Below are some of the speakers for our 2020 Wine Tourism & Marketing Conference. Check back for regular updates!
Executive Director, Wine Communicators of Australia
For almost three decades, Lynda Schenk has worked across a diverse range of industries including: wine, hospitality, human resources, transport, medical devices, building and construction, conveyancing, landscape gardening, water filtration, organic farming, industrial cleaning and not-for-profit industries. She has a deep understanding of the marketing needs of companies, small and large.
Lynda has an natural ability to talk to people, understand their business and their objectives, and then to work with them to formulate marketing plans, brand strategies and marketing communication plans that build brand equity, growth and profitability.
Winner 2018 Wine Marketer of the Year – Women in Wine Awards
Finalist 2019 Business Woman of the Year – South Australian Small Business Category – Telstra Business Awards
Tammy is president at VingDirect, which provides tasting room management and sales tools to family wineries. Prior to founding VingDirect in 2009, Tammy served as the head of Foster’s Wine Estates U.S. Direct to Consumer division. In this role, she was acting President of Windsor Vineyards from 2005-2007 and President of International Wine Accessories from 2004-2007.
Winemaker, Plum Hill Vineyards
Promoted to winemaker in February 2019 at the age of 24, Shannon Carrigan makes and executes all winemaking decisions for Plum Hill Vineyards. Shannon was hired to work as a Tasting Room Associate for Plum Hill, but quickly rose through the ranks with her desire to learn winemaking and with a passion to do more. Shannon attended and recently graduated from Chemeketa Community College with a degree in Winemaking. Shannon’s job at Plum Hill is not limited to working in the Winery, as she gets involved with vineyard operations, marketing, social media, and even distribution channels. Shannon has created multiple new and innovative wines at Plum Hill including a silver medal-winning white “Port” style, White Lace, as well as a skin-contact “Orange Wine” that has become extremely popular.
Senior Account Manager, Sopexa
Originally from the Loire Valley, France, Nelly graduated from the Kedge Business School in Bordeaux with a Master’s degree in Business. Nelly joined the Sopexa family in 2018 and today leads several European wine and food council accounts, managing 360 campaigns that include trade relations, walk-around tastings, PR and influencer relations, as well as consumer activations.
Owner, Reserve Tastings Wine Club
Author of the highly acclaimed “When Great Wine Is Not Enough – A Wine Sales & Marketing Guide For Wineries, Négociants & Wine Brand Owners”, named the 2018 North Bay Business Journal Winery Sales & Marketing Officer Of The Year, with over 17 years of wine experience, having managed or sold over 20 million cases of wine and developed over 500+ wine brands while receiving 14 packaging awards… author, wine executive, label designer, wine blogger, fine wine investor and wine public speaker Eric Guerra has led some of the industries’ most iconic wineries and wine brands, including his recent wine venture Reserve Tastings Wine Club, a direct-to-consumer private Wine + Music club that offers high-end wines that are paired with musically inspired label artwork and playlists.
Director, Marketing & Strategic Partnerships, FessParker Winery & Vineyard
Anne Hallock is Director of Marketing and Strategic Partnerships at FessParker Winery in Los Olivos, California, which focuses on small lot, vineyard designated and clonal selection Rhône and Burgundian varietals. Before that she established and scaled global strategic marketing for The Trade Desk, a programmatic demand-side platform. Anne previously executed public relations and digital marketing assignments across multiple brands as a group manager at the Clorox Company.
Senior Director of Tourism, Eugene, Cascades, & Coast
Stephen Hoshaw is Director of Tourism at Eugene, Cascades, & Coast, our primary WMTC host organization, where he works directly with state, regional, and national media to provide destination information and support. He also oversees strategic social media promotion of the Eugene, Cascades & Coast destination and has a background in PR, focusing in retail, technology, hospitality, and food & beverage industry sectors. He is a big fan of the local craft beer industry in addition to wine.
Co-Founder and CEO, Enolytics
Cathy Huyghe is an award-winning journalist and entrepreneur, and a dynamic and engaging public speaker. A two-time graduate of Harvard University, first from the Graduate School of Design and then from the Journalism program, she transitioned to a career in wine after working successfully on reconciliation projects in the Middle East. As a journalist, Huyghe was shortlisted in 2019 as the Louis Roederer Columnist of the Year for her Forbes column on the business and politics of the wine industry. She is a featured commentator for the “Reign of Terroir” episode in the Netflix series Rotten, and her writing has also been seen and heard on the BBC, the Harvard Business Review, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, NPR and WNYC. She is a columnist (“Life, Entrepreneurially”) for Inc.com and her first book, Hungry for Wine: Seeing the World through the Lens of a Wine Glass, won the World Gourmand Award for Women in Wine in 2016.
Vice President of Destination Marketing, Visit Lane County
Natalie oversees comprehensive destination marketing for the leisure tourism, convention & sports markets for the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region of Oregon. She manages sales, PR/marketing and services in each of the core external markets. Natalie’s over three decades of service in the visitor industry, combined with her extensive community outreach and connections, makes her a key leader in countywide destination promotions.
Senior Director of Marketing & Sales, Biltmore Wines
Heather Jordan is Senior Director of Marketing & Sales for Biltmore Wines, where she has worked for the last 13 years. Located on George Vanderbilt’s Biltmore estate outside Asheville, North Carolina, the Biltmore Winery is the most visited winery in the country with approximately 600,000 visitors each year. Heather is responsible for marketing strategy, market analysis, sales forecasting and wine portfolio development for Biltmore’s extensive wine business — both on property and across the United States.
Sophia McDonald Bennett
Freelance Writer, Editor, & Communicator
Sophia McDonald Bennett is a freelance writer, editor and communications consultant with extensive experience working with trade, consumer and online publications. Her main areas of interest are food and wine, interior design, sustainability, marketing communications and general business. Her articles have appeared in over three dozen publications including TheAtlantic.com, Eating Well, Wine Enthusiast, SevenFifty Daily, All About Beer, 1859 Oregon’s Magazine and Oregon Wine Press.
CEO, Axis Entertainment
Sarah Miller, CEO of Axis Entertainment Inc, has over 16 years of strategic experience in public relations and marketing within the Tech, Entertainment, Sports & Lifestyle Industries. She has helped launch numerous start-up’s and also worked with notable brands including Playboy Mobile, Sony Music, Ted Talks, Hilton Hotels Digital, LA Kings, NASCAR Mobile, Visa Mobile, and NFL Mobile. Sarah is also the Founder & Chair of the Mobile Excellence Awards, one of the most prestigious and influential mobile awards in the mobile technology, entertainment & media industry.
General Manager, Oregon Wine LAB
Kacy Minnis is General Manager of the Oregon Wine LAB in Eugene, an urban winery and tasting room in Eugene. The business focuses on being appealing to a younger audience through its visual presentation, events, and offerings and Kacy will speak to this on our panel about Millennial programs. Kacy has 16 years in the industry, including as general manager of Iris Vineyards and Sweet Cheeks Winery.
PR and Content Director, Sopexa
Sarah has just shy of a decade of experience helping food & beverage, retail, lifestyle and travel brands reach new audiences through public relations, digital marketing and content creation. At Sopexa, she creates campaigns that educate, engage and inspire across print, digital and social. Sarah entertains a strong network of industry media contacts, creatives and influencers. She was awarded the PRNEWS Award for best “Diversity and Inclusion Campaign” in 2016 and the Gold Stevie Award for “Event of the Year” in 2017.
President, Lunabean Media
With over 18 years of digital marketing and web development experience in the wine industry, Jeremy brings full-spectrum knowledge of the digital tools available to wineries from SEO to websites to email marketing to social media. His practical and whole-picture approach to implementing these highly effective tools help his clients grow their brand, reach new customers, increase tasting room traffic and DTC sales, and ultimately, deliver exemplary customer service and retention rates. Jeremy has a B.A. in English from Boston College and co-founded Lunabean Media in 2009 to merge his wine experience with his digital marketing acumen.
Direct to Consumer Executive Vice President, The Family Coppola
Janiene Ullrich is the Direct to Consumer Executive Vice President of The Family Coppola. She has over ten years of wine industry experience growing eCommerce sales, launching new tasting rooms, developing tasting rooms with innovation, and evolving Wine Clubs. She also guides with strategic management of restaurants, merchandising and a distribution center. With consumer interaction in mind, and a respect for the Coppola family’s theatrical perspective, Ullrich can capture the right balance of authenticity while keeping in line with business goals and budgetary projections.
Founder and President Emeritus, Balzac Communications
Paul has been an instructor for Napa Valley College’s Viticulture and Enology department for the past twenty-five years. He is also a guest lecturer at many universities, including the Wine Tourism MBA program through the universities of Bordeaux, Porto, and Rovira Virgili, and has spoken at more than eighty conferences throughout the world on wine, wine tourism, wine education, public affairs, and wine marketing. With Liz Thach and Janeen Olsen, he authored a book: Wine Marketing & Sales, Strategies for a Saturated Market by The Wine Appreciation Guild, which won the Gourmand International Award in 2008 for the best wine book of the year for professionals. A second edition of that work was published in 2011, and a third edition will appear this year. His second book: Artisan Public Relations, is due to be published in 2019, and a third book, Wine Sales and Distribution, with John Crotts and Byron Marlowe, was published in 2019 by Rowman and Littlefield. He was a columnist for Vineyard & Winery Management Magazine for ten years, and served on the board of directors of the Society of Wine Educators for many years. With Rick Kushman of Capital Public Radio, he hosts “Bottle Talk” at http://www.rickandpaulwine.com/ a weekly conversation about wine.