PAST ADVISORY COUNCIL MEMBERS
Tom Buck, President, Beau Wine Tours
As a Northern California native and wine country resident, I have worked closely with the Napa Valley hospitality industry for over 15 years; providing unique custom wine tour experiences for thousands of visitors to our region. Under the role of President of Beau Wine Tours, I have sat on various committees for the Napa Valley Destination Council (formerly the NVCVB), and remain a Preferred Partner of the Sonoma County Tourism Bureau. My company is also a proud member of the Napa, Yountville, St. Helena, and Calistoga Chambers of Commerce; and we are actively involved in the National Limousine Association (NLA) and Meeting Professionals International (MPI).
I have learned through my experiences with the Society of Wine Educators, that we all have a role in educating our guests about wine, terroir, and our local culture and history through the activities we plan for them.
Elan Fayard, Direct to Consumer Sales and Marketing Consultant
Élan Fayard has a wide-ranging international background that encompasses tourism, gastronomy, wine and journalism. Originally from the Bay Area, Élan found her way back to Northern California after living in the Willamette Valley in Oregon where her love of wine blossomed, followed then by living and studying in the Loire Valley in France where she began a life long love affair with the French culture. Her interest in wine and France led to additional studies in Bordeaux and to Provence where she and her husband lived and worked. Throughout her time in France and then back in the U.S. she has held public relations, sales and marketing positions with wineries including Napa´s Signorello Vineyards and Robert Sinskey Winery, Russian River Lynmar Estate as well as Diablo Grande Wine Gallery in San Francisco. Her love of journalism also allowed her to be a national radio host and food critic in the Bay Area. She currently is a direct to consumer sales and marketing consultant for wineries in Napa Valley, including Alpha Omega Winery and currently with Long Meadow Ranch Winery & Farmstead. She and her husband are owners and producers of the first true methode provençal rosé in Napa, Azur Rose.
"Implementing strategies and programs at wineries that provide interesting and unique experiences that drive traffic and increase sales in the direct to consumer segment of the business is ever inspiring."
Andrea Guzman, Promotion & Partnership Manager, Napa Valley Wine Train
Andrea Guzman is the Promotions and Partnership Manager for the Napa Valley Wine Train. It is Andrea's job to build relationships all over the world shining a light on the Napa Valley experience. Andrea carries the Wine Train flag where ever she travels including educating TSA agents when they are searching her bags prior to boarding an airplane. Prior to working for the Wine Train, Andrea started her career at the Napa Valley Conference and Visitors Bureau as the Visitor Center Manager. She had a myriad of positions at the Bureau including Executive Assistant and Database Administrator.
The key ingredient in Andrea's life is having fun every day. She runs for miles and miles chasing euphoria.
Bryan Hair, Manager, Travel & Private Membership, LesConcierges San Francisco
Bryan Hair is a legacy member of the LesConcierges Team, having joined in March of 2000. Today, Bryan manages the Private Membership, Dining, and Travel Specialty programs at LesConcierges, lending his passion and experiences in those areas to develop the concierge teams, the client programs, and the vendor outreach to deliver the best possible products and experiences. Bryan’s role as a mentor for the growing company allows him to share his passion for the kind of rich experiences that Northern California has to offer, and infect the staff with an insatiable curiosity that can enrich the whole of LesConcierges – from customers to employees.“
“My clients and colleagues expect me to be an arbiter of good taste and true sophistication – a responsibility I take most seriously. To deliver that, I leverage a deep and still-growing rolodex – a connection to a network that continuously provides me inspiration on the best experiences the world can offer“
Ryan Hill, Proprietor, Hill Family Estate
Ryan Hill is the Proprietor and Director of Sales for Hill Family Estate winery in Yountville, CA. He attended local schools before graduating from Sonoma State University with a degree in Wine Business Strategies. He is very active in the Napa community and currently belongs to Native Sons, Yountville Kiwanis, Yountville Chamber of Commerce, CANV Advisory Council, Boutique Wine Producers and Next Generation. Prior to becoming involved with the family business, Hill worked in the hospitality business as a restaurant server and sommelier. Hill has worked at Gordon’s, Bouchon, George’s at The Cove and Nine Ten restaurants. His love for food and wine developed in the restaurant business and has carried through to Hill Family Estate. Ryan has hopes of starting a family and residing in Yountville, while continuing to grow his family’s brand and celebrate his family roots of farming in the Napa Valley.
“Work is play, play is work” –The key to being successful in the wine business!
Jocelyn Hoar, Visitor Center Manager, Robert Mondavi
Jocelyn moved to the Napa Valley in December, 2009, to become the Visitor Center Manager at Robert Mondavi Winery, with the challenge of integrating the Retail, Tour and Consumer Events departments. Her hospitality background over the past decade, directing operations for restaurants and hotels in San Francisco, including Campton Place, Charles Nob Hill and Town Hall provided the experience and tools necessary for such an undertaking. She has a proven track record for training and mentoring staff, which are both loyal and exceed guest expectations for hospitality and customer service. Jocelyn’s organizational skills and attention to detail have allowed her to implement systems, policy and procedure that have created new and necessary structure, and lead to increased productivity and utilization of resources. Additionally, she has originated budgets, instituted controls, and improved the financial health of each of the restaurants she has managed, a skill set that has proven invaluable over the last year.
Bob Hurley, Chef Owner, Hurley's Restaurant
Almost two decades ago, Chef Bob Hurley planted roots in the California Wine Country, first as a chef at Domaine Chandon, then as Executive Chef at the Napa Valley Grille. In November 2002 he opened his own restaurant, Hurley's Restaurant, in Yountville, California. Chef Hurley describes his menu as local California cuisine high in flavor and influenced by the Mediterranean so that it fits very well with wine. It is creative food done simply and he always has two or three wild game selections as well. The menus are revised about three times each year to take advantage of seasonal changes, particularly with produce and seafood. Chef Bob Hurley is a world traveler and a devotee of the culture, cuisine and lifestyle of many other countries. His years of trekking and working around the world provide the basis for his theory that Napa Valley is no longer a melting pot of cuisines from the rest of the world. But they have come together to create a Napa Valley regional cuisine. Bob has always had a strong belief that the use of regional, seasonal ingredients is important on many different levels. It promotes sustainability, showcases local producers and provides the finest dining experience to the customer. This philosophy is a guiding light behind the menu development at Hurley’s Restaurant.
Maria Newman, Tasting Room Manager, Ehlers Estate
After moving to the Napa Valley in my Sophmore year of high school, my Father was the first person to introduce me to wine. My first sips were of Silver Oak, and Robert Mondavi wines. After high school , I began my career very young as a banquet coordinator at a very busy waterfront restaurant in Long Beach planning wedding rehearsal dinners and corporate events. Missing the valley, I moved back to Napa where my first hospitality job was a position at Saddleback Winery in Oakville for Nils Venge. I learned a lot there, was able to meet Robert Parker and work around some very talented and passionate people. I left to become an " official " tasting room manager opening tasting rooms across the valley which I found very fun and challenging! After having my fourth child and opening up yet one more tasting room, I decided to become a concierge at AVIA Napa which I absolutley loved! I am passionate about family, people, and of course food and wine. I have now moved on and am thoroughly enjoying contributing to the sales growth at Ehlers Estate.
Said Jarrar, Owner/Operator Jarrar Tours Calistoga
Said moved to the beautiful Napa valley eight years ago from Los Angeles, after being a public relation manager for six years. "I love nature, and fine wine that's why I decided to move to Napa. I worked as a chauffeur for some of the best wine tour services in the valley like Beau Wine Tours, and Magnum tours, and I worked for a short time for Solage. I started my own service in may last year in beautiful Calistga. My motto is to anticipate the needs of our Napa valley guests. Once the guest is in one of my luxury cars I carry the responsibilities, and represent every winery, resort, and restaurant in the valley. I am a team player. I do not compete I work with all. The name Said means happy, so I am always happy.My work is a paid vacation, I love it."