American Wine Society Instructors

Your Wine Training

Whichever program you select at the American Wine Society, you can be confident your wine training is in good hands. Instructors of the Wine Judge Certification Program and WineSmarts are experts in their field. Together they bring many decades of experience wine tasting, exploration, and judging wines.

Learn More from People Who Know.

WJCP Instructors

Dave Barber


WJCP Year 3

VA – Northern Virginia Chapter (Fairfax)
Member since 1979

Dave Barber is from Virginia and is a facilitator in Year 3 as well as the administrator of the Final Examination for the WJCP. He has served in these positions for many years and continues to have a passion for helping students hone their skills as a wine judge. He has judged in many wine competitions through the years as well as chairing the Atlantic Seaboard Wine Competition for almost twenty years. He has traveled to many countries, visiting many wine regions across three continents, and continues to proclaim that his favorite wine is the one in the glass from which he is drinking!

JoAnn V. DeGaglia


WJCP Coordinator, Education Comm, WJCP Year 2

NY – Westchester Chapter
Member since 2009

JoAnn is a Certified Specialist of Wine as well as a Certified Advanced Sommelier. She has earned both an American and Italian Wine Specialist Degree from the North American Sommelier Association with honors. JoAnn was an Associate Instructor at the Westchester Wine School in New York and the North American Sommelier Association in Los Angeles. A Certified Wine Judge with Merit, she has judged at numerous competitions around the US. As an International Wine Judge, she has been a Juror for the Frankfurt, Berlin International and Concours International de Lyon. JoAnn is a retired Special Ed Program Director who works part time at two of the Hudson Valley’s great wine destinations, Brotherhood-America’s Oldest Winery and Wine Spectator’s award-winning Glenmere Mansion.

Lorraine Hems


WJCP Year 2

NY – Rochester Chapter
Member since 1997

Lorraine Hems has been involved in the wine and spirits industry for over 40 years. The Finger Lakes region is where she has lived since birth. She has experience in retail, wholesale, and education. She is a Senior Lecturer of beverage and food courses in the Hospitality and Tourism Management Department at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, NY. She authored a workbook, then website, titled Passport to the World of Wines, and has now gone back to a workbook Is Wine a Foreign Language? Lorraine is a Certified Wine Judge with Merit with the American Wine Society and teaches in their Certified Wine Judge program. She has presented at and attended many AWS conferences. Further accreditations include the CWE and CSS with the Society of Wine Educators and serves on their Board of Directors. She is also a CS with the Court of Master Sommeliers, and the WSET Level 3 Certification. She teaches their courses at several locations. Lorraine just completed her Wine Scholar Guild Certified Sherry Wine Specialist. She helped start the Rochester chapter of Women for WineSense and has received their Lifetime Achievement Award. Lorraine judges at amateur and commercial wine and spirit competitions held in the US and internationally. Locally, she has worked with a variety of charities on wine events. She kinda loves wine.

Carole Hackett



KY – Daniel Boone Chapter (Frankfort)
Member since 2013

With a background in healthcare, Carole’s undergraduate degree in Biology and Chemistry has been valuable in her wine studies. Her passion for wine has led her to seek further education. She is Wine Judge Certification Program Co-coordinator and is a Certified Wine Judge with merit. Carole remains active in teaching and learning. Carole has presented sessions at the American Wine Society annual conferences in wine continuing education for judges . Carole earned her Level 2 WSET certification with Merit as well as her Sommelier certification from the National Wine School. Carole serves as the Regional Ambassador for Eastern Kentucky for the American Wine Society as well as education liaison of the local chapter in Frankfort KY. Carole enjoys judging amateur and commercial competitions. Her nine years of judging experience have taken her through much of the USA. Competitions judged include: Indy International , Finger Lakes International Wine Competition, Tennessee Valley Oenological Society, Kentucky State Fair, Franklin County Fair, Hamilton County 4H amateur event, Denver International Wine Competition, The Houston Rodeo Uncorked, Georgia Trustees Wine Challenge, The Alabama Amateurs event, Michigan Mead Cup, The Big E, Minnesota State Fair, The Mid-Atlantic Southeastern/Carolina Classic Wine competition, The Wines of the South, Illinois Amateur, The Cincinnati Vintners Association and the Kentucky Commissioners Cup. Her favorite wine is that which is enjoyed with friends!

Laurie A. Jaeger


WJCP Year 1

IN – Tippie Tasters Chapter (Lafayette)
Member since 2010

Laurie is a Certified Specialist of Wine and Certified Wine Judge, and member of the AWS Tippie Tasters Chapter. In addition to judging AWS amateur and commercial wine competitions, she has judged at regional venues, including the Indy International and Indiana State Fair. Her veterinary career has included practice, research, teaching, and administration, and she is enjoying bringing her expertise and passion for teaching to the Wine Judge Certification Program. She is an avid gardener and home cook and likes to explore new wines and food and wine pairings.

Kevin Ostrowski

CWJM, WSET3 (with Merit), CSW, WSG Champagne Master

WJCP Years 1 and 2

PA – Beaver County Chapter of AWS
Member since 2006

A retired teacher and nuclear power executive, Kevin has been an AWS member since 2010. He is active as an AWS Certified Wine Judge with Merit (Class of 2016) and also serves as a member of the AWS Education Committee in addition to being the Chapter Chair of the AWS Beaver County Chapter. He holds a WSET3 (with Merit) award, is a Certified Specialist of Wine, and holds a Champagne Master Level Certificate from the Wine Scholar Guild. He is a member of the Wine Century Club and is PA RAMP Certified. An award-winning amateur winemaker, Kevin also enjoys teaching wine classes for Butler County Community College and has judged numerous wine competitions in the North East. Kevin, and his more than patient wife Cheryl, reside in Beaver, PA and keep busy with family, cooking, gardening, traveling and trying to keep up with a 5-year-old grandson.

“It’s the people you’re with that make every glass of wine memorable.”  

Bob Madill


WJCP Year 2

NY – Rochester Chapter
Member since 1994

Bob started his wine industry career in Niagara, Ontario and then co-founded Sheldrake Point Winery, Finger Lakes, NY in 1997.  He was Winegrower, GM and Partner for 12+ years overseeing the development and operation of a 40-acre vineyard, winery, tasting room and distribution sales. Bob  is currently the Wine Consultant for Kindred Fare Restaurant, Geneva and as a Special Projects Consultant for the FLWA, Bob is frequently involved in industry issues.  He is a Board member of the International Riesling Foundation and represents Tonnellerie Bossuet in the Finger Lakes, NY and Niagara, ON.  This responsibility brings him into frequent contact with winemakers in the Finger Lakes as well as Niagara, ON. Bob is the Head Judge for the Finger Lakes International Wine & Spirits Competition. He has judged at numerous domestic and international wine competitions including as a Jury President at the Concours des Grands Vins Blancs du Monde in Strasbourg, France and Sélections Mondiales des Vins Canada in Quebec City, Canada  (for several years). In recognition of his contribution to the FLX wine industry, in 2009 Bob was awarded the New York Wine & Grape Foundation Unity Award,

Bob is WSET 3 certified, a Certified Sommelier (Court of Master Sommeliers), and has been a certified AWS Wine Judge Instructor for many years. He is a frequent presenter of educational seminar-tastings to the American Wine Society.

Nancy Slick


WJCP Year 3

MD – Carroll County Chapter (Westminster)
Member since 1989


WineSmarts Instructors

Sharyn Kervin

Sharyn Kervyn de Volkaersbeke


WineSmarts Coordinator
WineSmarts II Instructor

Sharyn is a diploma Wine and Spirit Education Trust graduate with honors (dipWSET), Society of Wine Educators Certified Specialist of wine (CSW), Tastevin level member with the Dionysian Wine Society and Sommelier through the Court of Master Sommeliers. She is also an International and AWS Certified Wine Judge with Merit (CWJM), and judges annually for competitions around the world, including OIV competitions in Europe and the International Wine Challenge (IWC) in London.
Sharyn opened the Getty Center Museum in Los Angeles as Catering Director and has held wine director and general manager posts in California, Philadelphia and New Jersey. Her business, KdV Wine Services, offers consulting and wine education courses she wrote and teaches for area colleges and universities, earning her membership into the prestigious Association of Wine Educators.
Sharyn currently chairs a chapter she founded and serves on the national Wine Education Committee for AWS. 

Kathy Webb

Kathy Webb

WSET 2, Graduate Wine Judge AWS

WineSmarts I Instructor

Dr. Kathy Webb is a licensed Chiropractor and a curious soul. She found the American Wine Society in a search for understanding of the magic that is wine.
Taking this passion a step further, she earned her American Wine Society Wine Judging Certification (CWJ) in 2008 and was an instructor for Year One of the Wine Judge Certification Program (WJCP) from 2015 to 2018. She has also been a Wine Smarts I (formerly Super Tasting) instructor since 2021.
In addition, Kathy passed her WSET2 in 2019, and judges for professional and amateur competitions across the country, including Indy International, Winemaker Magazine, Georgia and South Carolina competitions.
When she’s not wearing her Chiropractor jacket, Kathy enjoys making Muscadine in her home state of Georgia in her spare time!

Susan Lynham

Susan Lynham

WSET Certified Wine Educator

WineSmarts II Instructor

Susan joined the American Wine Society family as a WineSmarts II instructor and is a member of AWS chapters in Delaware and New Jersey.
She also currently teaches at the Philly Wine School in Philadelphia and founded a Delaware branch of WSET.
She has achieved the highest level of certification with WSET (Wine & Spirits Education Trust) Diploma Level 4 and achieved honors recognition as a French Wine Scholar from the Wine Scholar Guild. She was recently accepted into the Association of Wine Educators in the UK in recognition of her professionalism and expertise in wine.
Susan is passionate about wine education and offers classes at all levels, from her fun Sip & Learn Series through her business Sumptuous Tastings, to advanced Master Classes.
Susan has truly found her calling as she believes wine brings people and communities together in ways that promote goodwill and kinship.

Brandon Seager

Brandon Seager

Masters Oenology/Viticulture

WineSmarts I Instructor

Brandon earned his master’s degree at Cornell University in Oenology and Viticulture.
He has spent the last two decades as a commercial winemaker, at wineries such as Red Newt, and is a wine consultant. Brandon also served on the faculty of wine marketing at the State University of New York, Tompkins Cortland Community College. His wines have received 90+ scores in Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, Wine and Spirits Magazine.
Brandon is a WSET3 graduate, and a CSW with the Society of Wine Educators.
A highlight of Brandon’s career was a spirited dinner conversation with Jancis Robinson about Finger Lakes Riesling. Brandon has been teaching AWS WineSmarts I since 2017 and participates in the wine judging circuit.
Outside of wine, he enjoys music, travel, and the outdoors. He is also dog lover, foodie, and new millennial bon vivant. Brandon is pretty bad at piano and golf but hopes to someday be better at both.