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.
After volunteering with TEXSOM Awards for several years, Melissa joined the TEXSOM team in March 2022, bringing with her an extensive background in home furnishings, both retail and wholesale, including management, sales, and customer service.
Volunteering sparked her interest in the wide spectrum of wine, and she and her husband love grilling and pairing wine with their favorite meals. In her own words, “There’s nothing better than enjoying a nice glass of wine in beautiful surroundings.”
From her beginnings behind a fast-food counter at the age of 16, Paula knew she loved all things hospitality related. She continued her career moving from restaurants to hotels and resorts, using her creativity to imagine and execute memorable events from weddings and charity galas to the National Mayors Conference, corporate conferences, and PGA tournaments. Prior to joining TEXSOM, Paula spent two decades with the Four Seasons Resort and Club in Dallas. In addition to event planning, her interests include cycling, gardening, and performing arts. Her international travels continue to feed her enthusiasm for all things related to food and beverage.
Amie Hendrickson joined the TEXSOM team as Operations Manager in January 2019 after 20 years as General Manager at Edmond Wine Shop, a fine wine and beverage retailer in Oklahoma. In addition to her duties at the shop Amie coordinated education for Wine Forum of Oklahoma at Oklahoma State University, a biennial education event that raises scholarships for the hospitality program. Her studies include the disciplines offered by the Court of Master Sommeliers, Society of Wine Educators, and WSET.
James Tidwell is a writer, speaker, and educator. Tidwell founded and produces the TEXSOM Conference and produces the TEXSOM Awards.
He consulted on The World Atlas of Wine 8th Edition as well as the forthcoming update to the Oxford Companion to Wine, contributes to the annual Hugh Johnson Pocket Wine Book, and is an editorial committee member for the Classic Wine Library.
He is a Grand Jury judge for the Wines of Portugal Challenge 2022 and 2023, Regional Chair for the USA and Central America at the Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA) 2023, and a judge for The World of Fine Wine magazine’s World’s Best Wine List Awards.
His articles have been published in World of Fine Wine, Lonely Planet, and other outlets. For three years he published the annual digest TEXSOM Presents Sommelier.
He was selected Rising Star Sommelier 2007 by StarChefs, nominated as WSET’s Outstanding Alumni 2017, nominated for the Person of the Year in Wine Enthusiast magazine’s Wine Star Awards 2019, and was named one of Wine Business Monthly’s Wine Business Leaders 2021.
He passed the Master Sommelier Diploma examination in 2009.
Prior to entering the wine business, Tidwell graduated from Louisiana State University, majoring in International Trade and Finance, and the Culinary Institute of America, earning a degree with Honours.