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Forgette, Burnstead Co-chair Wine Auction “CEO Collection”

BELLEVUE, Wash. – Fran Forgette, partner in the Tri-Cities law firm of Rettig Osborne Forgette, LLP, and Steve Burnstead, President of Steve Burnstead Construction of Bellevue, are co-chairs of the “CEO Collection” for the 2009 “A Celebration of Washington Wines” gala benefit dinner and auction.

Each year business leaders from throughout the state are invited to contribute a bottle of one of their favorite Washington wine. Donations are combined into “CEO Collection” lots for the auction. Each bottle bears a custom tag identifying its donor.

The eighth annual “A Celebration of Washington Wines” will be held on Saturday, Jan. 24, at the Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery in Woodinville, with proceeds benefiting the Washington State University Viticulture and Enology Program.

“The CEO Collection lots always include a unique collection of some of the finest Washington wines and are a popular auction item,” according to Nancy Harnasch, chair of the auction organizing committee. “We’re pleased to have Mr. Forgette and Mr. Burnstead leading this year’s effort to bring some interesting contributions to these collections.”

Successful bids for CEO Collection lots at past auctions have been as high as $4,200. Since its inception in 2005 the collection lots have brought in a total of $18,300.

Forgette currently serves as the chair of the Board of Regents for WSU, and is a board member and past chairman of both TRIDEC, the nonprofit economic development entity for the Tri-Cities region, and the Tri-City Chamber of Commerce.

Burnstead has served as president of Steve Burnstead Construction since 1986 and is a member of the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish counties and the Kirkland Interfaith Transitional Housing Advisory Committee.

The annual black-tie gala will feature a reception, silent auction, live auction and dinner prepared by the award-winning Chateau Ste. Michelle culinary staff, including wines paired with each course. Auction items will include exciting adventures, romantic getaways, exclusive dinners and wine tastings, and premium and rare Washington wines.
Margo Myers, co-anchor of Seattle’s KIRO 7 Eyewitness News, will emcee the event again this year and Jeff Randall of the Stokes Auction Group will return as auctioneer.

In its seven year history the gala has grossed more than $1 million for the WSU Viticulture and Enology program. The WSU V&E program provides scientific research and educates a new generation of winemakers and wine grape growers to support the state’s growing wine industry.

For more information, tickets, or to learn how to contribute an item to the CEO Collection or to the auction contact Linda Bailey at 509-335-7772 or

More information about the auction and for business leaders interested in donating to the CEO Collection is available at


Media Contacts

Nancy Harnasch, Wine auction committee chair, 425/454-7990