Lesley Berglund, WISE Co-Founder & Chairman
Lesley is an accomplished wine industry entrepreneur and CEO with a focus on change management. Over the past 24 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 extensive experience in consumer direct marketing of fine wines. Lesley has served on the board of ten wine-related companies and trade associations and serves as co-chair of the Wine Industry Technology Symposium. In 2008, she co-founded the WISE Academy. 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 World Presidents Organization and serves on its Pacific Region Board as well as the YPO-WPO International Forum Committee. Lesley is a third generation Napa Valley native from a grape growing family, with a BA from Wesleyan University and a MBA from Harvard Business School.
Jennifer Warrington, The Glue
Jennifer is a marketing professional with 20 years of experience in the wine industry, including 8 years with WISE. She began her career in the wine industry working for Lesley Berglund at Ambrosia Wine Catalogue/The Winetasting Network shortly after completing her BA in English Literature. Over the course of her career, she has developed expertise in project management, market research, copywriting, and editing. Today – working again with Lesley – in her role as The Glue, Jennifer: oversees WISE Operations which includes spearheading the WISE Mystery Shopping Program; account management of WISE wineries; conducts market research; implements marketing programs; coordinates, schedules, and communicates with instructors, attendees and winery partners for a robust class schedule of 20+ courses and onsite training programs throughout California, Oregon, Washington, New York and more.
Erika Swenson, Operations Ambassador
Erika has been in the trenches working for wineries and wine retailers and has a background in restaurant service – she knows customer service and hospitality! Working for E&J Gallo in their North Coast tasting rooms and wine club departments, and for Total Wine & More, she has put her early WISE training and her grassroots knowledge about wine and spirits to the test. Now, working for WISE, Erika is the Operations Ambassador who runs the mystery shopping program, logistics for classes and training, oversees trade-show logistics and other marketing initiatives. Using her love of technology, knowledge of winery software and understanding what it takes to work at a winery, this Washington Native is constantly striving to educate herself and others to new heights.
Liz Mercer, WISE Academy Instructor & Content Developer
Having grown up in the Napa Valley, Liz always knew it would be her forever home. She spent eight years in the mid west (Detroit), before coming home to roost. With a unique background having a degree in Finance & Business Management, and 18 years’ experience in Direct to Consumer Experience marketing, she approaches the multiple needs of the business balancing the business and guest needs. Her career includes time with Diageo and Pernod Ricard, followed by nearly six years with Gallo, and to a small family owned luxury brand. Liz is now the General Manager of Bluxome Street Winery, an urban winery located in the SOMA neighborhood of San Francisco. Liz can relate to the challenges faced by large, publicly traded wineries, corporate family owned wineries, and to smaller family owned brands. That breadth of experience has allowed Liz to see how different strategies work for different brands and implement the right solution. She is also an active contributor and instructor for the WISE Academy, which seeks to grow the skills of DTC professionals and managers at all levels across the country.
Mack Schwing, WISE Co-Founder & Principal
Mack Schwing is a co-founder of the WISE Academy. Mack has an MBA and a BS in Mathematics from Michigan State University. He is a board member of the Sonoma County Food & Wine Center and of Webview, Inc. as well as Co-Chair of the Green Wine Summit. Mack also serves as Vice Chairman of Shone Farm Foundation where he oversees the winery for Santa Rosa Junior College. He shares his broad wine knowledge as Chairman of the Wine Committee at Fountaingrove Golf & Athletic Club.
During his thirty years at Deloitte Consulting, he held several senior management positions including Global Director of Information Systems Consulting and Director of Management Consulting for Asia-Pacific. Mack was Director of the Wine Business Program at Sonoma State University for five years following his retirement from Deloitte Consulting. At the university, he was responsible for all wine industry business education and developed a passion for wine industry professional education.