Meet The People
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’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 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.
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.
After 15 years of working in restaurants, Brian Mockler began his career in the wine industry. He started with Mutual Distributing Company working as an On-Premise Sales Representative, quickly rising through the ranks to On-Premise Sales Supervisor for the Charlotte Branch.
Brian has also worked as a Brand Manager in the Raleigh corporate office during his 13 year tenure at Mutual Distributing Company. When he had the opportunity to get back in front of chefs and wine lovers with Epiphany Wine Company, he jumped at it!
Brian is a self-proclaimed “foodie” and has been since the age of 10. He makes the most of his passion for food and wine to create the perfect balance professionally. Building long-term relationships with customers is a priority to Brian. He invests the time in getting to know the precise needs of each of the customers. Frequently, they trust Brian’s recommendations for revisions or substitutions without tasting the wine first!
The “Vinous Virtuoso” is constantly amazed by the quality of the wines he represents at Epiphany as well as the integrity of the people who create them. This passion also motivated Brian to earn the Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) certification in 2015.
When he is not selling wines to his customers, Brian likes to travel, spend time with his friends and family, cook and shoot competitively as well as for fun!
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.
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.
After receiving her B.S. in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting from the University of West Florida, Annalisa moved to Washington D.C. to begin her professional career. In D.C., she worked for the Investment Company Institute, the national trade association of U.S. investment companies as a manager in the Statistical Research division for twelve years.
Missing the relaxing lifestyle that she knew growing up in Florida and her native Jamaica, she moved to a small town outside of Raleigh, North Carolina and fell in love with the area.
Annalisa has been working with Kim Sear since 2008, managing the office, database and doing behind-the-scenes work for the sales team. She often assists our winery partners with their needs including compliance assistance and reporting.
Annalisa is the “team cheerleader”; helping the sales team engage their customers and share the wines they love. When she’s not rooting on the sales team, she can usually be found cheering on her own team of two children at their numerous sporting events.
Having grown up in Charleston, CC Glenn is thrilled to return to her South Carolina roots as a member of the Epiphany Wine Company sales team in its expansion..
In her teens and while in college, CC was able to travel extensively throughout France, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Greece and Portugal. She has lived in both Paris and Brussels, volunteered in Kenya, traveled down the Nile in Egypt and researched female chefs for her thesis in Morocco.
CC’s love of the hospitality industry blossomed while pursuing her undergraduate degree at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In school, she accepted her first job in the industry as a hostess at an iconic Chapel Hill restaurant. She vividly remembers her “aha” wine moment as the first time she sipped on a brand not-to-be-named’s big, bold and juicy Napa Valley Cabernet.
After graduating from UNC-CH with degrees in Journalism and Psychology, CC moved with her now husband to New York City to attend graduate school. She attended New York University where she earned a dual masters in Global Journalism and French Studies. While at NYU she worked at the prestigious James Beard House where she worked with chefs and sommeliers from around the world. CC also worked as a Marketing and Digital Manager for a French-American publishing company.
After she and her husband tired of the big bad city in the North, they decided to return to the more peaceful lands of North Carolina. CC was the Gourmet Editor and Columnist for Metro Magazine for two years before joining the On Premise Sales Team at Mutual Distributing in Raleigh.
CC adores creating and sustaining long lasting relationships with her coworkers, customers and suppliers. She is passionate about the people and the places behind each wine she represents and loves to learn about the history and the culture each wine embodies. CC is a Certified Specialist of Wine, a Certified Beer Server and a Certified Sake Advisor.
If you’re in the mood for a good story, ask her about the time she guided her parents on a cycling tour through the Loire Valley wine country. She may or may not have accidentally led them through the French Foreign Legion’s training lands loaded with live mines!
In her free time CC loves cooking, entertaining, reading and spending quality time with her family and her sweet kitty MoMo.
Travel the world with CC, one glass of wine at a time!
Jeremy’s passion for wine began in is hometown of Louisville, KY while working at The Oakroom in the historic Seelbach Hotel. During Saturday pre-shift meetings, he was bitten by the “wine bug” while tasting wines and learning all he could. Working his way up to Lead Captain and helping the restaurant earn Kentucky’s only Triple A Five Diamond Award, he refined his palate and reaffirmed his passion for the wine business.
A chance meeting after 6 years at The Oakroom led Jeremy to find his true passion in wine sales for a boutique wine distributor. His affinity for building customer relationships and presenting wine in an approachable way helped him progress from sales representative to managing the Kentucky market in a span of 11 years.
After years of visiting family in Charleston, Jeremy and his wife, Emily, decided to head for warmer weather! Jeremy has been working in the wine industry in Charleston since early 2016 and recently joined the Epiphany team to apply his experience with the expansion to South Carolina. As a “Notorious D.O.C.” he will continue to tell the stories and histories of the wines he is so passionate about.
When he’s not selling wine, Jeremy enjoys spending time with Emily and their dog, Clio. He is also an avid sports fan, golfer, and collector of bourbon (as you might expect with his Kentucky roots…Go Cats!).