Thank you to all our 2017 presenters.

  • Vesta picture placeholder

    Dr. Bill Alter

    Viticulture and Enology Science and Technology Alliance (VESTA) Special Projects Coordinator

    Dr. Bill Alter will address workforce needs of the grape and wine industry through VESTA’s Registered Apprenticeship (RA) Program. VESTA’s RA Program exists to enable employers to assist their existing and new employees in becoming valuable contributors to a company’s growth through on-the-job training and related technical instruction in a cost-effective, time-efficient manner.

    After a career in the Air Force, a position with the University of Texas at San Antonio, a Space Grant Fellowship with NASA, and a brief stint in research and development at a bioremediation company, Alter found himself at Missouri State University (MSU) as the Director of the Sponsored Program Office. In 2003, MSU received a grant from the Advanced Technological Education Program of the National Science Foundation, which led to VESTA, an organization in its 14th year with partnerships with 16 two- and four-year colleges and universities located throughout the United States.

  • NC Department of Agriculture

    Brad Boyd

    Pesticide Inspector, North Carolina Department of Agriculture (NCDA)

    Boyd is a graduate of Penn State, and spent 10 years as a golf course superintendent before bringing his talents to the NCDA in 2014.

  • Teresa Brown

    Teresa Brown

    Account Executive, Wright Global Graphics

    A native of Elkin, Teresa loves coming home to Surry County and working with the wineries that now stand on the tobacco fields she remembers from her childhood.  As a freshman at North Carolina State University, she started in the graphics industry as a typesetter for the student newspaper, The Technician.  Five years ago, after years in the commercial sheet-fed printing industry, Teresa joined Wright Global Graphics, a graphics solutions provider based in Thomasville, NC.  With fresh, creative design concepts, state of the art production, and a worldwide distribution network, Wright has the passion and experience to meet your marketing and branding needs.

  • Marla Carroll

    Marla Carroll

    Winemaker, Franciscan Estate

    A native of California, Marla Carroll grew up in a small town in the mountains separating the Southern California High Desert and the rich agricultural lands of the Central Valley. It was here she grew up exploring the outdoors, hiking, camping, backpacking, and cultivating an appreciation for the outdoors, and laying the foundation for her deep interest in viticulture and the environmental factors that shape the expression of a vineyard.

  • Eglantine Chauffour

    Eglantine Chauffour

    Technical Marketing Supervisor, Enartis

    Eglantine Chauffour is a winemaker at Enartis Vinquiry. Chauffour holds a double Master’s degree in Viticulture and Enology and Agronomic Engineering from Montpellier SupAgro in France. Her international background, with previous work experience in France, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and now the United States, gives Chauffour a uniquely broad view of wine and the processes it takes to make a wine of quality.

  • Cain Hickey

    Cain Hickey

    Assistant Professor - Viticulture, The University of Georgia

    Hickey has worked in viticulture research and extension since 2007, when employed at the Penn State Lake Erie Regional Grape Research and Extension Center in North East, Pennsylvania.

    After graduating from Penn State with a BS in Horticulture Science, Hickey began graduate studies at Virginia Tech where he received a Ph.D. in 2016. During his time at Virginia Tech, Hickey focused on applied research in several viticulture areas including irrigation management, cover crop and rootstock use, and canopy and fruit-zone management; he is now working to solve regional vineyard management issues in Georgia through his position at UGA.

  • Mark Hoffman

    Mark Hoffman

    Small Fruits Extension Specialist/Assistant Professor, NC State University

    Hoffmann graduated magna cum laude from Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany with a Ph.D. in Soil Ecology and Entomology, and conducted postdoctoral research with the University of Florida and UC – Davis before joining N.C. State’s Horticulture Science department in July of this year.

  • Michael Jones

    Michael Jones

    Fermentation Specialist, Scott Laboratories

    Michael came on board with Scott Laboratories in 2007 with over 35 years of winemaking experience under his belt. Since then he shared his wealth of knowledge with North America by traveling extensively to trade shows and seminars throughout the country, many times as a speaker.

    A UC Davis graduate, Michael has lived and worked in Burgundy, France and the Hunter Valley, Australia. Domestically, Michael built his experience at Novavine, Hanzell Vineyards and Caymus Vineyards. He also spent 19 years at Domaine Chandon where he put on a multitude of hats and was involved with the vineyards, operations, winemaking, laboratory and was part of the team that established the Wine Education program.

    Prior to his start in the wine industry, Michael spent a year traveling cross-country by freight train, stopping to work on a shrimp boat in the Gulf of Mexico, pitch hay in San Antonio and sell art in New Orleans.

  • Jen Li Profile Picture

    Jie Li

    Research Associate, Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell University

    Dr. Jie Li is a research associate in the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell University. She serves as the summer program director of Cornell Institute for China Economic Research. Dr. Li received her Master and Ph.D from Cornell University. She was named the inaugural winner of the Bob Kalik scholarship from the Wine Market Council in recognition of her research on wine marketing. Her research focuses on 1) the dynamics of the wine industry in non-traditional wine regions, 2) issues in wine marketing and consumer behaviors.

  • NC Department of Agriculture

    Travis Snodgrass

    Pesticide Inspector, North Carolina Department of Agriculture (NCDA)

    Snodgrass holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Horticulture from Virginia Tech. He has been with the NCDA for 10 years, and cultivated a wealth of agricultural knowledge before joining the NCDA as a greenhouse and nursery grower.