Originally from Argentina, Julieta discovered her calling in sommellerie while attending winemaking school. She has worked in acclaimed restaurants, hotels, and wineries in Mendoza, where she conducted award-winning beverage programs. She moved to the United States in 2017, and since then, has discovered a new passion in retail and education. Julieta is a Certified Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers, holds a Level 3 award in Wines with the Wine and Spirit Education Trust, and is currently deep diving into the world of whisky. She firmly believes that hospitality is a way of life, and that the discovery of wine and spirits should be a journey of celebration and enjoyment.
My name is Darwin Oniyx Acosta (they, them). My preferred name is Oniyx Acosta.I identify with Latin-X & LGBTQIA+ community. I am the founder and current director for Co-Fermented, an organization dedicated to the representation of LGBTQIA+ individuals in the wine industry.
Tiffany Bobbs started in hospitality in 1999 and worked her way up from host at Char to current position as General Manager, Wine Director, and Sommelier at The Manship Wood Fired Kitchen. She is currently studying for WSET Level 3, CSS with SWE, and Oregon Wine Expert.
Retired Parks & Recreation Director for the cities of North Richland Hills, Rowlett and Sugar Land, Texas. 35+ years administrative and management experience leading nationally recognized parks & recreation systems. Currently an independent contractor/sole proprietor providing business development and planning services for Brinkley Sargent Wiginton Architects, specializing in recreation centers, senior adult & multi-generational facilities, natatoriums, waterparks and aquatic facilities.
Nick Davis is a Master Sommelier and founder of two companies. With his first venture Medium Plus, Nick selects fine wine for private clients, and hosts educational events for industry students and enthusiasts. His second project is Unicorn Imports, offering Champagne and other fine wines from around the world to the Seattle restaurant and retail market. During his down-time, Nick enjoys language learning, jazz music, and visiting Red Pandas at the local zoo.
Rachel DelRocco Terrazas is a Tucson, Arizona-based writer, editor, speaker, and consultant with 20 years in the hospitality and beverage space. Her work includes writing and media content on wine, spirits, and the intersection of beverage with wellness, sobriety, art, and culture. She consults with clients on editorial programming, production, and communications. In July 2023 Rachel joined the TEXSOM team to assist with communications and social media content production.
Lea Anne started with wine in 2009. She worked for Bravo, Brio Restaurant group and wanted to be the wine buyer. She moved on to Max’s Wine Dive in Fort Worth where she started really studying wine. She is currently the wine director for Reata Restaurant in downtown Fort Worth. She is also working on her level two certification as well as CMS and WSET certifications. This will be her first time at the Retreat but she has volunteered with TEXSOM before.
I have been a licensed massage therapist in Texas and Florida for 25 years. I am currently running a medical massage seminar business that often takes me traveling around the United States and internationally. We teach massage therapists, Chiropractors, physical therapists and other health care practitioners how to help their patients get out of chronic pain and try to prevent surgery. Prior to this career I was a professional dancer in musicals, dance companies and Cruise Ships which also took me from Alaska to the Caribbean Islands. I performed various styles of dance including tap, ballet, jazz, ballroom and Argentine Tango. Dance is still my passion and I participate at every opportunity.
Rebecca Miles-Steiner graduated from Wells College, in the Finger Lakes region of New York State, with a degree in Theatre. While working as a Stage Manager in Chicago, her college-sparked love of Riesling and a library borrowed Jancis Robinson book set her on the wine and spirits path. She helped to open, and subsequently managed a boutique wine and spirit store in Lincoln Park, worked as a wine and spirit buyer for Whole Foods, pre-pandemic was a wine captain and event lead at City Winery Chicago, and was the spirits buyer for Plum Market’s Old Town Chicago location. She is currently the Fine Wine Specialist at Domaine Wine Storage. She is a Certified Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers, a Certified Specialist of Wine, and is currently making her way through the WSET Diploma program. In her spare time she practices barebow archery, reads wine books, and plans her next wine adventure.
Bridget’s passion lies with food and wine – she is a freelance wine educator and wine concierge. She received her Level 1 Sommelier Certification from The Court of Master Sommeliers, is a Certified Specialist of Texas Wine, is on the Board of the Dallas Chapter of Women for Winesense, is TABC Certified, and works wine events such as the TEXSOM Sommelier Conference, the TEXSOM International Wine Awards, and Pinot in the City. She has travelled extensively to different wine regions of the world, and has a soft spot for the New York Finger Lakes region, having been married at a winery overlooking the grapevines on Seneca Lake.
Cat Nguyen fell in love with wine at an early age. She inherited her first wine program when she was only twenty-one years old. Over the next ten years, she ran successful wine programs from casual to fine dining restaurants all over Houston, Texas. In 2015, Cat left the restaurant floor to pursue a career in distribution as a Vanguard representative for Republic National Distributing Company. She holds an Advanced Certification with the Wine & Spirit Education Trust, is a Certified Specialist of Wine with the Society of Wine Educators and a Certified Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers. She is continuing her studies in the future to advance to the next levels with the Court of Master Sommeliers and the Wine and Spirit Education Trust.
Chuck is a Certified Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers & a Certified Specialist of Wine with The Society of Wine Educators. He has been working as a Sommelier/ wine buyer/ consultant in the South since 2016. He is currently the Wine Director/ Service Manager at BRAVO! Italian Restaurant.
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.
I am a third generation Dallasite and a graduate of Texas Tech University. I’ve had a 40 year career in Advertising Sales & Marketing, the majority with The Dallas Morning News. I am currently a Realtor in Dallas working with Keller Williams. I have served with the Los Angeles Advertising League and the Press Club of Dallas. In addition, I have worked with the California Association of Realtors. I volunteer with Meals on Wheels and the Alzheimer’s Association. I grew up in a family that was interested in wine and participated in several wine educational classes. I have also earned my First Level, Sommelier, volunteered for the last five years with TEXSOM, not only in the annual Wine Awards but also have helped with the conference. It is an honor to be affiliated with TEXSOM.
Shelly Wilfong is a wine educator, writer, and Texas wine podcaster. She founded the Dallas Women’s Wine Club in 2019 and the podcast This Is Texas Wine in 2020. Shelly has contributed articles to the SOMMTV magazine, Texas Wine Lover website, and the State Fair of Texas.