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HomeChapter: CA-Napa - Contacts


Maryam Ahmed

Since joining The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in 2016, Maryam has held a leadership role within the organization. Currently, she is responsible for developing classes, events, and experiences for the public to enjoy! With the expansion of the CIA to the Copia facility in downtown Napa—a building filled with opportunities for the public—Maryam has worked closely with CIA leadership and her team to launch the new venture, and she continues to offer innovative programs that excite the consumer, embrace thought-leaders, and showcase industry trends.


Vice President
Kate Spadarotto

A graduate of the University of Delaware, Kate's success is built upon a diverse career that has seen her work in a plethora of fields from a financial analyst for NASA, to a corporate recruiter, to a licensed Realtor who specializes in the sale of vineyards, wineries and luxury estates in the Napa Valley region and simultaneously a winemaker and proprietor of Blue Oasis Wines. 

Michell Ruggirello

She is owner of Trellis Accounting Services, Inc., a company providing finance and accounting consulting services to clients in the wine industry. Prior to creating her company in 2017, Michell was employed with Vintage Wine Estates, Inc. for the previous 17 years, most recently in a VP Finance role. Michell has experience in many aspects of operational accounting, M&A, financial reporting and budgeting. Michell is dedicated to managing results against the plan and maintaining financial discipline for Women for WineSense.

Brandi Brown

Brandi is a Partner at Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass LLP and head of the firm's wine industry group. Brandi is well versed in mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, private securities offerings, leveraged buy-outs, and general corporate counseling of public and private companies. She represents a diverse group of clients, including private equity funds, privately held companies, individual investors, and international public companies, in a wide range of complex transactions.

Roundtables Director
Lisa Bishop Forbes

Lisa Bishop Forbes is a winemaker. As a member and former chairperson of the Winemakers Roundtable she knows what it takes to connect people and foster a collaborative atmosphere. Lisa is conscientious, authentic and dedicated to the industry she loves. Organization and logistics are among her strengths.

Marketing Director
Lisa N. Brown

Lisa N. Brown is the Brand Manager of the Import and California portfolios for Boisset Collection. She has worked internationally, in France and the U.S., interfacing with partners across the globe while cultivating her international luxury brand management experience and strengthening her commitment to creative communication and strategic thinking. Lisa serves as the Marketing & Communications Director for Women for WineSense in which she oversees all digital marketing, engagement and media relations. 

Membership Director

Kit Paquin

Kit is the Marketing Manager at Paul Hobbs Wines and previously served as Director of Hospitality & Membership at Jessup Cellars, Handwritten Wines, Humanitas Wine Company. Kit is welcomes new members and also ensures that current members are in good hands as she serves as Membership Director for Women for WineSense Napa Sonoma chapter.