Partner Advisory Board

The Partner Advisory Board is an important part of must! charities. Members of this board share their gifts in service to our mission through their professional expertise, diverse knowledge of local perspectives, connections to local and national resources, and more.
The following people have been appointed by the Executive Board of Directors and are locally known leaders in their industry and in our community. They have displayed a willingness to serve and make a difference for those less fortunate in our community.

Chairman of the Partner Advisory Board

Partner Advisory Board Members

Lori Bickel | Community Leader & Philanthropist
Lori has lived on Central Coast since 1978. She majored in Graphic Communications at Cal Poly and then worked at Tintype Graphic Arts. Lori and her husband Mike moved to Atascadero in 1990, where they have raised their two children, now 22 and 20. Lori has volunteered and worked within the school system since her daughter started kindergarten, and she has seen many children struggle and fall through the cracks because they have little support outside of the classroom--either because parents are too busy making ends meet, or because they have no home at all. Lori first identified with must! charities because of its mission to bridge the gap for these kids. She believes the North County community will prosper when we are able to take care of ALL of our children.

Cara Crye | Marketing Coordinator of Farm Supply Company
Cara is the Marketing Coordinator for Farm Supply Company, a 2400 farmer-owned cooperative that has been serving the Central Coast since 1950. She joined Farm Supply in 1996 while attending Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo where she obtained her B.S. Degree in Agricultural Science in 2001. She is a graduate of the California Agricultural Leadership Program and Leadership SLO. Cara is a third generation native of the County. She is passionate about giving back to this community that has given her so much. Specifically, she is concerned about our youth being given every opportunity to excel and lead successful lives! Thanks to her family and experiences throughout her life she has a deep appreciation for agriculture and the benefits of 4-H and FFA programs. She is on advisory boards for Morro Bay and San Luis Obispo High Schools Agriculture Education Departments and is the Secretary/Treasure of the Edna Farm Center.

Nancy Fiske | Realtor at Keller Williams Realty
Nancy Fiske has lived in Paso Robles and the Central Coast for over 30 years. She is involved in her local community and has been an active supporter of the Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce as an Ambassador and as Chair of Women in Business for two years. In Templeton she is a Charter Member and Past President of the Rotary Club of Templeton and is a past Chair of Templeton Women in Business and past member of the Templeton Chamber Board of Directors.

Koene Graves Coming Soon

Steven Herring | Owner of All About Events
Steven was born and raised in Atascadero. After graduating from high school, he attended college and graduated from Allan Hancock Firefighter 1 Academy. While applying for different fire departments and agencies, he worked full time as a Field Foreman for a directional drilling company and went to school at nights to achieve his EMT certificate, though his heart was always set on being an Entrepreneur of his own successful business. He found a need for a QUALITY event rental company so he decided to pursue his dream and started Party Partners Rental. While working full time and providing for his family, he focused on building a successful business and loosk forward to watching it grow in the years to come.

Terry Hoage | Owner of TH Estate Wines
Terry Hoage was a professional football player whose career began at University of Georgia, where he was a two-time All-American, Heisman Trophy candidate and 1984 SEC Athlete of the Year. His NFL career spanned 13 seasons with six teams, including the New Orleans Saints (where he met his wife), Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, San Francisco 49ers, Houston Oilers and Arizona Cardinals. Upon retirement, The Hoages purchased their Paso Robles estate and began making wine. Terry paid homage to his football days when naming his TH Vineyards wines, referencing “The Pick”, “The 46” and the famed “Hedges” of UGA.

Ben Hoover | Employee Benefits Advisor with Morris & Garritano Insurance
Ben Hoover is a Central Coast native. After receiving a degree in Business Administration from Cal Poly, SLO, Ben moved to San Francisco to pursue a career in health care consulting. He spent three years consulting on projects up and down the West Coast with Triage Consulting Group, and in 2009, Ben returned to the Central Coast to join Morris & Garritano Insurance Services as an Employee Benefits Advisor. Ben is involved in the wine community; he partners with prestigious wine charity auctions across the U.S., enjoys spending time at his family’s Paso Robles winery, Still Waters Vineyards, and focuses on his own hobby vineyard and winemaking projects at home. He and his wife, Nancy, welcomed a baby boy named Charlie into their home this past September. In his free time, Ben can be found fishing, snowboarding and exploring the Sierra Nevada Mountains near Shaver Lake, California.

Austin Hope | President & Winemaker at Hope Family Wines
Austin Hope arrived with his family in Paso Robles in 1978. After graduating in 1995 from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a degree in Fruit Science, Austin left the Central Coast to learn the nuts and bolts of the wine business from one of California's most respected Napa producers. Here he realized that instead of just growing grapes, he wanted to manage the family wine label to bring the fruit directly to the market. Austin became winemaker for the Hope portfolio in 1998. Hope Family Wines now makes Treana, Liberty School, Candor, Troublemaker and Austin Hope wines. In 2009, Austin was named "Winemaker of the Year" at the California Mid-State Fair. He enjoys duck hunting with Spartacus, his Labrador retriever, and attending as many rock-n-roll concerts as possible to stay ahead of the indie music curve. He's also a dedicated dad who enjoys spending time with his two young daughters.

Tim Kensinger | Vice President at Farm Credit West
Tim is the Vice President of Capital Market Sales at Farm Credit West (FCW), in charge of selling and purchasing into Large Corporate Food & Ag loan syndications across the country. Farm Credit West is a $9.1 billion agricultural lending institution that is member owned with an office in Templeton and Paso Robles. FCW was once headquartered in Arroyo Grande and lends to most of the farmers and ranchers in San Luis Obispo County. Tim has been with Farm Credit for eleven years, having joined right after graduating from Cal Poly with a B.S. in Agricultural Business in 2005. Tim is a native of the county, born in San Luis Obispo and raised in Arroyo Grande. He is involved with the Farm Bureau, Cuesta College, Food Bank, a member of Leadership SLO class 25, and a graduate of the Pacific Coast Banking School with honors. Tim has the privilege of being directly involved with financing some of the most dynamic farming operations in the world right here in the North County of San Luis Obispo.

Shayne Kline | General Manager of Summerwood Winery and B&B
"Find a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life" is the mantra that led Shayne to the wine industry in 1998. Shayne is the General Manager at SummerWood Winey & Inn and credits his success in the wine industry to a fondness for working with people, a strong financial background and a zeal for wine. Shayne is a firm believer in being a good civic citizen and giving back to the community. When he is not making, drinking or otherwise thinking about wine, Shayne enjoys the outdoors, whether it is coaching little league, fly-fishing, training for a marathon, or skiing with his family.

Sabrina Kruse | Jack Creek Cellars
Sabrina Kruse | Jack Creek Cellars - President of the Board Sabrina Kruse and her husband Doug bought land in Templeton, CA in 1997 to establish a successful vineyard and winery, Jack Creek Cellars. Along the way, the couple has established strong community roots. With two children attending Templeton public schools, Sabrina is active in the school district. She worked with three other parents to found the Artistic Resources Team (A.R.T.) for Children in 2009, a non-profit focused on keeping an enriched arts education in Templeton’s curriculum. In 2004, her family also established the Carolyn S. Kruse Foundation, which has gifted more than $450,000 to various organizations in the Central Coast, the Central Valley and Kansas. She has worked to establish must! charities since 2009, which has evolved from a concept to an exciting, attainable actuality. Sabrina is committed to must! charities not only financially, but also in the development, promotion and execution of its mission.

Sheri Leveille, CFP® | Associate Vice President/Investments Stifel
Sheri has been a fully California licensed investment professional for the past 10 years and is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™. Sheri joined Stifel in January 2012. She earned her BS degree in Agricultural Business from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and with her background in the wine industry, Sheri has a deep understanding of the challenges and decisions business owners and wine industry professionals face on an ongoing basis. Born and raised in SLO County, Sheri resides in Atascadero with her husband and two young daughters. She enjoys travelling, snorkeling, wine tasting and spending time with her family.

Lisa J. Lewis | Realtor with Re/Max Parkside Real Estate
Lisa J. Lewis grew up in southern California but moved to San Luis Obispo County in 1996. Lisa wanted to raise her 5 children in rural area where she could dedicate herself to raising her family. As her children grew, Lisa was heavily involved in real estate investing which ultimately lead her into full time real estate sales in 2003. Lisa is an active member in the community including being a member of Must! Charities, Atascadero Chamber of Commerce, Ambassador for the Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce, and a Founding Member of the Atascadero Women in Business. Lisa finds joy in her family and giving back to her community.

Jean Pedigo | Owner at VinVibe and Photography by Jean Pedigo
Jean is a 2014 transplant from San Francisco to the Central Coast. She and her husband Jeff immersed themselves in wine country to start their new business. Jean left an active volunteer life in SF and was excited to find a place at must!. She has been heavily involved in the Atascadero Printery Foundation, having served on the Board for 2015. She has also been instrumental in starting the social media campaign for local charity Coats for Kids of SLO County. Having lived in major cities in both the US and overseas most of her life, she has finally found her slower life in the beautiful hills of Atascadero and indulges in her passions of wine, dogs and photography.

Ali Rush Carscaden | Owner -15 Degrees Wine Shop & Bar
Whether she is drinking wine with friends and family,sampling obscure wines with potential buyers, or examining vineyards, Ali Rush Carscaden loves wine and the industry. Ali completed her Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture determined to break into the field of wine. The path to loving and understanding wine first began with a job in the tasting room at Castoro Cellars in Paso Robles. Upon graduation, she was promoted to assistant marketing manager, exposing her to the sales side of the industry. While learning about the business, Ali gained some insight into the magic of winemaking, motivating her to get back in school. Within a year, Ali was completing her Master’s degree in Agriculture. Her thesis project for the Paso Robles Wine County Alliance inspired Gary Eberle to hire her for a direct sales management position at Eberle Winery. Yet, when the opportunity came for her to work as a Fine Wine Specialist for the Henry Wine Group, she just couldn’t pass it up. Ali worked for the Henry Wine Group for 6 years and enjoyed added jobs such as teaching a few classes at Cal Poly as well as continuing to be a regular guest speaker. She is now a certified advanced sommelier through the WSET and a certified Somm through the Court of Master Sommeliers. While being the founder,owner /operator of 15c for the past 8 years she is a mother and enjoys leading special trips to France and Spain to enjoy the fruits of her passion’s labor.

Heather Smith | Co-Founder of Saxum Vineyards
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.

Justin Smith | Co-Founder of Saxum Vineyards
Justin Smith is the winemaker of Saxum Vineyards which he and his wife, Heather Smith, established in 2002. They are focused on producing Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre based blends using grapes from nearby vineyards located in the Willow Creek District of Paso Robles. The majority of his grapes come from his family’s estate vineyard, the James Berry Vineyard, which Justin also owns and manages. It was planted by his parents, James Berry and Terry Smith in the 1980‘s. He focuses on farming sustainably and organically, keeping yields low, picking fruit at the peak of ripeness, and using a minimalist approach in the cellar. Justin resides with his wife and three children on their vineyard in Paso Robles, Ca

Skylar Stuck | General Manager at Halter Ranch Vineyard
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.

Karl Wicka | Owner/Winemaker for The Missing Leg
Karl obtained his Bachelors’ degree in Fruit Science from Cal Poly in the winter of 1994 and then began working at Wild Horse winery in Templeton. After nine years of gaining vast knowledge and experience, he was given the opportunity to work beside industry pioneers and future industry superstars. He was then hired by Dr. Larry Turley of St. Helena in the Napa Valley as assistant winemaker for Turley Wine Cellars, Templeton. With 10 vintages under his belt, he is honored to continue in this position. Karl and his wife Heidi have a love for small-lot wine making and together have more than 25 years of experience. They began their own brand, The Missing Leg, with a mission to create quality, limited production wines that reveal the secrets they have learned along their incredible journey.

Our Executive Board is a group of individuals who have come together to make a difference in the North County Region. To learn about this dedicated group of people click here.