Meet the CAWG Staff

John Aguirre, President
John oversees the general operation of CAWG and manages its five person staff. John is responsible for CAWG’s Board of Directors, federal legislation, pests and disease programs, sustainability, and trade policy. 
Contact John

Michael Miiller, Director of Government Relations
As director of government relations, Miiller monitors a wide range of state public policy issues and represents CAWG before the California Legislature and key regulatory agencies. Miiller attended the University of Wisconsin and California State University, Sacramento studying journalism and business administration with a concentration in accounting. A South Dakota native who spent most of his childhood in Iowa and Wisconsin, he has Midwest family roots that run deep in agriculture.   After a decades long career in public service, Miiller retired from the Legislature in December, 2016.  Prior to joining CAWG, Miiller was chief of staff and communications director for Assemblyman Marc Levine (D-Marin County). He oversaw and managed Levine’s Capitol office, three district offices and the Assembly Water, Parks, and Wildlife Committee. 
Contact Michael.

Natalie Collins, Director of Member Relations
Natalie ensures that value is delivered to our members through education, timely information updates and new benefit programs. She also manages member recruitment and retention activities and grower education regional meetings and webinars. Natalie is a graduate of California State University, Chico with a Bachelor of Science in agricultural business and a double minor in organizational communications and business administration. Prior to joining CAWG in November of 2015, Natalie worked for the San Joaquin Farm Bureau Federation as a program director.   
Contact Natalie
Carolee Williams, Business Manager

Carolee is responsible for a broad variety of business tasks including financial management, reporting, budgeting and special projects helping ensure the association meets its strategic goals and objectives. She also administers the California Association of Winegrape Growers Foundation scholarship program.  Carolee is a graduate of Sacramento City College with an Associate in Arts Degree in Social Sciences.  Prior to joining CAWG in 2001, Carolee worked in the construction industry for 10 years. Contact Carolee

Debby Ford, Administrative Assistant

Debby provides administrative, clerical and computer support for CAWG’s five full time staff. She coordinates the distribution of CAWG publications, helps maintain the association’s database, and assists with CAWG events, the scholarship program and membership recruitment and retention activities. Prior to joining CAWG in 2013, Debby worked for a communications company in Roseville for 16 years. Contact Debby


Contract Staff

Jenny Devine-Smith, Events Coordinator

Jenny is responsible for planning and executing events within CAWG.

Contact Jenny


Meredith Ritchie, Communications 
Meredith is responsible for various communication efforts, including The Crush newsletter, CAWG eNews, press releases and media relations. Prior to CAWG, she worked for the California Agricultural Leadership Foundation, Elysian Fields Ag Communications, Western Crop Protection Association and the International Food Information Council. Meredith earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in agriculture from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. She is a Class 28 graduate of the California Agricultural Leadership Program. Contact Meredith

General inquiries: contact the office at 916.379.8995 or email