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DE&I Leadership Series: Breaking Barriers - CM/UC Only

13 Dec 2022
10:00am - 11:00am PST
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Event Details

Events reserved for Corporate and University/College Memberships focus on topics specific to supporting organizations looking to elevate their diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) initiatives and protocols and expanding business development and innovation (BD&I) best practices. If you are interested in learning more about our Corporate and University/College Memberships, email

Join Women of the Vine & Spirits for a DE&I Leadership Series

Breaking Barriers


Tuesday, December 13
10:00 AM PST / 1:00 PM EST


Ingrid Hobbs
Director of DEI, Global Brands and Corporate Functions
Beam Suntory

Dan Leese
Hotaling & Company    

Ian McLernon
Asia Pacific North and South
& Global Travel Retail
Remy Cointreau 

Facilitated by
Deborah Brenner
Founder & CEO
Women of the Vine & Spirits

WOTVS Corporate Members will hear from senior male executives Dan Leese, CEO of Hotaling & Company and Ian McLernon, EMEA, Asia Pacific North and South & Global Travel Retail of Remy Cointreau, why they are committed to DE&I, and what we can all be doing to break barriers and create a culture of inclusivity in our communities and companies. 

Joined by 
Ingrid Hobbs, Director of DEI, Global Brands and Corporate Functions of Beam Suntory, these unscripted live chats will dig into the topic through authentic conversation about why DE&I is important to them, who has influenced them along their life and career path, and their vision for the future of the alcohol beverage industry.

Facilitated by Deborah Brenner, CEO and Founder of WOTVS, attendees can expect frank questions, honest answers and real-life lessons on how these senior male executives commit to taking action as an individual, a community member and a corporate leader.


Who Should Attend:

Company Owners, Executives and Family Members, DE&I Professionals, HR and Talent Professionals, ERG and BRG Leaders and Members, Male Members to learn from these senior leaders how to be an effective ally, and anyone interested in learning more about how other companies are engaging in a more inclusive industry.

Once you register you will receive an email with the link to access the session.  If you need further assistance please Contact Olivia Campbell, Membership Coordinator, Women of the Vine & Spirits.

Ingrid Hobbs is currently Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Beam Suntory, Inc., the third largest producer of distilled beverages worldwide. Since 2017, her career has been focused on the DE&I space. Prior to joining Beam Suntory in early 2022, she led DE&I for William Grant & Sons, a global spirits company, where she initiated the Americas DE&I practice, laying the groundwork for teams in the US, Canada, and Latin America (Bogotá, Mexico City, and Santiago). She currently serves on the DE&I Committees of DISCUS (DISCUS Distilled Spirits Council of the US) and Women of the Vine & Spirits.

Ingrid holds Diversity & Inclusion certifications from Stanford Business School, Cornell University, INSEAD Global Business School, and the Society for Human Resource Management. She is also a PMP-certified Project Management Professional, writer, designer, and a veteran of the US Army. Her approach to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion is focused on shared accountability, education, and communication, while creating effective concepts for leadership teams and employee-led networks, helping to create equitable playing fields to give everyone a chance at attaining their professional goals.

Coming from humble beginnings in the Mission District of San Francisco, Ingrid values her family’s wealth of diversity, which includes several races, religions, sexual orientations, and genders. That rich background has provided her with a strong foundational understanding of the societal and professional challenges that so many of us face with regularity.

She believes that most things are possible with perseverance and an open mind; and she takes pride in the fact that her default answer to most questions is "YES!" Don't we all need more yes in our lives? That attitude stems from her free-spirit Californian roots and the experience of being a New Yorker for half her life, which has exposed her to many people with big dreams who work hard to make them come true. She thrives in the city’s inclusive culture, vivid rainbow of people and varied lifestyles, driving her passionate focus in DE&I as an ever-evolving ally, advocate, and amplifier.

Dan Leese is a 40-year Wine & Spirits Industry veteran. He has been CEO of Hotaling & Co, a San Francisco based Distiller and Importer of artisanal Spirits since October 2019.

Prior to that, he founded V2 Wine Group in 2010 before selling the company to Delicato Family Vineyards, the 4th largest U.S. Wine Company in 2019.
Dan was President and Managing Director of Beringer Blass Wine Estates (now Treasury Wine Estates) for The Americas, where he directed all sales, marketing, finance, administration, production, and vineyards for the $700 million unit of then Foster’s Group. 

Prior to Beringer Blass, Dan was Executive VP and Managing Director of Brown-Forman Corporation’s U.S. Wine Business, directing all operations for the company’s $340 million wine unit. He was with Brown-Forman for thirteen years and held several marketing and general management positions.  

Dan is on the Board of The Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S. (DISCUS), Gundlach-Bundschu Winery and Cuvaison Winery and has served on the boards of the Wine Institute and Marin Theater and is a member of the Advisory Board of the University of Northern Iowa College of Business. He has been a guest lecturer at Sonoma State University, University of San Francisco, University of California, Davis and The University of Northern Iowa. 

He and his wife, Katy reside in Mill Valley, CA. 

Ian McLernon is the Chief Executive Officer of Rémy Cointreau USA and a member of the company’s global Executive Committee.  In addition to leading the value strategy of the group’s luxury brands in the U.S. market, McLernon oversees business development in other markets of the Americas.


McLernon studied management at Nottingham Business School and obtained an MBA from Open University Business School in the United Kingdom.  He launched his career in marketing at Whitbread Plc, followed by Coors Brewing.  He advanced to Marketing and Sales Director at The Unwins Wine Group, and then as Business Director for Drink Works Ltd.  In 2007, he moved to the cosmetics industry working for Parfums Christian Dior as Commercial Sales Director for the UK and Ireland and was promoted to Regional Director of Travel Retail for Asia Pacific. 

Returning to his beverage industry roots in 2015, McLernon served at Moët Hennessy Diageo Singapore as Director & General Manager, then successively as Director of Travel Retail Asia Pacific. McLernon joined the Rémy Cointreau group in early 2017 as SVP Global Travel Retail in 2017 before being promoted to his current position as CEO of Rémy Cointreau USA. An avid water-skier, McLernon is a qualified British Waterski Instructor, Ski Boat Driver and Competition Judge.  His other passions include the game of rugby and he represented the Ireland Students at Rugby League.

In support of local organizations, McLernon has participated in several non-executive directorships, initially as Director of Bedales Enterprises Ltd, a wine merchant & retailer with 3 sites in The City of London from 2008 to 2011 and currently serves as Executive Committee Member of The Singapore Ireland Fund since 2016 and Vice Chairman of EuroCham Singapore Wine and Spirits Committee from 2015.  McLernon currently resides in New York City with his wife and family.

As a Social Entrepreneur, Deborah Brenner measures success on the positive impact a business makes on society. She has manifested her vision with Women of the Vine & Spirits, inspiring a challenge that calls forth the best in people and brings them together around a shared sense of purpose, working with the power of intentionality and alignment with a higher purpose. 

After graduating from the University of Delaware with degrees in English and Journalism Deborah spent 20 years in the male-dominated television and film technology industry that required international travel to countries for whom wine is a part of everyday life. During a fortuitous trip to the Napa and Sonoma wine regions, Deborah discovered another male-dominated industry, where women were under-recognized. 

Compelled to tell their stories, and tapping into her love of research and journalism Deborah authored a bestselling collection of profiles, Women of the Vine: Inside the World of Women Who Make, Taste and Enjoy Wine, which Wine Spectator named a Critical Read of 2007.

Through the process of championing these incredible women, Deborah was inspired to enter the wine business herself, releasing wine from a first-of-its-kind collective of seven artisan women winemakers from Napa, Sonoma and Paso Robles, CA. For the following seven years, Deborah learned the business inside and out. Ultimately, she could not foster women in the wine industry the way she had hoped, which led her to dissolve the wine brand and return to the drawing board.

A year later, in March 2015, Deborah organized the Inaugural Women of the Vine & Spirits Global Symposium. It was a sold-out success. The attendees eagerly supported the opportunity to connect through a global network and seek ways to accelerate their business and professional development. This forum allowed for collaboration across all industry sectors and inspired attendees to do business with like-minded women and men. It was clear to Deborah that to make a positive impact on the alcohol beverage industry, women needed a voice year-round. 

Membership to the organization opened September 2015. What started off as a one-off event and grass roots movement quickly expanded into a global organization with members engaged across 23 countries. Women of the Vine & Spirits has become a catalyst for creating a positive impact in the alcohol beverage industry by giving women worldwide a platform and a voice to thrive. 

Deborah resides in New York with her husband, Jack. Having been the spouse of a restaurateur who owned and operated an Italian restaurant for 24 years in Piermont, NY, Deborah is passionate about supporting hardworking hospitality professionals who are fundamental to the on-premise sector of the alcohol beverage industry.

In addition to Women of the Vine & Spirits, in 2021 Deborah launched another “sister company”called Badass Bartender™. This first-of-its-kind community for female bartenders aims to fill a void for female bartenders to unite, be empowered, support one another, explore career opportunities and network. For more information visit 

Deborah has received a Rising Star Award from Women for WineSense (2008), a New York Small Business Administration Women in Business Champion of the Year (2009), a New York City National Association of Women Business Owners Signature Award (2010), the Lillian Vernon Award for Outstanding Community Service by the Women's Enterprise Development Center (2011), a NY Women in Communications Rising Star Award (2013),  the Rockland Business Women's Network Woman of the Year Award (2014), American Cancer Society Dr. Louis Berger Award (2017), Wine Enthusiast Wine Star Award Person of the Year Nominee (2017), Las Vegas Inc. “Woman to Watch” (2018), and Wine Enthusiast Wine Star Award “Social Visionary of the Year” Recipient (2018).

13 Dec 2022
10:00am - 11:00am PST

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