Mentors

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Mentors

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DILEK CANER MW Ph.D.

Director of Tasting World, Dallas Wine Center Dallas, TX

www.dallaswinecenter.com

Dilek Caner currently is the Director of Tasting World/Dallas Wine Center, an organization that educates the wine trade and the consumer since 2005. Prior to the formation of Tasting World, Dilek taught at other organizations such as Institute of Culinary Education and American Sommelier Association. Earlier in her career, she has worked at Wine & Spirits Magazine and has been a sommelière at Restaurants Bruno Jamais and Alain Ducasse. Dilek is a Master of Wine, a title which has been earned only by 312 people in the world to date. She also holds a Ph.D. in Economics from New York University.

DILEK CANER MW Ph.D.

Director of Tasting World, Dallas Wine Center Dallas, TX
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SHANA CLARKE

Freelance Journalist, New York, NY

Shana Clarke is a wine, sake, and travel journalist for consumer and trade publications such as Fortune, CNN Travel, Wine Enthusiast, NPR, Hemispheres, and VinePair. She’s served as a judge and a writing mentor at the TEXSOM Awards, holds a Level 3 Advanced certificate from Wine and Spirits Education Trust, and is a Certified Sake Sommelier. In addition, she is a contributing author to the book The Wine Lover’s Bucket List, which published in 2020 by Rizzoli. In December 2022 she released her book, 150 Vineyards You Need to Visit Before You Die. See her work at shanaspeakswine.com or follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @shanaspeakswine

SHANA CLARKE

Freelance Journalist, New York, NY
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JULIETTE GUST

Founder and President, Ethics Suite, Phoenix, AZ

Juliette Gust is the founder and president of Ethics Suite, a company that helps businesses identify, investigate and resolve alleged wrongdoing at their organization by providing a comprehensive solution for internal whistleblower reporting and tracking of workplace misconduct, fraud, or theft. Ethics Suite also provides expert support for internal investigations and ethics and compliance-related consulting services, and is the creator behind HotelEthics. com and RestaurantEthics.com.

Ms. Gust has personally conducted or led close to 2,000 investigations spanning 75 countries and has advised on more than 10,000 employee ethics line reports. She developed and was the Director of the Fraud & Investigations team for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide with 180,000 employees in more than 100 countries. She also served as the Project Manager and a core member of the company’s Anti-Corruption compliance program, leading the development of a best-in-class global anti-corruption risk assessment, audit plan, and third-party due diligence program.

Juliette has been a Certified Fraud Examiner since 2007, and was the 2003 recipient of the International Food & Beverage Forum’s Food & Wine Founder Michael Batterberry Award. She is also a former Multicultural Foodservice & Hospitality Alliance Showcase of the Star’s “Star”, and the 2004 winner of the Wall Street Journal Award for Excellence in Accounting. She is fluent in Spanish.

JULIETTE GUST

Founder and President, Ethics Suite, Phoenix, AZ
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MICHAEL WANGBICKLER

President, Balzac Communications, Napa, CA

Michael Wangbickler is President of Balzac. With nearly 30 years of experience in marketing and public relations, Mike is a trusted advisor and strategic consultant to his clients. While others are frozen when faced with barriers, Mike is energized by it. He relishes analyzing problems for his clients, finding what is wrong, and providing them with innovative solutions. Mike’s strategic mind enables him to sort through the noise and find the best way forward. He embraces ambiguity and can identify paths to real progress.

Before following his heart to wine country, Mike followed his head to Silicon Valley where he spent 8 fast-paced years in technology communications, where he caught the bug for following the latest trends in marketing tech. Armed with a “live to eat” motto and an evident passion for craft food and beverages and the land, Mike entered Balzac’s life in 2004 and became the agency’s President in 2016.

As a studied disciple of Walt Disney, Mike thinks it’s fun to do the impossible. He believes leadership, imagination, and innovation require a certain level of fearlessness and he encourages his team to step off the worn pathways and break new ground. He leads a team who are driven forward by the stories that inspire people to share in a dream. It is with this philosophy that he’s guided successful marketing and communications campaigns for more than 70 global companies and trade associations from a dozen countries.

MICHAEL WANGBICKLER

President, Balzac Communications, Napa, CA
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JESSICA WAUGH

Founder and Owner, JWaugh Education and NeuroSips™ Henderson, NV

Jessica Waugh is the founder and owner of JWaugh Education and NeuroSips™, a platform dedicated to assisting students in unlocking their learning potential. The focus is on identifying individual learning styles, harnessing unique strengths, and fostering authenticity. Established in 2020, JWaugh Education initially served as a resource for those preparing for beverage certification exams. Since 2023, Jessica has expanded the scope to provide learning style and neurodivergency coaching, aiming to support students in successfully navigating various beverage exams. Before venturing into entrepreneurship, Jessica accumulated a decade of experience as a sommelier on the Las Vegas Strip. She later held the position of Director of Education at Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits for six years. Jessica’s expertise extends to passing a multitude of certification exams, reflecting her dedication to the craft. Motivated by a desire to share practical insights on effective study techniques and personalized learning, Jessica Waugh strives to guide others on their educational journeys. Her commitment lies in helping individuals discover their strengths and achieve success in their academic pursuits. Jessica’s story is one of genuine passion, knowledge, and a sincere commitment to enhancing the learning experience for all.

JESSICA WAUGH

Founder and Owner, JWaugh Education and NeuroSips™ Henderson, NV
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