2019-2020 Charlotte Wine & Food Weekend Board

Charlotte Wine & Food Weekend is supported by an incredible group of Charlotte-area professionals, influencers and innovators that each leave an indelible mark on our organization. If you are interested in joining the CWFW board, please complete this form and submit to info@charlottewineandfood.org.

Alison Summerville - BOARD CHAIRMAN


Ali Summerville is the Charlotte Wine & Food Weekend board chairman for the 2019-2020 season of fundraising. Mrs. Summerville is the Business Administration Executive with Ally Financial.

Summerville holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In addition to her role with Charlotte Wine and Food Weekend, her community involvement includes service on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee for Habitat for Humanity Charlotte, supporting economic mobility through affordable and sustainable home ownership. Additionally, she holds positions on the Board of Directors for the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance, which pursues business growth in the Charlotte region, and the Board of Advisors for Sharon Towers, a continuing care retirement community. Summerville was named to the Mecklenburg Times’ 2019
list of 50 Most Influential Women.

Board Members

Tom Bohrer – Senior Credit Officer, Regions Bank/Regions Securities LLC
Ray Chinn - Senior Vice President, Bank of America
Don Cleven – General Partner, Wedge Capital Management
Jeff Conway - Owner, Napa on Providence and Ruth’s Chris Charlotte
Chris Cope - President, Allen Tate Mortgage
Perrin Dargan – Retired Attorney
Carlos Evans - Chairman, Salem Capital LLC
Debbie Frail - Community Philanthropist
David Furr - Senior Partner and Shareholder, Gray, Layton, Kersh, Solomon, Furr & Smith, P.A
Stephen Hannon - DDS, MS, Hannon Orthodontics
Blake Hartwick - Executive Chef, Bonterra
Mark Maier - Retired/Former Business Owner
Daniel Ness - Plastic Surgeon, Piedmont Plastic Surgery and Dermatology
John Reid - Charlotte Area President, SunTrust Bank
Stephen Rose - Global Growth Officer, PWC
Leslie Schlernitzauer - Co-Owner, Porcupine Provisions
David Secrest – Managing Director, Barings
Pam Smith - Vice President, Morrison Smith Fine & Custom Jewelers
Phil Smith - Executive Vice President and Head of Specialized Industries at Wells Fargo
Palmer Steel - Director - Structured Solutions, Wells Fargo Securities
Paul Stein - Advisory Partner, EY
Jill Trainor - Managing Director, Foreign Exchange Sales, Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Jimmy Whang - Co-Head of Credit Fixed Income and Municipal Products Group, US Bank
P. Thornton Withers - Senior Vice President, Lockton Signature Client Group






LAUREN DEESE is the Executive Director of Charlotte Wine & Food Weekend (CWFW). Deese manages the operations, marketing, and execution of the events and charity.

Deese spent close to 10 years in NYC where she started her career at Bon Appetit magazine working in both advertiser merchandising and events. After which, she went on to produce events for many of the nation's leading culinary festivals including The Food Network NYC Food & Wine Festival, Foxwoods Food & Wine Festival, Las Vegas Uncorked, Atlanta Food & Wine Festival, and Wine Riot, to name a few. She also spent 5+ years with experiential marketing firm, GMR Marketing, where she created incentive and meeting experiences for Cintas Corporation and Husqvarna, and most notably, led operations for the first-ever NFL Women's Summit at Super Bowl 50 in San Francisco.

Deese, a Charlotte native, is thrilled to continue to build upon the CWFW legacy, using her expertise and passion for wine and food to positively support the Charlotte community.


MICHELLE HARDEN is the Events Marketing & Communications Manager at Charlotte Wine & Food Weekend and is responsible for overall marketing and communications, ticketing management, and event operations.

Harden has been a Charlotte resident for the past 4 years, working with GMR Marketing. She has worked with high profile clients such as P&G and Visa at on-site events during the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games and the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Harden has broadened her culinary horizons throughout her travels to China, South Korea, Romania, and Russia. She looks forward to incorporating these world renowned flavors and experiences at future events with Charlotte Wine & Food Weekend.