L’Ecole Team

The talented faces behind the L’Ecole brand.

Martin Clubb

Owner & Managing Wine Maker

Marty is Managing Winemaker and Co-Owner of L’Ecole N° 41 with his wife, Megan, and children, Riley and Rebecca.  Marty 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 Ferguson and Estate Seven Hills Vineyards, Marty personally works with over 30 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.

In addition, Marty is a Managing Partner with Gary and Chris Figgins (Leonetti Cellar) and Norm McKibben (Pepper Bridge Winery) in the highly acclaimed Seven Hills Vineyard and the SeVein vineyard development, home to L’Ecole’s newest Estate vineyard, Ferguson.

Marty’s ongoing dedication and commitment to our wine industry is evident in his many leadership roles.  He has served nearly 30 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 Vice Chair of WineAmerica.  Marty was instrumental in the founding of the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance, serving as its first President.  He worked with other industry pioneers in the development of the Walla Walla Community College Center for Enology and Viticulture and continues serving in an advisory role.

Debbie Frol

General Manager

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 including:  sales; marketing; administration; and human resources.  She is a board member of the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance and a graduate of the University of Washington.  Prior to her employment at L’Ecole N° 41, Debbie worked for the Seattle Times Company for over twenty years.  She held a variety of management positions in sales and marketing.  In 1996, she returned to her hometown, Walla Walla, where she became publisher of the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, a subsidiary of the Seattle Times Company.

My husband, Steve’s, super-secret dry-rub, grilled pork ribs with our Estate Syrah is hands-down the favorite summer barbeque at our house! 

Winemaking Team

Mike Sharon

Winemaker

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 not at the winery, you may see him teeing off at Wine Valley Golf Club or hanging out with his wife, Christine, and their two children.

Bill Mansker

Associate Winemaker

Bill joined the L’Ecole production team in 2004.  He is an integral part of the winemaking team, assisting in all aspects of production, including:  cellar work; filtration; laboratory; bottling and harvest activities.  Bill is a graduate of Walla Walla University. He and wife, Heather, along with their young son enjoy extended family excursions to Sun Valley and Hawaii.

Jeff Briggs

Associate Winemaker

Jeff joined the L’Ecole production team in 2004. He is an integral of the winemaking team, assisting in all aspects of production, including:  cellar work; filtration; laboratory; bottling and harvest activities.  Jeff and wife, Rachel, keep busy taking care of their 2 acre homestead and enjoy traveling and snow skiing.  Jeff is a University of Washington graduate.

Dan Loomis

Cellarmaster

Dan joined the L’Ecole team in 2013 and held a variety of winery positions prior to assuming his current role as Cellarmaster.  He began in our Tasting Room while attending the Enology and Viticulture program at Walla Walla Community College.  After graduation, he was a member of the L’Ecole harvest crew and upon completion became Shipping Manager. Dan joined the winemaking team full-time in 2016.  He was raised in Tacoma and lived throughout the Pacific Northwest before following his passion for wine to Walla Walla.  Dan enjoys hiking in the Blue Mountains with his wife, Olivia, young son, and dogs.

National & International Sales

Kim Bolander

Director of Sales

Kim oversees the winery’s day-to-day business relationships with over 60 distributors – covering 47 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 role in building the winery’s brand and managing its growth and sales.   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 marketing committee for the Washington Wine Commission and, when not pursuing her interest in food and wine, enjoys golf and spending time with her family.

Pappardelle with veal ragu and Estate Ferguson.
Grilled Blue Valley fillet mignon, gnocchi with creamy pesto sauce and Estate Ferguson.

Jeff Von Bargen

National Sales Representative

Jeff joined L’Ecole in 2013 working in Direct Sales.  He assumed the role of National Sales Representative in 2015.  This position has Jeff on the road working with our network of distributors in addition to providing marketing support. He is a graduate of Washington State University where he went on to manage construction equipment sales throughout Washington and California. Deciding to pursue his interest in wine, he earned his Certificate in Wine Marketing from Walla Walla Center of Enology and Viticulture and spent two harvests in the cellar before joining L’Ecole. Jeff enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter, traveling, and cheering on his Cougs!

Sriracha shrimp risotto with lemon zest and Columbia Valley Semillon.
Cook mushrooms and onions then add risotto and gulf shrimp. Add broth along with Sriracha to your heat preference along with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice. Zest lemon and parsley on the top when plating. The weight of Semillon will balance the spice and the lemon zest deliciously compliments the sauvignon blanc. Cheers!”

Brenna Carlile

National Sales Assistant

Brenna Carlile assumed the role of National Sales Assistant in April 2015.  She attended Wenatchee Community College and was working in the banking industry prior to L’Ecole.  Brenna is responsible for distributor purchase orders, invoicing, logistics and inventory management.  She also plays an integral role in the increasing marketing needs of the winery. In addition to her love of wine, Brenna enjoys spending time with her family, traveling and cooking.    Her passion for fitness and anything active is second to none and you may even find her skydiving from time to time!

“Grilled Flank Steak & Zucchini nutmeg gnocchi with Pepper Bridge Apogee.”

Tasting Room

Ben Dimitri

Tasting Room Manager

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. Ben is responsible for managing all aspects of the tasting room and hosts our special Reserve Tour & Tasting and Walking Tour & Tasting. Prior to arriving 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 instantly. Ben is a graduate of Indiana University and will forever be a Hoosier at heart. When not at the winery, Ben can be found hanging out with his wife, playing Legos with his son, snuggling his daughter, playing fetch with his two dogs or learning something new about wine, cooking, guitar and more.

Consumer Direct and Wine Club

Jaime Chalk

Wine Club & Consumer Direct Manager

Jaime joined the L’Ecole team in 2005.  She 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, kayaking, as well as cooking up new recipes with friends.  She is a graduate of The Ohio State University.

I am nuts for our Semillon especially with cedar plank salmon or fresh chevre spread on baguette. On the red side, I love the Columbia Valley Syrah with a grilled elk loin.”

Chris Wood

Shipping & Inventory Manager and Wine Club Assistant

Chris joined the L’Ecole team in 2015 as a Tasting Room Associate. He has worked in the wine industry since his relocation to Walla Walla to attend Whitman College, studying Biology and Chemistry. Chris transitioned to Shipping and Inventory Manager in 2016 to further pursue his passion for the wine business. Responsible for a multitude of shipping and inventory related tasks, he can be found working in all corners of the winery.  Chris enjoys cooking in the kitchen and exploring the rugged, natural beauty that Walla Walla Valley has to offer. Originally from Covington, WA, he feels fortunate to call Walla Walla his home.

“I love pairing our Chenin Blanc with a spicy, peppered pasta dish. The mineralized, fruit-forward profile really helps to make the more delicate flavors sing through, with the hint of sweetness helping to complete each bite.”

Business Office

Pam Bykonen

Office/Donations Manager

Pam joined the winery in 2016.  Her voice greets our 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 and provide office support to the L’Ecole team.  Prior to working at the winery, Pam’s career path gravitated to executive level administrative support positions within local government.  In her spare time, Pam heads a non-profit that supports art organizations throughout the Mid-Columbia area. She enjoys reading, baking, community service, and an active lifestyle with her family, friends, and dogs.

Nanci Crowley

Controller

Nanci joined L’Ecole in 2000 as part-time accountant.  As the winery grew, her 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 human resources support.  Nanci is a graduate of the University of Puget Sound.  She loves time with her family, cooking, sports, and fine wines.

“Nothing better than a Seahawks game, popcorn and L’Ecole Chardonnay!

Go Hawks!”

Acclaim & Accolades

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