Home Industry News Releases Women of the Vine & Spirits Foundation Announces 2019 Recipients

Women of the Vine & Spirits Foundation Announces 2019 Recipients


Nov 12, 2019 (New York, NY) – Women of the Vine & Spirits, the world’s leading membership organization dedicated to empowering and advancing women in the alcohol beverage industry, announced today its non-profit arm, the Women of the Vine & Spirits Foundation, Ltd. 501(c)(3), has awarded scholarships to 44 deserving candidates, totaling $134,200 in total funds given in 2019.

The Foundation received 376 applications from applicants in 42 countries, including: Armenia, Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Czechia, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, South Africa, Spain, St. Kitts & Nevis, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uruguay, and Zimbabwe.

“Providing women with education, resources, role models and career advancement opportunities is the cornerstone of our organization and Foundation,” said Deborah Brenner, Founder & CEO, Women of the Vine & Spirits. “Thanks to our generous donors, the Women of the Vine & Spirits Foundation is cultivating leaders, feeding the talent pipeline and attracting more women to the alcohol beverage industry.”

In 2019, the Foundation hired Executive Director, Tara Davey to oversee the growth and development of the non-profit alongside the Board of Trustees of the Foundation, led by Deborah Brenner, Founder & CEO, Women of the Vine & Spirits; Béatrice Cointreau, President & CEO, byBC Wines; Alison Herman, Senior Counsel, Regulatory & Compliance, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits; and Richard Tobin, CPA, CVA, CFF, Tobin & Collins, CPA, PA.

“I have been involved as President, CEO, and Board Member of multiple international companies in wine and spirits for 40 years and I understand first-hand the importance of how education and providing opportunities for women to thrive impacts our industry,” said Béatrice Cointreau, President & CEO, byBC Wines. “As a Board of Trustee of the Foundation, I am honored to be involved in the development of these women; each and every personal journey and anticipated achievements were touching, impressive, diversified, and enlightening and I am thrilled for what is to come for these women and the future of the alcohol beverage industry.”

2019 also saw the formation of the Foundation Committee comprised of the following individuals: Hannah Becker, Associate Attorney, GrayRobinson, P.A.; Béatrice Cointreau, President & CEO, byBC Wines; Renata Franzia Price, National Chain Manager, Bronco Wine Company; Cindy Haas, Senior Director, External Communications & Corporate Social Responsibility, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits; Natalie Henderson, Principal, Corporate Communications & PR, E. & J. Gallo Winery; Dr. Kathryn LaTour, Associate Professor, Wine Services Marketing, Cornell University; Andrea McBride John, CEO & Founder, McBride Sisters Collection; Robin McBride, President & Founder, McBride Sisters Collection; David Rudman, Executive Director, USA, Wine & Spirit Education Trust; Dr. Liz Thach, MW, Distinguished Professor of Wine, Professor of Management, Sonoma State University; and Judy Viera, VP, HR, Breakthru Beverage Group. The Committee was responsible for reviewing applications and selecting finalists with guidance by Tara Davey.

The Foundation Committee is pleased to announce the following recipients of the 2019 Women of the Vine & Spirits Foundation Scholarships:

Women of the Vine & Spirits Foundation Scholarships: Supported by Our Generous Donors

Professional & Leadership Development Scholarship: Deanna D’Alfonso, Jersey City, NJ; Educational Scholarship, Student: Taylor Amerman, Louisville, KY; Tori Russotti, San Luis Obispo, CA. Educational Scholarship, Continuing Education: Kristin Harper, Phoenix, AZ; Sabrina Lueck, Walla Walla, WA. WSET Level 1 Award in Wines: Tara Kelly, Sebastopol, CA. WSET Level 1 Award in Spirits: Christie Verschoor, Rye, NY. WSET Level 2 Award in Wines: Nicole Wells, Rohnert Park, CA. WSET Level 2 Award in Spirits: Ana Hinz, Seattle, WA. WSET Level 3 Award in Wines: Gbemisola Johnson, Nigeria. WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines: Elizabeth Moss, Kennewick, WA.

Patron Scholarships: Supported by the Generous Donation of E. & J. Gallo Winery “Women Behind the Wine Educational Fund”

Master of Wine Scholarship: Sarah Bray, Brooklyn, NY. Master Sommelier Scholarship: Mariya Kovacheva, West Palm Beach, FL. Elizabeth Smyth Student Scholarship: Yordanos Gebru, Cumming, GA. Fuel Your Dreams Award: Crystal Angela Dewana, Hercules, CA; Kelli Silva, Napa, CA; Meghan Vergara, Carlsbad, CA; Nicole Walsh, Watsonville, CA; Julia Ammons, Chino Valley, AZ; Cristin Castro, Austin, TX; Brenda Kowen, Millersview, TX; Cedar Stoltenow, Chicago, Il; Michelle Beathard, Wellington, FL; Rachel Ford, Atlanta, GA; Kathleen Young, Acworth, Georgia; Bryanna Cooper, Washington DC; Keely Rosenthal, Charlotte, NC; Chasity Cooper, Chicago, IL; Madison Malott, New York, NY; Omolola Olateju, Brooklyn, NY; Tracy Cryder, Little Rock, AR; Jennifer Pyle, St. Helena, MT.

Benefactor Scholarships: Supported by the Generous Donation of McBride Sisters Collection “McBride Sisters Collection SHE CAN Professional Development Fund”

Certificate Program in Business of Wine: Billie Harris, Atlanta, GA; Shanika Hillocks, New York, NY. Degree in Wine Business Management: Jessica Diaz, Fayetteville, AR. MBA or Executive MBA in Wine Business: Hannah DeYoung, Santa Rosa, CA; Alicia Kidd, Hercules, CA; Caitlyn Krug, New Orleans, LA; Ann-Marie Mattis, San Francisco, CA; Martha Vicedomini, Washington DC. Professional Development: Kyle Burke, Randallstown, MD; Cassandra Schaeg, Escondido, CA; Sarah Timbrook-Nugent, Seattle, WA; Racquel Valbrun, Cumming, GA.

For more information about the various scholarship opportunities awarded visit womenofthevine.com/foundation.

The Women of the Vine & Spirits Foundation, Ltd. 501(c)(3) is looking for donations to award scholarships in 2020. To donate, and learn more about donor levels and benefits visit womenofthevine.com/foundation or contact Executive Director, Tara Davey at [email protected].

Women of the Vine & Spirits Foundation Donors in 2019

Patron ($100,000+): E. & J. Gallo Winery; Benefactor ($30,000 – $49,999): McBride Sisters Collection; Supporter ($5,000 – $14,999): Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, Wine Enthusiast Media; Friend ($1,000 – $4,999): Beam Suntory, Cynthia Lohr, Delicato Family Vineyards.

About the Women of the Vine & Spirits Foundation

The Women of the Vine & Spirits Foundation, Ltd. 501(c)(3) is the charitable arm of Women of the Vine & Spirits. The Foundation provides scholarships and awards for the purpose of helping women advance in the alcohol beverage industry through education, leadership, and professional development. For more information, please visit womenofthevine.com/foundation.

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