Home Industry News Releases Santosh Varghese Joins the Board of the Roots Fund

Santosh Varghese Joins the Board of the Roots Fund

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Berlin, CT (December 6, 2022) – The Roots Fund, a nonprofit dedicated to creating inclusive opportunities for communities of color throughout the wine industry, announced today that Santosh Varghese has joined the Board of Directors, effective immediately. The seasoned wine professional will bring his expertise in importing, wine sales, auctions and marketing to the Board.  

Varghese, who has served as a mentor for The Roots Fund for the past year, is Director of Client Services of Fida Wine, the direct-to-consumer arm of VINTUS, a leading national fine wine importer, where he also serves as Brand Manager of Finca Decero, a premier Argentine producer based in Agrelo, Mendoza.

“I’ve kept a close eye on the work The Roots Fund has done these past two years, and I’m in awe of the impact we’ve made on the wine industry in such a short time period,” says Varghese. “I can completely relate to so many of the scholars, both as an Indian-American working in the wine industry and through my choice to pivot my career to wine.”

He adds, “Wine is diverse so the community that works in it should reflect the same diversity. In order to implement change, we need to do the work. My sleeves are rolled up.”

Varghese spent several years in investment banking in London and New York before shifting to the wine and hospitality industry. After completing the Accelerated Wine and Beverage Program at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, he became a certified sommelier. Following this, he spent three years as a Wine Specialist and Marketing and Public Relations Manager at Zachys Wine Auctions before moving to importing and DTC at VINTUS.

“We love that Santosh brings such a diverse and unique perspective on the business to our Board. He believes deeply in the mission,” says Ikimi Dubose-Woodson, Executive Director and Co-Founder The Roots Fund. 

Varghese started his career at Vera Institute of Justice, a criminal justice advocacy organization and spent a year as an English Instructor with the Bellevue/NYU Program For Survivors Of Torture in Tibet and Western Africa. 

Launched in 2020 to address inequality in the wine industry, The Roots Fund has awarded 155 scholarships to date and raised over $1 million to support the efforts. Beyond scholarships and enrichment trips for people actively pursuing careers in wine, the organization will expand its high school program this fall to five high schools, will introduce an HBCU tour in the Spring, and recently launched a comprehensive job board. 

To learn more about the current Board leadership, visit the website

About The Roots Fund

The Roots Fund is a non-profit organization focused on securing the pathway for the BIPOC community in wine. Built to create financial support for education, mentorship, and job placement opportunities, The Roots Fund is out “doing the work,” to create inclusivity for communities of color in the wine industry. Since its foundation in 2020, they have raised over $1  million and created 155 scholarships that will bring years of change and equity into the wine industry. For more information and to learn how you can help, visit www.therootsfund.org.

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