Faculty of the Hybrid Executive MBA in Wine Business



Armand Gilinsky

Armand Gilinsky, Ph.D.
F.J. Korbel Professor of Wine Business
Sonoma State University

Dr. Armand Gilinsky will be teaching the first and fifth sessions in the Hybrid Executive MBA in Wine Business program during the online case-based learning component and ten-day leadership intensive in Sonoma and Napa, California.

Dr. Armand Gilinsky, Jr., has extensive consulting experience in strategic planning, competitive strategy, and venture planning. He has taught strategy and entrepreneurship in the School of Business and Economics at Sonoma State University since 1994. He previously held teaching appointments at the Harvard Business School, CSU East Bay, and Northeastern University. He has lectured on wine business strategy and entrepreneurship to doctoral students and faculty at the Italian Universities of Florence, Siena, and Macerata.

In past years, he has served as the director of Sonoma State University's Entrepreneurship Center and Small Business Institute, and the Wine Business Institute's Wine Business programs. He also worked as a member of an international team of experts to create a global marketing strategy for the Georgian national wine industry, a project funded by the World Bank.

In 2013, he received the Bernie and Estelle Goldstein Award for Excellence in Scholarship from Sonoma State University. Also in 2013, his proposal, "Creative Arts and Digital Media Entrepreneurship", was selected as one of six inaugural Green Music Center Academic Integration grants. He was named F.J. Korbel & Bros. Professor of Wine Business and became founding editor of the Wine Business Case Research Journal in 2014.

He has authored over 40 business case studies and articles on wine business strategy, entrepreneurial strategy, and socially responsible entrepreneurship, including his latest book, Crafting Sustainable Wine Businesses. 

Dr. Armand Gilinsky received his doctorate in Business Policy and Strategy from Henley School of Business at the University of Reading. He completed his Master of Arts in Education and Bachelor of Arts in English from Stanford University. 

More about Dr. Armand Gilinsky.



Liz Thach

Liz Thach, MW, Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor of Wine 
Sonoma State University

Dr. Liz Thach will be teaching the first session in the Hybrid Executive MBA in Wine Business program leading ten-day leadership intensives in Sonoma and Napa, California and in France.

Dr. Thach's areas of expertise include wine business strategy, human resource management, and leadership development. She started teaching as a full-time professor at Sonoma State University in the Fall of 2000. In addition to teaching, she currently conducts research and consulting with multiple wineries and other wine businesses. Prior to coming to SSU, she worked more than 10 years as a human resources executive and manager in Fortune 100 companies. 

She is an active member of community organizations including positions with the Board of Directors for Women of the Vine, Women for Wine Sense, Petaluma Gap WineGrowers Alliance, PASCO, and many others. She is on the editorial boards for International Journal of Wine Business Research and Wine Economics & Policy. In addition, Professor Thach serves as a professional wine judge at prestigious wine-judging competitions.

She has authored over 120 articles and eight books on wine business careers, marketing and sales, global commerce, and tourism. She recently published Best Practices in Global Wine Business, a collection of 15 global case studies analyzing business methods of successful wine regions; and Successful Social Media & E-commerce Strategies, examining new communication platforms. 

Liz holds a doctorate in Human Resource Development from Texas A&M University, a Master of Arts in Organizational Communication and Management from Texas Tech University, and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont, CA. In May of 2011, she was awarded the title of Master of Wine from the Institute of Masters of Wine in London, making her the first female Master of Wine on the West Coast and the seventh woman in the U.S. to achieve this honor. 

More about Dr. Liz Thach, MW.


Damien Wilson

Damien Wilson, Ph.D.
Hamel Family Faculty Chair of Wine Business
Sonoma State University

Dr. Damien Wilson will be teaching second and third sessions in the Hybrid Executive MBA in Wine Business program during the ten-day leadership intensives in Sonoma and Napa, California, and Australia.

Dr. Damien Wilson is the inaugural Hamel Family Faculty Chair in Wine Business and is responsible for developing effective wine business programs that support the growth of students and professionals locally and globally. He has 20 years of international wine industry experience in Australia, France, and the U.S., including as former Director of Wine Business programs at Burgundy School of Business in Dijon, France. 

Professor Wilson is widely known for expertise in wine technology, production, distribution, sales, and service. He has held positions with OIV, the Wine Marketing Group, and Chace Agencies. As well, he has managed consumer research projects for ZORK (a wine closure in the wine sector), and consumer behavior research for a number of other organizations across the global wine sector.

Dr. Wilson has approximately 100 publications, in four different languages, across the trade, consumer and academic fields of wine business.

Dr. Damien Wilson received his doctorate in wine marketing and master's degree in wine business from the University of South Australia. He obtained his Bachelor of Agricultural Business with an emphasis in wine marketing from the University of Adelaide. 

More about Dr. Damien Wilson. 


Tim Wallace

Tim Wallace
Wine Business Executive in Residence
Sonoma State University

Tim Wallace will be teaching in the fourth and fifth sessions in the Hybrid Executive MBA in Wine Business program during the ten-day leadership intensive in Sonoma and Napa, California.

Tim currently serves as Wine Business Executive in Residence at the Wine Business Institute in the School of Business and Economics at Sonoma State University. In this role, he brings unique executive experience in the wine industry to Wine Business Institute programs and operations.   

Prior to joining SSU, Tim was CEO of Benziger Family Winery, where he organized seven family owners and seventy-five full-time employees in all phases of operations for an award-winning wine producer and leader in sustainability. As the first Wine Business Executive in Residence, Tim provides expertise and perspective on multiple aspects of the Wine Business Institute.

Tim is a dynamic, results-oriented leader with proven track record of performance in both corporate and family-owned and operated settings from start-up through the sale of several brands with revenue up to $135M. 

Tim holds a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School and a bachelor's degree in English from Brown University.

More about Tim Wallace.


Yann Chabin

Yann Chabin, Ph.D.
Academic Consultant, Sonoma State University
Associate Professor, Université de Montpellier
Montpellier, France

Dr. Yann Chabin will be teaching an online module on Wine Value Chain Strategies in the Hybrid Executive MBA in Wine Business program.

Dr. Chabin is an expert in wine business strategies, sustainable development, and market research. He brings deep knowledge of the ISO 26000 social responsibility standards, which "provides guidance on how businesses and organizations can operate in a socially responsible...ethical, and transparent way that contributes to the health and welfare of society" (iso.org, 2018). Dr. Chabin is passionate about the wine sector, enriched by numerous research studies and collaborations. His skills as an expert and teacher-researcher with a particular focus on sustainable development advance best practices for businesses and institutions in the wine and agriculture industries. 

For the past 17 years, Dr. Chabin has worked closely with sustainability organizations and consumers to develop strategies for socially responsible operations and development. He has led consumer and market research analysis, including studies of wine packaging innovation and a feasibility study of an e-commerce platform in European markets; a competitiveness study of the wine market in China, Brazil, and Portugal; and analysis of the perception of sustainability messaging in the American wine market. 

He has worked with organizations such as Qualiméditerranée, a national evaluation program of the French competitiveness clusters, LR Agrifood Industries, Coop de France LR, the Federation of Fruits and Vegetables of the LR, and numerous other companies, farms, cities, groups, and associations. 

Since 2005, Dr. Chabin has lead numerous training courses focused on strategic management of companies in the wine sector, wine innovations, sustainable development strategy of the wine sector, and penetration of Asian markets for the Cooperative Wine Institute, Interprofessions, International Wine Nursery, and Chambers of Commerce and Industry, among others. 

Dr. Chabin received his Doctor of Management degree from the University of Sciences and Techniques of Languedoc at the Université de Montpellier, where he also earned his bachelor's degree in monetary and financial economics. He received a Master of Business Economics from the University of Paris. 

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Jolene Yee

Jolene Yee, J.D.
Professional Faculty, Sonoma State University
Vice President & General Counsel, Delicato Family Vineyards
Napa, California

Jolene Yee will be teaching second, third, and fourth sessions in the Hybrid Executive MBA in Wine Business program and in the ten-day leadership intensive in Australia.

Ms. Yee has a 15-plus-year track record in the alcohol beverage industry, providing creative legal counsel to fast-growing family-owned wineries with production operations in multiple California locations and sales worldwide. She has employed this expertise as vice president and general counsel for Delicato Family Vineyards since March 2013. Prior to joining Delicato, she owned and operated her own legal consulting business, providing legal counsel primarily in mergers and acquisitions and commercial transactions for wineries and related companies. Ms. Yee started her career in the wine industry with E. & J. Gallo Winery where she started as assistant general counsel and was promoted to associate general counsel. 

Prior to her love affair with the wine industry, she practiced in the tech industry with Cooley Goward LLP in Palo Alto, California, and as a foreign legal consultant for Kim & Chang in Seoul, South Korea. 

Much of Ms. Yee's free time is spent volunteering for various organizations, including with the Girl Scouts of Northern California, and the University of California Hastings College of the Law employer advisory counsel.

Ms. Yee received her Juris Doctor degree from the University of California Hastings College of the Law, where she was later a professional faculty. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles. 

More about Ms. Jolene Yee.


Julien Cadot

Julien Cadot, Ph.D.
Visiting Faculty, Sonoma State University
Head of Finance and Economics Department, Institut Supérieur de Gestion (Higher Institute of Management)
Paris, France

Dr. Julien Cadot will be teaching the first and fourth sessions in the Hybrid Executive MBA in Wine Business program during the online case-based learning component and the ten-day leadership intensive in France.

Since 2009, He has been the head of the Finance and Economics Department at the Institut Supérieur de Gestion, a business school based in Paris. 

Dr. Cadot's research specialty is corporate governance with an interest in agri-food cooperatives and entrepreneurship. Some of his recent publications include: 

He received his Doctorate in Management Science. Dr. Cadot received his master's degree in agro-economy from the Montpellier SupAgro. 

More about Dr. Julien Cadot.


Karen Thompson

Karen Thompson, Ph.D.
Interim Dean and Professor of Management, School of Business and Economics at Sonoma State University

Dr. Karen Thompson is a collaborative leader who has been a professor of management in the School of Business and Economics since August 2000. She became the managing director of the School of Business and Economics (SBE) and chair of the School's Department of Business Administration in 2014. During this time she increased funding for SBE Career Center programs through the Corporate Partnership Program and improved stakeholder relations. Dr. Thompson was later promoted to full-time managing director in 2017 and assumed the role of interim dean in January 2018. 

Dr. Thompson is highly involved in the community. She was most recently Chair of the Finance Group and co-chair for the Impact Grant Committee for the Impact 100 Redwood Circle. 

More about Dr. Karen Thompson.
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