Founder, The Fizz is Female
Blaine Ashley is the Founder of New York Champagne Week, which first debuted in November 2013. The week’s ethos is and has always been to promote the champagne category through a variety of creative events, pairing experiences, brand launches, new release reveals, interactive seminars and more. This effervescent week of events initially served as a vehicle to connect the champagne region and brands to prospective buyers and press. In the past two years, New York Champagne Week has broadened its audience to appeal to the champagne consumer. In October 2018, Ashley launched a fresh, new platform – ‘The FIZZ is Female’ which shines a spotlight on leading ladies in the bubbly wine biz and celebrates sparkling wine made, owned and/or led by female powerhouses from around the world. In 2016, Ashley’s focus on all things bubbly awarded her a nod in Wine Enthusiast magazine as a 40 under 40 Tastemaker where she was aptly dubbed ‘The Champagne Queen’. Ashley hails from Honolulu, HI and made the segue from fashion to the wine business ten years ago, first as a drinks scene and travel editor for both Modern Luxury and Haute Living magazines. Upon moving to New York City in 2010, Ashley created her own monthly column opportunities published in Tasting Panel and Destinations Travel called ‘Sipped ‘n Scene’ and ‘Jet Set Sip’ respectively.
Michelle De Feo
President, Laurent Perrier
Michelle has over two decades of experience in the wine industry, and has spent over 13 years with the Champagne Laurent-Perrier! In her current role as President of Laurent-Perrier US, Michelle is responsible for growing the presence and awareness of the House’s champagnes throughout the country. A native of New Jersey, Michelle is a lifelong Francophile who first experienced fine wine while studying in the Loire Valley. After a short stint in international banking, Michelle decided to follow her passion and launched her career in the wine industry. Prior to stepping into her current role at Laurent-Perrier, Michelle was Vice President of Champagne, Wine and Vodka at Rémy Cointreau USA. A graduate of Rutgers University, Michelle also holds an M.B.A. from Columbia University. Michelle has been quoted in numerous industry and national publications on the subject of wine and champagne. She holds the WSET Level 3 credential and is a Certified Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers.
Buyer, Urban Uncorked
After graduating with a BA in Political Science from Penn State University, Ellis was a lobbyist for nation-wide and state-specific affordable housing programs. Desiring to become more involved in the finance side of the programs, Ellis earned an MBA from Northeastern University and had a 17-year career in fixed income bonds/securitization programs for several foreign banks and one rating agency. It was a 10-week, in-depth wine class where Ellis became passionate to learn more about wine. Ellis departed the finance industry at the end of 2015 to pursue a career in wine and within two-years became a Certified Sommelier through the Court of Master Sommeliers and wine educator. Following positions as a Sommelier in an upstate NY restaurant, direct sales of a portfolio from an importer and a few part-time education gigs, three-years ago Ellis took the position as General Manager and Buyer at a downtown Brooklyn wine retail store, Urban Uncorked, along with becoming a Recommendations Specialist for Wine.Com . Ellis' enthusiasm for curating shelves filled with quaffable, affordable wines allows her to share her excitement with people from all over the country.
Vice President, J.P. Morgan Asset Management
With more than 17 years of industry experience, Amanda has spent the last 3 years at J.P. Morgan and previous fourteen years at Fidelity Investments, primarily as Regional Director. Amanda specializes in relationship management, client engagement and the intermediary and institutional sale of Mutual Funds, ETFs, SMAs, and other retirement vehicles. She partners with Financial Advisors in Eastern Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland.