2017-2019 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.


Phil Smith, Chairman

Phil Smith is the Charlotte Wine & Food Weekend board chairman for the 2017-2019 season of fundraising. Mr. Smith is an executive vice president and group head of Specialized Industries at Wells Fargo.

In addition to his role at Charlotte Wine & Food Weekend, Mr. Smith also serves on the University of Alabama Culverhouse College of Commerce Board of Visitors, a member of the board of directors for the Spoleto Festival U.S.A., a co-chair on the Boy Scouts Sporting Clay committee and an active member in American Corporate Partners (ACP), a program that connect U.S. veterans to business leaders through mentorships and career advice.

Board Members

Tom Bohrer – Senior Credit Officer, Regions Bank/Regions Securities LLC
Ray Chinn - Head of Consumer and Small Business Marketing, 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 – Of Counsel Attorney, K&L Gates
Robert Davies, Jr. - Owner, candescence
Mark Edwards - Executive Director, Grant Thornton, LLP
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
Brian Poplin - CEO, Elior North America
John Reid - Charlotte Area President, SunTrust Bank
Stephen Rose - Global Growth Officer, PWC
David Secrest – Managing Director, Barings
Leslie Schlernitzauer - Co-Owner, Porcupine Provisions
Pam Smith - Vice President, Morrison Smith Fine & Custom Jewelers
Palmer Steel - Director - Structured Solutions, Wells Fargo Securities
Paul Stein - Advisory Partner, EY
Alison Summerville - Head of Business Administration, Ally Financial
Jill Trainor - 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.