Brand Manager and Partner
Food, Wine and luxury hospitality have been the focus of my whole career. What better way to make a living than to support the most important moments in other people’s lives? I started out in a country club kitchen making hot sandwiches for golfers as they made the turn at the 9th hole. This was my first view into luxury food and beverage, and I have tried to raise the bar ever since.
Transitioning through various line chef roles in steakhouses, I found my niche in high-end off-site catering while I finished college. Being a part of someone’s most important moments (with astronomical budgets) is addictive! My post undergrad path bounced me around the country with the PGA as an event manager, through American Express as a Stock Broker, and finally to Vail, Colorado where I started studying to become a sommelier. I cut my teeth first in a retail shop, and then landed at the Park Hyatt in Beaver Creek as F&B Manager & Property Sommelier. Snowboarding in the Rockies all day before work is the only way to tattoo a smile on your face that will survive the grueling expectations of the world’s most pampered people. Hyatt moved me to Maui to function in the same role after a couple of years, and my new wife and I enjoyed an endless summer for 2 beautiful years.
After “island fever” set in I was recruited to Chicago by Johnson Ho to run his fine wine boutique focused on wine cellar design and the rare wines to fill them up. This is where my understanding of luxury changed from posh dinners and events to multimillion dollar wine collections by billionaires. Four and a half years in this role exposed me to a broad range of glorious wines, a lot of international travel, a new degree and frequent visits by the Folio sales team; including several wine dinners with Michael Mondavi.
The bitter cold of Chicago, and my time with Terlato in marketing, eventually helped us set our sights on California. Kendall-Jackson was my savior from the frigid mid-west, and I enjoyed singing the praises of some of Sonoma’s finest wines for some time. I only sent out one resume while I was at KJ; not to leave, but to once again elevate my expectations of what it means to work in the luxury wine business. That’s how I found myself writing this short bio today…