My interest in hospitality, food, and wine blossomed at Duke University where, while earning a double degree in Psychology and Economics, I worked my first restaurant job and was hooked. After many years in the restaurant industry, I started my career with Whole Foods Market in the wine department of the Durham, North Carolina store. Several years and moves later, I settled into my current position as Global Beverage Buyer at the company’s headquarters in Austin, Texas where I now coordinate beverage programming for more than 470 stores. In 2014 I was elected to the Board of Directors of the Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas and in 2018 was elected as the Chairman of the Board. I am a frequent conference speaker and panelist and have been featured in numerous print and online articles including Food & Wine, Somm Journal, SevenFifty Daily and others.
QUESTIONS FROM SOMM360
What excites you about the Sommelier industry/community?
I am very excited about the service and hospitality element of the Sommelier profession. And when sommeliers are fulfilling their highest purpose by expertly serving their guests. When this is accomplished, wine, beer, and spirits truly serves as a catalyst for fellowship and community.
Why does continuous education in the wine industry matter to you?
A sommelier should strive, above all else, to create a safe and comfortable space for customers to have fun and enjoy themselves. To this end, continuing education is crucial in so far as it leads to the best possible service for the consumer.