David R Felton was appointed as Honorary President of the Society in May 2017. It is a singular Society figurehead role awarded to an individual with an expansive interest in food & wine, one who encourages the cohesiveness and international camaraderie of the Society and one who promotes a Society's forward progress while also upholding its traditional values. Dave succeeds Sidney Cross, from the Vancouver Branch, who held the role for two terms from 2012-2016.
Dave has been a member of the IWFS for over 20 years. During this time he has devotedly served the Society at all levels, having joined the Pasadena branch in California in 1995 where he worked his way through various roles and then held the position of President from 2000-2006. He attended his first Society international festival in Hong Kong in 2001 where he gained a better understanding of the breadth and depth of the large worldwide organisation. He and his wife of nearly 50 years, Mitsuko, have since travelled to dozens of different countries and met many hundreds of members around the world, all the while enjoying new friends, learning new perspectives and sharing food & wine opinions and experiences.
During this time Dave continued to play an active role in the management of the IWFS, and in 2003 he was invited to join the Board of Governors of the Americas which oversees the Society’s largest zone, with approximately 4000 members. He chaired the Americas Festivals & Events Committee from 2005 to 2012, allowing him to plan the Americas’ regional 2007 Santa Barbara Festival and also the hugely successful Vancouver International Festival in 2012. He also served as Americas Treasurer and Chairman of the Finance Committee. In 2011, he was elected Chairman of the Americas Board. At the same time, Dave was then elected to the Society’s six-person global leadership group, the International Council of Management (ICM). Following the completion of his three-year term as Americas Chairman in September 2014, he was elected Chairman of the Society ICM, serving until October 2016. He also served as the Chairman of the Society’s primary philanthropic organization, the IW&FS in America, Inc Foundation, until 2014. Over the years, Dave's service to the Society has been acknowledged with the Society's highest awards, culminating with the presentation of the Andre Simon Gold Medal in 2016.
Back in Pasadena, he finds himself assigned down in the Cellar, where he serves as Pasadena’s Cellar Master. He and Mitsuko also belong to the Los Angeles Branch of the Society. Dave attended the University of Notre Dame, in Indiana, and has a degree in International Economics & Japanese Studies from Tokyo’s Sophia University. They have three adult children and two grandchildren. They are advocating for more of the little ones.
Dave’s unstinting commitment to the Society and great love of all things food & wine in the company of fellow IWFS members, has led Council to agree that he is the ideal person for the role of Society Honorary President. Dave has welcomed the role, and we know that he looks forward to meeting many of our members at future events both locally and internationally.
|1933-1970||André Simon (co-founder)|
|1970-1981||No elected President|
|1981-1982||H W Yoxall OBE|
|1982-1983||No elected President|
|1983-1984||Allan C Holmes|
|1984-1992||Michael Broadbent MW|
|1992-2000||Dr R A Charpie|
|2000-2002||No elected President|
|2002-2008||Hugh Johnson OBE|
|2008-2012||F John Avery MW|
|2012-2016||G Sidney Cross OMA|
|2017-present||David R Felton (May 2017)|