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WSET Expands Team in Americas

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The Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET), the largest global provider of wine and spirits qualifications, has appointed three new members to its team in the Americas, more than doubling its existing resource. Deniece Bourne and Bonnie Buchanan join the team as Business Development Advisors and Marilyn Friddle joins as Quality Assurance Advisor.

Bonnie Buchanan, Deniece Bourne, Marilyn Friddle

Dave Rudman, Executive Director, WSET Americas says, “The USA is the third largest market worldwide for WSET courses.  With over 51 Approved Programme Providers and more than 14,000 candidates in 2017/18, the USA is also one of the WSET’s fastest growing markets (+24% in 2017/18).  One of WSET’s key development strategies is to take our business closer to our students. Expanding our regional team will help us to continue to grow accessible, best-in-class education and qualifications to inspire and empower wine and spirit professionals and enthusiasts across the Americas.”

Deniece Bourne joins WSET from Palate Selections – a boutique wine import and distribution business catering to the hospitality sector in Barbados which she co-founded and managed for almost a decade. In her new role Deniece will be responsible for supporting existing Approved Programme Providers and developing business across USA East and The Caribbean. Deniece has an associate degree in French, Spanish and Italian for Business and Tourism, a BSC in Biology, a MSc in Management from the University of Surrey and a WSET Level 3 Award in Wines and Spirits. US-born to Barbadian parents, Deniece is based in New York.

Bonnie Buchanan joins WSET from Winebow – one of the top 10 importer/distributors in the USA – where she looked after their business in Boston and the surrounding New England area. She has spent more than a decade in the drinks industry, working her way up from retail and restaurants to positions with a variety of international drinks businesses from boutique family run wineries to well-established brands. As a WSET Business Development Adviser, Bonnie will be responsible for supporting existing Approved Programme Providers and developing business across USA Central and Mexico. Based in Washington DC, Bonnie has an MSc in International Business from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland and a WSET Level 3 Award in Wines and Spirits.

Marilyn Friddle is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with extensive experience in management roles in assurance and tax with companies such as Deloitte, Ernst and Young and Greer and Walker of Charlotte, NC. Prior to joining WSET, her practice focused primarily on international and high net worth individual clients and more recently on sustainable energy. In her new role as Quality Assurance Advisor, Marilyn will work with new and existing WSET Approved Programme Providers to ensure compliance and best practices throughout North and South America. Based in Charlotte, Marilyn is a graduate of the University of North Carolina. She also holds the WSET Level 3 Award in Wines and Spirits and is currently studying for her WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines and Spirits.

To learn more about WSET’s qualifications or to find out where you can study in the Americas please visit WSETglobal.com.

About the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET)

  • Set up in 1969 and celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2019, WSET is the largest global provider of qualifications in the field of wines, spirits and sake.
  • WSET offers qualifications across four levels, from one-day beginner courses through to an expert level diploma. Courses are available in more than 15 languages and over 70 countries and are open both to industry professionals and interested enthusiasts. Qualification levels 1 to 3 (with the exception of the Level 3 Award in Spirits) are recognised by the UK Government (Ofqual) and all WSET qualifications have a strong reputation worldwide as the industry standard for knowledge.
  • In the last academic year (2017/18) 94,822 candidates sat for a WSET qualification, and since 1969, WSET has awarded more than half a million individuals a WSET qualification.
  • For more information about WSET, please visit WSETglobal.com.
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