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New Trade Alliance Announces Advisory Board Members


New Trade Alliance Announces Advisory Board Members

Women of the Vine promotes and supports women’s advancement in the alcohol beverage industry

June 24, 2015 (New York, NY) –  Due to the accolades and success of the inaugural Women of the Vine Global Symposium in March, Deborah Brenner will launch a new, membership-based Women of the Vine® trade alliance this summer, governed by an advisory board of top beverage industry executives. With the mission to empower and equip women worldwide to advance their careers in the alcohol beverage industry; and to foster gender diversity and talent development across the industry at large, the Women of the Vine alliance advisory board includes:

  • Annette Alvarez-Peters, Asst. GMM,  Beverage Alcohol, AIWS, CWE, Costco Wholesale
  • Jan Barnes, Vice President Group Brand Director, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates
  • Nikki Bazzo, Portfolio Manager, Southern Wine & Spirits        
  • Colleen Brennan, VP of National Accounts On Premise, Rodney Strong           
  • Jane Edwards Creed, President and Chief Executive Officer, Wine Shop at Home        
  • Anita Cook-Motard, Director of Strategic On Premise Accounts, Glazer’s Domaine & Estates, D&E Fine Wine Group
  • Kristen R. Decker, President, Global Wine Company, Inc         
  • Mel Dick, President of the Wine Division and Senior Vice President, Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. 
  • Rachael Ellas, Northwest Region Vice President, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates     
  • Danielle Frank, Manager National Accounts On Premise, Moët Hennessy USA
  • Stephanie Gallo, Vice President of Marketing, E & J Gallo Winery
  • Vanessa Kay, Chair, Senior VP, Veuve Clicquot US
  • Kristina Kelley, Director of Public Relations, E. & J. Gallo Winery
  • 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      
  • Meridith May, Publisher/Editorial Director, The Tasting Panel Magazine, The SOMM Journal, The Clever Root
  • Jayne Portnoy, Vice President of Marketing & Brand Strategy, Napa Technology
  • Mary Retallack, Viticulturist & Managing Director, Retallack Viticulture
  • Ben Salisbury, Owner, Salisbury Creative Group, Inc.   
  • David Schuemann, Owner, Creative Director, CF Napa Brand Design   
  • Steve Slater, Executive Vice President, General Manager, Wine Division, Southern Wine & Spirits of America    
  • Dr. Liz Thach, MW, Professor of Management and Wine Business, Sonoma State University      
  • Tim Widnes, Wine Buyer, Whole Foods Market           

The Women of the Vine alliance will launch later this summer, anchored by a new website., offering information on education through the Women of the Vine® Global Symposium (set for April 4-6, 2016, in Napa, CA), regional chapter meetings, best-practice strategies, a job board, and networking and collaboration opportunities. In the website’s future, the alliance will also offer mentorship and leadership opportunities, webinars, college and university partnership information, 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 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.

For more information on the Women of the Vine alliance or Global Symposium, April 4-6, 2016, please contact Deborah Brenner at or 845-365-2838.

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, April 4-6, 2016 in Napa, California. Women of the Vine: Raising the Bar. For more information, please visit or call 845-365-2838.


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