Home Industry News Releases Dream Big Darling Unveils New Events & Initiatives for 2022  

Dream Big Darling Unveils New Events & Initiatives for 2022  


Nonprofit Creates Professional Opportunities for Women in  Wine & Spirits Industry 

8 March — Paso Robles, CA Dream Big Darling today unveiled its latest initiatives designed to mentor up-and coming women in the wine and spirits industry throughout 2022, including a seminar titled “Waves of  Change” on March 21 and a virtual panel tasting with legendary Master Sommelier Madeline Triffon on March 28.  

Dream Big Darling’s 2022 initiatives also include the continuation of two new successful mentorship  programs—Fresh Voices in partnership with SOMM Journal and The Tasting Panel; and FLOurish in partnership with The Millinger Group and Mast-Jägermeister US. 

Dream Big Darling is a nonprofit dedicated to fostering the success of women in the wine and spirits  industry through mentorship, education, life enhancement and professional events. 

“We are heading into the year with tremendous momentum and some incredible partners,” said  Amanda Wittstrom-Higgins, founder of Dream Big Darling. “Most importantly, the recipients of our scholarships and programs are demonstrating amazing professional growth as a result of our efforts.” 

“Waves of Change” Seminar in Honor of Women’s History Month 

In honor of Women’s History Month this March, Dream Big Darling will host “Waves of Change” via Zoom on Monday, March 21 starting at 9 a.m. PST.  

World events, demographic changes and social justice developments have unleashed a tidal wave of  passion and energy within the wine and spirits industry. “Waves of Change” will reveal how industry  leaders are aiming to create positive change and opportunity, all while simultaneously growing the industry, bolstering the bottom line and achieving success by uplifting others.  

Panelists include Jordan Fiorentini, VP of Vineyards & Winemaking at Epoch Estate Wines; Jacki Strum Asher, Editor and Publisher at Wine Enthusiast; Ariana Tsuchiya, Manager & Sommelier at G. Lion Hawaii  Hospitality Group; and Abigail Lopez, Manager of Coastal Logistics at G3 Enterprises. The discussion will be moderated by Wittstrom-Higgins.  

Registration for this Zoom event is complimentary. Visit the registration portal for more information. 

“Wines Worth Sharing—and The Women Behind Them!” – Collaborative Tasting with Madeline Triffon 

Join Dream Big Darling and legendary Master Sommelier Madeline Triffon via Zoom for “Wines Worth  Sharing—and The Women Behind Them!” on March 28 at 3 p.m. PST.  

During this taste-along seminar moderated by Wittstrom-Higgins, Triffon will present three wines that  she loves—J. Lassalle Champagne Premier Cru “Cachet d’Or”; 2019 Château de la Font du Loup Châteauneuf-du-Pape; and 2018 Dei Vino di Montepulciano. These wines are available for purchase in a  special seminar kit created by Hi-Time Wine Cellars in Costa Mesa, California. 

The seminar is geared toward wine trade professionals. Triffon will host a guided tasting of the wines; provide background on the women winemakers behind them; and engage a panel discussion on the best ways to utilize wines of these types. “We decide that we love a wine—now what?” Triffon says. “How do  we share it, how do we make it accessible?” 

The panelists are Melissa J. McAvoy, owner of Swirlery Wine Bar; Regine T. Rousseau, CEO of Shall We  Wine; and Jessie Birschbach, senior beer and wine editor at SOMM Journal and The Tasting Panel.  

Registration for this Zoom event is complimentary. Visit the registration portal for more information.

Fresh Voices: In Partnership with SOMM Journal & The Tasting Panel 

This year also brings the continuation of “Fresh Voices,” a new journalistic platform created in  partnership with Meridith May, publisher and editor-in-chief of the SOMM Journal and The Tasting  Panel. Fresh Voices is an ongoing series of columns authored by a variety of up-and-coming women in the wine and spirits industry, appearing in both publications. 

“As we continue this series, I hope to bring more confidence to these diverse voices, and to help mentor  women in a way that helps their careers and allows them to be creative,” May said. “That is important  to women – to be recognized and heard.” 

Added Wittstrom-Higgins, “Fresh Voices is impactful because it gives the next generation a voice, and a powerful platform to talk about perspectives in the industry that might otherwise go unnoticed.” 

May and Wittstrom-Higgins noted that Fresh Voices is already serving as a springboard of opportunity  for its contributors. For example, Nancy Ulloa, a winemaker based in Paso Robles, was asked to speak at a national Latino marketing conference in New York after being noticed by the conference organizers for  her Fresh Voices contribution.  

FLOurish: In Partnership with Millinger Group & Mast-Jägermeister US 

This year also marks the second year of Mast-Jägermeister US’s six-year investment totaling $340,000 to  support “FLOurish”—a scholarship program designed to mentor emerging women leaders in the wine and spirits industry through personalized assessments, insights, coaching and mentorship. 

The FLOurish scholarships were created by Wittstrom-Higgins and Rona Millinger, founder and president of The Millinger Group. Millinger originally developed the FLOurish program in honor of her professional 

mentor, Florence Pramberger, a former human resources leader for Bacardi, Beam and Mast Jägermeister—where she was known as the “FLOmeister.” 

“Florence left us too early after a fight with cancer,” Millinger said. “I wanted to continue giving what Florence no longer can: coaching, development and guidance for women looking to contribute and  advance in their work and personal lives,” 

Added Wittstrom-Higgins, “I wish that I had access to a program like this when I began my career, which is why I’m so excited that that Mast-Jägermeister stepped up in such a big way to help us mentor the  next generation of leaders in our industry.” 

Those interested in developing their professional potential and furthering their career in the wine and spirits industry are invited to apply for a 2022 FLOurish Scholarship. Details will be announced this spring  at DreamBigDarling.org. 

About Dream Big Darling 

Our mission is to engage, inspire and mentor the next generation of leaders in the wine and spirits industry. Visit DreamBigDarling.org.

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