VX Primer – the New DTC Experience

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Speaker Bios

Lesley is an accomplished wine industry entrepreneur and CEO with a focus on change management. Over the past 30 years in the wine industry she has started up the equivalent of nine new businesses, acquired and integrated four companies and led during periods of dramatic change. As co-founder and former CEO of the Ambrosia Wine Catalogue/the Winetasting Network (which she sold in 2004) she has deep experience in consumer direct marketing of fine wines. Lesley has served on the board of eleven wine-related companies and trade associations. In 2008, she co-founded the WISE Academy, which provides education, training and certification for winery consumer direct professionals across wine regions throughout the United States and in New Zealand. In 2014 she co-founded SOLVE Services which provides financial analysis, planning and decision support services for wineries. Today she spends most of her time coaching winery leaders through growth related challenges and opportunities. Beyond wine, Lesley is a member of the YPO where she has held numerous local, regional and international board and leadership positions. Lesley is also a third-generation Napa Valley native from a grape growing family, with a B.A. from Wesleyan University and a MBA from Harvard Business School.
Holly Berrigan is a natural wine importer, ecommerce founder, female entrepreneur and environmentalist who has built an ecommerce platform and wine importing company focused exclusively on natural wines. She partners with 1% for the Planet and the Carbon Fund to offset all import and distribution impacts of the wine and uses the MYSA platform to educate consumers on sustainability in the wine sector.
Maeve Pesquera, a renowned wine and hospitality industry veteran, is the senior vice president of DAOU Vineyards & Winery in the Adelaida District of Paso Robles. Maeve’s role at DAOU is to heighten and expand upon the founders’ vision and to bring it to life for consumers in a powerful way. As she says, “”My mission is to ensure that every interaction with DAOU—whether it is on DAOU Mountain, at an event, online or even their favorite wine shop—exhibits the same panoramic intensity of purpose and passion that the wine does.”

Prior to joining DAOU in 2016, Maeve served as the national director of wine, culinary strategy and innovation for Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, where she was a founding member of the company’s first mentorship program. Maeve is a frequent speaker and lecturer on industry panels and holds certifications from the Court of Master Sommeliers, Wine & Spirit Education Trust, and Society of Wine Educators. She has also served on the board of directors of the Society of Wine Educators, Paso Robles CAB Collective and the California Wine Institute.

Maeve lives in Paso Robles with her husband Luis, a veteran chef. They reside on their family homestead, Milagro Ranch, where they grow wine grapes, olives and vegetables while raising chickens, rabbits, sheep and five rambunctious boys.

With years of experience at the pinnacle of fine dining, Sarah McKinney brings refined hospitality and sales skills to bear into her new project. She founded Truffle Shuffle, along with Jason McKinney and Tyler Vorce, to bring honest, traceable, fresh truffles into the high-end culinary environment, and quality small-batch truffle products to consumers to treat themselves at home. During the COVID-19 shelter in place, the team launched live cook-along classes to bring joy, education and truffles to people at home, all while donating a meal to a service member on the front lines for every cooking class kit sold.