The Concord Grape Belt Heritage Association announced February 9th that Mackenzie Cady has assumed the role of manager of the Grape Discovery Center in Westfield, NY. Cady is a recent graduate of SUNY Fredonia, a native of Westfield, and familiar with grape growing and the grape belt region. Helen Baran, President of the Association, said “We are very happy to have Mackenzie on board as the Manager of the Grape Discovery Center as we move forward in this exciting time of preparing for a 2013 opening of the Center. She brings the attributes of the Millennial Generation to the position – confident, connected, and open to change. She has great marketing and communication skills.”
The Association is a not-for-profit organization focused on economic development via the grape industry and tourism. Its members are predominately from Chautauqua County, New York, and Erie County, Pennsylvania. The Lake Erie Concord Grape Belt Region is also becoming known as “America’s Grape Country”.
Dave Momberger, Chair of the Association’s Grape Discovery Center Operations Committee, noted that there are many tasks for the new manager to work on in the coming months. High on the list is getting the physical preparations for the gift shop/retail area and grape products and wine tasting in order. Venders and suppliers will be recruited as will a Grape Discovery Center Volunteer Corps. A separate committee is progressing with the exhibits and displays for the center.
Momberger added that “The Grape Discovery Center seeks to be an experience destination that supports and promotes the grape industry through sharing stories, engaging, educating and informing the public about all things grape”. The targeted audience for the Center is broad-based to include not only the heritage or cultural tourist, but also the family visitor, school groups, youth groups, tour groups, and local/regional residents.
A firm opening date for the Center has not yet been established but the Association looks towards an early summer 2013 grand event. Progress can be followed on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GrapeDiscoveryCenter. Mackenzie Cady can be contacted at GDC@concordgrapebelt.org or by phone at 716-326-2003.