Advisors and Instructors

*This is the complete list of instructors affiliated with Whiskey Marketing School. If anyone not on this list tells you they are an instructor at our school, please know otherwise.*

Daniel Whittington

Other than his music and business background, Daniel spent a cumulative 5+ years as a bartender. He’s been obsessively studying whiskey for 20 years. He started the wine sommelier program and stopped when he realized he didn’t love wine as much as everyone else in the program did. It’s still an amazing program, and he learned from it his love of their deductive tasting methodology and understanding of sensory involvement. He is a founding member and current board member of the Texas Whisky Association and an owner of a Texas distillery called the Crowded Barrel Whiskey Co.

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Joe and Kate Van Name

Kate Van Name spent several years in the professional education, certification, and testing industry and was the head of one of the world’s foremost certification companies.  She has over 12 years of management and consulting experience in curriculum process and test development as well as credentialing in over 300 industry professions such as Healthcare, IT, Engineering, and Finance. Kate helped us format our classes, exams, and records in a way that was designed to meet the requirements of a world recognized certification. Kate also ran consulting for vineyards and wineries in MD for several years. Her industry involvement included being in the Maryland Vineyard Association, Maryland Wine Association, and the VP of the Marylanders for Better Beer and Wine Laws lobbying group. 

Kate and her husband Joe both obtained Diplomas in Single Malt Scotch from the Edinburgh Whisky Academy, are avid investors in barrel projects and start-up distilleries, and own a company that provides guided tastings and food pairings for restaurants, private tasting events, and whiskey blending experiences as well as travel consulting and planning to distilleries in Scotland and Ireland.

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Steve Rae

Steve Rae has decades of experience in business development, marketing, radio, and communications. He was invited to become a member of our faculty because of his love of whisky and his ability to communicate that category specific knowledge and business acumen to the students. He’s also an amazing teacher of public speaking and event planning.

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Philip and Susan Prichard

Philip and Susan Prichard are of the “Prichard’s Tennessee Whiskey” family and help teach the courses focused entirely on bourbon. They have spent years distilling and decades representing whiskey brands in the industry. Susan is a Stave and Thief Certified Bourbon Steward. They’ve also managed numerous restaurants and country clubs.

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Chrissy Martin

Chrissy Martin has been an influential and knowledgeable blogger, podcaster, and bourbon expert for years. She has a decade plus of experience in guided tastings, whisky reviews, whisky recipes, and industry training. Chrissy Martin is a Stave and Thief Executive Bourbon Steward.

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Deb Niemeyer

Deb Niemeyer has 20 years experience in information technology and business start-ups but her true passion is whiskey.  Deb has traveled the world exploring, tasting and discussing whiskey.  Deb completed distillery training in the US and blending classes in Scotland, and is the Head Distiller for Crowded Barrel Whiskey Company.  Deb and her business partner own Whiskey Chick, a company providing guided whiskey tastings for private and corporate events.  Deb and her husband also own a craft beer bar and a brewery where Deb gained her brewing knowledge.

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Anthony Dina

Anthony Dina is currently a manager at Dell, but his heart’s focus and years of training are in the culinary world working with some of the world’s top chefs. He teaches the science of food, whisky pairing, and the history of taste through the millennia.

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Zac Smith

For over a decade Zac has been diving headlong into the why’s and how’s of whiskey. Haunted by IF-THEN, he took his love of deductive reasoning and created the Sequential Whiskey Tasting Chart. A system for blind tasting that helps you know what’s in your glass. In 2015 Zac and his wife, LeAnne, started WhiskeySmiths.com. Since then they’ve traveled all over helping people get more out of their whiskey. Zac teaches Sequential Tasting and the technical details of whiskey making. He helps students connect their knowledge of whiskey, the IF, to the final flavor profile, the THEN

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Chris Maddock

Chris Maddock is an award-winning and world-renowned ad writer. He focuses on teaching marketing and ad writing to our students during our sessions. Ask his opinion of a particular whisky, and he’ll likely say he needs to investigate further.