Meet the Team

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Tim McDonald

FOUNDER

Tim has over 30 years of proven success in the wine industry with positions in public relations, trade relations, marketing and sales, event management and wine education.  His experience includes positions at prominent adult beverage companies; such as E&J Gallo where he served as Marketing Director Fine Wine Communications, Peak Wines as V.P. of Marketing and Communications, Trinchero Family Estates as Director of Trade Relations, with Heublein Wines as Director of Trade & Public Relations, and sales assignments with both Seagram and Heublein.

Tim has experience with all types of Media, National Accounts, Wholesale Distributors, Restaurant, and Retail segments. Tim has served as a Wine Judge at over 200 Wine and Spirits Competitions here in North America. He's currently the Director of Wine Judging at the San Francisco International Wine Competition and the Chief Judge at the Central Coast WIne Competition. Tim speaks frequently on assembled panels at many wine industry events.

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Rusty Eddy

PARTNER

A graduate of U.C. Davis and the Georg August Universität, Göttingen, Germany, Rusty Eddy has over 35 years of experience in the wine industry.  He began as a cellar rat at Longoria Wines in Santa Barbara County and worked a harvest in the Rheingau in Germany before moving into public relations and marketing for Fetzer Vineyards, Glen Ellen, and Benziger Family wineries.  In the early 1990s he founded his own public relations agency in Sonoma.  Clients included Hogue Cellars and Cadaretta in Washington, Clayhouse Wines in Paso Robles, and Kim Crawford wines from New Zealand. 

 

Rusty has managed industry associations like the Mendocino County Vintners Association and the Rhone Rangers, developed national media campaigns, judged numerous wine competitions, and is a regular speaker at wine industry events.  In addition, Rusty taught a U.C. Extension class at Davis, “Public Relations for Small Wineries,” for 25 years. Rusty’s public relations and marketing experience, coupled with his ability to build relationships, and his previous experience with everything wine industry, provides a solid foundation to ensure client success at Wine & Spirits Spoken Here.

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Robert Larsen

CONSULTANT

Larsen consults with Wine & Spirits Spoken Here on an as needed basis. He started in the beverage alcohol business in 1992 at Glen Ellen Winery in Glen Ellen, California. He’s since worked at numerous California wineries as well as a few agencies, representing hotels, restaurants, gourmet food companies and, yes wineries. The term “ever-changing media landscape” seems to be daily referenced these days. Earlier in his career, he unveiled a commissioned statue of legendary winemaker André Tchelistcheff, coordinated a televised grape stomp in San Francisco’s Union Square and was the madman behind a simultaneous four-city live broadcast James Beard Foundation Celebrity Chef Tour dinner that organically trended #1 on Twitter. Larsen also initiated a sommelier outreach program that provided educational opportunities and elevated brand perception. Of course, there’s also day to day outreach, both with media and clients, where Larsen excels. The Larsen Projekt, Robert’s marketing communications agency, opened in 2015.

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Anna Leigon

PR ASSISTANT

Anna has varied experience in the Wine, Entertainment and PR worlds. She spent five years with Stag's Leap Wine Cellars as the principal Winery Representative for members of the media & wine trade, followed by a Winery Ambassadorship with Jamieson Ranch Vineyards. She holds an Advanced Certification from WSET. Anna was one of the founders of the Napa Valley Repertory Theatre and she earned her degree in Communication Arts from Judson University in Elgin, IL. Anna oversees wine submissions to scoring publications and wine competitions when contracted to do so. She also handles technical support, client invoicing, accounts payable, as well as tracking sample submissions and resulting media hits for our clients.