Below are the confirmed speakers for our 2019 Wine Media Conference to be held in the Hunter Valley, NSW, Australia. Check back frequently for updates!
James Halliday – Opening Speaker
Halliday Wine Companion
Respected wine critic and vigneron James Halliday AM has a career that spans almost 50 years, but he is most widely known for his witty and informative writing about wine.
As one of the founders of Brokenwood in the Hunter Valley and thereafter of Coldstream Hills in the Yarra Valley, James is an unmatched authority on every aspect of the wine industry, from the planting and pruning of vines through to the creation and marketing of the finished product. His winemaking has led him to sojourns in Bordeaux and Burgundy, and his wine judging to New Zealand, the UK, South Africa and sometimes the US. For more than 30 years, James was among the most senior and active wine judges in Australia, and he continues to support several of the country’s most recognised shows.
James has written or contributed to nearly 80 books on wine since he began writing in 1970. His books have been translated into Japanese, French, German, Danish, Icelandic and Polish, and have been published in the United Kingdom and the United States, as well as in Australia. In addition to the annual companion, James is the author of Varietal Wines, James Halliday’s Wine Atlas of Australia, The Australian Wine Encyclopedia and A Life in Wine. As well as his long-form writing, James has held a weekly wine column in major Australian newspapers since 1978, continuing today, and contributed to every issue of Halliday magazine.
Bruce Schoenfeld – Opening Keynote
Contributing Writer, World of Fine Wine
For over 30 years, Bruce Schoenfeld’s frank and informative journalism has appeared in many of the most respected publications that cover wine. For years a contributing editor at Wine Spectator, he spent a decade as the wine editor of Travel + Leisure. He has written for Gourmet, Saveur, Food & Wine and Wine & Spirits, as well as WIRED and National Geographic Traveler, and he contributes several long pieces annually to The World of Fine Wine. He has published two books and won two Emmy Awards, and he also regularly writes about sports for ESPN, The New York Times Magazine, and other publications. At home in the Rocky Mountain foothills, he plays basketball, drinks Barolo, and spends as much time as possible with his wife and two sons.
Max Allen – Closing Keynote
Wine and Drinks Writer
Max Allen has been writing about wine and drinks for more than 25 years. He is a columnist for the Australian Financial Review, Gourmet Traveller Magazine, Gourmet Traveller WINE and jancisrobinson.com. In 2011 Max’s book The Future Makers: Australian Wines for the 21st Century was named Best International Wine Book at the Louis Roederer Wine Writers Awards in London. In 2013 Max was awarded a State Library of Victoria Creative Fellowship; in 2016, he was inducted as a Legend of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival for his contribution to gastronomic culture; in 2018, he was named Wine Communicator of the Year. He is currently working on his next book, a cultural history of drinking in Australia.
Damien Ferreira-Gomes, Senior Industry Manager
Travel at Google
Damien is a data-oriented and highly effective Digital Sales Marketing Leader with more than 10 years of expertise in meeting sales targets through the definition and execution of customer centric plans and strategies. He is currently managing the top 4/5 Travel Advertisers in AU/NZ and works collaboratively with a team to drive growth with new and existing customers. He builds and fosters long-term relationships with regional client decision makers, as well as their agency counterparts, to be able to build and carry out long-term digital strategies and optimize their advertising growth.
Damien helps to generate business plans to define business strategies and tactics, and support clients with the creation of global/regional large scale advertising programs, (e.g. global sponsorship campaigns, cross-market product launch or brand campaigns) and develops scalable and leading-edge solutions for clients in order to optimize their advertising investments and maximize use of Google products (e.g. Search, Video, Display, Mobile, etc.) across all platforms.
Trish Barry, Chief Strategist
Trish Barry is a passionate communicator, who is wholly engrossed in the world of marketing and all that comes with it. She holds 15 years of marketing strategy and business experience under her belt, working with and for high-profile companies such as Macquarie Bank, The White Agency, Anderson Consulting, Southcorp Wines and Foster’s Australia.
In 2008, after the birth of her first child, Mastermind Consulting was born and Trish has employed her love of strategy to help transform many smaller businesses and connect brands directly with consumers, often via social media and digital mediums.
Trish is an active member of Wine Communicators of Australia having been on the committee for many years and is an Associate Member of the Australian Marketing Institute (AMI). She thoroughly enjoyed being selected as one of 15 participants in the 2012 WFA Future Leaders Course and currently is the Alumni Co-ordinator for the group. Trish was a finalist in 2017 and 2018 in Wine Communicators of Australia, Digital Marketer of the year.
Polly Hammond, Founder and Managing Director
Pairing a love of behavioural economics with wine marketing and digital innovation, Polly spend her days helping wineries grow beyond the confines of traditional sales channels. Together with a team of designers, developers, content writers, and social media whiz kids, 5Forests empowers wine businesses to understand their digital data and make best use of the web, social media, and rapidly evolving trends to turn fans into brand advocates.
Devin Parr, Owner
Devin Parr & Associates
Devin Parr has over 15 years of experience in PR and marketing, specializing in wine. She is the Founder and Managing Partner of Devin Parr & Associates, LLC, a PR, marketing and content agency in the beverage, travel and tourism space. She holds a WSET Level 3 certification and is a WSET Diploma candidate, and has been named one of Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s Top 40 Under 40 Tastemakers.
In addition to representing up-and-coming brands and emerging wine regions like Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country, Devin has run several wine stores in New York City, focusing on small-production, personality-driven wines. A move to Los Angeles landed her at Bottlenotes, where she oversaw national food and wine programs like the multi-city restaurant week for wine, “Taste Around Town,” and popular wine tasting event series “Around the World in 80 Sips,” and contributed editorial content to “The Daily Sip” e-newsletter, earning her stripes alongside tech and wine veterans Alyssa Rapp and Karen MacNeil. She co-founded Champagne and Hotdogs, a wine events and consulting business, and writes a blog called “Tasty Juice, Please,” which hilariously documents her misadventures in wine and parenting. She also regularly contributes to wine and lifestyle publications, including WineCountry.com, NapaValley.com, Sonoma.com, The Plum, Wine Industry Advisor and others.
Scott Seward, Co-founder
Right Hook Digital
Scott Seward is the Co-Founder of Right Hook Digital, an eCommerce Growth Agency that focuses on driving high-ROI revenue and growth through paid advertising, conversion optimisation and maximising customer life-time value.
With nearly 10 years experience in the Digital Marketing and eCommerce Industry, Scott has worked client side, run his own brand and now has helps accelerate client growth through his fast-growing agency, Right Hook Digital, which was named in Anthill’s 2018 Top 100 Coolest Companies Awards. He’s a specialist in paid acquisition strategies and on the cutting edge of what is working today across the industry.
Kelly Wagner, Marketing Consultant
During her career Kelly has gained experience in a senior leadership capacity across the private and public sector in coaching and mentoring, business development, sales and marketing, customer service, consumer protection and advocacy, legal and regulatory compliance, project management, operational & strategic planning, budgeting & reporting, and stakeholder management.
Kelly is also experienced and knowledgeable in the now increasingly important social media aspect of marketing and brand management and has mastered creating, building and managing multiple social media platforms within a single campaign and strategy.