Marty is Managing Winemaker and co-owner with his wife Megan of L’Ecole N° 41. Marty and Megan assumed the operation of the winery from Megan’s parents, Jean and Baker Ferguson, in 1989, six years after the winery’s founding.
Today Marty’s primary focus is a hands-on approach to the winery’s viticulture operation. Along with his estate vineyards, Marty personally works with over 20 vineyards located throughout the Columbia Valley. He collaborates with each grower to optimally manage contracted vineyard blocks to meet the quality requirements established by the winery.
Marty is also a Managing Partner in Seven Hills Vineyard and the SeVein Vineyard development located in the Walla Walla Valley, along with partners Leonetti Cellar and Pepper Bridge Winery.
Nationally respected for his leadership in the wine industry, Marty has served more than 20 years on the boards of various wine industry associations, including the Washington Wine Commission. He is currently President and Director of the Washington Wine Institute, and is one of two board members from Washington State for WineAmerica. Marty was instrumental in the founding of the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance and served as its president for six years. Marty worked with other industry pioneers in the development of the Walla Walla Community College Center for Enology and Viticulture. He earned a chemical engineering degree from Texas A&M University, and he and Megan both graduated from the Sloan School of Management at MIT with an M.S. in Management.
Mike has worked side-by-side with Marty, making wine at L’Ecole N° 41 since 1996 and was named Winemaker in 2006. Together they collaborate on every aspect of the winemaking operation. Mike is responsible for the management of all winemaking, cellar, laboratory and bottling activities. He is a Walla Walla University graduate, and when he's not at the winery, you may see him teeing off at Wine Valley Golf Club or hanging out with his wife Christine and his children Clara and Henry.
Bill and Jeff joined the L’Ecole production team in 2004. They are integral parts of the winemaking crew, assisting in all aspects of production, including: cellar work; filtration; laboratory; bottling; and harvest activities. Bill is a graduate of Walla Walla University and Jeff is a University of Washington graduate.
Joel has worked at L’Ecole for more than 7 years. As a member of the production team, he assists with cellar work and harvest activities. Joel is also responsible for the upkeep of our grounds and our facility maintenance. Joel is an accomplished musician, playing the fiddle, piano, accordion and guitar!
Debbie Frol is the General Manager of L’Ecole N° 41. Hired in 2002, she is responsible for managing the business side of the winery, which includes: sales; marketing; administration; and human resources. Debbie’s role also takes her “on the road” where she represents the winery at tastings and wine dinners across the country.
Prior to her employment at L’Ecole N° 41, she worked for the Seattle Times Company for over twenty years and held a variety of management positions in sales and marketing. In 1996, she returned to her hometown of Walla Walla, where she became publisher of the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, a subsidiary of the Seattle Times Company.
Kim oversees the winery’s day-to-day business relationships with over 60 distributors – covering 49 states and more than 20 countries across the globe. Kim was hired in 1998 when the winery produced just a few thousand cases. As L’Ecole has grown, she has played an integral part in building the winery’s brand and managing its growth and sales. When not working in the office, Kim is on the road building relationships with L’Ecole’s distributor partners – both stateside and abroad. Kim is a graduate of Whitman College and began her career in the wine industry in 1996 working for the Chalone Wine Group. Kim currently sits on the export committee for the Washington Wine Commission and, when not pursuing her interest in food and wine, enjoys golf and spending time with her family.
Jaime joined the L’Ecole team in 2005 as Wine Club & Shipping Manager. Jaime coordinates all club shipments and events with a focus on providing optimal service in every aspect of membership. Her position has evolved to include the growing areas of consumer direct sales and social media. Prior to L’Ecole, Jaime traveled the country as a training instructor with the John Deere Company. Away from the winery she enjoys seasonal outdoor pursuits such as horseback riding, hiking, snowshoeing, and kayaking, as well as cooking up new recipes with friends. She is a graduate of The Ohio State University.
Ben joined the L'Ecole team in January 2010 as a tasting room associate and supporting the wine club and shipping. He became Tasting Room Manager in 2012. He is responsible for managing all aspects of the tasting room and hosts our special Reserve Tasting. Prior to their arrival in The Valley, Ben and his wife Katie spent a year abroad, experiencing many of Europe's wine regions, including eight months in Bordeaux, France. They left France for Washington State to pursue winery careers and fell in love with Walla Walla almost instantly. Ben is a graduate of Indiana University. He has a passion for wine and also enjoys cooking, playing guitar, ukulele, banjo and piano, reading, and hanging out with his wife, son and dogs.
Cindy has been with the winery since 2003. Her voice greets all callers and she responds to winery email inquiries. A major part of her job is to manage and coordinate all of the winery’s charitable donations. She provides multi-faceted support to the L’Ecole team. Prior to working at the winery, Cindy’s career path gravitated to executive management positions within the non-profit community. Cindy is a graduate of Willamette University. She enjoys reading, cooking, community service and an active lifestyle with her family, friends and dogs.
Nanci joined L’Ecole in 2000 as part-time accountant. As the winery grew, Nanci’s position also grew to address the financial complexities of the evolving wine industry. Nanci was named controller in 2009. In addition to her financial responsibilities, she manages compliance and provides national sales support and human resources support. She is a graduate of the University of Puget Sound. Nanci enjoys travelling with her family, cooking, golfing, reading and enjoying fine wines.
Tiffany took on the role of Sales Administrative Assistant in support of national sales in April 2012. She is responsible for releasing purchase orders, invoicing, and inventory management. Tiffany and Kim work in tandem to meet the growing needs of L’Ecole distributors and sales teams. Tiffany is a graduate of Walla Walla University with a degree in Communications and possesses extraordinary talent for organization, customer service and marketing. In addition to her love of wine, she was the Queen of the Pendleton Round-Up rodeo in 2009 and continues to be involved in the horse community. She also enjoys reading, planning, hosting parties for family and friends and spending time with her husband.