Sonoma County Winegrowers’ Karissa Kruse Selected as Congressman Mike Thompson’s 2020 Woman of the Year

Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05) announced Karissa Kruse and Letitia Hanke as the 2020 and 2021 Women of the Year in Sonoma County. Each year, Thompson honors women from the Fifth Congressional District who make exceptional contributions to our community. This year, Thompson is honoring both his 2020 and 2021 women of the year, as last year’s celebrations were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A statement from Thompson is below.

“Karissa Kruse as helped to put our Sonoma wine community on the international stage. As President of the Sonoma County Winegrowers, she set and met ambitious sustainability goals and landed the county the distinction of Wine Region of 2019 by Wine Enthusiast. She’s also worked to ensure the community gives back, relaunching the Sonoma County Grape Growers Foundation that has provided more than a $1 million in support to local farmworkers. I’m honored to call her a friend and recognize her as Sonoma County’s 2020 Woman of the Year.”

“Letitia Hanke has broken through barriers and supported her community at every step of her career. She supported herself through college at Sonoma State University, she then rose through the ranks at her construction company and became enough of a leader to purchase the business herself, one of the few Black women in the roofing industry. She’s then turned around and started the LIME Foundation to help underrepresented youth follow their dreams. I’m honored to name her Sonoma County’s 2021 Woman of the Year.”

The Woman of the Year Recognition Ceremony(link is external) was started in honor of Women’s History Month to recognize the service of women in our community.

A complete list of 2020 winners includes:

  • Annette Taylor, Solano County
  • Beth Bartke, Contra Costa County
  • Crystal Martin, Lake County
  • Hope Lugo, Napa County
  • Karissa Kruse, Sonoma County

A complete list of 2021 winners includes:

  • Carol Huchinson, Lake County
  • Elizabeth Ann Hoffman, Contra Costa County
  • Eloise Escano Scott, Solano County
  • Letitia Hanke, Sonoma County
  • Lydia Mondavi, Napa County


Congressman Mike Thompson is proud to represent California’s 5th Congressional District, which includes all or part of Contra Costa, Lake, Napa, Solano and Sonoma Counties. He is a senior member of the House Committee on Ways and Means where he chairs the Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures. Rep. Thompson is Chairman of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force. He is also Co-Chair of the bipartisan, bicameral Congressional Wine Caucus and a member of the fiscally-conservative Blue Dog Coalition.