LTS New York Speakers
"Ms. Cynthia Bohn, a native Kentuckian, grew up on a tobacco farm in Central Kentucky and retired after 30+ yrs with IBM Corp. She served in numerous roles within IBM, ranging from electrical engineering, international marketing, executive management and teaching at the IBM Harvard Business Institute. She pioneered the rebirth of the Kentucky wine industry by chairing the KY Grape and Wine Council in the early 1990's. She launched a new agri-tourism industry with the start of a vineyard and winery in 1998 in Midway, KY. Ms. Bohn is an academic at heart, having 4 degrees in the sciences and arts, of which three are from Eastern Kentucky University and her doctorate from University of Kentucky.
Ms. Bohn founded Equus Run Vineyards in 1998 and it is her full-time job after her IBM Corp. retirement. The winery is open year round as a full-service winery and agri-tourism destination. She also just recently launched a craft distillery, named Saddlestone Distillery, located on-premise with Equus Run Winery and produces brandy and spirits. When not at the winery or distillery, Ms. Bohn is involved with numerous community boards such as the Kentucky World Trade Center, KY Travel Industry Association, Woodford County Chamber of Commerce, Woodford County Tourism Commission, Shriner's Corporate Council, Commerce Lexington Chamber and the Eastern Kentucky University Alumni Board."
Susan Evans is the Director, Office of Industry and State Outreach for the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB). In this role, Ms. Evans works to enhance TTB's interactions with our state government counterparts as well as with TTB-regulated industry members and their representatives. Ms. Evans particularly focuses her efforts in the areas of communication, education, and customer service.
Ms. Evans is a career federal employee who has worked for the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) and its predecessor, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), since 1988. In her role as Director, Industry and State Outreach she draws from her previous positions, including time spent in the field as an inspector and in bureau headquarters as the head of the alcohol labeling and formulation division and as Assistant Administrator for Headquarters Operations.
As part of her duties, Ms. Evans is available to address state government and industry forums on TTB-related issues, and is always happy to act as an initial point of contact for anyone with questions about TTB. Please contact Ms. Evans for more information.
Tara Good is the Vice President of Wine America where she works to develop and enrich WineAmerica’s partnership with its members across the country. She has been a leading voice in the effort to provide relief from the PRO music licensing agencies impacting wineries across the nation.
Prior to WineAmerica she worked at Distilled Spirits Council of the United State as the Administrative Assistant for Government Relations.
Previous to working in beverage alcohol she was the Program Manager for the Levantine Cultural Center in Los Angeles where she managed cultural programming related to the Middle East and North Africa. A two-time recipient of the United States State Department’s Critical Language Scholarship she lived in Jordan and Oman where she studied Arabic. She received her M.A. from NYU in Performance Studies and her B.A. from Fordham University in International/Inter-cultural Studies and Theater.
Tim Hanni MW is the one of the first two Americans to earn the title Master of Wine a professionally trained chef and has been professionally involved with food and wine for over thirty-five years. Hanni is a widely recognized leader in developing wine marketing and education programs that break down barriers that historically hinder the unfettered enjoyment of wine. He is involved in sensory and behavioral research projects focused on fostering a better understanding of consumer wine preferences. He has recently joined forces with Dr. Virginia Utermohlen, M.D. to form Taste Science, a new research and consultancy venture with aims of expanding global wine consumption.
Hanni has a unique perspective and passionate curiosity in the worlds of food, wine and sensory sciences. He is known for his modern and innovative approach for creating consumer-centric education programs, products and services. His techniques for creating easy to use wine lists, including the invention of the Progressive Wine List format, and retail wine programs are combined with tried and tested culinary philosophies on “balancing” food and wine flavors and are employed by thousands of restaurants and hotel outlets around the world. His work in the sensory and culinary fields led to the development of Napa Seasoning Company’s unique new product, Vignon™, the first Flavor Balancing Seasoning design to make food delicious while eliminating unpleasant wine and food interactions.
Tim is a frequent keynote speaker, combining a sense of humor with first class presentation skills and an intimate knowledge of wines and international cuisines while making the enjoyment of wine and food much more accessible.
"What Tim Hanni is proposing … represents a quantum leap forward for globally expanding the enjoyment of wine and food. (The) message is easy to grasp, empowering and useful to anyone who is the least bit curious about wine, and … stands to revolutionize the wine industry." Robert Mondavi
Over his 20-year career David Holder has led destination marketing organizations of all sizes and varieties. This varied perspective has shaped his views on competitiveness and differentiation. He used this concept throughout his career, education and certification. David is focused on driving demand, optimizing sales efficiency, and developing comprehensive strategies for destination growth. David’s prior experience to JLL includes successfully developing brands and improved organizational effectiveness for three different destinations – Syracuse, NY; Fredericksburg, VA; and Corning, NY. His work in strategic planning restructured Visit Syracuse as an independent organization fully connected with regional economic development initiative. He was also an integral figure in developing the Finger Lakes Wine Country brand and strategic direction. David holds a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in Tourism Management from North Carolina State University. He also is a Certified Destination Management Executive from Destinations International. He is currently Chair of the Destination Marketing Accreditation Program (DMAP) and has served on the Board of both the US Travel Association’s Destinations Council and the New York State Destination Marketing Organizations, most recently in the role of Board Chair from 2015-2016.
WineAmerica Vice President Michael is the main point of contact for the organization and Congress and the Executive Branch. Working with WineAmerica's government affairs team, Michael works to make sure the interests of WineAmerica's members and the American wine industry are well served in our Nation's Capitol. This includes working with the various state and regional winery associations and WineAmerica's grassroots network as well as our other alcohol commodity partners in Washington, D.C.Michael also manages all external communications for WineAmerica. This includes press outreach and membership communication. Michael also actively recruits new membership for WineAmerica while getting the association’s message out to the masses. Michael is a regular fixture at industry trade shows and conferences throughout the country. He has been quoted in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Associated Press, Wines and Vines and Wine Spectator. He is a board member of the Free the Grapes. Prior to joining WineAmerica in 2006, Michael provided research and logistical support to two DC based lobbying firms. He also handled compliance issues with a major political party. Michael earned his BA in American Studies and Political Science from Rider University in Lawrenceville, NJ and a MA in Political Science from American University in Washington, DC.
Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey
Founder and Sales Lead at Agile Audio Dashboards
SKI is the sales and marketing side of Agile Audio Dashboards (a division of Vertex Software). In addition to serving as a “Voice Evangelist”, he is a "Jonah", Certified in Dr. Eli Goldratt's Theory of Constraints (TOC). His book, “The Purple Curve Effect”, of which he is a co-author, zeros in on the heart of Constraints Management Method (CMM), based on TOC. He also was a speaker at the 2018 Voice Summit in Newark, NJ.
Mary Beth Lee
Mary Beth Lee owns an event consulting company that is passionate about telling a story through event marketing. She has a degree from Kent State University in Rhetoric and Communications and has a diverse career including sponsorship development, marketing and sales. She was a moving force behind the success of Ohio's iconic festival, Vintage Ohio. Other clients have included the Arthritis Foundation Great Lakes Publishing, Metro health and the Western Reserve Land Conservancy. Her forte is the ability to first listen, then create, collaborate and execute innovative and effective events designed to achieve the goals of each client. Mary Beth and her husband live in the Cleveland suburbs and are the proud parents of three talented children.
Originally from North East, PA, Mario grew up in a small family winery but started his career as a chemical engineer. He quickly moved on to study oenology at the University of Adelaide in South Australia where he obtained his MS. While living in Australia, he found valuable experience in both the Adelaide Hills and the Barossa Valley before returning to the Lake Erie Region to rejoin his family and Mazza Vineyards. Since 2005 he has worked with his family to develop the company with the addition of two wine brands: Mazza Chautauqua Cellars and the South Shore Wine Company. In addition to wine, the Mazzas have expanded into both the craft spirits and beer arenas with Five & 20 Spirits and Brewing located in Westfield, NY – becoming New York’s first combination winery/distillery/brewery. Today Mario oversees operations as Vice President and General Manager while still remaining active with his production teams in all three product segments.
Gregg McConnell is a Business Consultant for Farm Credit East, ACA in the Finger Lakes region of New York. Since 1996, he has served dairy farms, cash crop farms, loggers, saw mills, wineries and other Ag related businesses first as a loan officer and now as a business consultant.
Today, Gregg offers his clients expertise in financial analysis, business transition, expansion planning and business management. Gregg is adept at coordinating business transfer and estate planning discussions among families as well as analyzing farm and business performance by demonstrating the relationship between business management strategies and financial performance. Listening carefully to clients and guiding them in reaching their personal goals is the thrust of his growing consulting practice.
Tom Montelione, Ph.D.
Tom serves as President of Vertex Software, Inc., whose work has won two different Ohio Travel Association Ruby Awards, including the 2018 “Innovation in Travel Marketing Award”. He also was a presenter at the 2018 Voice Summit in Newark, NJ on the topic of “Monetizing Alexa”. His duties include being a business analyst, programmer, and project manager for various B2B and B2C websites and online ordering systems.
Liz Stamp is a graduate of Cornell University with a BS in Animal Science and came to the wine industry by way of association…or marriage. She has been involved with a family owned and operated farm winery since shortly after it began in 1989. A partner (and Manager) at Lakewood. Her main responsibilities involve retail and wholesale sales and marketing activities. She has always kept abreast of the technical aspects of the wines Lakewood makes, which is facilitated by the fact that she is married to the winemaker. She is involved in a wide range of industry and community organizations. In her spare time Liz enjoys horseback riding, jogging, cross-country skiing, spending time with her family and cooking. Liz and her husband Chris (the winemaker) live just outside Watkins Glen, New York and have 3 children: Benjamin 29 (CU 2011), Abigail 27 (CU 2013), and Amelia 23 (Penn State University 2017), and various pets.
Mike Wangbickler is President of Balzac, a leading marketing communications company for the worlds of beverage, food, and travel. Before following his heart to wine country, Mike followed his head to Silicon Valley where he spent 8 fast-paced years in technology communications, where he caught the bug for following the latest trends in marketing tech. Armed with a “live to eat” motto and an evident passion for wine, Mike entered Balzac’s life in 2004 and became the agency’s President in 2016.
As a studied disciple of Walt Disney, Mike thinks it’s fun to do the impossible. He believes leadership, imagination, and innovation require a certain level of fearlessness and he encourages his team not to play by the rules. He leads a team who are driven forward by the stories that inspire people to share in a dream. It is with this philosophy that he’s guided successful marketing and communications campaigns for more than 70 global wineries and regions from a dozen countries. Among his many achievements, Mike holds a WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wine & Spirits and WSET Level 3 Award in Sake. In addition, he is a Certified Wine Educator (CWE) and WSET Certified Educator.
But he’d trade it all to be a Jedi.
Scott Warren began in financial services in 1986 representing the interests of clients in the entire northeast, eventually managing 3 sales divisions and 16,000 agents with Columbian Mutual Life Insurance. This experience, lead to an Independent Marketing Organization with over $5 million a year in new annual premiums. He moved to Pyramid Brokerage Company in the Binghamton market. He has been involved in the sale of commercial buildings, investment based sales and redevelopment projects. He holds a wide range of professional certificates including a certificate in Commercial Real Estate from Cornell University's SC Johnson School of Business.
Donniella Winchell is currently the Executive Director of the Ohio Wine Producers Association, and chair of their Vintage Ohio wine festival.
She chairs the WineAmerica State Advisory Committee and is active in Winegrape Growers of America, the Ohio Travel Association and is on a number of other state and national committees. She has contributed to several national wine publications, writes a regional weekly wine newspaper column, authors a marketing e-letter called Tuesday Tidbits, speaks at numerous wine and tourism conferences. Winchell is a graduate of Allegheny College with a BA in history and taught in Ohio public schools before retiring to raise a family. She has been Executive Director of Ohio Wines for over 25 years.