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Chelsea O'Brien
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 at Crispin Porter + Bogusky, where she daylights as a Creative Director.

 

Lindsay McQueen
Vice President & Treasurer


Lindsay was born and raised in Farmington Hills, Michigan. After finishing her degree at Michigan State, she delved into the world of advertising in Los Angeles. After seven years of the daily grind, she chose to take a hiatus from advertising to live abroad (she claims it was not a quarter life crisis). 

Lindsay has lived, worked and traveled within the wine regions of Australia, New Zealand and Europe. Some of her favorite wines are Margaret River Chardonnay, Piemonte Barolo and Alsatian Riesling. She has been looking for like-minded wine lovers to unite with and continue her education and devotion with ever since.

 

Tracie Mills
Secretary

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.

 

Jami Way
Membership Chair

Born and raised in California, it’s no surprise Jami fell in love with wine at an early age. While studying abroad in Switzerland at age 17, she was required to take a wine class as part of her studies (awful, we know). 

Today, Jami works as director of sales for GoGi Wines. Her favorite wine is pinot noir, so naturally, her favorite region is Burgundy. Jami recently received her certificate in Wine Education and Management from UCLA, and has begun the pursuit of her Sommelier certification. When she’s not sipping pinot, she’s busy working it off. She’s been a fitness instructor since 1981!

Sarah Lifonzo
Events/Program Chair

Sarah’s love affair with wine began during her maiden voyage to Santa Barbara’s famed wine country, where the confluence of sun-kissed grapes, rolling hills and the convivial spirit evoked over a good bottle of wine lured her in with its siren song. Almost ten years and multiple return trips later, she took her appreciation of wine to the next level and enrolled in UCLA’s Wine Business and Management extension certificate program as well as the WSET program. In her spare time, she works as a part-time sales associate at The Wine House and hosts private wine and food pairing events. 

By day, Sarah works as a client services account manager at Sony DADC New Media Solutions in Culver City, where she oversees the production of DVD, Blu-ray and UHD products and services.
Nancie Hemminger
Growth & Outreach Chair 

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.