Jackson Family Wines CEO Raises $52K for Parkinson’s Research

Sep. 14, 2018


In 2006, the fight against Parkinson’s disease became intensely personal for Jackson Family Wines’ Chief Executive Officer, Rick Tigner. That was the year his wife, Wendy, was diagnosed with the neurological disorder. She was 46 at the time. Now, 12 years later, Tigner and his wife are shining examples of what it looks like to fight back, and the pair are among the most prolific nationwide fundraisers for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.

As CEO of the 1,700-employee wine company, the largest in Sonoma County, Tigner is in a unique position to provide support and raise funds for the foundation. According to Bill Swindell of the Press Democrat, Tigner has spearheaded the Wine Country leg of the “Tour de Fox” charity bicycle race, raising millions of dollars for the Fox Foundation as well as GOALS, a local Sonoma County foundation supporting special needs children and adults through sport activities. This year’s Wine Country race brought in $620,931, with just over $20,000 raised by Tigner alone, the biggest haul by a single rider, and nearly $53,000 coming from “Team JFW,” who placed at the number one spot in terms of group fundraising for the event.

At Breakthru, we are proud to be in business with people like Tigner and the team at Jackson Family Wines, and we’re not alone. In a recent statement from the Fox foundation, co-founder and executive vice chairman Deborah W. Brooks praised the Tigners, saying “Rick and Wendy Tigner are the heart and soul of the foundation’s Tour de Fox Series.”

The Wine Country rides in years past have featured celebrities, such as baseball legend Barry Bonds and U.S. Olympic cyclist Levi Leipheimer, adding to the premium cachet of the race. However, Tigner tries not to allow himself to be blinded by the big names and big money, telling the Press Democrat, “We got to keep it a really cool ride,” Tigner said. “I don’t want to be so worried about the money that it becomes an uncool ride. The money will come.”

Of course, Jackson Family Wines is no stranger to the premium label, thanks to the long-lasting popularity of their Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay, which has put the company in a dominant position in the premium wine market. In fact, Jackson Family brands hold two of the top 10 premium wine spots, as judged by overall retail sales last year, according to Impact Databank. The company’s flagship brand, Kendall-Jackson, took the top spot with $542 million in sales, and La Crema landed in sixth position at $323 million. In total, Jackson Family Wines is the ninth-largest U.S. wine company, according to Wine Business Monthly, producing approximately six million cases in 2017.

“We are trying to raise the bar on the definition of what premium is,” Tigner told the Press Democrat. We applaud Tigner and his team at Jackson Family Wines for their work on behalf of the Michael J. Fox Foundation, and for their work elevating the world of wine. 

Ask your Breakthru Sales Consultant about how Jackson Family Wines can help your business grow, too.

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