Devon Perry has been named the new executive director of the Garden State Wine Growers Association, a coalition of more than 50 New Jersey wineries and vineyards that supports the Garden State’s wine industry through information, resources and advocacy.
Perry succeeds longtime Executive Director Tom Cosentino, who passed away last December.
Perry brings a strong resume to the job. Over the past two decades, she has played an active role in the travel and tourism field. Her work centers on connecting with small businesses, cultural organizations and community partners to help realize their full potential, facilitate collaborative opportunities and increase brand awareness, while making a difference.
Scott Donnini, chair of the board of directors of the association, said Perry is an ideal selection.
“Devon brings a wealth of experience in marketing and tourism, as well as an impressive team of professionals, to this role,” he said. “Our future looks even brighter with this seasoned marketing and hospitality industry professional at the helm. We are beyond excited that she agreed to join us.”
Founded in 1987, the Garden State Wine Growers Association has driven exponential growth through wine education initiatives, cooperative marketing campaigns and a slate of annual events dedicated to taking New Jersey wines across New Jersey and encouraging novices and enthusiasts alike to visit New Jersey wineries.
The GSWGA also works closely with the Rutgers Agricultural Experimentation Station network throughout the state, and the newly formed New Jersey Center for Wine Research and Education. The association forges and maintains positive relationships with state and local government entities, and advocates on all levels for wine grape industry interests.
Before joining GSWGA, Perry founded Segel Associates, a boutique interactive media firm specializing in brand strategy, social media, public relations and crisis communications — with a gift for storytelling.
Previously, she was director of marketing and business development for Kings Hall, executive director of Visit South Jersey, CEO of WineLovers LLC and founder of ShareURMeal.
Perry also brings extensive nonprofit experience, having worked for both the United Way and American Red Cross.
“It is an exciting time to lead the Garden State Wine Growers Association, when ‘Jersey Fresh farm-to-table’ is the mantra and ‘shop local’ can happen almost in your own backyard,” she said. “I have always been drawn to work that is centered around connection, collaboration, and community.
“I’m so excited to continue that work here with the Garden State Wine Growers Association. I genuinely believe that, together, we can put the thriving New Jersey vineyard and wine industry on the global map.”