

Over the past several months, I have utilized my skills to develop an education and outreach program for nonprofit organizations dealing with the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 Pandemic Crisis.  In addition, I have had the honor of working with fellow OCWS members to transition the OC Fair Wine Seminar Series to an online platform, with great success.  It has been heart-warming to see many of you online each Sunday to share wine knowledge, and I look forward to seeing you all again in person.

I am very excited about the possibility of once again serving on the OCWS Board of Directors.  Although I have been a member for several decades, those who know me know that I am still 29 at heart, and I hope by serving on the board again, I can help to celebrate the legacy of the OCWS, while ensuring that we meet the needs of all our members and continue to build a resilient organization.

Thank you for your consideration and your vote.

Kevin Donnelly
Orange County Wine Society
Statement of Candidacy

I have been a member of OCWS since I started making wine, and met Jim Graver in 2003.  Since that time, I have been involved with both the Wine Makers and the “Wine Drinkers” side of the house. I served on the Board of Directors from 2009 to 2012, and in 2015, I took over leadership of the Winemakers’ Group from Jim, which I have continued for the past five years.

I have been the Chairman for the Home Wine Competition since 2015.

My objectives for the coming three years include:
Maintaining our solid. productive relationship with the OC Fair’s Board of Directors,
Continued integration of the Winemakers Group into the general OC Wine Society events, and involving more of the general OCWS membership into the Winemakers events,
Recruiting more young members into OCWS, and integrating their new ideas into our events,
Growing the OC Fair Home Wine Competition’s reputation in best HWC the entire state of California and beyond, and
Promoting OCWS as the Premier Wine Organization in all of Southern California.

The OCWS Board of Directors need strong, motivated, experienced and focused leadership. I will bring this skill set to the Board.

Kevin Donnelly

Fred Heinecke
Orange County Wine Society
Statement of Candidacy

Hello fellow Orange County Wine Society members my name is Fred Heinecke.  Let me take a few words to introduce myself and tell you why I am a candidate for the Board of Directors.

My family has been in Orange County since 1883.  Their first adventure into agriculture was grapes, tough to grow in Santa Ana, but quickly turned to oranges.  My wife, Cheryl, and I are lucky enough to be native Orange Countians.

You have probably seen me at the Commercial Competition or the O.C. Fair Courtyard where I have worked as a server since 2014 and a steward since 2015, where I try to work at least 15 shifts a summer.  I must say I love working there and sharing the wine with fair goers and fellow OCWS members.  The Courtyard is the showplace of the Society and puts a face on the OCWS for the entire county to see.  The cancellation of the fair until 2021 is disappointing to all of us.

I have had experience on 501(C)3 boards in the past.  I was treasurer and later president of a first responder board of directors in a community we lived in during the early 2000’s.  I served ten years as the president of the Newport Beach Police Management Association.

We can all see that moving into the decade of the 2020’s is going to be challenging, but it can also be rewarding.  The most important part of any organization is its people.  In the OCWS’s case it is the membership.  My primary goal as a member of the Board of Directors will be to work with the Board to retain our current membership and enroll new members.  That is the key to keeping a vibrant, growing organization.

Our commercial competition is the opportunity for wineries to showcase themselves to our members and then to all of Southern California at the Orange County Fair.  There were about 3,000 wineries in California in 2009; today there are over 4,500.  That’s about a skyrocketing 50% increase in a decade.  Keeping up with the industry will require time, footwork and desire, and I have all three to offer to the Society.

I ask for your vote and hope to see you, as soon as we can do it safely, at a wine dinner, a holiday event, the commercial competition or, best of all, the Courtyard. Until then, the weekly wine webinars have been truly great and a way to connect to and enjoy a glass of wine with other members.

Lisa G. Viceroy
Orange County Wine Society
Statement of Candidacy

My name is Lisa Viceroy and I am excited and honored to submit my name as a candidate for a position on the board of the Orange County Wine Society.   I have run my own chiropractic business for over 26 years and have become a successful part of the Newport Beach/Costa Mesa business community.  During the three (3) years of my membership, there has been much enjoyment and ample opportunity to experience the organization, its members and events through fresh eyes. My tenure with the OCWS may not have stretched as long as other candidates, but I believe in the organization and am sure I can have a very positive impact. The plan I envision during my time on the Board focuses on growth and renewed commitment to the goals, ideals and vision of the OCWS.

My love of wine started in 1982 when a girlfriend and I would drive up to Napa, camp in the local state park and visit as many wineries as we could over a 3-day period. This inspired me to pursue wine as more than just a hobby, but a passion. I have been very active in studying wine ever since and am learning more every year. At the suggestion and with the support of another OCWS member, my study of wine has been elevated even further by completing the WSET-1 program with plans to complete WSET-2 in September and WSET-3 early next year.

The plan below, I believe, will strengthen this organization, endear it even more to the vast membership, create amazing energy and deliver fantastic results while maintaining the foundations of the society. that plan includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Recruit brand name wineries to participate in our events, share with them the passion and vision of our organization and even arrange member trips to the targeted wineries to solicit support (funded, of course, by the trip participants and not the OCWS directly)
  2. Increase revenue by finding new ways for members and potential members to expeerience wine and, at the same time, discover new friendships for all. We can accomplish this with a drive to expand membership across all age groups (over 21 of course)
  3. Expand advertising on social media to share the benefits of the OCWS and “brand OCWS” as a place people want to join
  4. Reach out to other wine societies to collaborate and exchange ideas

I have met so many people at the OCWS that have become good, close friends. The chance to share that opportunity with others and introduce our fine organization to an even greater membership base is one of the main reasons for announcing my candidacy. If you are interested in making the OCWS an even greater experience with new energy, fun activities and increasing our goal of funding scholarships, I believe I am the right candidate for one of the positions on the board. I am so honored to be able to share my thoughts in your consideration of my candidacy and promise to delivery on the plan I outlined above.