Peters Lending Hands to Winegrape Commission

October 23. 2012 • Susan Stout, Contributing Writer

KELSEYVILLE – Giving the illusion of a woman with more than two arms and hands, Susan Peters is managing the many tasks of the Lake County Winegrape Commission office. Peters was hired about a year ago, but she settled into her role so well that it seems she has been there longer, says Commission President Shannon Gunier.

Peters is responsible for all the financial business of the Commission, planning and organizing events for the group, communicating with winegrape growers, maintaining the website, coordinating assessment collections, and working with the Commission’s president and Board of Directors.

“The Commission is fortunate to have an office manager with the extraordinary skills that Susan has brought to the position,” said Gunier. “The directors and I rely on her for a variety of tasks, and she handles them with ease and finesse. When a multitude of things are happening at one time, Susan is able to juggle priorities, complete various duties and still offer the best assistance we could ask for, with the board and our growers, alike.

“Susan’s superior accounting and computer skills have advanced the Commission’s accounting and assessment collection skills tenfold. She has updated our software and taken over our social media maintenance, plus she assists me in event planning.”

However, Peters brings more than office skills to the job, said Gunier. “She has what matters to me most: the initiative to do a great job for Lake County winegrape growers,” the president said. “She is devoted and has a lot of heart. She never objects to the myriad of duties we ask of her.”

Peters, a Lakeport resident, enjoys the fast pace of the Commission happenings. Whether she is taking care of phone calls and correspondence from the office or she is in the field to meet with existing and potential growers, media or wine industry representatives, Peters takes pleasure in her work, she says.

“It is very fulfilling,” said Peters. “I have wonderful opportunities to interact with Lake County’s winegrape growers and people at the wineries. I appreciate the hard work they do producing our premier winegrapes and wines. I am lucky to be working with such a great group of people, from the growers to the Commission’s directors.”

Technology is helping Peters do her job, she said. She is able to post and track information and statistics that the board of directors wants to see.  “It helps the directors validate how the Commission’s money is spent,” she noted.

Peters’ family has history in Lake County, and she has customer service experience from her prior work as a travel agent. Additionally, she has had experience with accounting. The combination has been beneficial to her in her role as office manager, she said. Having worked with accounts receivables in the past has aided her with the Commission’s assessment collections tasks.

“It helped to have a knowledge of the county before taking the Commission position.” The Clear Lake High School graduate said her step-father grew up in Upper Lake and her parents lived in the Lakeport area since 1971. Her mother, Pam Hinman, worked for the City of Lakeport for a number of years, and her stepfather, Marty Hinman, worked for Lake County Title for about 30 years.

Peters lives with her husband John who owns and operates a Lakeport business, Fast Forward Cylinder Heads, and her daughter Shaylee, a freshman at Kelseyville High School.

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