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 firstname.lastname@example.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 Government and Institutional Banking 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.
Ray Chinn - Head of Consumer and Small Business Marketing at Bank of America
Jeff Conway - Owner, Napa on Providence
Chris Cope - President, Allen Tate Mortgage
Robert Davies, Jr. - Owner, candescence
Mark Edwards - Executive DIrector at Grant Thornton, LLP
Carlos Evans - Chairman, Salem Capital
Debbie Frail - Community Volunteer
David Furr - Senior Partner and Shareholder with Gray, Layton, Kersh, Solomon, Furr & Smith, P.A
Stephen Hannon - DDS, MS at Hannon Orthodontics
Blake Hartwick - Executive Chef at Bonterra
Brian Poplin - CEO, Elior
Stephen Rose - Global Growth Officer, PWC
Leslie Schlernitzauer - Co-Owner of Porcupine Provisions
Josie Shuford - Community Philanthropist
Pam Smith - Vice President of Morrison Smith Fine & Custom Jewelers
Palmer Steel - Director at Wells Fargo
Paul Stein - Advisory Partner, Ernst & Young
Alison Summerville - Head of Business Administration, Ally Financial
Jimmy Whang - Co-Head of Credit and Municipal Fixed Income, US Bank
P. Thornton Withers - Partner, 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.
FOSTER WHITNEY O'BRIEN is the Marketing and Communications Manager of Charlotte Wine & Food Weekend. Foster is responsible for all proprietary brand assets, digital and print marketing materials for CWFW, outreach and communications with charitable partners, board member relations and social/event marketing.
Foster is a native Charlottean whose multifaceted background includes event marketing, branding and activation, graphic design and paid media. Before CWFW, Foster spent nearly three years in paid marketing at LendingTree, two years with Red Moon Marketing and most recently her own consulting venture, O'Brien Creative since 2016.
Foster is a proud holder of a single-digit USGA handicap, loves animals, traveling the world and her NC State University Wolfpack. When she's not around the office, Foster spends most of her time in the kitchen developing new recipes or on the golf course with her husband Simon.