Meet the Tales of the Cocktail Foundation Team


Eileen Wayner, Chief Executive Officer


As CEO of Tales of the Cocktail Foundation, Eileen is passionate about leveraging her 15 years of strategic planning, project management, and event experience to create meaningful programs and initiatives that will benefit the global drinks industry. With experience working in non-profit, corporate events, university and government settings, she applies a diverse set of skills to her work at TOTCF, expanding efforts to support bartenders Beyond the Bar, ensuring the Foundation is actively listening to, learning from and creating inclusive and equitable opportunities for the industry, expanding educational resources, and executing the industry’s most important event of the year – Tales of the Cocktail.

Ideal Flavor Profile: Crisp, bright, citrus


Alex Smith, Events Director


As the Events Director, Alex oversees all of the events taking place onsite at our host hotel; which includes seminars, tasting rooms, brand education activations, special events and the Spirited Awards. Alex also directs the Spirited Awards program and Cocktail Apprentice Program (CAP).

Alex Smith hails from small-town Louisiana but has recently called New York home. She joined Tales of the Cocktail in 2014 as the Logistics and Sales Assistant and now, as Events Director oversees the Spirited Awards, Cocktail Apprentice Program (CAP), as well as all Tales-related logistics. When not working for TOTCF, Alex loves reading, hanging out with her cat, catching up with friends, and watching and listening to anything related to true crime.

Ideal Flavor Profile: Bold, bitter, and surprising



Bree Williams, Events Manager


As the Events Coordinator, Bree assists with the execution of onsite events during Tales of the Cocktail and throughout the year for the Foundation. Bree also coordinates the administrative needs for Dame Hall of Fame.

Bree graduated and worked at the Croft Institute for International Studies at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, MS before moving to New Orleans with her husband. She assists in all logistics needs for the Foundation and for Dame Hall of Fame. Bree can now often be found sitting or meandering around Bayou St. John soaking up the sunshine with a book and drink in hand.

Ideal Flavor Profile: Light & refreshing!


Lola Thomas, Program Director


As Program Director at Tales of the Cocktail Foundation®, Lola has the pleasure of directing education, philanthropy, policy, and Beyond the Bar® initiatives. She works with dozens of international committee members to plan the TOTC seminar slate and manage a suite of service and philanthropic efforts.

Lola Thomas, M.A., is a lifelong advocate for holistic education and worker advocacy. After serving in the U.S. Peace Corps in West Africa, Lola went on to run various philanthropic programs in the food and beverage space in New Orleans, LA. She received her Master’s Degree in Human Rights and Development in Bangkok, Thailand and loves reading sci-fi and drinking mezcal.

Ideal Flavor Profile: Smoky Spirit Forward


Megan Stubbs, Program Manager


As program manager for the foundation, Megan oversees and implements the education, philanthropy, policy, and Beyond the Bar® initiatives.

Megan Stubbs is an avid reader, traveler, and consumer of no & low abv’s. After earning her Bachelors in Social Work, she moved to New Orleans to delve deeper into nonprofit work in the hospitality sector and began her internship with TOTC in 2019. She graduated with her Masters in Public Administration in 2021 from the University of New Orleans, and now oversees the different programs and projects for TOTC’s Education, Philanthropy & Development, and Policy committees. Her passions include talking about mental health, sustainability, and her favorite foods.

Ideal Flavor Profile: Sweet & Fizzy


Tammera Catchings, J.D., M.S., Government Affairs Manager


As Policy Project Manager, Tammera is responsible for leading the Policy Protection Initiative, which ensures selected policy and legislation is beneficial to employees within the industry across the country.

Tammera’s professional experience includes nearly fifteen years of legislative and policy management experience in both state and federal lobbying campaigns. Prior to working as the Legislative Liaison and Project Specialist for the Mississippi Attorney General, Tammera worked as an independent Government Affairs Specialist for both nonprofit and for-profit organizations, and U.S. District Court experience.

Ideal Flavor Profile: Bubbly and Crisp with slight hint of fruit


Ashley D. Solomon, Grants and Contract Coordinator


As Grants and Contract Coordinator, Ashley oversees transactional legal work and grant writing.

Ashley has worked as an attorney in New Orleans for 8 years. Before joining Tales of the Cocktail Foundation, she furthered her experience as an Assistant Attorney General for the Louisiana Department of Justice and as an Assistant Parish Attorney for Jefferson Parish. She serves on the Board of Directors of Boys Hope Girls Hope of Greater New Orleans, and she is involved with several non-profit and civic associations such as St. Michael’s Special School and the New Orleans and Jefferson Parish Bar Associations. She is married to Sam Mickal Solomon, and they have a daughter named Olivia.

Ideal Flavor Profile: Tequila, soda, lime, jalapeño!


Taylor Barron, Director of Partnerships


Taylor’s mission is to connect the products, people, and programs that propel the global drinks industry with Tales of the Cocktail Foundation. She leads our Partnerships Team in securing funding for all of TOTCF’s events and programs and working directly with our incredible sponsors to bring their visions to life at Tales and year-round. Taylor’s favorite part of her job is TOTCF’s competitions and event series – where she’s able to meet bartenders and industry members from across the country and bring the Foundation’s mission to life in markets around the world.

Taylor Barron is an avid French 75 drinker and the Director of Partnerships at Tales of the Cocktail Foundation. She moved to New Orleans after earning degrees in Marketing and Hospitality Management at The University of Alabama. Taylor found TOTCF through her growing hospitality network and love for non-profits, and she signed on for what was to be a three-month internship. Five Tales of the Cocktails later, Taylor oversees the Partnerships Team’s fundraising efforts for the Foundation. Taylor lives steps from the French Quarter with her cat, Baron Martini de Marigny, at her side, her Kindle in her hand, and a constant stream of Taylor Swift in the background.

Ideal Flavor Profile: Boozy, Bubbly, Fresh


Anna McLoughlin, Partnerships Account Manager


Anna offers opportunities and creative vision to our partners that align with their goals and the goals of the Foundation to educate, advance, and support the bar industry.

Anna spent the last decade in New York City working for award-winning bars and as a brand ambassador. As a former TOTC seminar presenter and multiple times attendee, Anna now loves working with the Foundation in continuing to uplift, celebrate, and build the bar industry community.

Ideal Flavor Profile: Fizzy, fresh, strong, refined



Katelyn LeBoeuf, CSS

Partnerships Account Manager


Driven by Katelyn’s shared values with the Foundation, she is committed to ensuring the growth and advancement of TOTCF’s mission by focusing on partnership expansion. Katelyn strives to develop existing or emerging brands on the TOTCF platform so they can elevate their awareness and improve their philanthropy efforts through their contribution to the advancement of the global hospitality industry.

Spirited sales and marketing professional with 8 years of experience developing Wine & Spirit portfolios and launching innovative brands. Superpowers of passion and perspective fuels Katelyn’s work, and an individualized approach to collaboration translates new relationships into long-term partnerships.

Ideal Flavor Profile: Variety spices up life!


Amanda Rose-Lee, Partnerships Account Manager


Amanda is a liaison between TOTCF vendors and partners to build, manage, and maintain long-term relationships with current and prospective partners.

Amanda Rose is a New Orleans native who received her BA in Film and Communications at the University of New Orleans. Spending over 15 years in event management, sales, and production, Amanda successfully developed new strategies and approaches that advanced her quickly through the world of private events, festivals, and weddings before moving into the non-profit sector. Most recently she served as the Director of Programming and Special Events for the Ogden Museum, overseeing the execution of museum-related programming and in-kind sponsorship. Now, Partnerships Account Manager with Tales of the Cocktail Foundation, Amanda plays a vital role with her colleagues as a liaison between TOTCF vendors and partners to build, manage, and maintain long-term relationships with current and prospective partners.

In Amanda’s spare time, she enjoys mentoring New Orleans Youth, advocating for social and racial equity, traveling, and of course, watching the Saints. She has received The President’s Volunteer Service Award, Public Broadcasting System Award, a NAACP Award, and American Film Institute Award for works in video content and advocacy in the New Orleans community.

Ideal Flavor Profile: Champagne Train



Tayra Lagomarsino, Marketing Director


As the Marketing Director, Tayra is responsible for telling the story of the Foundation’s work educating, supporting, and advancing the global Drinks Industry. She leads the Marketing team and manages marketing and communication needs across the organization while fostering programs, initiatives, and products that align with the Foundation’s mission and vision.

Tayra’s background in marketing with a focus on the customer experience in the live entertainment industry brings a new perspective to Tales of the Cocktail Foundation. She has experience in marketing, branding, sales, ticketing, and partnership fulfillment across multiple brands and events worldwide. She is a passionate New Orleanian who volunteers and enjoys the city – its history, culture, and community.

Ideal Flavor Profile: Bubbly, unusual, fun


Callie Carlson, Marketing Manager


Callie supports the Marketing Team by coordinating and collaborating with other TOTCF departments, as well as partners, to keep our array marketing projects and programs moving along successfully.

Born in Pennsylvania, Callie ventured beyond the Mason-Dixon line to attend Tulane University back in 2015. Studying Public Health alongside working at a local New Orleans restaurant led her to an internship with Tales of the Cocktail Foundation in 2019, where her passion for the hospitality community flourished. After a detour into the world of high-volume sales and start-up operations, Callie jumped at the opportunity to return to the Tales Team in 2022 and is honored to play a part in serving such a vibrant, inspiring industry.

Ideal Flavor Profile: Bitter + Boozy + Herbaceous


Aly Velasquez, Marketing Manager


As Marketing Manager, Aly supports the Marketing Team by coordinating and collaborating with other TOTCF departments, to develop marketing campaigns to support foundation initiatives including events, grant giving programs, surveys, application processes, and more.

As a military brat and lifelong world traveler, Aly is passionate about developing tourism and building an inclusive community in the hospitality industry. She graduated from Centenary College of Louisiana in 2017 with a Bachelors of Arts in Communication with a focus in professional writing. Prior to joining Tales of the Cocktail Foundation in 2022, Aly was the Marketing Manager at the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau where she attended the Louisiana Travel Association’s Tourism Leadership Academy and Southeastern Tourism Society’s Marketing College, developed community projects with local attraction and restaurant partners, and oversaw marketing campaigns for the destination. In her free time, Aly can be found rummaging through an estate sale, checking out a local band at a dive bar, and exploring art galleries.

Ideal Flavor Profile: Botanical, citrusy, & bubbly


Challen Carter, Social Media Community Manager


As the Social Media Community Manager, Challen supports the Marketing Team by developing and implementing social media campaigns, overseeing community engagement across all platforms, and keeping up with the day-to-day management of the Foundation’s social media platforms.

Challen is a writer and filmmaker who moved to New Orleans in 2016 to attend Loyola University. Having worked in client-facing roles in various industries, Challen is thrilled to join the Tales team in a position that will allow her to blend her creative experience with her passion for helping people in her community. In her free time, Challen can often be found filming live shows at local music venues, exploring food pop-ups around New Orleans, or interviewing rising artists for For The Punks magazine.

Ideal Flavor Profile: Botanical, light, with just a hint of fruit


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