Philip first visited the beautiful Napa Valley in 1981 on a bike tour. Philip is a licensed Landscape Architect and has been involved with the development of parks, trails and greenways for over forty years working in the UK, Nevada and California. For twenty years he served as Chief Park Planner for Sonoma County developing new parks and trails as well as grant writing. Following his retirement from Sonoma County, Philip went to work for Alta Planning+Design. His projects included the Humboldt Bay Trail, trails in Lake Tahoe and master trail plans for the city of Eagle, ID., Lake County and the Taquitz Trail feasibility study in Palm Springs. In 2007, he was Alta’s project manager for the “Napa Valley Greenway Feasibility Study” which became the basis for the Napa Valley Vine Trail. Philip has been involved with the Vine Trail Coalition for the past four years as a consultant and volunteering as Chair of the Engineering/Route Committee. He looks forward to working with the Board, members and volunteers in his new capacity as Executive Director.more ..
Chuck McMinn is the founder, board president and executive director of the non-profit Napa Valley Vine Trail Coalition. Under his visionary leadership, the Vine Trail board team has grown, since the fall of 2008, to include over 32 members and organizations representing a broad spectrum of community and civic interests. The Board and Chuck, as Executive Director, all volunteer their service, employing one staff. This dedicated team shares a vision to build a continuous 47-mile trail connecting the entire Napa Valley from Vallejo’s Ferry Terminal to the foot of Mount St. Helena in Calistoga.
Chuck’s path to leading this ambitious effort, as well as several other Napa Valley ventures, began with earning an Electrical Engineering degree (BSEE) from Brown University, an MSEE from Syracuse University, then an MBA from Harvard University. After moving from his native New Jersey to California in 1978, Chuck discovered both a love of wine and that he is, in fact, a startup junkie. Chuck now has over three decades of experience in creating, financing, working in and advising startup high tech companies, including founding Covad Communications in 1996, a telecommunications company providing broadband data services to homes and businesses using DSL technology.
After 25 years in Silicon Valley, it was time for change, and in 2000 Chuck and his wife Anne purchased Vineyard 29 winery in Napa Valley. His approach to wine at Vineyard 29 is to combine time tested traditional techniques for winemaking with the best facilities and equipment to produce the best wine possible. Drawing from his early semiconductor processing days, he has a keen interest in measuring every aspect of Vineyard 29’s operations. This puts into practice a philosophy that he learned while working at Intel – “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.”
In addition to the winery and the Vine Trail, Chuck devotes time to several non-profits, including many years of leadership in the Saint Helena Hospital Foundation, and is proud to be the founder and board president of the innovative educational nonprofit NapaLearns. Chuck is also president of the recently formed NTI (Napa Transit Investors).
Chuck and his wife Anne live in Saint Helena full time, and travel frequently to visit their sons and families in Charlotte, North Carolina and, more exotically, in the Ukraine. They look forward to the day they can take their visiting grandchildren walking or biking on the safe and scenic Vine Trail.more ..