2024 Summit Speaker Biographies

BEN ANEFF, Managing Partner, Tribeca Wine Merchants
Ben Aneff is the Managing Partner of Tribeca Wine Merchants in New York City, named one of “America’s Best Wine Shops” by Food & Wine Magazine and an “Editor’s Favorite” by Wine Spectator. Beyond his role in retail, Ben led the US Wine Trade Alliance’s efforts to overturn the 2018 wine tariffs, orchestrating campaigns that generated tens of thousands of letters to Congress and other stakeholders. He has led discussions on tariffs, testified on their impacts at the International Trade Commission, and regularly collaborates with various allies of free trade, from Congressional offices to wine trade members. Originally from Texas, Ben now resides in Brooklyn, NY with his wife, Hilary, and their daughter.

GINO COLANGELO, President, Colangelo & Partners
Gino founded Colangelo & Partners in 2006 after spending over 10 years with a global PR agency and 10 years running his own retail business, a unique experience in the agency world. Colangelo & Partners is now the leading fine wine and spirits PR agency in the US with a staff of 75 communications professionals from diverse backgrounds, and its main office in New York as well as satellite offices in San Francisco, Miami, and Verona, Italy.  The agency has four core services: Press relations, event marketing, digital marketing, and trade relations.  Gino is most proud of the team at Colangelo & Partners, the growth of individual employees, and the partnerships the agency has built with our prestigious, global family of clients.’

JOE CZERWINSKI, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
Although he grew up in New York’s Finger Lakes and can remember visiting local wineries with his parents, Joe Czerwinski didn’t catch the wine bug until he went away to college. Ten years later, after a decade spent in magazine and book publishing, Joe joined the staff at Wine Enthusiast as an associate editor. Over 18 years at Wine Enthusiast, he moved through a succession of positions: senior editor, tasting director, and managing editor, becoming the foremost American authority on the wines of Australia and New Zealand. In 2006, Joe took on reviewing Rhône wines for Wine Enthusiast, and he’s visited the region regularly ever since. Since joining The Wine Advocate in 2017, Joe has covered multiple wine regions for the publication, including Australia and New Zealand, Languedoc and Roussillon, and the Rhône Valley. He served as Editor in Chief from December 2021 to March 2024. His current reviewing beats cover Napa Valley, the Eastern United States, and Canada.

ERICA DUECY, Founder, Business of Drinks
Erica Duecy is the founder of Business of Drinks, a podcast and consultancy, and one of the drinks industry’s most accomplished digital and content strategists. She has built publishing and marketing programs for Drizly, Union, and other hospitality and drinks tech companies. Previously, she was Chief Content Officer for the wine-discovery platform Pix, and Editor in Chief of the wine/spirits publications VinePair and SevenFifty Daily. She also has led digital editorial teams at Architectural Digest, Saveur, and Fodor’s Travel. Her content, podcast, and video programs have won more than 40 digital and editorial awards.

MONIKA ELLING, CEO, Foundations Marketing Group
Monika Elling is a seasoned leader in the global drinks industry with over 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur and CEO, specializing in marketing and brand strategy. Her role was pivotal in the success of brands like Empress 1908 Gin, which saw a $200 million+ exit in 2022. Monika is also recognized for her exceptional wine blending skills, winning accolades from top industry critics. Her deep knowledge of market trends, consumer behavior, and distribution is coupled with her expertise in digital marketing, blue ocean strategy, and product development. Dedicated to innovation, diversity, and sustainability, her company was selected for the highly prized Goldman Sachs 10KSB program. Monika also holds a certification in Nutritional Psychology, she is also a published author, and media contributor, and serves as an advisor and mentor to various startups and industry groups. Her passion is to empower others to succeed at the intersection of technology and the wine and spirits landscape.

DARREN FIKE, CEO/Founder, Santé
Darren has been working around retail since his high school days, and he’s spent most of his professional career working in commerce and financial services. His passion for wine led him to take a job at Frankly Wines to learn the industry, which inspired the idea for Santé: an all-in-one POS for wine shops. Darren is bringing his combined retail and tech experience to the wine industry, and he’s helping countless stores save time, cut costs, and boost sales with a platform that is tailor-made for wine & spirits.

AUDREY FRICK, Senior Editor and Wine Critic, JebDunnuck.com
Audrey is the Senior Editor and Wine Critic for Italy, Champagne, Sonoma, and Oregon at JebDunnuck.com, a subscription-based wine review service that is read by thousands and is heavily quoted in the wine trade. Mrs. Frick honed her knowledge of wine after a 4-year tenure at Frasca in Boulder, CO, where she worked her way from the back office to the wine team while studying to earn the Advanced Sommelier through the Court of Master Sommeliers. She then joined Frasca’s sister restaurant Tavernetta, in Denver, as a member of its opening wine team, before becoming lead sommelier. There, she worked to foster a culture of wine education for the staff, with an all-Italian wine list. 2020 brought Frick to NYC, where she joined One White Street as their opening wine director, focusing on small, family-owned wineries from around the world. Audrey joined JebDunnuck.com full-time in May 2022

GILLIAN GARRETT, Founding Member, Gillian Garrett Law
Gillian is the founding member of Gillian Garrett Law, PC. She advises clients in the food, beverage, and hospitality industries on all aspects of California and federal alcohol law.  Gillian specializes in regulatory compliance; marketing and event advice; distribution relationships and alcohol-related transactions; training; and internal investigations. Gillian also maintains an extensive administrative litigation practice, defending license applicants from protests and licensees from claims brought by state and federal enforcement authorities (ABC and TTB). She is a seasoned lawyer with 20 years of experience.

MARC GOODFRIEND, Chief Executive Officer, WeShip Express
Marc is an innovator, public speaker, and e-commerce industry expert with over 20 years of experience in logistics, SaaS, and supply chain innovation. As CEO, Marc has expanded WeShip’s market share in the alcohol logistics space, growing from primarily wine shipping to including beer and spirits as well.  Prior to becoming CEO of WeShip Express, Marc led a multi-national global partnerships team at Narvar, the world’s leading post-purchase customer experience SaaS platform; working with brands like Nike, Sephora, Urban Outfitters, Gap, and others to re-imagine the buying experience for online shoppers. Marc has also served in leadership roles at DHL and Newgistics. When not at work, Marc enjoys spending time with his family at home in Kansas City, Missouri, and boating the Lake of the Ozarks with his wife, Kelly, two sons, Sam and Eli, and his dog Stark.

ERIC GUIDO, Reviewer, Vinous Media
Eric Guido is an American Writer and Lecturer who found his way in New York City’s restaurants and upscale private kitchens. His writing and photography skills were first witnessed in the annual catalogs published by Morrell Wine. Today, he continues his work as a Wine Critic and Editor at Vinous Media, covering Italy, Slovenia, Washington State, Oregon, and Paso Robles.

STEVEN HARRISON, President, ZeroLink Markets
Zero Link Markets facilitates direct sales for micro to medium-sized alcohol producers, brand owners, and retailers through its platforms, Vinoshipper and CompleteDTC. These platforms include comprehensive solutions in e-commerce, compliance, and customer relationship management. Steven’s background in finance, accounting, and regulatory compliance has allowed him to introduce innovative technologies to the beverage alcohol industry that are reshaping the industry. His 18 years of experience in interstate direct sales gives him a unique perspective on the intricacies of the State’s rules and regulations. Steven Chairs the Craft Wine Association (CWA) Direct Sales Advocacy Group. The CWA is a non-profit, formed in 2016, to advocate for the interests of craft producers around the Nation. ZeroLlink Markets continues to lead from the front in modernizing the beverage alcohol industry and now supports more than 3,000 craft producers across its all-in-one sales and compliance tools.

JOHN HINMAN, Partner, Hinman & Carmichael
John is a founding partner (1991) of Hinman & Carmichael, LLP. John has been advising and representing alcoholic beverage industry clients (producer, importer, wholesaler, and retail) since 1984 in all phases of industry regulation, including trade practice, distribution and importation, product fulfillment, retail licensing, and production. John is also a seasoned administrative hearing practitioner who has defended over 200 administrative accusations and hearings (both TTB and ABC) during the last 40-plus years and has taken industry cases as far as the California Supreme Court, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal, and the United States Supreme Court.

PASCALINE LEPELTIER, Beverage Director, Chambers
After writing a Master’s thesis in philosophy on Henri Bergson, Pascaline chose to devote herself to wine. Hailing from Angers in the Loire Valley, she had learned the importance of respect for the living world from local visionary winemakers, while her training in gastronomy and pairing food and wine under chef Jacques Thorel was the gateway to her discovery of the great tradition of iconic, classic wines. These twin strands of her schooling led her first to Belgium and then to the United States, where she created wine lists for Michelin-starred restaurants dedicated to “better drinking based on holistic sustainability”. A host of international awards and recognitions soon followed, including Master Sommelier, Best French Sommelier, and Un des Meilleurs Ouvriers de France 2018, and in 2019 she was voted Personality of the Year by the Revue du vin de France. Since 2022, she has been beverage director at Chambers, a farm-to-table restaurant in the TriBeCa district of New York, boasting a wine list of more than 3,000 mostly organic, biodynamic, and natural selections. She teaches, regularly giving papers at conferences in Europe and North America, and writes the monthly Vu d’ailleurs column for La Revue du vin de France. In 2016, she put her name to the first vintage of chëpìka (“roots” in the language of the Delaware Nation), a wine-growing project established in the Finger Lakes (NY) in collaboration with wine-grower Nathan Kendall. She earned fourth place at the Best Sommelier of the World competition in Paris in February 2023. In the fall 2024, she will release with Mitchell Beazley Publishing One Thousand Vines, her first solo literacy project.

SEAN O’LEARY, President, O’Leary Law and Policy Group
Sean O’Leary, the Irish Liquor Lawyer, is a leader in the liquor industry and is recognized as an authoritative source on liquor licensing and regulatory issues. The most cited liquor lawyer by the American media on liquor issues, Mr. O’Leary is a contributor to the Wall Street Journal, Wine Spectator, Forbes, and Wine-Searcher. He is a trusted source on issues such as trade practices and constitutional liquor issues and is a nationally recognized speaker and writer on these issues. In private practice he has become a trusted source for businesses in the direct-to-consumer (DTC) shipping industry. Mr. O’Leary not only has developed DTC shipping models, but he has also successfully defended DTC models in front of state regulatory agencies and prevailed in court decisions challenging a client’s DTC shipping model. He authored three U.S. Supreme Court amicus briefs on DTC legal issues and numerous other amicus briefs at Federal Circuit Court and State Supreme Court levels.

DAVID PARKER, CEO/Owner, Benchmark Wine Group
In 2002, David Parker founded Benchmark Wine Group after having a successful history of high-tech ventures. With a unique blend of talents, plus wine and high-tech industry contacts, he has succeeded in bridging the gap between high-quality wine producers and well-informed fine wine collectors and connoisseurs. An avid wine collector, David has been involved in the wine industry since 1987 owning commercial vineyards in Geyserville, California, and in the Eola Hills of Oregon. In addition to his role at Benchmark Wine Group in Napa, CA, and Benchmark Wine & Spirits in Washington, DC,  David is the Owner of Brentwood Auctions, Owner of First Growth Technologies, and Owner of Wine Market Journal and Spirits Market Journal. He is also the President of The National Association of Wine Retailers.

DANIEL POSNER, Owner, Grapes the Wine Company
Daniel joined Grapes The Wine Company on November 1st, 2000. He became the managing partner in 2004, Daniel has been featured and quoted in such publications as the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Wine Spectator, Food & Wine Magazine, Forbes Magazine, People, USA Today, and Fox News, amongst others. The Wall Street Journal referred to him as one of the most influential wine retailers in the United States. For the past 22 years, Daniel has been a wine consultant, with clients from all over the globe. He travels extensively each year to wine regions to meet with producers, winemakers, and winery owners, and to help procure the wines for his store. Daniel’s expertise in wine goes far beyond the usual wine store owner’s knowledge. He typically tastes about 10,000 wines annually, with a passion for the wines of Burgundy, Piedmont, Tuscany, and California. Daniel also serves on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Wine Retailers, a retailer/wine club/auction house national trade organization founded in 2006. He served as President from 2011 to 2019. Daniel is frequently called on to testify before local agencies and state governments all over the country on behalf of progressive wine retailers. He helps provide in-depth analysis of the current and future wine market. Daniel played an integral role in the most recent Supreme Court victory in Tennessee Wine & Spirits Retailer Association vs. Thomas.

ROBBIE STEVENS – Head of Broking, Liv-ex
Robbie Stevens was born in Oxford and educated in the UK. He studied Modern Languages at university and after periods living and working in Argentina and Spain, he found the world of wine working for Symington Family Estates in Portugal. For the last 10 years he has been part of Liv-ex, the global marketplace for the wine trade. During that time, he has managed the US side of the business and now heads up the broking department. With over 620 members worldwide, Liv-ex’s vision is to make the fine wine market more transparent, efficient, and safe for fine wine businesses; they promote a free and open market making it simple for their members to price, buy and sell wine on the secondary market.

TOM WARK, Executive Director, National Association of Wine Retailers
Tom Wark has served as NAWR Executive Director since 2007. In this role, Tom oversees NAWR operations, budgeting, communications, member recruitment, member benefits as well as the Association’s legislative and litigation support efforts. Wark has been a part of the wine industry since 1990 as a publicist media relations professional and marketer working with wineries, retailers, media companies, regional trade associations, and industry service providers. Wark is also the publisher of The Fermentation Substack Newsletter, which he has written since 2004. He is a forceful advocate for retailer and consumer rights and alcohol industry reform. Tom lives in Salem, Oregon with his wife, Kathy, and son Henry George.