Established know-how with a fresh perspective.

Meet the Directors of L.A. Spirits Awards

Nicolette Teo

FORTÉ: Competition Management
QUAFF: Singapore Sling

Nicolette Teo has immersed herself in the world of wine and spirits evaluation and promotions for her entire career.

As Managing Director of the San Francisco World Spirits Competition (SFWSC) from 2015 to 2018, Nicolette developed or re-engineered its complex organizational systems to chaperone over 2,600 entries and more than 50 judges each year through the judging process.

Nicolette has always maintained a close relationship with competitive events involving copious amounts of liquid: Prior to her diving professionally into the wine and spirits industry, she was a three-time Olympic swimmer for her native Singapore.

Joel Blum

FORTÉ: Marketing Strategies
QUAFF: Rye Manhattan

Joel Blum has been breaking traditional marketing rules—resulting in great success for his clients—for most of his working days.

Joel’s strategic marketing firm, Pace Design Group, helped Charles Schwab Mutual Funds break sales records and gave E*TRADE Securities its upstart image by challenging a common expectation that financial services marketing should be dull.

Joel helped launch the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2000, developing promotional programs for it and its winners that quickly made SFWSC the largest and best-known event of its kind.

He can’t one-up Nicolette’s Olympics experience, but if you press him for his own personal competitive history he will modestly tell of his first-prize victory in KCRW’s Good Eats Pie contest, savory division.

And then there’s the mortar for our bricks…

Cecilia Loschin

FORTÉ: All the money stuff
QUAFF: Spicy Margarita

Cecilia Loschin manages our finances and keeps us all in line, business-wise. But she does so much more than that.

Another veteran of the San Francisco World Spirits Competition and New York World Wine & Spirits Competition, Cecilia has worn many hats during 17 years working for those Competitions’ owner, Anthony Dias Blue—coordinating events, employee benefits, office management matters, as well as all finances. For seven years, Cecilia also served as Finance Director for The Tasting Panel Magazine, and prior to her submersion in the world of wine and spirits, she dipped her organizational toes in the legal and entertainment industries, too.

Cecilia joining the L.A. Spirits Awards team is another example of a career come full circle. Her very first job as a Napa Valley teenager: an event at Monticello Vineyards. (We’re detecting a beverage-related pattern here!)

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