AWS Educational Foundation 2021 Board of Trustees
Kristen discovered the AWS in 2010 when she joined the N. Alabama Chapter. While she was a Regional Vice President, she assisted with founding five chapters in North Alabama and Mississippi. Kristen is an AWS-Certified Wine Judge and judges for a number of competitions across the U.S. and in Europe. She is a Certified Specialist of Wine through the Society of Wine Educators, a French Wine Scholar and Spanish Wine Scholar through the Wine Scholar Guild, and has completed the WSET Level 2 (intermediate) with merit. She enjoys educating others about wine, including her husband, Phillip, with whom she lives in Huntsville (Rocket City), Alabama.
Vice President, Private Development
Bonnie Lance has served on the AWSEF Board of Trustees since 2010. First as VP for Corporate Development (2010-2014), then President (2014-2020) and now as VP for Private Development. Bonnie has worked at various vineyards on the North Fork of Long Island, NY since 2004 and most recently helps out at Sannino Bella Vita Vineyard in Cutchogue, NY, where she assists with various wine education classes and in the tasting room. Bonnie has achieved certification as a Specialist of Wine with the Society of Wine Educators, is certified with the WSET at both the intermediate and advanced levels, a Year 1 graduate of the Wine Judge Certification program and TIPS certified. She is an AWS member of both the Kylix NYC Chapter since 2004 & the Meadowlands NJ Chapter since 2015. Bonnie is the Head of Fund Administration at Ascend Partners in New York City. Bonnie, her husband Jay and daughter Hannah reside in Butler, NJ.
Vice President, Corporate Developmentvpcorporatedev@awsef.org
Christine has been a member of AWS for ten years and attended her first AWS Conference in Winston-Salem, NC. Christine is a graduate of Clemson University with a BS in Math/Computer Science and a PhD in Plant Physiology. She is currently employed at Clemson University, and lives with her husband Tim, in Seneca, SC. In her spare time she grows medicinal herbs, fruits, and vegetables and tends her muscadine vineyard. Christine loves to travel, and brings to the board an enthusiasm for wine and the desire to educate others on all aspects of wine.
Holly L. Tillis
Vice President, Scholarshipsvpscholarships@awsef.org
Holly L. Tillis was introduced to the AWS through friends and family in 2013. She had the pleasure of attending her first National Conference in Concord, NC, and she continues to enjoy the education and camaraderie of other wine lovers at the National Conference every year since. She has a dual Bachelor of Science and Art degree from East Carolina University, and an Advanced Certified Paralegal Certificate from the National Association of Legal Assistants. She has 7 years of paralegal experience, and 8 years of commercial banking experience. Currently, she manages the post-closing commercial legal documentation review team for the country’s 6th largest bank, and she is a member of several local and national wine groups. She lives in Wilson, NC, and she enjoys great music, delicious food, good libations, and traveling with friends and family.
Larry has been a member of AWS since 2008, a professional winemaker since 2010, an AWS-certified wine judge since 2011, and an amateur winemaker since 1982. Larry joined the AWSEF Board with the 2018 term.
He is a retired Senior Research Scientist of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a former submarine officer. He and his wife, Annette, very much enjoy wine tourism and being foodies. He has a Ph.D. in Library and Information Science, and M.S. and B.S. degrees in Computer Science.
Walt Rachele has been a member of AWS for over 30 years, Past Chapter Chairman (Carroll County), Wine Judge Certification Program Graduate and Instructor for 20 years. He has traveled in search of the Mother Vine to Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia and Hungary finding only wonderful local wines, unusual varietals and new friends. Completing a 3 year term as Treasurer with AWS and a prior term (2000-2005) as Treasurer of AWSEF is again combining his love of learning about wine with his profession of Accounting & Finance to join the AWSEF BOD as Treasurer. His heartfelt goal is to help provide funding for the next generations of students that will be the future of the wine industry.
Eric has been a member of the AWS Walt Whitman Chapter since 2002. He has been an officer of the Walt Whitman Chapter since 2008. Eric is an AWS Wine Judge. Eric is a partner with the Law Firm of Kulzer & DiPadova in Haddonfield, New Jersey focusing on Tax and Trust and Estate matters. He is admitted to practice law before the U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Tax Court, U.S. District Court of New Jersey, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and State of New Jersey. He is a member of the American Bar Association, Pennsylvania Bar Association, New Jersey Bar Association, Cape May Bar Association, and a Trustee and Tax Committee Chairperson for the Camden County Bar Association. He is also a Major in the Army Reserves serving in the JAG Corps with 31 years of enlisted and commissioned service. He received his Bachelors of Science from Indiana University, and MBA, Juris Doctorate, and LL.M. in Taxation from Temple University. Eric is married to Lauren (also an AWS member) and their children are Eric, Jr., Emma, Elizabeth, and Eva.
Danny is a Regional Vice President for the AWS in the Northern NJ/Southern NY region and has been a volunteer and assistant at the AWS National Conference for ten years. He is a certified AWS wine judge, judges for multiple State Governor’s Cup wine competitions, and is Chairman for the NJ State Fair Wine Competition and the AWS NJ Amateur Wine Competitions. Danny is a graduate of Rutgers University with a BS and an MBA and is currently employed as a Regional Operations Manager for an S&P 500 Company.