2025 Steering Committee

Brian Baker – Founder, Cultivar Marketing (Event Chair)


Brian is the founder of Cultivar Marketing, a sales and marketing agency which specializes in helping wineries increase profitability, optimize channel management and provide a path for importers to launch their brands in the U.S. in the DTC and Wholesale channels. Over the years, Brian has developed a key set of skills in sales, technology, research and traditional brand marketing. He has held a number of management positions in his career in the wine Industry. Most recently, he served as GM of Mayacamas Vineyards–the historic property on Mt. Veeder. Prior to that Brian served as the Vice President Sales and Marketing for Chateau Montelena. He began his career in wine as Vice President of Consumer Relationship Management (CRM) at Jackson Family Wines. (“We called it CRM in those days… and constantly had to explain the acronym”).

Brian is somewhat of a self-described corporate “gypsy”. Before pivoting to the wine industry, He spent 18 years in the travel industry including management posts as VP of Sales and Marketing for the San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau (now SF Travel) and Director of Global Marketing for Dollar Rent-A-Car. He is a past chair of the California Travel Association and served as Chairman of the DTC Wine Symposium from 2009-2012. He is a sommelier, holds his CSW credential and serves as a distinguished judge for the San Francisco International Wine Competition.

Thea Schlendorf – Executive Director, Free the Grapes!
and VP Operations and Wine & Spirits at The Brand Leader

Thea’s 20+ year career in the wine industry has included work with brands from every area and she is adept at developing strategies and campaigns to garner attention and meet objectives for a diverse client base. As of 2023, Thea also serves as the Executive Director of Free the Grapes! As such, she looks to continue the work of helping to expand consumer choice in wine through improving access to legal regulated direct to consumer winery shipping. The coalition’s campaign of public awareness, engagement, and lobbying success has helped to create a $4+ billion sales channel for U.S. wineries.

Susan DeMatei – President, WineGlass Marketing
(Workshop Sub-Committee Chair)

Susan DeMatei has over 30 years of luxury direct marketing experience, but in the past 16, she has worked exclusively in the wine industry. In 2012 Susan started WineGlass Marketing, a full-service direct marketing agency for the alcohol space. The firm is based in downtown Napa and supports domestic and international clients with both B2B and DTC marketing in digital as well as traditional channels. For the past two consecutive years, Inc. Magazine recognized WineGlass Marketing as the only Napa company listed in the top 250 hyper-growth tier of the “5000 Series California’s Top Companies”. WineGlass Marketing has also been recognized by the community winning the North Bay Bohemian “Best Creative Agency” spot for 2021 as well as being honored by her clients in the North Bay Business Journal as Napa’s “Best Company to Do Business With.”

Susan holds a B.S. in Communications from Boston University and an A.S. in Viticulture from Napa Valley College. She is a Certified Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers, a Certified Specialist in Wine/Wine Education with the Society of Wine Educators, and awarded a DMA (Direct Marketing Association) award for strategic excellence. She is the marketing columnist for Grapevine Magazine and a frequent freelance writer and speaker at conferences. Susan also is the marketing instructor at WISE and an adjunct professor and lecturer at the Institute for Enology & Viticulture at Walla Walla Community College.

Barbara Gorder – President/Owner, Undisclosed Location, Inc.
(Keynote Sub-Committee Chair)

Barbara is a graduate of Northwestern University with extensive senior level corporate, entrepreneurial and advertising agency experience. She has been an executive creative director, brand strategist, marketer and relationship team builder. With broad marketing and advertising expertise in omnichannel marketing with an emphasis on digital technology, she has helped to build and design some of the world’s most powerful brands over the past 30 years. She is known as a creative producer of innovative branding and advertising in wine, beauty, athletics, health and spirits categories, and has received the Coty Award, Clios, Addys, and been a finalist for Cannes Lions. Barbara also partners with her husband Tim on the Farley Family Charitable Trust.

Meredith Hayes – Director, DTC Sales and Marketing, Ram’s Gate Winery
(Sponsorship Sub-Committee Chair)

With more than 15 years in marketing and managing customer-centric strategies in the art and wine industries, Meredith currently leads the DTC, brand marketing and distribution programs at Ram’s Gate Winery. Her experience includes growing membership, expanding ecommerce sales and driving traffic to art museums and tasting rooms in New Zealand, Arizona and California. With a love of travel, wine and good food, she’s a champion of the wine industry and has enjoyed visiting many of the exciting wine regions of the world. Originally from New England, she is a graduate of Northeastern University in Boston is thrilled to be a part of the food and wine scene in Sonoma County.

Patricia O’Brien – Director of Operations and Marketing, Danza del Sol Winery
(Logistics & Planning Sub-Committee Chair)

Patricia O’Brien is Vice President of Sales and Operations for Danza del Sol Winery & Masia de la Vinya Winery located in Temecula, CA. Metrics driven and well versed in relationship-focused customer service, Patricia has guided both companies since their successful launch in 2010 and 2015. She’s managed e-mail and web marketing initiatives, and has overseen all DTC channels (tasting room, wine clubs, gift shops, events and tour departments for both winery brands.

A native of California, Patricia has been married to her best friend, Patrick for 20 year and raised three amazing children. Patricia is also a WSET Level II graduate, Certified Hospitality Industry Professional (CHIP) for Temecula Valley graduate and is currently a member of the Temecula Valley Winegrowers Heritage District Marketing & Educational Committees. Away from wine she’s the ultimate soccer Mama, who enjoys spending time with family and friends while enjoying great food and wine.

Kelly Petrillo, Director of Hospitality, Gandona Estates

With 20 years of experience in Sales and Hospitality, Kelly Petrillo was born and raised in the mild climate of Northern California. She graduated with a BA in Liberal Studies from Chapman University. Passionate about wine and people, the move to working in the Napa Valley wine industry was a natural fit. Kelly’s passion for wine pushed her to pursue further education within the industry; she graduated from Sonoma State University in March 2023 with a Global Executive MBA in Wine Business Management. In her role she oversees DTC wine sales, membership growth, ecommerce, events, and outbound sales. Kelly has been a member of the DTCWS Steering Committee for two years and is committed to continued education and growth within the industry.

Kelly has a love and appreciation for California wines, craft beer, kayaking, fishing, traveling, and enjoying life with her family and friends.

Jessah Diaz – Senior Digital Experience & Growth Manager, Cakebread Cellars

Jessah is an experienced manager in wine sales specializing in direct-to-consumer initiatives, eCommerce, and accelerated wine club growth. At Pernod Ricard USA, she has successfully helped to generate new revenue through her focus on user experience for newly developed eCommerce sites, customer service, marketing strategy, and new business development. Her prior experience in wholesale distribution at Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits informs her work today and provided an early start with a diverse portfolio of brands from Constellation to Pernod Ricard.

Jessah is a WSET Level II graduate with Distinction, and she is currently studying for the WSET Level III. She is a McBride Sisters Scholarship recipient and is currently pursuing a Wine Business Management certificate at Sonoma State University. Originally from New York City, she lives in Lake County and enjoys running in the beautiful landscape and spending time with her two dogs.

Ed Feuchuk, General Manager, Farm Collective Napa Valley
(Innovation Sub-Committee Chair)

Ed Feuchuk

Ed Feuchuk is a marketer and mistake maker with over 15 years of experience building innovative DTC wine brands. As the General Manager for Farm Collective Napa Valley, Ed has led creative, strategic, and technical initiatives for brands like Tank Garage Winery, James Cole Winery, Regusci Winery, and T-Vine Winery. With a passion for authentic experiences and renegade marketing, Ed and his work have been featured in the San Francisco Chronicle, the New York Times, Wine Spectator, and Playboy.

Kasey Helt – Director of Hospitality, Center of Effort Winery

Kasey began her career in the wine industry over 17 years ago working with a vineyard management company in Paso Robles CA where she was able to get hands-on experience. This led to her next opportunity working for Still Waters Vineyard, a small estate family vineyard also in Paso Robles, CA. At Still Waters, Kasey started in wine production but quickly transitioned to hospitality and was eventually named General Manager.

Currently Kasey leads the hospitality program at Center of Effort Winery where she was named Director of Hospitality in 2018. In April 2019, Kasey was instrumental in opening the newly built, state of the art member hospitality center. She manages a team of wine educators that have a passion for service and delivering elevated and luxurious wine experiences to VIP members and other guests through private tastings, tours and member events.

When not sharing her knowledge of wine with others, Kasey and her husband spend time with their two young sons looking for the perfect campsite, playing baseball or hiking the beautiful local trails.

James Lovaas – Director of Sales & Hospitality, David Bruce Winery

James works as the Director of DTC Operations for Korbel Champagne Cellars supervising e-commerce, email marketing, and the wine club. He has worked in winery hospitality and operations in Napa and Sonoma since 2017. Before moving to Napa, he spent more than 15 years in marketing and training roles and served as the director of corporate training for a private midwestern university. James holds an MBA from Liberty University and a BA in Psychology from Vennard College.

Kelly Mantel – Director, DTC Marketing & eCommerce, Harney Lane Vineyards

Kelly serves as the Director of Marketing at Harney Lane Vineyards in the heart of Lodi Wine Country. As a member of the senior leadership team, he steers brand strategy and oversees an array of integrated marketing initiatives encompassing advertising, PR, packaging, and on-premise experiences. With a deep appreciation for education and the wine industry, Kelly also hosts instructional tasting workshops in partnership with local wine producers and tourism bureaus.

Prior to joining the team in Lodi, Kelly led brand strategy for food and beverage brands with leading agencies in Central California, bringing a diverse perspective of consumer insights and industry expertise to Harney Lane.

When he’s not marketing or instructing, Kelly’s grilling in the backyard, enjoying time with his wife and two small children.