After 20 years as an innovative award-winning educator in the public sector, Ron joined Lynn to launch Penner-Ash Wine Cellars in 1998. The original intent was a “side project” while they both kept their day jobs. This plan lasted just a few years as an opportunity to expand the business encouraged Ron and Lynn to focus full-time on Penner-Ash Wine Cellars. The early years included learning every aspect of the wine industry from racking barrels to marketing strategies to presenting their wines in some of the very best restaurants and wine shops in the nation. Ron thrived in the diversity of tasks necessary to both launch and sustain the new label in a highly competitive market and cyclical economies. Persistence along with a smart business plan positioned the brand as a leader in New World Pinot Noir production. Over the years this calculated growth has allowed Ron to transition away from day-to-day responsibilities to focus on business-to-business relations and collaborating with local non-profits in fundraising efforts. That said, marathon shifts on the forklift during harvest is still a favorite task.
Never straying too far from public policy and education, Ron served as a School Board Member for the Riverdale School District in Portland and has participated in numerous committees for Oregon Pinot Camp, Salud! and The Willamette Valley Barrel Auction. Motivated by the healing qualities of music has led Ron to currently serve on the Board of Directors for the Children’s Cancer Association/MyMusicRX.