The Story Behind Wine CMO

After graduating with my MBA at UC Irvine, landing my “dream” job in global marketing for a Fortune 200 company and climbing the corporate ladder in five years, I had reached a point where acing that next performance review or getting that next promotion became less appealing. Instead, I was excited with the idea of building a brand from scratch and watching it flourish through relentless hard work. With this realization in 2015, I started to identify key interests that excited me and it naturally drew me to storytelling, entertaining and art.

In 2016, I opened Inspired Art Wine, an art studio, wine bar and gallery located in Costa Mesa, CA. The journey from concept, to construction, to launching and running the business hasn’t been an easy one, but through grit, hard work and a roadmap, I quickly grew the business to become the top destination for arts and entertainment in Southern California. Armed with an intense desire to stay ahead of competition, I spent countless hours attending wine seminars, trade events, visiting wine bars, speaking to distributors and reading articles to learn more about the wine industry. Through these experiences, I quickly learned wineries were great at making wines, but lacked the latest marketing strategies to move their business into the digital age. There were few agencies that specialize in the wine industry and if there were, they lacked the nuance to understand the wants/needs of women and Millennial consumers. That’s where Wine CMO comes in-- a marketing and strategy firm created by a female Millennial entrepreneur with extensive global marketing background and MBA. Basically, someone who has a corporate background, but a start-up mindset to be resourceful and effective to drive your business forward!

Career Highlights & Experience

  • Extensive international experience having traveled to 45+ countries
  • Head of Global Loyalty Marketing for Fortune 200 organization
  • Led cross functional teams across five continents 
  • Launched partner programs spanning 90+ countries and 17 languages.
  • Youngest manager to work on a multinational IT service deal valued at ~$300 million 
  • Founder of: Inspired Art Wine, Wine CMO, Wine Down OC
  • Board of Directors, Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship at University California, Irvine

Education & Recognition

  • 2011, MBA, Marketing from  Merage School of Business, UC Irvine
  • 2007, Graduate Certificate, Legal Studies, UC Irvine
  • 2005, Bachelors, Political Science, UC Irvine (Graduated top 5%)
  • 2017, Winner, "Emerging Women Owned Business",  Connected Women of Influence
  • 2016 and 2017, Honoree, "Innovator of the Year", OC Business Journal
  • 2016 Honoree, "Entrepreneur of the Year" (OC Business Journal)
  • 2016 Honoree, "Women in Business", OC Business Journal
  • 2012 and 2014, Finalist, "Best International Campaign", Oracle 

Fun Facts

Flew 70+ hours during a 5-day span across 3 continents

Completed 3 full marathons across 3 continents

I can do a one-handed cartwheel even on stiletto heels!

What Others Are Saying...

Paul L. of Experian

Karen's analytical skills have supported our ability to perform competitive analysis and determine potential new alliance areas for our business. Karen is able to take a broad view of the competitive landscape and then drill down into the relevant details for our needs. Additionally, her communication skills are advanced and very crisp. 

Renijth J. of Rockwell Collins

Karen’s a great speaker, efficient team player and is extremely enthusiastic, which is contagious. Her style of work is fun, strategic, backed up by the ability to be direct and get results. I highly recommend Karen and she would be a valuable asset to any organization.

Jack M. of KOG Games

Her natural skill as a leader and tireless efforts to keep the team focused, enabled us to create a polished and well-thought out business plan. Further, her optimism and supportive attitude kept our excitement level high, allowing us to develop an excellent product while thoroughly enjoying the process. For these reasons and more, I believe any team would benefit from Karen's leadership. 

Darcy C. of UC Irvine

Karen has great follow through and strong communication skills. Karen's ambition and creative problem solving are key contributors for achieving her goals, a great combination for any organization

Paul H. of Southern California Edison

Karen stands out not only from her intelligence, but compassionate and upbeat attitude towards others--- traits that are immeasurable. For these reasons and more, I can heartily recommend Karen, as she would be an asset to any company anywhere. 

Tyler S. of IBM

Karen brings a spark to any project and I enjoy working with her. I highly recommend Karen to anyone seeking an energetic, determined, and reliable individual. 

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