Wine Association Names New Capt.

Capt. Shaun P. Smith

WESTFIELD — The Lake Erie Wine Country Board of Directors has announced Capt. Shaun Patrick Smith as its new president and chief executive officer.

Smith is a United States Merchant Marine Officer, business executive, educator, Ph.D. scholar and author from Western New York.

“There is no place on earth as beautiful as our region. I want the world to know about our vineyards, our lake, our people, our uniqueness and our excellence. Exciting ventures are on the horizon to do just that,” Smith explains.

With expertise in management, marketing and public relations, Smith has led many organizations as a chief executive including the Grand Fallsview Hotel, the Boys and Girls Club and Buffalo Transportation. Smith replaces Julie Ellis, who served the winery association for seven years and wrote a history of its wineries called “Lake Erie Wine Country.”

Ellis has moved to South Carolina and has taken a position in the tourism industry.

“Lake Erie Wine Country” is the modern name of the association of wineries located in an historic wine and grape region on the southern shore of Lake Erie in both Pennsylvania and New York. The grape belt consists of more than 30,000 acres of grapes, making it the largest grape-growing region east of the Rocky Mountains and the largest Concord grape region in the world. Lake Erie Wine Country boasts 22 unique wineries, which make award-winning and nationally recognized wines, both dry and sweet. The wine association, rare for having winery members located in two states, was established in 2002 and stretches along a 50-mile lakeshore between Silver Creek and Harbor Creek, Pa. For more information, visit or