Hutchins Street Square Foundation Elects New Chairman
John Ledbetter third Chairman in organization’s history
Lodi, Calif . (August 16, 2004) -- John Ledbetter, partner and Chief Financial Officer of Vino Farms, Inc., has been elected Chairman of the Hutchins Street Square Foundation Board of Directors for 2004-05. He replaces Dennis Bennett, who has held the post since 1981.
With the departure of founding Director, Charlene Lange, Dennis Bennett decided it was time for him to pass the torch as well. “This has been the single most rewarding community service I’ve ever been involved with,” said Bennett. “But I really do believe that great ideas can be developed when new people are involved. The time is right for John to take over -– he’s been on the Board since ‘94 and has more than capable hands to carry this group forward into the future.”
Incoming Chairman, John Ledbetter, who served as the Foundation’s Vice-Chairman for many years, honored Bennett’s diligent service to Lodi, “He deserves many thanks from the community for his vision, leadership, and dedication. Dennis led a group of community volunteers that took the burned-out, abandoned site of (the original) Lodi High School and turned it into the crown jewel it is today.
“It is an honor for me to follow Dennis as Chairman and I am happy he is remaining on the board. I look forward to working with the dedicated board and staff to continue the legacy of the Square for generations to come,” said Ledbetter.
John spent six years in the U.S. Navy. He graduated from Fresno State University with a degree in Ag Business/Ag Economics, and is also a graduate of the California Ag Leadership Program. Prior to joining Vino Farms, a company started by his father in the early ‘70’s, Mr. Ledbetter was with the Farm Credit System serving as the Fresno Branch Manager of the Production Credit Association.
Jeffrey Kirst, President of Tokay Development, has taken over as Vice-Chairman. Jeff joined the Foundation in 1992. Daphne Felde and Julia Gillespie were re-elected as Treasurer and Secretary (respectively).
The ongoing mission of the Hutchins Street Square Foundation is to direct, guide and monitor the development of a financial program to achieve satisfaction of the outstanding financial obligation incurred for the construction of the Square and to maximize utilization of the entire facility to serve the cultural, social, educational and conference needs of our community. For more information about the Square, please call (209) 333-6782, or visit our website at www.hutchinsstreetsquare.com .
John Ledbetter is a partner in Vino Farms, Inc., a family-owned business which grows winegrapes in Sonoma, Napa, San Joaquin, Sacramento, Yolo, Monterey and Santa Barbara Counties. They farm 9700 acres of twelve (12) different varieties that are sold to thirty (30) wineries throughout California.
Mr. Ledbetter spent six years in the U.S. Navy. He graduated from Fresno State University with a degree in Ag Business/Ag Economics, and is also a graduate of the California Ag Leadership Program. Prior to joining Vino Farms, a company started by his father in the early ‘70’s, Mr. Ledbetter was with the Farm Credit System serving as the Fresno Branch Manager of the Production Credit Association.
He is active in the industry trade organizations and is a Past Chairman of the California Association of Winegrape Growers, Past President of Lodi District Grape Growers, Past Chairman of the Lodi-Woodbridge Winegrape Commission, Past Vice-Chairman of Winegrape Growers of America, a member of the American Society of Enology and Viticulture, and is Supreme Knight of the Knight of the Vine.
John is currently Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Hutchins Street Square Foundation and is a Board member of the Business Council for San Joaquin County. He is also a member of the Wine Growers Quality Enhancement Team, a partnership between Robert Mondavi Woodbridge Winery and local growers to conduct research trials and to mutually educate growers and the winemakers in order to produce the highest quality products.
John has held several offices within the church that he and his family have attended for the past 30 years, and is currently the Senior Warden. Acting as Chairman, he has just recently completed a successful 1.4 million dollar Capital Campaign to build a new church, and is also a Lay Minister within his parish. John and his wife Edyth, who have raised two grown children in the Lodi area, have long been and continue to be major supporters of the Lodi Boys and Girls Club.