2022 Program Recognition

Meet our 2022 Interns, Mentors, DSPs, and Wholesaler, who have brought passion, dedication, talent, and hardwork to the table to make this 2022 inaugural year, a great success!

2022 Participating Interns

Erin Lee

2022 Intern

Erin Lee Homeyer will be joining us by way of Canada and most recently, Brooklyn, NY where she has a career background in the fashion industry. Her most recent endeavors have expanded her skills in tasting by becoming a Certified TAC Tea Sommelier through the Academy of Tea and Tea and Herbal Association of Canada. She is thrilled to embark on this new journey that will help to hone and pair her skilled palette with her passion for craft spirits!

Yakntoro “Yaki” Udoumoh

2022 Intern

Yakntoro “Yaki” Udoumoh hails from Maryland just outside of the Washington D.C. area and is currently putting his Techniques of Alcohol Management (TAM) Certification from the Maryland Bartending School to great use, as a Bartender at the Colombia Room. His career in hospitality has led him to the doorsteps of the craft spirits industry, having had previous Internships with Craft Distillers. STEPUP is excited to see how this Howard University Alum will use his creative and ambitious outlook on building community to bust the craft spirits industry-wide open!

2022 Participating Mentors

Chris Underwood

2022 Mentor
STEPUP Board Member Chris Underwood has dedicated his career working for Young’s Market Company (a subsidiary of Young’s Holdings), one of the largest wine and spirits distributors in the U.S. Starting in the Los Angeles warehouse in 1996, he went on to become the Chief Executive Officer starting in 2011. Chris is also Chairman of the Board of the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA), a member of Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) of San Diego, and serves on the OM Foundation Board of Directors.

Sailor Guevara

2022 Mentor

With over 20 years in the craft spirits industry, Sailor Guevara has developed an “encyclopedic knowledge of whiskey,” as noted by American Whiskey Magazine. Her recent accolades include a distinction as a 2020 Icons of Whisky winner. In addition to writing, creating content, and podcasting, she is also the acting Founder & CEO of  Guevara Spirits based out of Stuart, FL. 

2022 Participating Distilleries

Westward Whiskey 

“Single Malt Reimagined. American Whiskey Elevated.”™
2022 Participating Distillery

Portland, Oregon

For nearly two decades, Westward has brought something new, different, and relevant to whiskey by reimagining what Single Malt can be, brewing it like a pale ale, distilling it like a traditional Single Malt, and aging it like a bourbon. The result is a robust spirit — the pinnacle of American whiskey. 
 
Westward is a whiskey of the elements, born from the unique culture, climate, and abundant resources of the American Northwest, where our relentless pursuit of perfection creates bold award-winning whiskeys.

Eight Oaks Farm Distillery

“We don’t just make whiskey, we make a difference.”™
2022 Participating Distillery

New Tripoli, Pennsylvania

Eight Oaks Farm Distillery is veteran-owned and family-run. We are located in the rolling farmlands of the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania. We grow all our own grains, including corn, wheat, rye, and barley to craft a wide range of award-winning spirits, like Bourbon, Rye Whiskey, Vodka, and Gin. It was in this soil that we found our name.

A symbol of strength, nature, and longevity, the oak tree provides the barrels that distillers have been using for centuries to age their spirits. At Eight Oaks strive to honor that legacy in everything we do.

Diageo, North America

2022 Participating Distillery, Cornerstone Partner

Multiple Locales, U.S.

Diageo North America is the leading premium drinks business and one of the best-performing CPGs across the United States and Canada.
Our success is built on a rich heritage, from a centuries-old bourbon recipe to aged Mexican tequilas and classic Caribbean spiced rum. Every day, our more than 2,600 people across North America proudly claim ownership for shaping Diageo North America’s future and playing an essential role in our brands’ success – proud custodians of Bulleit, Don Julio, Captain Morgan and many more iconic brands. This commitment, from US Spirits to Diageo Beer Company USA to Diageo Canada, has helped make North America Diageo’s largest market.

2022 Participating Distributor

Republic National Distributing Company

2022 Participating Distributor

Multiple Locales, U.S.

As a top wine and spirits distributor in the nation, Republic National Distributing Company’s (RNDC) national reach helps suppliers by building strategic relationships with on- and off-premise customers to elevate their brands and reach their target consumers. RNDC currently operates in the District of Columbia and 37 states across the United States, with the expected addition of the New York market in 2022.  

2022 Photo Gallery

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