Meet Our Team
Responsible for overseeing high-level strategy, partner development, and instructor management.
Syrupy cocktails and fanciful ingredients, according to the lens I look through, are like a sharp knife… they kill without drawing blood. What I am trying to say is that a well made rye, rum, or rakia don’t need to be mixed up… and furthermore they don’t need flashy marketing. They need a glass, and perhaps a cube or two of ice. While some cocktails often do inspire me to write, say, poetry, most kill the craftsmanship, culture, and agricultural roots the base distillate or brew is trying to communicate. The way forward, as it turns out, was to open a ‘sipping school’ for like-minded people to learn, explore, and establish lifelong camaraderie with the national drinks of the world. The national drink of the US? (Have you had a meet and greet with Bourbon?) The ambassadors have dispatched emissaries, and our aim is to arrange a proper introduction. My go to ‘neat’: Barley Shochu
Director of Education
Responsible for directing educational initiatives, curriculum development, and the management of daily operations.
The study of spirits is a natural derivative of the study of culture, which has always been a fascination of mine. For me, the agriculture and socio-economic atmosphere that influence people of certain countries – and regions within them – to start producing and continue imbibing is a captivating narrative. To say when or why I first found interest in the story of spirits proves difficult. Maybe it started while I was growing up, wondering why my father’s Irish side prefer whiskey, while my mother’s Norwegian relatives reach for aquavit. Or, maybe it began while working in restaurants, where I experienced the dichotomy between institutions that push cheap hooch and those that posture exclusivity around wine and spirits. Regardless the origins of my curiosity, it is my appreciation for not only the taste and character of distillates and brews, but the culture around them, that I seek to share with our students. My go to ‘neat’: Junmai Sake
Director of Industry Relations
Responsible for managing and developing industry relations, as well as blogging and social media.
I endeavor to be pure and strong of spirit- so naturally I enjoy my distillates neat. Keep your fruit, your bitters, your sodas and syrups- all I need in my glass is a quality spirit and a sense of adventure. Let a rich rum sail you through the islands of the Caribbean, a clean vodka keep you warm in Moscow, or clink glasses of an herbal aperitif with friends on the Amalfi Coast of Italy. At Emissary, we believe a good spirit can take you anywhere- all you need is an appreciation. And since a wall of distillates can be intimidating, we’ll give you the education to help make the most our of your sipping experience. My go to ‘neat’: Green Chartreuse.
Director of Strategic Initiatives
Responsible for business development planning and strategic initiatives.
Whether taking a pull from a flask passed around a campfire on a blustery night along the Green River in Wyoming, to finishing of a exquisite meal with friends with a cognac or limocello, spirits have, in my life, always fostered great discussions, punctuated the close of business deals, or added warmth and cheer to an intimate chat with loved ones. Through my travels and experiences, I have often encountered incredible spirits nearly impossible to come upon in the North American market. I seek to initiate the conversation and foster the space for delicious, yet unknown spirits to find a greater audience in Chicago and beyond.