Who We Are

IPNC Staff

AMY WESSELMAN

Executive Director

After learning to make wine as an apprentice to some of the most skilled winemakers in Oregon and in Burgundy, Amy Wesselman co-founded Westrey Wine Company in 1993 with her partner, David Autrey. In 1997, she joined the IPNC Board of Directors and in 2009 became the Executive Director. Amy has previously served as Winery Chair of the board of directors of ¡Salud!, Oregon’s premier wine auction, which raises funds to provide healthcare for otherwise uninsurable seasonal vineyard workers. She also currently serves as a board member on the Willamette Valley Wineries Association. She takes pride in both the IPNC’s and Westrey’s emphasis of the enjoyment of good wine, good food, and good company without pretense. With help from her 13 year-old identical twin sons, Amy juggles her busy schedule at Westrey and the IPNC with her love of cooking, backpacking, and growing Pinot noir at Oracle Vineyard, Westrey’s estate property in the Dundee Hills.

Anne Nisbet IPNC
ANNE NISBET

Culinary Director

Anne has spent much of her life in the kitchen. While she’s never cooked professionally, her work and personal life have centered around wine and food. Her role at IPNC is to recruit and manage the 50+ guest chefs who join IPNC each year. She oversees all operational details surrounding food service for the three-day event. Formerly director of catering at Seattle’s iconic seafood restaurant, Ray’s Boathouse, she has produced a number of the Northwest’s most prominent wine and food events including Taste Washington, the Auction of Washington Wines, and Seattle Wine and Food Experience. Since relocating to McMinnville from Seattle in 2013, Anne also has worked with the Willamettte Valley Wineries Association, Oregon Truffle Festival, Bounty of Yamhill County, and the Oregon Chardonnay Celebration

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JOHN HERNANDEZ

Assistant Director

John grew up coordinating and volunteering for events every summer. Event coordination is in his blood! He has volunteered at Oregon Country Fair and other festivals for a number of years, as well as facilitating security coordination for the Pickathon Music Festival. John graduated from Portland State University with a major in International & Global Studies and a minor in French. As a result of these focuses, John has a penchant for travel, foreign languages, and cross-cultural engagement. In addition to a growing knowledge of wine and an existing passion for event coordination, John is also adept at intercultural mediation. As such, he strives to create spaces that are inclusive and welcoming to all people, regardless of their backgrounds or knowledge-levels.

IPNC Board of Directors

Matt Berson
Love & Squalor Wines (Portland, OR)

Matt Berson, the owner and winemaker of Love & Squalor, began his adventure in winemaking in 2003 when he was rescued from his illustrious restaurant career by a band of marauding Oregon winemakers. He was first taught the rudiments and joys of winemaking by Patty Green of Patricia Green Cellars. Then, he scurried in the cellars of Jimi Brooks (Brooks), Jay Somers (J. Christopher), Larry McKenna (Escarpment, NZ), and Erni Loosen (Dr. Loosen). The Love & Squalor label was launched in 2006 while he was the assistant winemaker for Ransom Wines. It focuses on Pinot noirs and Rieslings sourced from the vineyards of the Northern Willamette Valley. The wines are unmanipulated and honest. Berson lives in Portland in an old house filled with curly girls, including his wife and partner in crime Angie Reat, with whom he operates the Portland Wine Company urban winery and tasting room.

Clare Carver
Big Table Farm (Gaston, OR)

In addition to partnering with husband Brian Marcy to market their wine and manage their 70 acres, Clare is also a painter and wine label designer. Her fine art speaks for itself and her labels have received multiple awards, including America’s top ten wine labels (S.F.  Chronicle). Clare’s first passion is her painting, but she finds great joy in working with her team of draft horses.

Michael Davies
REX HILL, Matzinger Davies (Newberg, OR)

A small town New Zealander, Michael completed a Bachelor of Arts in Economics, Scandinavian Studies and Political Science at the University of Auckland and tested the unusual employment possibilities that afforded, before returning to Lincoln University for a post-graduate diploma in Viticulture & Enology. Prior to joining A to Z, he served for 6 years at Chehalem as the Vineyard Manager and Assistant Winemaker. He has also worked in Burgundy, California, the Hunter Valley of Australia and numerous regions of New Zealand.

Michael and his winemaker wife, Anna Matzinger, together make the Matzinger Davies wines

Gina Hennen
Winemaker at Adelsheim Vineyard (Newberg, OR)

Gina holds a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Reed College and an AAS in Winemaking from Chemeketa. Before transitioning to a career in winemaking, she worked as a semiconductor engineer for seven years in both Oregon and Dublin, Ireland. Desiring a career that no longer involved cubicles, she returned to Oregon in early 2006 to establish roots in the wine industry.

Greg Jones
Director of the Evenstad Center for Wine Education – Linfield College

Gregory V. Jones is the Director of the Evenstad Center for Wine Education, holds the Evenstad Chair in Wine Studies, and is a professor and research climatologist in the Department of Environmental Studies at Linfield College. He specializes in the study of climate structure and suitability for viticulture, and how climate variability and change influence grapevine growth, wine production and quality. He holds a BA and Ph.D. from the University of Virginia in Environmental Sciences with a concentration in the Atmospheric Sciences. His teaching and research interests include meteorology, climatology, hydrology, and agriculture; phenology of plant systems; biosphere and atmosphere interactions; climate change; and quantitative methods in spatial and temporal analysis. He conducts applied research for the grape and wine industry in Oregon and has given hundreds of international, national, and regional presentations on climate and wine-related research. He is the author of numerous book chapters, including being a contributing author to the 2008 Nobel Peace Prize winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report, and other reports and articles on wine economics, grapevine phenology, site assessment methods for viticulture, climatological assessments of viticultural potential, and climate change.

Michelle Kaufmann
Communications Director at Stoller Family Estate (Dayton, OR)

Michelle Kaufmann, a Portland, Oregon native, earned her degree in journalism from the University of Oregon, focusing on public relations and communications. Prior to joining Stoller Family Estate, she served as communications manager for the Oregon Wine Board for six years. Michelle currently serves on the Board of Director for the International Pinot Noir Celebration and marketing committee for the Willamette Valley Wineries Association. In her role, Michelle oversees all media relations and communications efforts for the Stoller Family Estate, Chehalem, and History wine brands.

Linda Levy
Automotive Events (McMinnville, OR)

Love of cooking all began on the kibbutz, preparing meals for eighty five families.  Years later catering came her way and with it came IPNC.  Professionally, Linda worked as a physical therapist assistant but the world of events and food was always a stronger call.  In 2002 she was introduced to a company which managed events for the automotive industry, starting out as their food and beverage manager and in 2004 producing events all over the world.

Kitri McGuire
Director of Marketing, Visit McMinnville

As a Linfield alumna and native Oregonian, Kitri has found her calling supporting and promoting all that Oregon’s wine country has to offer.  Prior to serving in her current role at Visit McMinnville, Kitri gained local hospitality and marketing expertise in roles at Sokol Blosser Winery and Bishop Creek Cellars.  Most recently, she worked in PR and international marketing roles at Leatherman Tool Group, a renowned Oregon manufacturer and outdoor brand with worldwide reach.  Kitri enjoys giving back; she founded and curated TEDxMcMinnville, and in addition to serving on the IPNC Board of Directors she also serves on the Advisory Board for the Assemblage Symposium and the McMinnville Parks & Recreation Committee.

Clifford Robben
CFO Loosen Bros. USA

After spending nearly nine years working at a public accounting firm that specializes in the wine industry, Clifford decided to jump to the private side and went to work for one of his clients, wine importer Loosen Bros USA. As CFO for Loosen Bros. USA, he also gets to assist with the financial side of their local winery partnership, J. Christopher. Clifford has been volunteering with IPNC since 2011, and is part of the underground band of rock stars – also know as The Wine Room – that make sure the wines of IPNC have arrived and make it to each event. When not at the office or IPNC, Clifford is with his wife and daughters, either at the Oregon Coast or exploring wine country.

Thomas Savre
Winemaker at Lingua Franca Wines (Salem, OR)

A native of France, Thomas Savre is among the most accomplished and energetic young winemakers in Oregon.  He joined Lingua Franca in May 2015 from his prior position at Evening Land, where he worked closely with Dominique Lafon to create Pinot noir and Chardonnay from Seven Springs Vineyard, directly adjacent to the LS Vineyard. Thomas worked in several prestigious estates in Burgundy including Domaine de la Romanée Conti (Vosne-Romanée), Domaine de Bellene (Nicolas Potel’s project in Beaune), Domaine Dujac (Morey-Saint-Denis), Maison Nicolas Potel (Nuits-Saint-Georges), and Domaine Chevrot (Cheilly-les-Maranges, Côte de Beaune). At the Jules Guyot Institute, University of Burgundy, from 2008 through 2012, he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Wine Science, and two Masters degrees, one in Viticulture Practices and the other in Enology and Winemaking. As the winemaker at Lingua Franca, Thomas crafts elegant wines that speak to the place from which they come and which have earned early, yet significant, accolades.

Hallie Whyte
Managing Director at Soter Vineyards (Carlton, OR)

A native of Oregon’s Willamette Valley, Hallie earned her stripes locally in the trenches of fine dining and wine sales. Following stints at Lange Estate Winery and Dominio IV, she was an early addition to Soter Vineyards’ hospitality team in 2011, playing an integral role in the development of a then-infant wine club and consumer sales program. Hallie has grown both personally and professionally, broadening her experience in the DTC and national sales channels to now overseeing all aspects of the company at Soter Vineyards. Fluent in Spanish and mathematics, her expansive resumé and analytical expertise make her a trusted contributor to important conversations facing the Oregon wine industry.