Chad Johnson – Winegrower & Owner
Chad Johnson is a little bit of what we call a “late bloomer.” After graduating from high school and subsequently being kicked out of college (twice), he headed out to California to live a vagabond lifestyle. Working in the hospitality industry, he gained an appreciation and then a passion for the wonders of food and wine. It soon became clear that it was time to wander to a university and get a degree. He returned to his Wisconsin roots, attended UW-Stout and studied Food Science and Chemistry. 10 years and four institutes of higher learning later, he finally graduated with 172 credits and a BS. While attending college he met and fell in love with his beautiful bride Janet. Chad subsequently worked in the bakery and pork industries specializing in quality control and research and development before shifting careers into sales for a Fortune 50 pharmaceutical firm. Chad’s wife Janet manages National Sales for the winery. Janet and Chad are also proud parents of the tasting room Schnoodles, Caesar and Cleo.
Janet Johnson – National Sales & Owner
Janet Johnson is a dairy farm kid from Wisconsin. She and her sister, Cindy, grew up on their parent’s 250-acre dairy farm in the small town of Edgar in northern Wisconsin. After graduating from high school, Janet joined the Air Force where she proudly served in Japan and The Gulf War.
After one tour in the Air Force, the Badger State called her home, and she enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Stout where she completed a degree in Business and Tourism and met her soon to be husband, Chad Johnson. Janet and Chad met at a local restaurant where they waited tables and shared their love of great wine and food. How many college couples do you know who take a spring break trip to Napa?
Following college Janet kicked off a 15-year sales career starting with Hormel Foods and most recently with Pfizer Pharmaceuticals. The girl has sold everything from bacon to Donna Karen eyewear and now wine. In May of 2011, Janet left her job in Corporate America to work full time for Dusted Valley. While she spends most of her time driving the company’s national sales efforts, you can also find her behind the bar at the Walla Walla Tasting Room.
Corey Braunel – Winegrower & Owner
Corey Braunel represents the fourth generation of his family in agriculture. Ginseng was the main crop of his family’s Northern Wisconsin farm. Corey grew up watching his father host Chinese buyers who evaluated this premium niche market crop destined for the medicine shops of Hong Kong. Corey has a business degree from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse and began his career working in the financial services industry. Later, he switched to sales and marketing work with Fortune 50 medical firms where he learned about wine while entertaining clients – making selections from wine lists and educating himself through winery tourism with his good buddy and brother-in-law Chad. He then learned about Washington wine, fell in love with the Pacific Northwest and moved his family to Walla Walla in 2003 to start the winery. Rejoicing, he resigned from medical sales in June of 2008.
“Being part of Dusted Valley allows me to return to my entrepreneurial farming roots. I grew up with my hands in the dirt and feel a connection to who I am when bringing our vineyards to the bottle.” “My Mother and Father laugh when they hear me say, ‘hands in the dirt…’ I hated weeding in the ginseng gardens and used to cry, ‘I wasn’t born to weed!’”
Corey and his wife, Cindy, have three children, Chase, Sam and Noah.
Cindy Braunel – Administration, Wine Club Manager & Owner
Cindy Braunel and her sister, Janet, grew up on their parent’s 250-acre dairy farm in the small town of Edgar in northern Wisconsin. Cindy has a B.S.N. from Viterbo University in La Crosse, WI. After graduating nursing school, Cindy began her career at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN before moving into clinical research in Women’s Health at the University of Wisconsin Medical School.
It was her detail oriented medical career that lead to Cindy being coaxed into the winery by her husband, Corey. Cindy makes sure that the bills are paid and our customers get their wine. In addition, she manages the better than 1,000 member Stained Tooth Society wine club.