Ray Johnson Promoted to Executive Director of Wine Business Institute

Expanded Role Includes Operational Oversight of the Wine Spectator Learning Center
August 8, 2016
Ray  Johnson, Executive Director of the Wine Business Institute

Ray Johnson, Executive Director of the Wine Business Institute

Rohnert Park, CA - The School of Business and Economics (SBE) at Sonoma State University (SSU) today announced the promotion of Ray Johnson from Director to Executive Director of the Wine Business Institute (WBI), an education and research institute of SBE. In addition to current activities involving organizational development and program execution, the expanded role includes responsibility for the operation of programs and events at the future Wine Spectator Learning Center, including activities related to alumni engagement, student learning, and faculty development and research projects. The new facility is expected to open in 2018. 

"We've accomplished great things on behalf of our students and the next generation of wine business leaders. It's an honor to help guide the Wine Business Institute in its next stage and an exciting future for the global wine industry. Our  expert faculty,  diligent staff, wonderful benefactors, and everyone who chooses to be part of our international wine business community can look forward to a home base at the Wine Spectator Learning Center and Sonoma State University," Ray Johnson, Executive Director of the Wine Business Institute said.

During his tenure as Director, Ray Johnson oversaw a significant increase in annual enrollment and revenue for wine business programs. Over five years leading the Institute, he secured over $10,000,000 in support for leadership in wine business education and research, and expanded access for students to wine industry careers, scholarships, and internships.

"Ray's leadership is pivotal to the growth and trajectory of international wine business education and research.  From industry certifications and Master's degrees in global wine business, to leading-edge research working to solve the industry's most pressing needs, Ray's deep background and attention to our students and stakeholders make him uniquely positioned to take on this expanded role," Dr. William Silver, Dean of the School of Business and Economics at Sonoma State University said.

Construction of the 15,000-square-foot, $9.15 million Wine Spectator Learning Center began on June 1, 2016 with an official groundbreaking ceremony attended by over 300 people, including California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, U.S. Congressman Mike Thompson, Wine Spectator editor and publisher, Marvin Shanken, and other luminaries in government, education, and industry.

For more information about the Wine Spectator Learning Center, or wine industry certifications and advanced degree programs of the Wine Business Institute, please contact (707) 664-3235 or email winebiz@sonoma.edu.