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About the Award

Richard (Rich) Smith, founder of Valley Farm Management, Paraiso Vineyards and Smith Family Wines in California's Santa Lucia Highlands wine region, was first and foremost a family man, and also a successful grape grower and winery owner, and a respected colleague. Through his significant and selfless contributions of time, energy and funds to organizations that advance the American grape and wine industry, he came to be known as a highly effective, collegial and tireless leader. He passed away in December 2015.

Three of the organizations Rich helped to shape—the National Grape Research Alliance (NGRA), WineAmerica and Winegrape Growers of America (WGA)—collaborated to create the Rich Smith Distinguished Service Award to honor his spirit and legacy. It annually recognizes people who demonstrate similar qualities and make a similarly positive impact on the industry, and gives us an opportunity to remember this remarkable man.

Please provide the following information to make a nomination by October 29, 2021. The recipient will be named at the WGA Leadership Luncheon on Wednesday, January 26, 2022, in Sacramento. Thank you for taking the time to recognize a leader!

Past Winners 
2017 - John Martini, Anthony Road Wine Company
2018 - Pete Downs, Family Winemakers of California
2019 - Jerry Lohr, J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines
2020 - Jim Trezise, WineAmerica
2021 - Donniella Winchell, Ohio Wine Producers Association

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* 1. Please provide your nominee's full name (first and last name), title and company name, and email address.

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* 2. Eligibility
To be eligible for the Rich Smith Award, nominees must satisfy the following criteria:
- Geography: This award may be presented to any person (including foreign nationals) living and working in the U.S. whose contributions have benefited the American grape and grape products industries.
- Membership Status: The recipient may, but need not be, a current or former member of any of the three sponsoring organizations: WineAmerica, WGA or NGRA.

Please acknowledge that your nominee meets these eligibility criteria.

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* 3. Criteria
Nominees for the Rich Smith Distinguished Service Award must exemplify leadership qualities on par with those that set Rich apart, such as:
- Fostering an atmosphere of collaboration
- Nurturing a community of grape and wine industry experts
- Addressing widespread issues or problems
- Working in harmony, addressing issues that unite us
- Working as a change agent: creating systematic, positive change through research, public policy, consumer awareness and/or volunteerism
- Displaying leadership in the grape and wine industry
- Demonstrating support for diversity and community

Please cite at least three examples of what sets your nominee apart.

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* 4. Please summarize what inspired you to nominate this leader. Examples could include the nominee's background, information about his or her business(es) related to the U.S. grape and wine industry, involvement in causes or organizations, and/or achievements that have benefited the industry.

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* 5. Please provide a link to your nominee's LinkedIn page or other web-based bio so that reviewers may have as full a picture as possible of your nominee's career, accomplishments and service to the grape and wine industry. Alternately, you may email your nominee's bio or resume to (If emailing, please note that here.)

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* 6. Please provide your full name and email address in case we need to follow up.

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