​Tales of the Cocktail Foundation Announces Education Committees for 2019

Posted on: Jan. 22, 2019 | | By: Gia Vecchio

The Foundation Debuts its Business, Culture, and Beyond the Bar Advisory Committees

NEW ORLEANS, LA, January 22, 2019 – Tales of the Cocktail Foundation (TOTCF) is thrilled to introduce its newly formed 2019 Education Committees, sub-divided into three streams of education: Business, Culture and Beyond the Bar. These committees will work to collectively curate seminars which address the interests, needs and goals of bartenders through these three lenses. Last year, TOTCF introduced its first-ever Grants Advisory Committee, which will remain intact for the 2019 year and work independently of these new entities. Descriptions of each of the Education Committees are as follows:

Beyond the Bar

Created in 2018, Beyond the Bar facilitates dialogue and inspires thinking around pressing topics facing the hospitality and spirits industry, from social justice, to lifestyle, health, addiction, and sustainability.

The Foundation committed this year to a dedicated stream of seminars for these topics that strives to promote efforts to Educate, Advance, and Support the community on these concerns. The Beyond the Bar Advisory Committee, led Committee Chair, Lynn House, is responsible for the review of all non-liquor and non-spirits business or culture-related seminars.

“We feel it is necessary to advocate and continuously support the complex issues that are integrated within our industry,” said Executive Director of Tales of the Cocktail Foundation, Caroline Rosen. “Carrying this support over to the platform of Tales of the Cocktail, it is vital for the Foundation to make sure that Tales’ seminars address and open the dialogue about difficult and long neglected topics in the industry.”

This year’s Beyond the Bar Advisory Committee is comprised of the following eight members:

    • Maggie Campbell, President and Head Distiller at Privateer Rum, Ipswich, MA
    • Walton Goldring, Goldring Family Foundation and Facing Addiction with NCADD Board, New Orleans, LA
    • Laura L. Green, M.Ed., Midwest Regional Spirits Specialist for The Winebow Group, Chicago, IL
    • Lynn House, National Brand Educator, Heaven Hill Brands, Chicago, IL (*Committee chair)
    • Robin Nance, Portfolio Trade Engagement & Trade Media Manager at Beam Suntory, Chicago, IL
    • Stephanie Simbo, Founder and Executive Director at Beyond Bars Akademia, Cape Town, SA
    • Jackie Summers, Founder, Jack From Brooklyn, Brooklyn NY (*Committee chair)
    • Claire Warner, Managing Director, Æcorn Apéritifs, London


Thoughtfully exploring the culture and the lifestyle of the bartending community has always been at the core of Tales of the Cocktail’s programming. While this is not a new focus, the Culture Advisory Committee will seek to enhance these offerings to meet and exceed the evolving needs of the industry. The committee, led by Committee Co-chairs, Misty Kalkofen and Noah Rothbaum, is responsible for the review of all liquor and spirits culture-related seminars and programming, including historical relevance and in-depth tastings. Similar to the other committees, the Culture Advisory Committee will be responsible for the curation of seminars in this tract ensuring a rich variety of interesting and relevant topics are addressed.

“We are so grateful to have this diverse group of professionals bring their expertise to the table for the benefit of The Foundation,” said Neal Bodenheimer, Co-Chair of Tales of the Cocktail Foundation’s Board of Directors. “It is crucial to us that our programming is designed by and serving the industry to the best of its ability.”

The eight inaugural members of the Culture Advisory Committee include:

    • Wayne Curtis, Freelance Spirits Journalist, New Orleans, LA
    • Alex Day, Chief of Operations for the Gin & Luck Company (Death & Co and Proprietors LLC), New York, NY, Los Angeles, CA, and Denver, CO
    • Misty Kalkofen, Madrina for Del Maguey Single Village Mezcal, Boston, MA, and Oaxaca (*Committee chair)
    • Lauren Mote, Diageo Reserve & World Class Global Cocktailian, Co-Proprietor Bittered Sling, Vancouver, BC
    • Benjamin Padrón Novoa, Co-Founder of Licoreria Limantour, Mexico City
    • Nicola Riske, European Brand Ambassador – The Macallan, Madrid, Spain
    • Noah Rothbaum, The Daily Beast’s Half Full Editor and co-host of podcast Life Behind Bars, New York, NY (*Committee chair)
    • Rebecca Sturt, Head of Business Development, Middle East, Asia and Africa for Chase Distillery and owner of Pineapple Consultancy, Dubai


An excellent bar only works if the business is built on an equally impressive foundation. The Foundation recognizes the advantage of pooling together global business insights from the best and brightest in the industry and leveraging this tremendous resource to uplift and improve the entire community. The Business Advisory Committee, overseen by Committee Co-Chairs, Ann Marshall and Iain McPherson, is responsible for the review of all liquor and spirits business-related seminars and programming, including Bar Indepth and #SEDTalks.

“From its inception, The Foundation has put a strong emphasis on prioritizing the needs of the trade and serving as a space for individuals to convene and benefit from each others expertise,” said Gary Solomon Jr., Co-Chair of Tales of the Cocktail Foundation’s Board of Directors. “A globally informed Business Advisory Committee will make us better equipped to fulfill on that promise for our community.”

The eight members the Business Advisory Committee is comprised of includes:

    • Laura Cullen, Vice President On Premise Coastal Pacific Wine & Spirits, Miami Beach, FL
    • Sean Finter, founder and CEO of Barmetrix, Annapolis, MD
    • John Gakuru, Director of Sales & Marketing at Sweet&Chilli, Los Angeles, CA
    • Ann Marshall, Co-Founder at High Wire Distilling Company, Charleston, SC (*Committee chair)
    • ms. franky marshall, Modern Bartender ~ Educator, New York, NY
    • Iain McPherson, Bar owner & Consultant, Edinburgh, Scotland and Los Angeles, CA (*Committee chair)
    • Micaela Piccolo, JERRY Editor, Shanghai, China
    • Tess Posthumus, bar owner & bartender at Flying Dutchmen Cocktails, the Netherlands, Amsterdam

“I am delighted to be able to present our new Education Committees to the world. Every member of each of the three committees – Business, Culture and Beyond the Bar – represents a wealth of experience, expertise and diversity of opinion that will ensure Tales of the Cocktail seminars continue to be the benchmark for our community. These Committee members volunteer their time selflessly so that working bartenders can rest assured every Tales seminar ticket they buy will educate, support and advance them, in their career, and in life. Working with these Committees is the greatest privilege of being Director of Education, and we all look forward to seeing you – in Puerto Rico in March, and in New Orleans in July,” said Philip Duff, Director of Education for Tales of the Cocktail Foundation. Duff, who has been overseeing education for Tales of the Cocktail for 6 years, will lead all of the Education Committees for The Foundation.

For more information on Tales of the Cocktail, please visit www.talesofthecocktailfoundation.org.


About Tales of the Cocktail Foundation

Tales of the Cocktail Foundation is an non-profit organization that educates, advances and supports the global hospitality industry and creates lasting impact in our host communities. Tales of the Cocktail Foundation is the global leader in spirits education and a platform to tackle issues facing the industry. The pillars of the Foundation are to Educate, Advance and Support the hospitality industry through programs that benefit individuals and organizations in the community and to make lasting impact in communities that host our events. For more information on Tales of the Cocktail, please visit www.tocstaging.wpengine.com.

About Tales of the Cocktail

Founded in 2002, Tales of the Cocktail has grown from a small gathering of cocktail lovers into the world’s premier cocktail festival. Each year the international spirits industry is welcomed to New Orleans for a week of seminars, tastings, networking events and much more. With 300+ annual events developed specifically for bartenders, distillers and other spirits professionals, Tales of the Cocktail is the industry’s annual meeting place for the exchange of new ideas, products and techniques.

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