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Ali Tuthill. (Credit: Courtesy photo)

The Long Island Wine Council has hired Ali Tuthill as its first director of marketing, a step the organization hopes can help shape the region’s image as a premiere wine destination.

She began in her new role on Monday, April 6.

“We had been looking for someone who can help us rebrand and help the region take the next step,” said Wine Council executive director Steve Bate. “We’re very excited.”

Tuthill, who spent her childhood summers on Shelter Island and described the opportunity to work for the Wine Council as a “dream job,” plans to first meet with local vintners to get their perspectives on the local industry.

“I’m trying to get a sense of what their interpretation of what Long Island wine and food is,” she said on Wednesday, while traveling among local wineries. “I see myself synthesizing all that feedback.”

Her duties will include using that information to craft a media plan and coordinating events, Bate said. The new position is funded through a portion of a grant from the New York State Regional Economic Devlopement Council and other grants.

“There hasn’t been an effort to crystalize what Long Island wine stands for or why it should be considered a premium wine destination,” she said. “I get to hopefully lead a movement to elevate the region and put it on the map.”

Bate said although the Wine Council has worked to promote tourism in the region in the past, he said he would also like to see Long Island wine take up a bigger share of the wholesale market in New York City and beyond.

“Part of her role will be taking a fresh look at our branding, our website and our marketing materials to see if they can be updated or cleaned up,” he said. “It’s going to be very valuable.”

Tuthill was most recently director of marketing and brand management for PUMA North America, where she oversaw all brand positioning and marketing strategy for the company’s lifestyle category. She had been with the company since 2007. Prior to joining PUMA, Ms. Tuthill worked in a number of capacities for New York based media companies and marketing firms.

She lives in Sea Cliff with her husband Royal Tuthill, a descendant of one of Southold’s 13 founding families, and their three children.