CCA has deliberately assembled a marketing team with diverse backgrounds that include expertise in strategic marketing, new media and public relations. We are capable of developing new brands from conception, and refining and refreshing the image of better-established brands. Together, we offer a broad spectrum of experience and professional credentials to serve your organization's immediate and long-term needs.
She began her work in New York at the premium wine importing company Kobrand Corporation, where she served as Public Relations Director for a portfolio of internationally recognized brands including Taittinger Champagne, Louis Jadot Burgundies, Taylor Fladgate Ports and more. At that time, she oversaw all company media relations, co-marketing partnerships and winemaker media tours, putting her language and travel skills to great use. She was part of the team that launched and nurtured the brand Alizé de France.
She moved to Northern California to become Director of Communications for E. & J. Gallo Winery, directing corporate and internal communications, focusing on the successful re-launch of the Gallo of Sonoma brand. She then accepted a position as Senior Vice President of Magnet Communications in San Francisco, where she built an impressive roster of wine industry clients including Perrier Jouet & G.H. Mumm Champagne brands, St.Supéry Winery & Vineyards, Fetzer Vineyards, Fess Parker Winery and Robert Mondavi Imports among many others.
In the spring of 2003, Kimberly launched her own company, Charles Communications Associates in San Francisco, specializing in strategic branding, corporate social responsibility with a focus on launching, reinvigorating and repositioning of brands.
Kimberly holds a B.A. in History & Government from Georgetown University and also successfully completed the Diploma course for the Wine & Spirit Education Trust in London in 1997, one the early group of American candidates to attempt this challenging exam. She is a member of Slow Food and Les Dames d'Escoffier San Francisco. She is also a Trustee of the River Network. She served as Vice President of the Society of Wine Educators (2003-2005) and as board member for five years.
When she has time to breathe, Kimberly loves to travel and live it up. Her travel bug has fueled her interest in classic food and wine, sake, arak and single malt scotch. Her excursions to Russia, Lebanon, Iceland, Japan and Greenland continue to inspire her thirst for exotic locales but in her restored 1900 Victorian home in San Francisco’s Mission District, she has found a home, where she can share her love of cooking and entertaining with a stimulating group of friends and colleagues. She is a devotee of yoga and endeavors to stay centered in an ever-changing world.
Restaurant: Cotogna in San Francisco & Septime in Paris
City to visit: San Sebastien
Place to shop: Le Marche aux Puces, Cligancourt or any funky flea market around the globe
Musician: Killian MacGeraghty
Wine: Chateau Cheval Blanc 1982
Beer: Supporting our local brews in Northern California, Little Sumpin' by Lagunitas - an IPA with a hoppy kick!
Book: Journey of Souls
Film: The Lives of Others
On an eye-opening post-dissertation trip to Mendoza, she had an epiphany that convinced her to move back to California and immerse herself completely in the wine industry. She honed her wine writing skills as Brand & Communications Manager for JJ Buckley Fine Wines, overseeing sales and marketing strategy and putting her research skills to great use. And she fell in love with Bordeaux after traveling to the region to participate in its annual En Primeur campaign.
After successfully completing the Level 3 certification for the Wine & Spirit Education Trust, she cut her teeth on the production end, working harvest at Larkmead Vineyards in Calistoga.
Alex also holds a B.A. in History & Communication Studies (with minors in Political Science & Archaeology) from Loyola Marymount University. An avid runner, yoga addict and rookie surfer, Alex likes to spend her spare time working up a sweat so she can better justify her other hobby - exploring all of the Bay Area’s world-class culinary delights!
Restaurant: La Ciccia in San Francisco, Great Queen St & Haandi in London
City to visit: Marrakesh
Place to shop: London’s Borough Market
Musician: Led Zeppelin
Cuisine: Indian and Northern Italian
Wine: Pontet-Canet, grower Champagne, most Jura and lately anything from Sicily and Sardinia
Beer: Woodfour Brewing Company's "Sour Farmhouse Ale"
Book: Anna Karenina
Film: Life is Beautiful, The Royal Tenenbaums
Philosopher: Yann Martel, Oscar Wilde
Senior Strategic Consultant
Amelia’s career in communications and marketing began in 1994 at Ogilvy & Mather’s London office where she managed the Guinness UK account. After three years as an ex-pat and plenty of dark beer, she felt the pull of her hometown, and returned to San Francisco to work with Visa International managing their global brand communications for the next three years.
As a Bay Area native, it was hard not to cultivate an interest in the wine industry. She had grown up around wine and fell in love with the living nature and stories surrounding the evolution of a vineyard. Armed and ready to move into a new industry, in 2000, she took a leap of faith and started her first “gig” in the wine industry working for Kimberly Charles who at the time was VP at Magnet Communications owned by Havas overseeing major winery accounts. Kimberly came highly recommended by mutual friend and wine writer, Andy Blue, who promised she would be the perfect mentor.
After cutting her proverbial teeth at Magnet, in early 2002, Amelia took a position with Maisons Marques & Domaines, the US subsidiary for Champagne Louis Roederer where she managed public relations for their global wine portfolio (Champagne Cristal, Ramos Pinto, Ladoucette, Ets Moueix) until 2006. She was responsible for public relations for over twenty-esteemed wine brands and quickly became adept within the imported wine arena.
Ready for a change of pace (and with a two year old daughter now in tow), Amelia resumed freelance employment with Charles Communications Associates in addition to managing a number of her own accounts. The change was perfect…great brands with less travel.
As the wine industry grew, so did her portfolio of clients. After ten years of working solo she decided that she wanted to be part of a team again and once again joined forces with her friend and mentor, Kimberly Charles whose agency was burgeoning with both domestic and international business. Amelia complements the strong team at CCA with her deep knowledge of the wine business, long lasting media relationships as well as her stellar work with wine associations such as Mendocino Winegrowers Inc and West Sonoma Coast Vintners.
When Amelia is not working with clients, she spends time with her family in the Yorkville Highlands at the family vineyard where they grow 15 acres of Pinot Noir or visiting her parents in the beautiful Napa Valley. In winter months, she enjoys teaching her young kids to ski and more recently, has started a USTA tennis team at Boyle Park in Mill Valley.
Amelia graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a degree in the History of Art. In the fall of 2003 she received her advanced certificate from WSET (Wine & Spirits Education Trust) and continues her wine knowledge by serving on various wine committees. She lives with her husband, twelve year-old daughter, 7year old son, a fluffy white dog named Lola and a cellar in constant need of replenishment.
Restaurant: Stone & Embers, Anderson Valley
City to visit: Cairo
Place to shop: Kathmandu
Musician: Carole King
Cuisine: Thai and Indian
Wine: Talisman, Adastra Vineyards and a 1970 Marc Brédif Vouvray
Cocktail: Slightly dirty martini up with one Mezzetta olive
Book: Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks
Strange but Intriguing Film: The Lobster
Philosopher: Any philosopher that has a quote in a fortune cookie (among others).
Marketing & Social Media Consultant
Hillary Lyons is a native San Franciscan, though her mother instilled wanderlust in her at a young age. Globetrotting matured her innate love of food, and kindled a fascination for exploring cultures through the lens of cuisine. For her BA, Hillary decided to venture to yet unexplored territory: the East Coast. She enrolled at Vassar College where she majored in sociology and geography, with a particular focus on food systems. It was at Vassar that she gained a deep appreciation for sustainability and a passion for food justice.
Post-graduation, Hillary dove into the Sacramento restaurant world to wed theory to hands-on experience. In the kitchen, she received a whirlwind culinary education from chefs such as Kevin O’Connor, Edward Martinez, and William Ngo, and outside she developed close ties to local farmers, food historians, and journalists. While she loved cooking, Hillary left the kitchen after two years to pursue writing and launch her own pop-up restaurant. While she maintained a role in the kitchen as sous chef, she also took over social media marketing, and began freelance writing for publications and food-driven nonprofits.
Ever eager to continue learning, Hillary moved to Piedmont, Italy in 2014 to earn a Master in gastronomy at the University of Gastronomic Sciences. She extended her sojourn to work with Slow Food in coordinating their international conference of small-scale producers at Milan’s World EXPO.
While she still loves Italy, she is thrilled to be back in her hometown. In her free time, Hillary loves cycling, paddle boarding, wandering SF’s neighborhoods, reading, and fermenting anything she can get her hands on to slake her thirst for gastronomic knowledge, and to tell the stories of the producers and artisans that inspire her.
Restaurant: Akaoni in Carmel, or Gli Attortellati in Grosseto
City to visit: Rome
Place to shop: Barrio Gotico, Barcelona
Musician: Animal Collective
Wine: Grappoli del Grillo by di Bartoli
Beer: Schnoodlepip by Wild Beer Co or anything by TOOL
Book: Infinite Jest, House of Sleep, and too many more to count
Film: Wild at Heart, Spirited Away
Philosopher: Hannah Arendt
Holly’s passion for winemaking led her to California, where she earned a B.S. in Viticulture and Enology at U.C Davis and a certificate in Wine Business Management from Sonoma State. Her thirst to learn from winemakers around the world took her to Burgundy for a summer of wine study, where she became enchanted with Pinot Noir and French culture.
Holly honed her winemaking skills working harvests at Domaine Chandon and Duckhorn Vineyards in Napa Valley. She is excited to be expanding her horizons into wine marketing with the team at Charles Communications Associates.
A passionate traveler, Holly’s next destination to discover is her new town- the wonderful city of San Francisco. In her spare time, Holly enjoys running and biking, as well as exploring the food and wine culture of the bay area.
Restaurant: Bonito in St. Barth’s
City to visit: Nijmegen, Netherlands
Place to shop: St. Helena, Napa Valley
Musician: Neil Young
Wine: 1994 Chateau de Beaucastel
Beer: Sudwerk Brewing’s Fünke Hop Farm
Book: At Home in the Vineyard by Susan Sokol-Blosser
Film: Garden State
Philosopher: Bob Dylan
Prior to joining the CCA family, he was working for a San Francisco-based start-up, Handpick, as a food stylist and social media coordinator. Anthony describes himself as a foodie. He turned his passion and love for food into a career when he decided to pursue and study at Enderun Colleges in the Philippines. He graduated Cum Laude and earned a Bachelor’s degree in International Hospitality Management and a major in Culinary Arts. His passion for baking and pastry making was acknowledged by the school that they sent him to Yssingeaux, France to undergo further training and to work at Ecole Nationale Superieure de la Patisserie, owned by 3-Michelin starred chef, Alain Ducasse.
Anthony also describes himself as a traveler. He has been immersing himself in different cultures and cuisines since he was young. Always eager to learn, Anthony moved to New York City to cater to his other passion, wines. Anthony did an intensive sommelier training at International Culinary Center for the Court of Master Sommeliers Level I and II. At the age of 21, he became one of the youngest Certified Sommeliers by the Court.
At CCA Anthony oversees our events aesthetics and logistics, assists with marketing projects related to CCA and its clients, designs our newsletter and collateral with his keen design eye and monitors our media daily to be sure we are not missing any coverage. He adds panache and grace to everything he does.
Having found his new home in this vibrant city, Anthony enjoys getting lost and wandering around the hills and parks of San Francisco. He enjoys the beach, skateboarding, hiking, and sewing on his spare time. A self-proclaimed Yogi, Anthony hopes to one day be able to teach yoga while traveling the world.
Restaurant: Eleven Madison Park and Le Bernardin in New York
City to visit: Marrakech, Morrocco
Place to shop: Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré
Musician: Taylor Swift
Wine: 2013 St. Urbans Hof Riesling Oekonomierat
Book: The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis, Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowling, The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
Film: Harry Potter (specifically the Order of Phoenix and the Deathly Hollows) and The Devil Wears Prada
Philosopher: C. S. Lewis
Organizational Development & Operations Consultant
Richelle was born into an Italian American family and grew up on the Jersey Shore. She moved to California in 2003 to pursue a career in the wine business. Richelle’s passion for wine sparked when she was a bartender at an Italian restaurant in Philadelphia while going to school to earn her B.A. in Business Marketing from St. Joseph’s University. After graduation, Richelle traveled to Italy in search of inspiration and found it while drinking copious amounts of Italian wine and limocello on a patio overlooking the Tuscan Hills with her brother.
When she returned to the U.S., Richelle moved to the Napa Valley to further her wine education and career. Richelle attended the Greystone Wine Program at the Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena and earned her Sommelier Certification from the Court of Master Sommeliers. While living in Napa, Richelle was the Wine Director at The Carneros Inn. Her career eventually led her to move to San Francisco where she began working in marketing and sales for Broadbent Imports. Richelle also spent time working for Indy Wines and American Wine & Spirits where she was a top performer.
After spending 10 years in the wine business, she was ready to pursue another passion, psychology. Richelle went back to school and earned a M.A. degree in Clinical Counseling Psychology from Alliant International University in San Francisco. Today, Richelle works as a Mental Health Clinician with foster children and their families at Alternative Family Services in Oakland. She also has a private therapy practice in Berkeley where she provides mental health counseling to children, teens and adults in the LGBTQI community.
Richelle keeps her toes dipped in the wine business by working with Kimberly and her team at Charles Communications Associates. She has been working as their Organizational Development & Operations Consultant since 2012.
Richelle is also trained in Psychological First Aid by the Red Cross and provides counseling and support to victims following disasters. In her spare time Richelle advocates for social justice issues at city council meetings and serves on various boards in the mental health field.
And last, but certainly not least, Richelle has an imaginative and fun-loving young son named Max who lights up her life and reminds her each day that playing is just as important as work.
Restaurant: Acquerello in San Francisco
City to visit: Florence, Italy
Places to shop: Online
Musician: Mariah Carey (You can judge a little…)
Wine: Altesino Brunello di Montalcino, Chateau Musar
Beer: The Rare Barrel (Berkeley, CA)
Cocktail: Tommy’s Margarita (handmade in San Francisco)
Book: Goodnight Moon (with my son)
Film: The Wizard of Oz
Philosopher: Sarah Margaret Fuller
Born in San Francisco and educated in and around New York City, Annalee Lanier has been working as an artist and a designer in various capacities for 15 years. Trained in fine art at New York’s Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art and at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam, Annalee’s experience includes mural painting, billboard design, illustration, portraiture, custom wallpaper design, print design and fine art photography. Annalee is currently working as a graphic designer at Paper City magazine in Houston, Texas, though she plans to return to the Bay Area before too long. In her free time, you will find her singing, dancing and misbehaving. A lifelong lover of language and culture, Annalee travels as far and wide as time permits.
Working with CCA, whether it's for collateral, web, logos, you name it, she has an uncanny way of imagining a look and design even better than could be imagined. We like to call her the Wizard of Ahhhs.
Restaurant: Fang, SF and Coco's Cantina, Auckland
City to Visit: Havana!
Place to Shop: Pilpeled.com
Musician: Tsegue-Maryam Guebrou
Cuisine: Gourmet Ramen
Wine: Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
Book: Grendel (John Gardner)
Philosopher: Louis C.K.
Marsha is a board member of Les Dames d’Escoffier, New York City Chapter, an international association of leading women in the hospitality field and serves as a trustee to CancerCare©. She holds a Masters degree in Medieval French literature from Kent State University.