Women of the Vine Trade Alliance Advisory Board Adds New Members

Women of the Vine Trade Alliance Advisory Board Adds New Members
Four new executives join to support advancement of women’s careers
in alcohol beverage industry


September 6, 2016 (New York, NY) – The only organization dedicated to the advancement and support of women’s careers in the alcohol beverage industry, gender-diverse teams and talent development industry-wide, the Women of the Vine (womenofthevine.com) trade alliance recently announced the addition of four new members to its advisory board:

  • Susan Kostrzewa, Executive Editor, Wine Enthusiast Magazine, Overseeing all editorial direction of the acclaimed Wine Enthusiast Magazine and WineMag.com, in addition to the global tasting program, Ms. Kostrzewa is a decades-long veteran of wine, travel, food and lifestyle journalism. Ms. Kostrzewa lived in the Bay Area for 10 years working as a full-time writer and in senior editorial roles for numerous lifestyle magazines before relocating to Manhattan in 2006. Kostrzewa is also a book author and editor: her projects include Opus Vino, the Wine Enthusiast Wine & Food Pairings book and a series of literary travel guides.
  • Victoria MacRae-Samuels, Vice President, Operations, Maker's Mark® Distillery, Ms. MacRae-Samuels has nearly three decades’ experience in the bourbon industry and holds the unique distinction of being the first woman VP of Operations at a bourbon distillery. At Maker’s Mark she oversees every aspect of production, from the selection of grains, fermentation and distillation, to barrel warehousing, bottling and shipping, quality control and tasting.
  • Brandy Rand, Vice President, U.S. Marketing & Business Development, International Wine & Spirits Research, With over 15 years’ marketing and management experience in the beverage alcohol industry, Ms. Rand has worked on dozens of global brands for Allied Domecq Spirits & Wines and Bacardi USA, and has held strategic consulting roles with several emerging craft and innovation companies. With her knowledge of the beverage industry, she’s also known as an accomplished spirits educator and writer.
  • Clarice Turner, Chief Executive Officer, Boudin SF, Ms. Turner recently took the position of CEO at Boudin SF after seven years as Senior Vice President, GM Americas Retail Business for Starbucks, where she led the company’s $3B businesses in the US, Canada and Latin America, and helped pioneer “Evenings,” a program of wine, beer and small plates in select markets. Previous appointments included executive positions with Papa Murphy’s Take ‘N’ Bake Pizza and PepsiCo and Yum! Brands.

Launched in 2015, the Women of the Vine trade alliance is anchored by the websitewww.WomenoftheVine.com, which offers information on education through the Women of the Vine Global Symposium (to be held March 13-15, 2017 in Napa, CA), regional meetings, webinars, best-practice strategies, a job board, discussion forum, networking and collaboration opportunities, and tools for forward-thinking employers and employees seeking to change the industry from within.


The seeds of the Women of the Vine alliance were first sown when Founder and President, Deborah Brenner, researched and authored the bestselling book, Women of the Vine: Inside the World of Women Who Make, Taste, and Enjoy Wine. As she interviewed women in the wine industry for the book, her commitment to telling their stories galvanized the group as a force whose talents and collective experience could not be ignored. Brenner harnessed this energy and enthusiasm (which grew far beyond that of the subjects of her book) and organized the inaugural Women of the Vine Global Symposium in Napa in March, 2015, which featured informative sessions on leadership, marketing/branding, and the particular challenges that face women in the wine industry. With over 500 attendees from 5 countries, the Symposium set the stage for the launch of the Women of the Vine alliance. The second-annual Women of the Vine Global Symposium, held in 2016, furthered the organization’s message and mission to a sold-out crowd of over 650 attendees.

To date, the Women of the Vine Advisory Board includes:

  • Annette Alvarez-Peters, AIWS, CWE, GMM, Beverage Alcohol, Costco Wholesale
  • Jan Barnes, Vice President Group Brand Director, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates
  • Nikki Mason Bazzo, Account Executive, Southern Glazer's
  • Colleen Brennan, Vice President of National Accounts On Premise, Rodney Strong Wine Estates
  • Jane Edwards Creed, President and Chief Executive Officer, WineShop At Home
  • Anita Cook-Motard, Director of Strategic On Premise Accounts, D&E Fine Wine Group, Southern Glazer’s
  • Kristen R. Decker, President, Global Wine Company, Inc.
  • Mel Dick, President of the Wine Division and Senior Vice President, Southern Glazer's
  • Rachael Ellas, Northwest Region Vice President, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates
  • Danielle Frank, National Accounts Director, Casinos, Moët Hennessy USA
  • Stephanie Gallo, Vice President of Marketing, E. & J. Gallo Winery
  • Vanessa Kay, Senior Vice President - Veuve Clicquot, Krug and Ruinart USA at Moët Hennessy USA
  • Kristina Kelley, Director of Public Relations, E. & J. Gallo Winery
  • Susan Kostrzewa, Executive Editor, Wine Enthusiast Magazine
  • Tammy LaNasa, Director of National Accounts, Fetzer Vineyards
  • Dr. Kathryn LaTour, Associate Professor, Wine Services Marketing, Cornell University
  • Kari Leitch, Senior Vice President, Communications and Corporate Affairs, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates
  • Cynthia Lohr, Vice President Marketing, J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines
  • Victoria MacRae-Samuels, Vice President, Operations, Maker's Mark®Distillery
  • Jayne Portnoy, Consultant
  • Brandy Rand, Vice President of U.S. Marketing and Business Development, IWSR
  • Mary Retallack, Viticulturist & Managing Director, Retallack Viticulture, South Australia
  • Rebecca Jensen Running, Vice President National Accounts, Infinium Spirits
  • Ben Salisbury, President, Salisbury Creative Group, Inc.
  • David Schuemann, Owner, Creative Director, CF Napa Brand Design, Strategic Solutions for the Wine, Spirits and Beer Industries
  • Steve Slater, Executive Vice President, General Manager, Wine Division, Southern Glazer's
  • Dr. Liz Thach, MW, Professor of Management and Wine Business, Sonoma State University
  • Clarice Turner, CEO, Boudin SF
  • Sommer K. Walker, CSS, National Accounts, Dining Sales, Bacardi USA
  • Tim Widnes, Wine Buyer, Whole Foods Market


About Women of the Vine:
Women of the Vine is a membership-based alliance that empowers and equips women worldwide to advance their careers in the alcohol beverage industry, fostering gender diversity and talent development across the industry at large. Guided by an advisory board of top international executives in the alcohol beverage industry, Women of the Vine offers extensive education, advocacy, training, mentorship, networking and steadfast support for women at every position in the field, particularly through the annual Women of the Vine Global Symposium, March 13-15, 2017, in Napa, California.

Women of the Vine: Raising the Bar.  For more information, please visit www.WomenoftheVine.com or call 888.750.1863.