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Leadership Napa ValleyLeadership Napa Valley

About Leadership Napa valley

What is Leadership Napa Valley?

Leadership Napa Valley began in 1987 as a new program supported by the Napa Chamber of Commerce.

It is an intense, fun and educational experience. The program selects class members annually from a list of applicants who then embark on a 9-month journey together. During that time they learn leadership skills, teamwork and experience the many different pieces that make this county such a special place to live.

One Friday a month (plus a couple of saturdays) the group meets with its facilitator to learn about a new aspect of the community; this includes government, business, health industry, tourism, agriculture and more.

The class also works in teams to develop a meaningful project that they present near the end of the year, in the hopes that it will have a lasting positive impact on the community. In effect, it’s their first team effort at local leadership! Some of the past projects that came from LNV include “Hands Across the Valley” and the DARE Foundation.


In the early years, getting people involved in LNV was a challenge. Since there had never been a local leadership program, it was all new territory. Under the direction of John Wagenknecht, who was already well known and respected in the community, the program soon developed a reputation for delivering a high-quality experience for participants. After John Wagenknect the County Office of Education managed the program and Kathy Merritt was the coordinator until passing the baton to Jill Techel who became the program coordinator in 1996.

Over the years the program has been refined and improved many times over, and today LNV is recognized as one of the best leadership training experiences in the country. More than 600 people have graduated from the program and gone forward with a deeper commitment to making Napa Valley a better place to live, work and grow.

Please look around our site for more information and feel free to contact us for more information.

Our Leadership

Executive Committee

Desiree Brun | President
Catherine Heywood | Vice President
Lissa Gibbs | Secretary
Brian Teaff | Treasurer
    and Finance Committee Co-Leader
Steve Rogers | Past President 

Board of Directors

Danielle Barreca| Alumni Programs
    Committee Leader
Tiffany Kenny | Recruitment &   
    Selection Committee Leader
Margaret Niland | Fundraising Committee

Molly Rattigan | Communications
    Committee Leader  
Betsy Van Dyne | Finance Committee

Melinda Adams

Brian Dodd 
Kristine Haataja
Steve Potter 

Kristine Youngberg


Gayle Adamowicz Bray | email 
Membership & Community Relations Director

Jill Techel | email 
Program Coordinator


P.O. Box 636   Napa, CA 94559

(707) 738-9238   info@leadershipnapavalley.org

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All Rights Reserved.

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