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3 OFFICES     1 TEAM     1 INDUSTRY

WHY BENSON

Benson is the leading wine and spirits-focused marketing agency in the United States, with an expanding presence in France.

Since 2000, we have worked with a blue chip roster of wine and spirits clients, helping them launch and re-launch brands, drive awareness, and convert buzz into advocacy and sales.

Our vision is to be the preeminent global wine and spirits marketing agency. In 2005 we opened an office in New York, and then another in France in 2012. Over the years our services have evolved to incorporate digital marketing, media partnerships and advocacy marketing, among others. But we have never sought to be the biggest. With a cross-cultural perspective and a collaborative approach, our goal has been to be the best at what we do.

SERVICE1

3 OFFICES, 1 TEAM

Benson is the only marketing agency with offices in the dynamic, epicurean markets of New York City, Napa Valley and Lyon. Working as one team, our collective finger is on the pulse of influencers in the U.S. and France.

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WINE & SPIRITS FOCUS

Our love for non-traditional marketing and great storytelling–and for all things vinous and spirituous–propels some of the industry’s best-known brands.

VIEW CLIENTS

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INTEGRATED MARKETING

Clients benefit from cross-functional account teams composed of specialists in branding, PR, digital advertising and advocacy marketing.  This combination of industry focus and service integration is the key reason Benson’s average client engagement exceeds four years.

TEAM BENSON

Benson’s vision is to create the preeminent global wine and spirits marketing agency.

To get there, the agency pursues a simple people strategy, the “Upward Spiral.” The agency adds truly outstanding people to our account teams, who deliver stellar results, which attract the right clients, and allows us to expand and evolve. This self-reinforcing strategy influences every aspect of the company.

Aleta La Borie
Senior Account Executive

Aleta La Borie joined the agency’s New York office in 2015, bringing more than 17 years of wine and spirits brand management, trade sales, and winery management experience to her role. Aleta’s primary responsibilities are brand development and portfolio positioning, sales, on and off premise trade promotions, and advertising.

Prior to joining Benson, Aleta held sales and marketing positions with some of the world’s leading producers and distributors. She directed trade collateral and activation for Remy-Cointreau USA, and has held brand management and brand consulting roles with Diageo and WJ Deutsch & Sons. She launched Napa Valley’s Darioush winery as its general manager and, prior to that, directed client projects at HKA Design in San Francisco. She holds a degree in Classical Studies from New York University.
Telephone: +1 917.633.6004

Emma Criswell
Account Executive

Criswell first became fascinated by wine and spirits during her Master’s program at Ohio University. Fascination grew into a passion and she made it her mission to learn as much could and to find a way to parlay her passion into a career. After an internship at Michel Schlumberger Wine Estate in California’s Dry Creek Valley, she never looked back. Today, with eight years of industry experience, Emma specializes in creating compelling brand stories that set clients apart.

Criswell is a power networker, an event planner with a keen eye for details, and a calm problem solver.

Criswell joined Benson’s New York office in 2018 from Maisons Marques & Domaines, the importing house of Champagne Louis Roederer and its properties around the world. There, she coordinated and managed all press and trade outreach for MMD brands as well as planning, oversight and execution of company events and sponsorships. She is a graduate of Ohio University with a Master of Arts in Communications, and a Viticulture & Vinification Certificate holder from the American Sommelier Association.

Telephone: +1 707.738.1161

Aurélie Khalidi
Designer

Aurelie Khalidi is a freelance graphic designer, art director and illustrator. She graduated with distinction in fine arts from École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts. After several years of inspiring work with several advertising and design agencies—including Pôle Company and OPS2 in Nice, Rouge in Paris–she founded Orange Vif in 2007. She builds on successful experiences working in London, Paris, Nice and now Lyon. She applies her creativity to ad design, visual identity, branding, packaging, and web design. Her range of experience is very broad, including Volvo, X-Box , Campari, Nice Aéroport International, St Gobain, Nokia, Yves Leccia and Domaine Michelas St Jemms, among others.

Susan Benson
Finance Manager

Since 2007, Susan has managed the agency’s accounts payable, cashflow, and client expense accounts. She coordinates a range of different domestic and international accounts the agency uses to fund operations and client campaigns. Prior to joining the agency, she managed winemaking, vineyard and office management projects as Pahlmeyer Winery’s first full-time employee, in Napa Valley. Her finance career began in Los Angeles at First Interstate Bancorp, managing corporate and municipal debt obligations, and she continued in that role later in the bank’s San Francisco department. She has a B.A. in History from the University of Redlands, in southern California.
Telephone: +1 707.486.8150

Jeremy Benson
President

Benson founded the agency in 2000 and directs client strategy and creative development. He speaks frequently at industry conferences and university seminars on digital media, direct marketing and brand marketing.

Prior to starting Benson Marketing Group, he was brand manager and export sales manager at Franciscan Estates, and marketing director for the Napa Valley Vintners Association which brought him from Los Angeles to Napa. While in LA, he managed PR campaigns for LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton brands including Domaine Chandon, Moet & Chandon, Hennessy Cognac, and Tanqueray.

Benson holds an MBA from the University of Southern California and a BA from Occidental College, both in Los Angeles.

Sample of Industry Boards and Speaking Engagements:

  • Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine & Food Science, UC Davis: Former Board of Executives
  • UC Davis Wine Executive Program: Past Marketing Seminar Lecturer
  • Direct to Consumer Wine Symposium: Past Chairman, Current Steering Committee Member
  • University of California at Davis, Board of Visitors & Fellows: Former Director

Telephone: +1 707.254.1107

Sarah Jones
Vice President

Jones leads a variety of marketing efforts, developing strategy and executing tactics to create buzz for clients and their products. She has a keen interest in market place trends, what people are drinking and how they are spending their free time. Thinking like an editor, Jones has a knack for developing appealing storylines that resonate with writers and result in ink for the agency’s clients.

Prior to joining the agency, Jones worked for Robert Mondavi Corporation’s headquarters in Napa where she coordinated media campaigns for the company’s wine brands. She graduated from Boston College.

Telephone: 707.254.1114

Jeanne Peron
Manager, France

Jeanne joined the world of wine in 2005 after obtaining an MBA in Wine Marketing & Management from INSEEC-Bordeaux. After a brief time doing marketing for Vinexpo, she joined communications agency Clair de Lune in Lyon as an Account Executive. She worked for a number of appellations like Crozes-Hermitage, Vacqueyras and various appellations in Languedoc and managed Public Relations for clients such as Nomacorc, and the Loire Valley Wine Trade Fair.

Jeanne joined Benson Marketing Group in 2012 to lead the opening of our Paris office. With her experience in wine and spirits, Jeanne is able to give her clients a total global vision of the market as well as the most appropriate marketing strategies for success in France.

Telephone:

+33 (0)6 60 12 62 24
+33 (0)4 37 44 02 83

Thea Schlendorf
Senior Account Executive

Drawing on her experience working with Italian, Spanish and Portuguese brands, Schlendorf coordinates media outreach, story pitching projects and social media campaigns that garner attention for a diverse array of wines and vineyards. She also brings a tenacious and organized hand to wine events for press and trade.

Schlendorf joined Benson’s New York office in 2008 from Winebow, a successful wine importer and distributor located in New York. Working in the education department, Schlendorf developed training materials to help the sales team and buyers better understand and sell the company’s broad portfolio of brands. Schlendorf is a Certified Specialist of Wine, Certified Sommelier through the Court of Master Sommeliers, and graduated with a BA in history and economics from Colgate University.

Telephone: +1 917.633.6002, extension 1

Ben Palos
Senior Account Executive

Ben joined the agency in 2013, bringing an array of public relations and marketing experience from his work with clients in the hospitality and restaurant industries. An avid learner, Ben enjoys studying the worlds of wine, spirits and food, and applying his knowledge to help clients achieve their goals.

Prior to Benson, he worked at Seigenthaler Public Relations, an award-winning marketing firm in Nashville, Tennessee, where he crafted and implemented strategic communications programs. He graduated from Belmont University with a major in public relations and a minor in business administration. He also completed the foundation level of the Wine Business Management Certificate program at Sonoma State University. A Texas native, Ben referees youth ice hockey games in his spare time.

Telephone: +1 707.254.1167

Megan Helphand
Account Coordinator

Megan joined Benson’s Napa office in early 2016 with a background in public relations and trade events. Her specialties include assisting with community engagement across all social media platforms, as well as developing content for PR campaigns and creative marketing strategies.
Prior to Benson she worked for companies such as Francis Ford Coppola Winery in trade and public relations. Megan graduated from Sonoma State University with a degree in Wine Business Strategies and Marketing.

Telephone: +1 707.260.0124

Alisa Langer
Account Coordinator

Alisa brings a wide range of experiences and perspectives to her work at Benson. Alisa grew up in Moscow, Russia for almost 10 years and has traveled extensively.

Alisa contributes to many of Benson’s public relations, social media and digital campaigns. Previously, she worked for Ruder Finn in New York on the McDonald’s and Novartis teams where she placed stories in top-tier publications. Prior to that, her interest for marketing and public relations grew while working for the Bedford Post Inn (Bedford, New York) where she led a variety of marketing campaigns and managed the Inn’s social media presence.

Alisa earned a B.S. in Marketing at SUNY Plattsburgh.

Telephone: +1 917.633.6002, ext 8

Ron DeAngelis
IT Consultant

DeAngelis is a seasoned Information Technology executive that has been working with startup companies for over 20 years. Ron graduated from San Jose State University with a BS degree in Business Administration/Finance and Communications. He founded and has led Jump Start Technology, an IT consulting firm headquartered in Mountain View, CA, for more than 15 years. Jump Start has set up and managed the IT infrastructure for over 100 startup companies during this time.

Ron’s prior experience includes managing IT at C-Cube Microsystems (as it grew from 150 to 1200 employees with offices worldwide in less than 3 years), Novell, and Franklin-Templeton. Ron and his wife, Sonya live in Los Altos with their three children. Ron is also heavily involved in the community and holds leadership positions in both Boy Scouts and a youth soccer organization. He loves to travel, hike and spend time with his family.

Telephone: +1 650.949.0667

Katie Keene

Pauline Ben hamou
Digital Communications

Pauline joined the agency in early 2018, focusing on digital communications, including creating and executing social media content and digital media campaigns across different platforms. She has a keen eye for design and compelling content.

Born in the heart of Burgundy, Pauline’s family had a deep passion for wine and food. Curious by nature, she first studied history before studying communication and marketing, graduating from l’Institut de la Communication et des Médias de Grenoble.

Telephone: +33 (0) 4 37 44 02 83

Katie Keene

Katie Keene
Account Coordinator

Katie joined the Napa office in 2017, bringing a wide range of writing and wine industry experience. She discovered her passion for wine while working as an Editorial Assistant in Los Angeles. After getting her feet wet in wine retail, she continued to study wine and held marketing positions at Le Cuvier in Paso Robles and Cliff Lede Vineyards in Napa Valley. Her focus at Benson is applying her passions as a foodie, wine enthusiast and writer to social and digital media content development.

Katie holds a B.A. in English Literature from Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. She has also passed her WSET2, and completed the Accelerated Wine and Beverage Certification Program at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena, California.

Telephone: +1 707.254.9393

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Kamyn Asher
Account Executive

Kamyn joined the Napa office in 2016, bringing a range of consumer marketing experiences to Benson. In 2014 she moved out to California from New York City and worked with the Far Niente family of wineries in social media, wine education and production. Kamyn brings her passion and knowledge of the wine industry and her background in media to the team at Benson where she focuses on creating and executing social media content and digital media campaigns across different platforms.

Kamyn’s background is in film/cinematography; she holds a B.A. from Scripps College in Claremont, California. In addition, she continues to pursue her love of wine through WSET and additional classes.

Telephone: +1 707.254.1168

Katie Keene

Meryl Bouchier
Account Executive

Meryl joined Benson’s Lyon office in 2017 as PR and digital project manager.

While she has a degree in law, the draw of wine and food drew her to obtain a Master’s degree in marketing at ICN Business School in 2015, and later, a WSET 2 certificate.

Prior to joining Benson, Meryl developed her communications skills at the renowned wine estate Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) and prior to that working for an agency specializing in food and wine communications in New York City. There, she managed numerous promotional, digital and event campaigns for the French Ministry of Agriculture and French wine regions.

Telephone: +33 (0) 4 37 44 02 83

ARE YOU READY TO JOIN OUR TEAM?

If you are inspired by how our strategy supports our vision, we invite you to review our current openings.

AGENCY NEWS

New York, Lyon Offices Expand with New Hires, Clients

Benson’s New York and Lyon offices are growing with the addition of new professionals. Meryl Bouchier and Pauline Ben hamou have joined Benson’s Lyon office.
WX Brands Retains Benson for PR and Digital Campaigns

WX Brands has retained Benson to join its brand marketers on new promotions to raise awareness, trial and sales of its national wine brands.
Resurgent Clos du Val Taps Benson

One of Napa Valley’s benchmark wineries, Clos du Val is set to reimagine the Stags Leap District winery for the next generation.