Meet Stacy Lill & Kathy Johanson Co-founders of Owines

Kathy is married to a wonderful man named Bob Johanson and has a girl French Bulldog named Zoe.  Kathy is a Boeing Manager, she started at Boeing in 1986.   Kathy has taught Master level classes part time at City University over the last 8 years – she acquired a Ph.D in 2007 (Applied Management & Decision Sciences) from Walden University.  Kathy20has also been a mentor TECH Reach – a Bill and Melinda Gates project – for the last 6 years.

Stacy is married to Greg Lill, co-owner of DeLille Cellars, and has two daughters, Kelsie 20, & Kera 17.  She graduated from the University of Washington with a dual degree in Comunications & Marketing.  Stacy has had 19 years of Corporate Sales & Marketing experience and also runs another winery called Cashmere Cellars. Stacy sits on several charity Boards including PONCHO, Auction of Washington Wines and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Trustee.

Together they co-founded Owines, a female owned and operated wine company expressly in the business to make reasonably priced wines, with an amazing taste far exceeding the price.


What was your vision for starting OWines and how did you decide to work together?  Stacy and Kathy have been friends for 20 years so working together was a risk we were willing to take having known each other so long.  Of course starting a business is definitely a partnership that works best when both parties are of like minds.  We are both project oriented and enjoy quality, precision, and success with all we undertake.  The Vision for O Wines was the easy part – we had both often discussed how fun it would be to start our own charity.  Both of us have been involved in numerous charities over the years and simply wanted to be in charge of how the proceeds would be dispersed for our own passion.  Education is something in obvious crisis in America – so the choice to get engaged was easy.  We also loved to idea of a “positive” charity where we could see an instant difference in the world through our dedication and hard work.

What do you enjoy most about being co-founders of OWines? The biggest gift is handing out the scholarships.  Watching the progress of our recipients will create a lifetime of excitement and anticipation.  We will actually see the outcome of our work through the children we give the opportunity of education to…it’s thrilling when you think about how many lives we may be able to help through education.  It’s at times overwhelming to think about – we both get emotional when we see the gratitude this chance gives.

Tell us about your first job?  Kathy ~ a tennis receptionist – I set up tennis court times for members and ensured the tennis players knew what court they had… Stacy ~ (besides babysitting) I was a waitress in a Kirkland coffee shop.

Tell us about the organizations your company supports? The College Success Foundation is the main reason we have been able to fund 4 scholarships in our first year of operations!  They are in the business to put donors and scholarship bound recipients together.  They have been funded by the State of Washington and by private donors like Bill and Melinda Gates.

What made you choose to support them? It was a miracle to find The College Success Fundation (CSF) – with both of us engaged in other full-time jobs it would have taken a year or two to formally start a 501c3 foundation in support of our cause…this is a rigorous undertaking which would have cost us so much money we probably wouldn’t have been able to fund a single scholarship for up to 5 years!  The folks at CSF are incredibly professional and brilliant at what they do.

From where do you draw inspiration? We have drawn our inspiration from numerous entities – of note Oprah.  We often say we are trying to follow in her foot steps in terms of her incredible generosity and willingness to help others less fortunate.  We only wish we had the same “resources $$” Oprah has.  We are also inspired by our local heros, Bill and Melinda Gates.  They are also huge supporters of the effort to educate Americans and provide the opportunity to all children to get an education.  Also the work of Greg Mortenson – author of Three Cups of Tea.  His dream was to promote peace by building schools for girls in Pakistan and Afghanistan under incredible circumstances.

What one thing would you like to learn this year? Kathy is interested in learning more about accounting…since she is running the books for O Wines!  Stacy and Kathy would like to learn more about the Educational crisis that is affecting our country and the world and how we can spread the word to get more people involved in solving this situation.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?   We see ourselves even more involved in charitable events associated with O Wines and education.  We hope to have donated 100’s of scholarships by this time.  We’re also interested in mastering the mentoring process for the children we give scholarships to.  Our book will be out by that time so we will look forward to sharing the wealth of knowledge around our success with others interested in learning about charity.

What do you do for fun, relaxation? Kathy~ I love tennis, golf, snow skiing, reading and writing.  Stacy ~ I love cooking,  traveling, golf & snow skiing.

Do you have a secret indulgence?  If so, what is it?
Kathy ~ my secret indulgence is no secret – I love to get massages – I keep Massage Envy in business.

Stacy ~ my secret indulgence is surfing the net to keep up with current fashions and style trends.

What’s the Best book you ever read? Kathy ~  The Secret…it embodies the positive and is a quick and easy read; and Three Cups of Tea, which is an inspiration for what the O Wines ladies are trying to accomplish.

Stacy ~ The Success Principles by Jack Canfield and also The Wine Bible by Karen McNeil.

Your Favorite quote? Kathy ~ “Begin with the end in mind” Stephen Covey, author of Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

Stacy ~  “Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.” ~ Frank Outlaw ~

Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers? We are so thankful to the women who have embraced our cause and shared it with their friends, family members, and acquaintances.  Without you spreading the word about O Wines and our cause we would not be talking about these Opportunities we are giving to children today.  Bless you all, Kathy and Stacy