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OUR TEAM

Meet The People

behind Epiphany...

Our passionate and knowledgeable sales team all play a vital part. Whether you are a winery and our team helps increase your brand recognition, or you are a customer who has a favorite sales rep who knows exactly what to recommend for you — our team is here to help you find what you want and need.

  • Kim Sear
    Kim Sear
    Director of Sales and Marketing
  • Paul DiMario
    Paul DiMario
    “Crusader of the Wine Geeks”
  • Gwendolyn G. Collins
    Gwendolyn G. Collins
    "Queen of Bubbles"
  • Nicole Ippolito
    Nicole Ippolito
    “The Dame of Dosage”
  • Whitney Griffith
    Whitney Griffith
    “Duchess of Cork”
  • Michael Lane
    Michael Lane
    “The Grand Cru-bah”
  • Michael Bostick
    Michael Bostick
    "Cap'n Crush"
  • Lindsay Jamieson
    Lindsay Jamieson
    "The Grapekeeper"
Kim Sear
Director of Sales and Marketing

Kim Sear’s interest in the wine industry began from several years working in restaurants during and after college. She soon realized that selling wine to enhance a guest’s dining experience was the most enjoyable part of the job! Kim decided to take this realization and run with it.

In order to get a foot in the door and learn the wine business from the ground up, she took an entry-level position at Jim Staton Distributing doing creative work designing wine lists and marketing materials. Kim was soon promoted to an On-Premise Sales Representative and then to On-Premise Manager. After Jim Staton Distributing was purchased by Mutual Distributing Company in 2000, she quickly moved on to become Mutual’s first On-Premise Statewide Sales Manager. During this time she also started managing brands for Mutual while being the liaison for the on-premise sales teams in the different branch operations around the state. Creating marketing strategies and promoting on-premise wine sales became a passion instead of a job.

Kim continued to gain experience in various managerial positions within Mutual Distributing Company. With her continued progression and passion for sales and distribution in the wine industry, she became a part of the design team that developed the concept for Epiphany Wine Company. She is now responsible for building and managing the sales team and the wineries Epiphany represents.

Her relationships with wineries, customers and sales teams are the foundation to her longevity in this industry. With over 24 years experience in the distribution side, Kim considers herself fortunate to have worked with some very influential people throughout the wine business that have impacted where it is today. Those relationships and partnerships continue to flourish today in Epiphany Wine Company.

While not working, Kim enjoys travel, weekend trips to the beach, cooking and entertaining and just spending time with family, friends and her dog, Lulu.

Paul DiMario
“Crusader of the Wine Geeks”

Paul DiMario is an Advanced Level Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers. His 20 years of experience in the wine industry, through both restaurants and distribution, has taken him from North Carolina to the mountains of Colorado and back. He has traveled extensively through wine regions, both domestically and abroad. Paul’s enthusiasm for the wine industry continues to compel him to the next level and receive the highest distinction available in wine, Master Sommelier. He is currently studying for the exam.

Before returning to North Carolina and joining Epiphany Wine Company, he lived in Vail, Colorado where he developed beverage programs in some of the area’s top restaurants, such as Latour Restaurant. His wine strength is Old World wine, especially Burgundy. He takes pride in understanding the needs of his customers and this has encouraged him to mentor young sommeliers to help strengthen the wine community. Paul’s dedication to the beverage industry has lead him to be trusted with leading the sales team for Epiphany as the “Crusader of the Wine Geeks”.

When not working and studying for the Masters Sommelier exam, Paul enjoys time spent with his wife Stacey and their two dogs, Trip and Braxton. He loves the outdoors and is an avid skier, hiker and during the warmer months Paul & Stacy spend much of their free time boating at the lake.

Gwendolyn G. Collins
"Queen of Bubbles"

Gwen grew up in Pawley’s Island, South Carolina with wine and food in her blood. She was allowed her first taste of Champagne when she was young, it was “love at first sip”. Her journey into the wine industry starts with a job during college at a “cigar bar” in Charleston, SC owned by the wine buyers for the award winning restaurant, Magnolia’s. They insisted Gwen read and memorize Windows of the World by Kevin Zraley which inspired her fascination for wine. Both of these events motivated her to attend “graduate” school at Johnson and Wales, in Charleston, where Gwen achieved a degree in culinary arts. Over the years in Charleston, Nantucket and Charlotte; this degree paved opportunities for Gwen to work closely with many chefs, build lifelong relationships and friendships. They all permitted her to experience many different facets of the restaurant business. Following her heart, Gwen discovered that mixology was the area she most enjoyed and of course, if you like doing something, you get good at it. The owner of a small restaurant in Charlotte with a wine program of over 100 wines recruited Gwen to be the GM and wine buyer. When the restaurant sold, she took a short sabbatical to figure out what was next.

During the first night of a wine certification class, a friend in wine distribution suggested she try wine sales and Gwen responded “No…I would be horrible at sales”. Ten years later, Gwen is still selling wine and that friend still helps her shine. Gwen attributes her success to surrounding herself with good people, being a good listener and lots and lots of luck. She feels fortunate to consider her customers, the winery reps, winemakers and winery owners, her personal friends. Gwen enjoys her competition and is happy to swap “war stories’ with them over a drink at the end of a day, but she has no fear in stealing their placements. “It is all in the love of the game and this is a game I love.”

Gwen was the first sales specialist hired for Epiphany Wine Company and is proud of the contributions she has made toward the success of the company, along with a talented team that works hard but knows how to have fun. The “Queen of Bubbles” is grateful to make a living doing something she loves and is thankful to all that encouraged her along the way!

When not working, this Pisces Dragon with a bohemian spirit and a dreamer’s soul, enjoys traveling, fishing, horseback riding and loving life.

Nicole Ippolito
“The Dame of Dosage”

Nicole was born and raised just outside of Washington D.C. While there, she was heavily influenced by the dynamic culture and culinary scene in the area, acquiring her first restaurant job at the age of 15. Ever since then, she has never looked back. You could say that beverage is in her blood. Growing up her father was an award-winning brewer. Her Grandfather, who immigrated from southern Italy, produced his own “House Wine” on his farm in central Illinois.

She moved to Charlotte, North Carolina in 2006 to pursue a Culinary Degree from Johnson & Wales University. Her original intention to become a chef was quickly eclipsed during a Wine Fundamentals Study Abroad Program in Germany. After her first sip of Spätlese she knew there was no turning back. Wine was her true passion. She continued to pursue her desire by furthering her wine education. She received her Certified Sommelier Diploma (ISGM) from the International Sommelier Guild in 2013. She continued to develop wine programs for retail shops and private clubs before becoming a Sales Representative for Johnson Brothers – Mutual Distributing in 2017.

She is thrilled to join the Epiphany team and looks forward to joining the ranks of such an elite team of wine professionals.

When off the clock you can find her enjoying a glass of wine (of course) while cooking her next elaborate meal. A fiercely practicing Yogi and avid Green Bay Packers fan, she enjoys taking time to relax with her husband Chris and dog Bubba.

Whitney Griffith
“Duchess of Cork”

One of the newest members of the Epiphany Wine Company team, Whitney Griffith was born and raised in Roanoke, Virginia. After moving to North Carolina as a teen, she received her Bachelor’s degree from University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill in 2002 with a Double Major in Psychology and Political Science. Whitney really liked living in the Triangle so much that after graduation she decided to stay put.

With over a decade of restaurant and service industry experience, including four years as a manager of the Tyler’s Taproom restaurant chain, Whitney decided to make a move in 2012 to work for Mutual Distributing Company as an On-Premise Sales Representative in the Durham and Chapel Hill areas. During her three years in this position, she has earned her Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) and Cicerone Beer Server (CBS). As a natural people person that loves to work with others, Whitney is excited about sharing her passion for wine, gaining more knowledge of the industry and meeting lots of new people!

When the “Duchess of Cork” is not chatting with customers, you will find her outside playing volleyball or hiking with her dog, Mason.

Michael Lane
“The Grand Cru-bah”

With 11 years of experience working for restaurants and 12 years with wholesale distributors, his inconceivable passion for wine and wine education guided Michael Lane to join the Epiphany Wine Company sales team in 2016. He is a Certified Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers and one of the few who has earned the Certified Wine Educator (CWE) from the Society of Wine Educators. Michael volunteers as a guest lecturer for both the Cape Fear Community College’s culinary program, teaching wine appreciation, as well as for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

Michael enjoys chatting with customers and presenting wines beneficial to making their wine program a success. You will often find the “Grand Cru-bah” holding training sessions for his customer’s staff or hosting wine tasting events. Michael’s love for pairing food and wine has encouraged some customers to get his assistance in putting together award-winning wine lists that have developed long lasting relationships in the process. Michael claims, “They’ll delight your current customers and entice new ones to come through the door!”

When not working, Michael is a self-proclaimed “extreme foodie,” loves to cook, be outdoors, camp, hike and forage for wild mushrooms. He likes to relax with his wife of 22 years at the beach, avoiding all of the yard work that he possibly can—unless it’s winter, when he loves sitting by the fire with a glass of wine, avoiding all the housework that he possibly can.

Michael Bostick
"Cap'n Crush"

Michael Bostick comes to Epiphany Wine Company after over a decade working in many different facets of the wine and service industry. After living in Europe during his early twenties, Mike returned to North Carolina and settled in Chapel Hill. There, he was fortunate to begin working for a chef and restaurateur who had a deep love of wine and an extensive cellar to show for it. In this new role, Mike learned that he had a passion for food and wine that was beginning to blossom. Mike both credits and blames many late nights in that cellar for his now unbreakable love of all things Champagne.

After years working in various restaurants in the Durham and Chapel Hill area, Mike was offered a position with one of North Carolina’s leading independent wine retailers, and began the process of learning the business of wine while continuing to further his vinous education. Eventually, Mike decided to turn towards the distribution side of the industry.

Mike has begun eagerly exploring Raleigh and surrounding environs in his new role with Epiphany. The chance to ‘research’ some of North Carolina’s best restaurants was not lost on Mike when the opportunity to work with Epiphany arose!

In his spare time Mike enjoys spending time with friends, family, and his dog Bishop. Mike is also an avid reader, visual arts enthusiast and music fan, and his oversized book and record collections are the source of much goodnatured kidding from his friends. Rare is the occasion when he is able to pass a used book or record store unexplored.

 

Lindsay Jamieson
"The Grapekeeper"

Born and raised in North Carolina, Lindsay graduated from North Carolina State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. She began her wine career in 2007 at Mutual Distributing Company as a Chain Account Representative in the DSD Department. From there, she was promoted to Executive Marketing Assistant and then Assistant to the President. When presented with the opportunity to join the Epiphany team, Lindsay accepted the challenge with enthusiasm.

Lindsay handles all alcohol compliance for Mutual Distributing Company and Epiphany Wine Company. She manages the office and ensures that daily operations run smoothly.

Lindsay is a Certified Specialist of Wine through the Society of Wine Educators and a Cicerone® Certified Beer Server.

In her spare time, you may find Lindsay building Lego sets or playing video games with her son, Owen. She enjoys reading, watching movies and drinking wine, of course.