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Meet Our Team

Josh & Lisa Lawrence, Proprietors

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MICHELLE GECHELL 
Tasting Room Manager

Michelle has been in the hospitality industry for over 15 years. She started her wine career at Spring Valley and then transferred to Columbia Crest in 2011. While at Columbia Crest she was the Events Coordinator and led the educational tours and tastings. Eight years later she decided to change careers and went to work for Vehrs Distributing. After some time working in distribution, she realized the wine industry was calling her back. That’s when she found her home at Desert Wind Winery. You can find Michelle floating throughout the facility, chatting with guests, making them feel welcome and at home. 

 

Michelle has two amazing daughters and two beautiful grandkids. When she’s not working, Michelle loves to spend time outdoors.

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JUSTICE MEADOR
Wine Club and Inn Manager

Being born and raised locally in Prosser, Justice knows many familiar faces that walk through the door. Her welcoming smile and outgoing personality are the first things you see when you walk into Desert Wind Winery. She has been with us since 2021 and, as Inn Manager, strives to make Desert Wind the best destination winery in the Yakima Valley. 

On Friday night, you may catch Justice with her adorable daughter Jemmalynn, listening to live music in the tasting room - it’s their Friday night ritual. As a guest once mentioned, “Some wineries have winery dogs, and Desert Wind has a Jemma.” In her spare time away from the winery, Justice loves spending time with her husband and daughter, taking their dog Carl to the park, playing board games, and visiting her family.  

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STEPHINEE BAUDER
Event Manager

Stephinee has over 15 years of experience in customer service, marketing, counseling and event planning. With her bubbly personality and local roots in Tri-cities, she has made a lot of connections in the world of wine which led her here to Desert Wind as our Event Manager. Stephinee has had a passion for wine for over a decade and is currently working on her sommelier certificates. She has a Bachelor's degree in Psychology, an AA in Art & Science and Post-Baccalaureate in Humanities. It's safe to say that Stephinee loves people and has an incredible gift for creating events that you will remember forever.

 

When Stephinee isn’t at work, you can find her traveling to the Oregon Coast with her boyfriend and daughter, or creating works of art to raise money for the homeless community in our area.

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MICHAEL ELLIG 
Head Chef

Mike grew up in Kennewick, Wash., where he spent most of his childhood into his adult years playing golf. In 2007, he set off to Arizona to play college golf and after graduating with an AA in Business Management, decided to switch gears and work as a prep cook at 5 Diamond Resort. He moved back to Kennewick in 2008 where he continued his passion for food, eventually landing at Ice Harbor Brewery at The Marina where he became Head Chef. He later worked at Player’s Sports Bar as a Food Creator and spent two years developing popular dishes and working in management. 

 

Currently, Mike is our Head Chef at the Kitchen at Desert Wind, where he looks forward to continuing to expand and grow our culinary offerings. He prides himself on his work ethic, pursuing his culinary dream, and creating a restaurant experience that people want to return to time and time again.

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