The WW&S Team







Elaine Honig
Founder and President

Elaine is an entrepreneur-at-heart who thrives on creating brands, building businesses and helping nonprofits raise money and awareness. A native Oklahoman with an Economics degree from Tufts University, she put herself through college renting apartments to fellow students, doing all the repairs and basic remodeling herself. After college, she headed to San Francisco to pursue a real estate project. While she was there, she met and married Michael Honig, and left real estate to help him grow the fledgling Honig Wine brand. For 21 years, she marketed, branded, communicated and sold Honig Wine, helping it to grow from garage roots to a highly-regarded, nationally recognized Napa Valley brand.  Elaine dreamt up Wine Women & Shoes as a fundraiser for a Napa Valley non-profit agency and a marketing opportunity for Honig wines (a marvelous win-win). The formula proved irresistible: One event quickly turned into ten, and Elaine devoted herself wholeheartedly to the feel-good, do-good mission of WW&S. Today, she is a SHOEMMELIER, expert in the fine art of wine & shoe pairing. 

In addition to her business interests, Elaine is also actively involved in the Napa community. She has served on the Boards of the Napa County Farm Bureau and Napa County Sierra Club, and the Board of Trustees of the Napa County Land Trust, most recently as Chairman of the Board. In 2013, she chaired the e-Auction for the world-renowned Napa Valley Wine Auction. She has been honored for her professional and community contributions, including receiving the Common Threads Award for Outstanding Women in Agriculture.  
Today, she makes her home in St. Helena with her adorable and much-loved dog, Houdini.



Sarah Obialero
Director of Graphic Design & Web

As they say, "if the shoe fits, wear it," and Sarah is our glass slipper.  She has graphics, wine, event, and luxury retail experience, all rolled into one super cute package.  Originally from Ithaca, NY, Sarah began her career designing graphics and promotional materials for Ithaca's Hangar Theatre. In 2004, she made the cross-country journey to join her then-boyfriend/now husband in San Diego, where she landed herself a position with In Motion Events as the in-house graphic designer and assisted with the production of large-scale events like Komen's Race for the Cure. 

When her husband's career relocated them to Napa Valley, Sarah landed at Darioush Winery as the Assistant Buyer and Lead Visual Merchandiser for their luxury boutique.  
In her free time, you can likely find her in her running shoes with her chocolate lab Porter.



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 Allie Olcese
Assistant Graphic Designer

Allie attended the Art Institute in Sacramento studying graphic design. She knew graphic design was the perfect career path for her when she found herself constantly fascinated by logos, packaging and labels on wine bottles and marketing materials in particular.  After graduating and receiving her degree in graphic design she left her hometown of Sacramento and moved to Santa Rosa.  Who knew at that exact time WW&S® was looking for another person to add to their team.  Allie grew up doing volunteer work, has loved shoes since the time she could walk, and doesn’t mind a good glass of wine.  Needless to say the shoe fit perfectly and she couldn’t be happier to be a part of the WW&S® team.



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Jessica Thornton
Director of Winery Relations

Some people were born for this business, and Jessica is one of those superstars. Raised by her private celebrity chef mother, she was distilled at an early age with a unique appreciation for great food, fine wines & giving back to those in need. Originally from Lake Tahoe, Jessica followed her bliss to Napa Valley after majoring in Public Relations at ASU and working in the events world, planning & executing VIP events & concerts.  More recently, you may recognize Jessica from her time spent building winery relations for the Napa Valley Film Festival or the annual oh-so-hip Bottle Rock festival. When she’s not working on our amazing charity-partners behalf, cultivating winery partnerships, you can find her planning her next traveling adventure. Africa, Europe & Iceland have already made her ‘hit’ list…I wonder what continent we’ll find her sipping wine in next..!?  


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 Alexis Jessup
Winery Relations Coordinator

Alexis believes "Too much of anything is bad, but too much champagne is just right". Couple this philosophy with a love of shoes since birth, it's no wonder Alexis found her way onto the Wine Women & Shoes team. Family is the most important thing to this 3rd generation Napa local, but a close second is rooting for her favorite sports teams. 49ers, SF Giants & the Golden State Warriors top the list. When she's not working hard to put the 'Wine' in Wine Women & Shoes, you can find her sewing, baking, reading and running. 

Alexis ran the Napa marathon in 2010 and holds a bachelors degree in Psychology with an emphasis in Social Psychology. She spent her summers & winters growing up in Lake Tahoe, which she calls her 2nd home. Cheers, Alexis!






Heather Frank
Director of Project Management & National Partnerships

Heather Frank was born into a family that embraces community service, and lives by the motto:  "No matter how much you have, there’s always someone you can help." So it was natural that she would choose education after achieving her Masters in Administration. For three years, she taught first grade, while giving significant time and efforts to philanthropic endeavors, including Habitat for Humanity, Ronald McDonald House, American Cancer Society, Fight for Life, and CASA. After having her boys, Graysen and Gavin, she left teaching, and dedicated herself to CASA, chairing both the 2012 and 2013 CASA’s Wine Women & Shoes fundraisers.  In 2013, Heather brought in more than $120,000 in Sponsorship for the CASA’s Wine Women & Shoes event.  We marveled at her sales skills!  So when she expressed an interest in joining the WW&S team, we jumped at the opportunity to have her come aboard as our resident Sponsorship expert.


Heather Pennella
Project Manager 

Brings her love of community service, marketing and project management to the Wine Women & Shoes team. This small town girl comes with a love of traveling the world, enjoying the outdoors and history. When she graduated from Cal State Northridge with a degree in history she skipped the typical class ring and went for class shoes...Malolos, of course! Heather has volunteered 100s of hours of her time to support many local non-profits in Bakersfield. This gal is no stranger to our mission, as she has been involved with the Wine Women & Shoes event in Bakersfield for the past three years in support of CASA of Kern County, helping to raise over $200,000 for neglected and abused children in the area. During her time with Buck Owens Production Company, this country girl at heart was selected as one of 25 women in the country to attend the Radio Advertising Bureau’s “Rising Through the Ranks” class of 2012 for sales and management training. Heather also brings management experience and event planning skills to the team.
This native California girl loves to cook, BBQ, sip good wine and entertain her family and friends. She was raised by amazing parents, and her and her brother were shown by example on how to love and to give back to the world in positive ways.

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Krista Stafford
Project Management Coordinator

Krista joins the Wine Women & Shoes team straight from one of our beloved charity partners. A graduate from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo with a degree in history and a socially responsible master’s in business administration from Antioch University, Krista has devoted her career to nonprofit development and service. 
Just before her last quarter at Cal Poly, Krista was hired by RISE in San Luis Obispo, and was thrilled to grow with that organization through a merger and expanding events, including chairing the first annual Wine Women & Shoes benefiting RISE event in 2015. Krista fell in love with the company, the event, the wine, and the fashion. She couldn’t resist asking to be the next team member to step into the Project Management team’s shoes.
Born and raised in California’s Central Valley and spending her adult life on the 
Central Coast appreciating the beauty of San Luis Obispo County’s wine country, 
Krista will soon be moving to Georgia with her U.S. Army husband in the fall of 2016. Look out for a name change soon! Krista is excited to expand the Wine Women & Shoes Company to the Southern East Coast and is looking forward to providing even more support to our charity partners there.

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Sue Furdek
Director of Business Development & Marketing 

Sue has travelled the world but is a California girl at heart. For the past 10 years, she oversaw marketing and communications for some of this country’s most iconic wineries and Cabernet producers including Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, Cardinale, and Lokoya. When Sue wasn’t working on Cabernet she did her part for the bubbly at Domaine Chandon where she led the public relations efforts.  Prior to her move to wine country, Sue was a city girl, working for the esteemed San Francisco advertising agency Hal Riney & Partners for over 10 years, followed by several years in sales for Conde Nast publications. She was then lured into the wine business by an internet startup during the first dot-com boom.  That startup later became


Sue loves to sip bubbly at long lunches with friends, entertain at home with her Australian Winemaker husband & walk her golden retriever in the vineyards. When she’s feeling more adventurous, skiing, sailing, scuba diving hiking and driving fast cars help her pass the time. We love Sue because you can find her in open toed shoes year round (yes, even in Winter) and nibbling on her favorite food, caviar and crème fraiche on potato chips.



Sharon Leighty
Director of Fund Development

Sharon focus is on enabling our charity partners to develop successful guest anddonor relationships through time. She has extensive experience in providing marketing leadership to companies as diverse as national healthcare corporations, Sonoma County and Napa Valley wineries, and international telecommunications giants serving clients like CBS, Time Warner, NBC, ABC, Disney, Warner Brothers, Spielberg, and Lucasfilm. She previously served as the Sonoma County Director for The Concierge Alliance of Napa Valley and Sonoma County, a 1,300 member organization that unites and educates the Northern California hospitality industry via monthly networking and educational events for 150 to 400.

Sharon sits on the Executive Board of The Healthcare Foundation of Northern Sonoma County, and for the past three years has been part of committees that have created what is now one of the top three successful Wine, Women & Shoes event in the country. She also serves on the Hospitality and Wine advisory committees for the renowned Green Music Center and the celebrated 1400-seat performance venue, Weill Hall. She is an advisor to Social Cause Films documentary film company and travels annually to the Sundance Film Festival to choose films for public screenings in the California wine country. Previously a winegrower and producer in the famed Alexander Valley, Sharon now enjoys city living in Healdsburg—more convenient for a busy mother of 17-year-old triplets! No stilettos for this gal -- Sharon’s closet is filled boots and sandals, as her passions are time spent on remote Pacific archipelago islands and training in French Dressage, the art of classical equestrian schooling.