Ambassadors of the Wine Industry

202 England Street, Suite B
Ashland, VA 23005
1-800-550-2440

Our Ambassadors

Amin, Sharad I. – Ambassador to India

Sharad Amin is a native of India, where he graduated from Gujarat University, in 1973, with a MS in Psychology. He came to the U.S. in March of 1980, and has been in the hospitality business for 20 plus years. During that time has participated in and experienced all aspects of the industry. He resides in Virginia near the proposed development site; however, he spends part of each year back in his native country of India. He is driven and excited about International Wine Country, and acts as a liaison to parts of Asia.

Bickerstaff-Stanley, Brenda – Ambassador of Art/Markeing

Brenda Bickerstaff-Stanley  ”I connect to you with my brush”

Brenda has been a professional artist for over 35 years.  She has two original art pieces in the Smithsonian Institute permanent collection.  Her artworks are included in numerous corporate, private and public collections in the USA, South Africa, Namibia, Europe, Mexico and the Caribbean Islands. Accumulating accolades and awards throughout her career Brenda has enjoyed many “one person” gallery events and has been selected to participate in exclusive art exhibitions. As an art instructor she has conducted workshops and classes in the US, Africa and Mexico.  She continues her works in her studio on a daily schedule.  Brenda is currently an “artist in residence” at The Hermitage at Cedarfield, Crossroads Art Center, Lakewood and the Goochland Art Center.

Chowdbury, Khorshed – Ambassador to Bangladesh

Khorshed, born in Bangladesh, has been a US citizen for approximately 30 years. After college, he pursued his entrepreneurial dreams, having owned several operations throughout the Northeast of the US.  He presently lives in Richmond, Virginia area where he is the owner of 3 stores , all of which are in different regions, with wine being sold  retail as an integral part of the business. Some of Khorshed’s remaining family in Bangladesh work with the United Nations and its officers with Austria.

Coronado, Alvaro & Caroline – Ambassadors to Colombia, South America

Both being from big cities, Alvaro Coronado born in Bogota, Colombia, raised in Medellin, Colombia and Caroline Coronado, born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, this dynamic duo began their relationship and business partnership in the historic 16th century seaside fortress and old world city of Cartagena, Colombia.  Named after Cartagena, Spain, the colonial walled city made it a cultural Mecca.

Located on the northern coast in the Caribbean Coast Region, the tropical ocean breezes of Cartagena de Indias, encouraged by one of Colombia’s Cabernet Sauvignon or Chardonnays, made it a romantic paradise.

The old adage that necessity is the mother of invention was the catalyst for Colombia’s wine campaign.  Colombia had enjoyed the privilege of freely importing wines from the U.S.A., but when Colombia moved pricing to being prohibitive, Colombia transitioned itself to enjoying the wonderful wines from its neighboring South American countries of Argentina and Chile.  However, having seen the ability of their South American neighbors to produce vast quantities of wine, along with the natural spirit of Colombians to lead rather than follow, the initiative to produce Colombian wines prevailed, satisfying a good portion of domestic demand.  Its emergence being a bit more obscure that wines of other countries makes the opportunity to be able to uncork a bottle all the more special and a wine lover’s delight.

Caroline still enjoys the sophistication  and diversity of New York, and she and Alvaro, are worldwide travelers, but they choose to call their artist studio in Ashland, Virginia home.  Professionally they create internationally sought after custom jewelry designs and repairs in all metals and with exotic beads and precious and semi-precious gemstones.  They create heirloom pieces of jewelry and are known for their historic museum replicas and reproductions as well as period film jewelry pieces.  They are true to their mission of “Old World Craftsmanship in a Modern Industry,” and are dedicated to fostering the entrepreneurship of a culture of the most gentile people on earth despite their political struggles and geographic adversities through perhaps the most social of all media, a bottle of Colombian Wine on the table.

 

Elkin, Jason – Ambassador to California and International Marketing

JASON THOMAS ELKIN (b: August 23, 1977): You don’t grow up in the Napa Valley without being aware of what’s up in the wine industry!  And that’s Jason Elkin’s story, born and raised among California’s finest vineyards.  Considered by many today as one of the best award-winning filmmaker/producers for the wine industry, Jason’s combined gifts as a wine educator/entertainer/spokesperson remain just as intertwined in his personality as are the abundant grapevines of the Valley.

From an early age, Jason had a natural attraction to the visual and performing arts. Painting, singing, dancing became passions, and it was a California State School Scholarship in Dance that got him into Fresno State University at sixteen.  By seventeen, he auditioned at the San Francisco Ballet and was selected from hundreds that auditioned. Almost simultaneously, he was hired as the youngest professional dancer/singer to perform in the cast revue aboard Royal Caribbean’s Legend of the Seas.   By twenty he had dance and choreography experience with Debra Gibson, Tommy Toon and Janet Jackson’s dance crew and, upon returning home, he continued to choreograph for Miss Teen and Miss California beauty pageants.

Yet it was Jason’s knowledge of wine, mated with his show-business knack for self-promotion and sales, that took him to jobs in nearly every arena of the wine and hospitality industry and, ultimately, allowed him to form JTE Productions & Entertainment, a business centering on the education and sale of vineyard wines through video production.  In addition to his own wine label and other products sold in ten countries, his role as wine industry spokesman at various marketing companies and symposiums, Jason is also producing/hosting a multi-part series for television and Web distribution that combines wine education into an exciting and entertaining vehicle for wine enthusiasts everywhere.

Http://jte-productions.com

 

Farag, Steve – Ambassador to Egypt

While being born in Cairo, Steve came to the US at the early age of 16. He has been a US citizen for 20 years and he still frequently visits  family  and friends back in his home land.  Steve majored in Biology and completed 3 years of Dental School. He then pursued a career in restaurants  and real estate.  Steve’s inlaws  in Egypt are involved in International Transport.  Steve and his family reside in Central Virginia.

Rabinky Maria – Ambassador to Art and Design

Maria Rabinky was born in St. Petersburg, the “cultural hub” of Russia. As a youth, she studied classical art and obtained a dual Master’s degree in both architecture and fine arts at the prestigious St. Petersburg Academy of Fine Arts. After the Academy, she honed her skills as an architect and museum set designer.Trained as a classical artist and architect, when Maria move to the U.S., she continued to work in watercolors, oils, pencil and ink, with an emphasis on architecture, still life, urban and country landscapes.As an early adapter to emerging digital technologies, Maria has the rare mixture of a strong talent in the physical art as well as the electronic arts. As a mixed-media artist, she frequently merges both art forms to achieve the warmth of hand creations combined with the utility and flexibility of layers and PDFs needed for production and proofing.
Based in Richmond, VA, Maria is a member of the Graphic Artist Guild and the Illustrators Club of VA & MD, and American Society of Architectural Illustrators. Her art has been recognized nationally and a winner of multiple awards.Her recent client portfolio is as wide ranging as her talents: UCLA, Discovery Maps International, Library of Congress, The Isaac Walton League, dozens of real estate developers, contract illustrator for architects, Garmany Magazine, Nissan, World Wrestling Entertainment, University of Richmond to name just a few. Her website is:http://www.illustratedmaps.com/

Talmazan Ramona – Ambassador to Romania and International Marketing

Ramona was born in Romania, and after graduating with a BA in Business Administration from Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, moved to United States.  Ramona continued her business studies once in the States, receiving an Associate in Science and Business Administration. She is  a business professional with over a decade of experience in marketing, web development, accounting, management, consulting and  training.  She is very passionate about technology and new business and marketing strategies. Ramona’s language skills include: Romanian, English, Spanish, French and Italian.

She presently serves as the Senior Marketing Director for International Wine Country, and has done so since its inauguration.

Ramona has helped many companies with their marketing and/or web development and can be reached at: ramonaflorea@internationalwinecountry.com

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