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Susan Sokol Blosser – FOUNDER + PRESIDENT

Susan Sokol Blosser, wine industry pioneer, community leader, environmental advocate, and author, is a contemporary Oregon icon. As vineyard manager, then president, of Sokol Blosser Winery, she was a forerunner in practicing the triple bottom line of people, planet, profit, while pursuing her vision of making fabulous wines.

Her business memoir, At Home in the Vineyard: Cultivating a Winery, an Industry, and a Life came out in 2006. Gracious & Ruthless: Surprising Strategies for Business Success, appeared in 2008. In 2014, she published her third book, Letting Go.

After turning the winery over to two children, Alex and Alison, who serve as co-presidents, Susan stepped back with the title of Founder.  In 2011, she founded the Yamhill Enrichment Society (YES), whose mission is “Building Community Through Innovation and Collaboration.”  Susan serves as YES’s president.

Heather Lewis

Heather Lewis, is a longtime Newberg resident and community volunteer. After working for 32 years as a Neonatal Intensive Care nurse at OHSU, she now spends time working in the community and caring for her grandchildren. In addition to the YES board, she is on the George Fox Board of Trustees, the downtown Newberg Beautification and Public Art Committee, and a volunteer at the Newberg DropIn Center and the Love, Inc Kitchen Ministry.

Marty Palacios, EdD.

Marty Palacios, EdD.

Marty has served Yamhill County as an educator since 1986, beginning his career as a tutor in McMinnville School District’s Chapter 1 Migrant Education Program while completing his Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education at Linfield. He went on to teach for 16 years in McMinnville and serve as an administrator for 15 additional years before retiring in 2020. Along the way, he also served as a teacher in Chapter 1 Migrant Summer Schools for Yamhill, Marion and Polk counties for 11 years. He earned an M. S. in Education from Western Oregon State College, an ESOL Endorsement from Portland State University, and an Administrative License and Doctor of Education degree from George Fox University. After retirement from public education, he served as an Associate Professor and Dean of Education at Warner Pacific University in Portland for two years. He helped to secure both State and National Accreditation for the Educator Preparation Program. He also helped develop partnerships with local school districts and Portland Community College to strengthen and support “Grow Your Own” programs to develop diverse teacher candidates for the classroom.

He has lived in Yamhill County since 1986. He and his wife, Debbie, raised five children who all attended McMinnville Schools. They share a common belief in the value of education, commitment to faith, family and the community as the guiding force in how they present themselves to the world.

Robin Yost Pederson

Robin taught music for 40 years, the last 16 in the McMinnville school district. At McMinnville High School, she taught traditional and jazz choirs, strings, was the Performing Arts Pathway leader,  musical theater, instructional coach, and mentor for district music staff.  She has taught award winning choirs in Oregon, Washington, California, and Montana.  Robin is a sought after clinician and adjudicator and has enjoyed working at choir festivals and contests in the above named states as well as in Alaska and Utah.  Robin holds a Bachelors in Arts and Education (BAE) from Pacific Lutheran University, and a Masters in Choral Conducting from Portland State University. Robin has served on the Arts Alliance of Yamhill County board, the Yamhill Enrichment Society board, and has directed several shows at the Gallery Theater. “Developing community and empathy through beautiful music, and creating beauty from chaos” is Pedersons mission and the core of her teaching philosophy.  She directs community groups of all ages and enjoys creating music and musical theater with her husband (Mark), with her kids (Noel and Paul), and now her grand-daughters.

John V. Peterson

A musician since childhood, trained on violin and trumpet, John retired from being an airline executive to devote his time to music. He runs the Mac Music Academy, where he teaches mallet percussion instruments, piano, bass, and guitar. John shares his expertise with various community musical groups, including the 2nd Winds Community Band of McMinnville, the 99 West Jazz Band,  Freddie and the Stumpjumpers, and the Christmas Cantata Choir. He also plays acoustic guitar at St. James Church. In addition to the YES board, he serves on the board of the Saturday Morning Breakfast, which serves a hot meal every Saturday morning to the hungry and homeless in the community.

Sue Chen

Sue is an entrepreneur, shark advocate, hazelnut farmer and struggling pianist.  As the CEO of NOVA Medical Products, Sue is changing the way people embrace aging and tackle physical challenges with innovative and stylish products.  Sue is extremely passionate about ocean conservation and has a very special place in her heart for sharks.  Combining her passion for ocean conservation and human ability, Sue is the co-founder of Operation Blue Pride, an organization supporting Veterans through scuba diving and ocean education.  As a Community Champion for the Annenberg Foundation, Sue has coached and mentored over 100 non-profit organizations including the CNN Heroes.  In 2015, Sue found a new home in Yamhill and became a hazelnut farmer.  She now enjoys her life in both Manhattan Beach CA and Yamhill OR.

Miriam Sangabriel

Miriam came with her sisters and brother to Newberg from Vera Cruz, Mexico, at age 15, to join her parents who were already here. She and her parents worked at a local restaurant, where she learned about the restaurant business. In 2019, with her sister, she started her own business, Los Kopitos, next to Methven Winery Tasting Room in Dundee. A mini restaurant on wheels, Los Kopitos, does catering at wineries in addition to serving customers from its stationary food cart. Miriam’s daughter has participated in both of YES’s early childhood programs and Miriam is a passionate advocate of both.

George Humlie

George Humlie has been an instrumental part of the McMinnville community since 1989, where he and his wife raised three children. Prior to coming to McMinnville, George was a traveling musician touring the Northwest. With the birth of his children, settling down became a priority, so in 1995, he took a job with City Sanitary Service now known as Recology. George is still employed by Recology which demonstrates his loyalty and commitment to the community he serves.
In 1991, he opened up Humlie School of Music. This would provide his kids an opportunity to develop their music skills in performance as well as educators. The school managed as many as 300 students with 15 instructors. George has a passion for developing the spiritual gift of music within children as he did with his three beautiful children, now known as We Three!
George’s wife passed away after battling cancer for several years.  Since then, he married Anita who also supports the community and would like to participate through volunteerism with Yamhill Enrichment Society!  George is a family oriented man and involves his wife in his community involvement!
George brings a wealth of experience to Yamhill Enrichment Society.

Lynne Pelos

Lynne owns Pelos Sandberg Vineyard, the estate vineyard for iOTA Cellars in Amity. Originally from Western New York, Lynne got a B.A. from Northwestern University, did research at the Federal Reserve Bank in Chicago, and worked as an owner and manager at money management firms, where she coordinated trading, reporting, and investment allocation for approximately one billion dollars of client assets. In Oregon, she enjoys living at the vineyard with her husband Perry, and restoring her surroundings to native habitat. She has two children.

Eugenia Keegan

Currently Vice President of Oregon Winery Operations and Business Development for Jackson Family Wines, Eugenia Keegan has seen all sides of the wine industry in her 45 years in the business. She has served as winery president, winery owner, and wine distributor. She has served on and led virtually every wine industry board in Oregon and California. For all her good work and commitment to the industry, Eugenia was given a global honor by being named the 2021 Wine Star Executive of the Year by the prestigious Wine Enthusiast publication.

An ardent music and book lover, and a believer in making the arts available to children at an early age, Eugenia is pleased to join the YES board.

Seth Wollam

Conductor, researcher and educator Seth F. Wollam has taught music at every level and is currently Linfield College’s first athletic bands director, leading the marching band and basketball. He has a Bachelor of Music degree in music education from Youngstown State University, a Master of Arts from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and is an honorary member of Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma. Wollam is also on the board of directors of the International Society for Research and Promotion of Wind Music (IGEB).


Alyssa Johnson, Executive Director, Yamhill Enrichment Society

Alyssa is excited to be a part of YES. Her role enables her to combine her goal of working for an organization with great community impact while fulfilling her desire for a career that includes leadership, finance, arts, and education. She loves that YES meets those desires and embraces all that is Yamhill County, highlighted during the Bounty of Yamhill County events. Prior to her time with Yamhill Enrichment Society, she held positions at Austin Industries, NW Wine Company, and the Newberg School District.

She is a current volunteer with the St Paul Rodeo Association where she serves as a committee chair within the organization. Additionally, she serves on the Chehalem Valley Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. Her roles with the Chamber include the Government Affairs Committee, Finance Committee, and the Executive Committee serving as Treasurer. She tries to honor her Tigard and family roots by volunteering with Just Compassion of East Washington County on occasion. She has also recently accepted a Board Position with the Austin Smith Foundation.

In her spare time, she still tries to dabble on the piano, occasionally plays her flute, looks at her violin case, but is found most frequently singing in her car or the occasional karaoke night at local establishments. She has promised not to share her bad practice habits with the JOY students.

Anne Nisbet

As executive director of Bounty of Yamhill County, Anne works with Yamhill County vintners, chefs, and farmers to create the three-day Bounty of Yamhill County (BOYC) event which raises funds for Yamhill Enrichment Society projects. She has over two decades experience producing wine and food events. In addition to her work with BOYC, she also is the culinary director for the International Pinot Noir Celebration and the event director for the Oregon Chardonnay Celebration. A transplant to Yamhill County from Washington State, she lives in McMinnville with her husband and two dogs.

Sarah Lessen

Sarah has several decades of marketing and communication experience. She moved to Yamhill County in 2013 with her husband and sons and volunteered for the 2nd Annual Bounty of Yamhill County. Seven years later, she works with Anne on Bounty of Yamhill County to support program developments, marketing and ticket sales – ensuring that people all over the country know about this amazing event. In 2015, she took on the role of program director for Yamhill County Imagination Library which currently mails books every month to almost half the children under five in Yamhill County.


Transforming the lives of Yamhill County children through literacy and music enrichment.
Yamhill Enrichment Society - YES - Logo White


638 NE Fifth Street | McMinnville, OR 97128
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