Like a tiny acorn, ideas start small, but can grow into powerful initiatives that change its surroundings. must! charities was formed in the same way. What started as the idea of a group of friends and business leaders has developed into a vehicle to foster change and build a stronger community.
We desired to keep local donations just that—local. Here in our county, communities need revitalization, and we believe we all have a responsibility and stake in helping out our neighbors. By streamlining donations coming into our area, we can make a bigger impact.
Our Staff & Board
| General Manager at Halter Ranch Vineyard - President of the Board
Skylar has 20 years of experience in the wine industry, including work as a salesman in New York City for Winebow Distributing, Regional Manager for Clicquot Inc. in Texas, and Director of Sales for Hope Family Wines in Paso Robles, CA. Born in Portland, Stuck has lived in numerous places throughout the last three decades, including France, Italy, Washington, D.C., and New York City. He holds an MA in International Relations from Johns Hopkins University, Nitze School of Advanced International Studies. Following a career as an economist, Skylar traded his vocation for his avocation and launched his career in the wine industry. He and his wife Erin eventually set roots in Atascadero. They enjoy gardening, cooking, traveling and spending time with their dog, Santa Lucia.
| Vice President of the Board
After graduating from the University of Montana with an M.B.A in Finance, Don worked for the Montana state legislature as a fiscal analyst. In 1987 Don moved to Silicon Valley where he earned his CPA while working for Price-Waterhouse in their emerging business division. He then spent his career in executive positions helping a number of companies grow from their startup phase to their initial public offering. In San Jose, Don also worked on a number of private and non-profit boards including Life Steps and the Support Network for Battered Women. In 2007, Don and his wife moved to Paso Robles where they live and work on their pistachio orchard.
| Chief Executive Officer - Treasurer of the Board
Mike started his career at Rantec Power Systems in Los Osos, CA, in 1982 as an intern. After rising to the position of general manager, Mike led a management leverage buyout of the company in 2003. Now, Mike is the president and CEO of RPS Holdings, the holding company for Rantec and other subsidiaries across the United States. Mike enjoys participating in Philanthropic activities throughout the central coast. He is also an avid cyclist and swimmer. Mike lives with his wife, Lori, in Atascadero where they raised their two, now young adult, children.
| Co-Founder of Saxum Vineyards - Secretary of the Board
Heather and her husband Justin own Saxum Vineyards. She and her family live in the North County region of San Luis Obispo County. Heather has been involved with numerous charities and has a great reputation for giving back to others.
| Broker/Owner at Home & Ranch / Sotheby’s International Realty - Past President of the Board
David has a genuine commitment to giving back to the community in which he was raised. He is the proud owner of Home & Ranch Sotheby’s International Realty. He has worked hard to acquire his own real estate firm, which reflects his work ethic, integrity and value on personal service. David demands from himself, and the people he works with, the best in all endeavors. David and his wife Elizabeth live in Templeton with their two children.
| Co-Owner of Jack Creek Cellars
Doug grew up in Ontario, CA and graduated from Kansas State University with a B.S. in Grain Science in 1988. After a six month Central America trip, he returned to Ontario, California to work for our family animal feed business, O. H. Kruse Grain & Milling. Doug served as Vice President until they sold the company to Tate & Lyle of the United Kingdom in 1995. Doug then partnered in the construction of a flour mill in Colton, California in 1996 and sold the company to ConAgra of Omaha, Nebraska in 1998. He then went on and partnered in the construction of a dairy in Blairstown, Iowa in 1996 where they milk 3,500 cows under the name Cedar Valley Farms. In 1997 he and his wife purchased 75 acres of land in Templeton, California and planted 40 acres of wine grapes and farm as Kruse Vineyards. They started producing wine in 2002 under the label Jack Creek Cellars. Currently Jack Creek Cellars produces 3,000 cases of wine a year consisting of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Syrah, and Grenache. In 2004 started a family foundation called the Carolyn S. Kruse Foundation in the honor of my mother and brother who were killed in a airplane crash in July of 2004. Doug was a founding board member of MUST because he saw the need to identify and create solutions to the issues that affect the quality of life in the community. His goal in serving on the board is to make sure that every donation made to must! charities is used in a productive manner that changes lives of the people and organizations that are in need!
| Executive Director, must! charities
Becky Gray joined must! charities as the Executive Director in February 2012. Prior to joining must! charities, Becky served as the Executive Director for the San Luis Obispo Vintners Association. She comes from a background in hospitality and public relations in the wine industry. Becky has been an active volunteer and supporter of various community organizations such as Templeton Youth Basketball Advisory Board, coaching the TMS Girls Basketball Program, and working with youth at Atascadero Bible Church. Becky attended Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo from 1990-1995, where she studied Soil Science. She and her husband Randy (a local school teacher) reside in Templeton with their two daughters. Becky has a passion for people and believes wholeheartedly in investing in this community. She is excited to be a part of this community-wide grass roots effort.
Our Partner Advisory Board is a dedicated group donating their time, talents, and treasures to bring our mission to life. They are the hands and feet of our organization. To learn about this dedicated group of people, click here.