Karla has rightly earned worldwide recognition for her spirits-industry journalism. As senior contributor for ForbesLife, spirits are her primary beat.
Prior to ForbesLife, Karla honed her craft during stints at Haute Media Group, The New York Observer, Metropolis Magazine, Lifestyle Mirror, and Tatler Philippines.
Karla is especially passionate about brown liquor, red meat, and green M&Ms.
Derek’s passion for spirits and cocktails has taken him across the globe where he’s studied the integral role that food and drink play in culture, customs, and values of communities worldwide. Derek is also a leading advocate in the bar industry for no- and low-alcohol cocktails and mindful drinking. Until recently, Derek was owner of the renowned Columbia Room bar in Washington, DC.
Tiffanie Barriere is an influencer and educator who has been awarded with some of the beverage industry’s highest honors. Her reputation as a public historian has opened doors for her to speak on multiple panels, and she has interpreted the cocktails of African American and women firsts in spirits at the James Beard House in New York City.
Erick began his cocktail empire at San Francisco’s Rickhouse and Bourbon & Branch, served as Brand Ambassador for Plymouth and Beefeater, and co-created New York City’s Boilermaker. This bartending behemoth has created unique beverage programs that have earned a place on some of the nation’s most coveted lists, including Esquire's Best Bars in America, Food & Wine’s “World’s Top Bars” and countless nominations at the prestigious Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards in New Orleans.
Having helped develop and launch numerous successful craft spirits brands throughout his career, Clyde is currently the Vice President of U.S. Sales for Equiano Rum. Clyde owns 75 Proof Beverage Solutions and is a partner in Vergys Capital.
As an influencer within the African American Community, Samara consults and advocates for diversity and inclusion in direct consumer marketing standards and the importance of having "a seat at the table" within the spirits industry. Samara also speaks and moderates panel discussions at festivals across the country and hosts private educational whiskey tasting seminars.
John is a celebrated mixologist, author, and workers rights advocate with over a decade of experience crafting delicious drinks. John founded Proteau, a line of zero-proof botanical drinks. In March 2020, his nonprofit RWCF established a Covid-19 relief fund and has so far raised over $8 million to fund relief efforts for affected hospitality industry workers.
Kim has been a judge on Iron Chef America, and her many guest TV appearances include the “The Today Show,” CBS’s “Early Morning Show,” and “Fox & Friends,” to name just a few. Her work has been seen in dozens of publications, from The Wall Street Journal to Redbook (as their “Mommy Mixologist”).
As staff writer and reviewer at VinePair, Tim specializes in cocktail culture, wine, and spirits. Before writing about booze, Tim worked as a professional chef in award-winning kitchens in London and Buenos Aires.
Lauren has worked many roles in the food and beverage industry, including lead bartender of Drink Co., F&B Manager for Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants in Washington, DC, and most recently as bartender at Silver Lyan at the Riggs DC Hotel. Today, she spends her time creating diverse, inclusive, and equitable spaces through her work with Focus on Health. She is currently the Seedlip Brand Ambassador in Washington, DC, a Safe Bars Trainer, and the social media coordinator for Speed Rack.
Eryn honed her craft behind the stick at some of the most celebrated bars in New York City including Death & Co. and Mayahuel. She currently serves as Bar Director at New York’s Banzabar and Freemans Restaurant.
Joseph resides where luxury meets taste and has created cocktail for celebrities and red carpet events including the Grammys, BET Awards, and Rihanna’s Diamond Ball.
Mark is a talented spirits expert and brand ambassador who brought Hendrick’s gin from small craft status to mainstream success.
Masa is an ace bartender with more than 17 years’ experience in the field. He is currently the Managing Partner, Head Bartender, and Director of Deliciousness at Katana Kitten, an award-winning Japanese-influenced cocktail bar in New York City. Masa's book, The Japanese Art of the Cocktail, was published in June of 2021 to considerable acclaim.