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CONTACT US


President

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

If you are interested in the Vice President role please contact Maryam Ahmed.


Treasurer

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.


Secretary

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

Katja Loeffelholz

Katja is an intellectual property attorney with Dickenson Peatman & Fogarty and is part of the firm’s wine industry group. Katja’s practice focuses on counseling and representing clients on all aspects of trademark, trade dress, copyright and related issues. Katja’s experience covers all aspects of these areas of law, including practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), counseling on protection, licensing and acquisition of intellectual property, and enforcement matters. 


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

Pam Novak

Novak is passionate about the wine industry and brings 20 years of industry experience to the group. She is currently a Brand Manager for C. Mondavi & Family (CMF) and first level Sommelier, Court of Master Sommeliers America. During her last four years at CMF, she has marketed several brands and was responsible for the newly positioned flagship brand, CK Mondavi and Family which was awarded “Growth Brand” Award in 2018 by the Beverage Information Group.


Programs Co-Director

Teri Cirillo

Teri Cirillo, joining the board as Program Director Co-Chair, has been leading Human Resources for organizations, including Fortune 100 and 500 companies,for over twenty years. She has been a leader in the Wine and Spirits industry for over 15 years and is currently living in Napa, California. She recently started her own independent HR Consulting company, Cirillo Development, and offers HR generalist support with a focus on leadership, team, and organizational development.


Programs Co-Director

Jeanne Meyer

Jeanne Meyer is a real estate and business lawyer who works almost exclusively with wine industry clients.  For over 20 years, Jeanne has represented buyers, sellers, investors, lenders and others in connection with the purchase and sale of wineries, wine brands and vineyards.