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Tracie Mills
LA Chapter President

Tracie fell in love with wine because she makes her living in advertising. She’s learned you really need a glass of wine after a day of trying to make tuna look appetizing, or figuring out how to get coffee to steam on cue. But beyond the beautiful end of day bliss, she loves wine because it’s just so complex. Poured into each glass are countless decisions, from which grape variety to plant to how long to age to what type of cork should seal the bottle. Growing up in Oklahoma, her introduction to wine was the really sweet stuff that would be served on Thanksgiving and still be in the fridge in May. She’s learned a lot since that precarious start, and is happy to know that she’ll always be able to learn something new about wine.

 

 

Nancie Hemminger
LA Chapter Vice President & Marketing  Director


Nancie grew up on Long Island and traded it in for the California sunshine at age 29. Drinking wine was a hobby she acquired waiting tables in fine dining where she learned how to correctly pronounce Pouilly-Fuisse, Gewürztraminer and other tongue twisters. With a full time career in Los Angeles a graphic designer in entertainment advertising, Nancie continued her passionate affair with wine visiting vineyards in Santa Barbara, Paso Robles & beyond. 
Signing up for an Introduction to Wine Class at UCLA Extension in 2012 changed her life. She completed the Wine Education and Management Program, became a Certified Specialist of Wine with the Society of Wine Educators and a Sommelier (Level 2) with the Court of Masters. Certifiably changing the career path of her life, Nancie loves pouring her passion while learning and talking about wine.

 

Chelsea O'Brien
LA & National Marketing Director, Past President


Chelsea didn't grow up referring to herself in the third person. It wasn't until her first sip of '86 Chateau Haut Brion that she truly appreciated the art. Just kidding. She's never had a real Chateau Haut Brion. But it's on her bucket list because "Haut Brion" is how you pronounce her last name if you're pretending she's French. 
Chelsea received her certificate in Wine Education and Management from UCLA in the summer of 2016, and she hasn't stopped pretending each glass is educational since. When she's not writing about herself in the third person, she's writing ads as a Creative Director at Omelet in Culver City.

Chelsea is a co-founder of the Los Angeles chapter and served as President from 2017-2019


Jenny Blatty
LA Chapter Events Director

Jenny Blatty is co-founder and proprietor of Byron Blatty Wines, a boutique winery that is focused on producing luxury wines from Los Angeles County vineyards. Her obsession with wine, which ultimately led her to starting her own commercial vino-venture, began with a trip to the famed Napa Valley, where she discovered the meaning of the word terroir, which one tends to find after 4 days of marathon tastings of Cabernet Sauvignon.

In addition to her duties at Byron Blatty, Jenny also works as a Production Executive for Stage 13, a division of Warner Brothers, and is a 17 year veteran of TV production. Her education consists of a B.A. in English from the University of IL, and a certificate in Wine Business Management from Sonoma State University.




Sandra Gomes
LA Chapter Secretary

 

Sandra’s love for wine started with the bitterness of beer. Wanting something fruiter and more sophisticated, she took a deep dive into wine, asking herself what was in her glass and how it got there. Her curiosity led her to Wine Education classes at UCLA Extension, followed by a Certified Specialist of Wine accreditation, and culminating with an Executive Wine MBA degree from Sonoma State University. Being Portuguese, and convinced that Portugal had better wine than the home-made vinegar her uncle served at Thanksgiving, Sandra launched Diniz Cellars, a Portuguese wine import and distribution company alongside her fiancé Rick. When she is not busy drink-laughing off the cliffs of Malibu, or trying to convince the American wine drinker that there are better versions of Vinho Verde to be had, Sandra works in movie marketing at a major Hollywood studio. After all, the best movie date is one that is accompanied by a glass of wine.