Welcome to WIOO
This is what we know. Women, throughout history and across cultures, have been leading the way towards more equitable and sustainable solutions on issues of importance to us all.
Women have had key roles in farming, caring for the earth, educating the young, and feeding families. And, within their communities, they have worked together to achieve these common goals with efficiency and clarity, all while developing a sense of cohesion, team-work, and social stability.
With today’s technology, including social media, we have new platforms through which women can, and do, connect. Women who once worked together in the confines of their towns or villages to achieve great goals can now collaborate extensively. We are building a dynamic network, and the possibilities for change are endless.
To create a common thread that unites women at all levels of the olive oil industry, bringing about positive global change in the areas of health and nutrition, education, environmental and agricultural practices, fair trade, and gender equality.
This global women’s network is committed to building a platform where women can exchange knowledge, expertise, and experiences, and where they can obtain the tools and support they need to advance shared goals — in their local communities, yet with an international reach.
WIOO is the framework for a coalition of women with a cultural and intellectual wealth of knowledge and experience — women in professions that include leaders in the industry, chefs, farmers, millers, chemists, tasters, educators, importers, exporters, and retailers.
This extraordinary diversity of professionals provides fertile ground for innovative projects and synergies that, in turn, will improve the way we farm, consume, transport, access, research, teach, and market olive oil.
By uniting these voices throughout the world, the association aims to carry out strategic local projects that are globally connected — projects that will promote real change.
Together, a strong task force of women can accomplish these goals. And ultimately, together, we can amplify the financial and professional strength of the individual women among us.
Founder & CEO
Jill is a sommelier and ambassador of olive oil, based in Charlottesville, Virginia. She is certified by the International Culinary Center in New York City and received specialized training in Mediterranean food and diet at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. A sought-after consultant and educator on extra virgin olive oil, Jill is also an importer/ distributor of high-quality EVOO. She founded Slow Food Piedmont 2020 and is liaison to the National Board. In April 2020, Jill founded Women in Olive Oil (WIOO), starting with a small Facebook group that expanded globally in just
a few days.
Alexis is an expert olive oil taster who has resided in Seville, Spain since 2001. Born in Philadelphia, she earned her undergraduate degree in environmental science from Connecticut College and her title, Expert Olive Oil Taster, from the International Olive Council and the University of Jaen in Spain. She also has trained under top Spanish olive oil tasters, Brígida Jiménez and María Paz Aguilera. Alexis serves on the international juries for the Ovibeja Competition of Portugal, EVOOLEUM of Spain, the London IOOC, and Terra Olivo of Jerusalem. She has also been recognized as a member of the Associate Savante Registry that demonstrates tasting skill. In 2014, she founded The Olive Oil Workshop, a company that strives to educate buyers and producers of virgin olive oils in order to empower consumers, promote good olive oil, and support producers in a difficult market.
Wiem Ben Haj Amara
Wiem is an experienced business analyst and project manager. She is Tunisian and French and currently lives in New York City. After earning her engineering degree from L’Enseirb-Matmeca in Bordeaux, she worked in Paris for over ten years in investment banking and capital markets. There, she led teams and managed projects within the IT division of Societe Generale. Owing to her origins, Wiem has always had a passion for food. Over the past few years, she has been especially drawn to natural, healthy, and high-quality products, of which olive oil is one of her all-time favorites. She is pleased to bring her background and experience to WIOO.
EVP of Global Trade Policy
Lori, founder and CEO of My Global Table LLC, is a recognized CPG leader in product development, marketing, and distribution of specialty foods. A licensed U.S. Customs Broker, Lori brings tremendous experience in the areas of international trade, customs, sourcing, private label brand development, and a deep knowledge and love of traditional ingredients, especially olive oil. As Director of Trade and Product Development for New York’s beloved Fairway Market, she was responsible for the growth and success of the Private Label Program. She has written about specialty foods and has been a speaker at many renown international events, including the NY International Olive Oil Competition and Pandolea, the Italian Women’s Olive Oil Association. Selected as a mentor for the inaugural track of SKU Atlanta, a national CPG accelerator, Lori provided invaluable guidance and leadership on brand development and channel strategy.
Lori Jean Levy
EVP of Public Relations
Cristina is a certificated olive oil taster and participant in international contests and conferences. She lives in Messinia, Greece where she is co founder of LIÁ Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil, with her brother Konstadinos, an olive oil cultivator. As a reflection of her knowledge and passion, Cristina organizes olive oil courses for schools, producers, chefs and enthusiasts, and educates others on the importance of the Mediterranean diet. Her latest project, “Master on Greek Olive Oil Varieties” in collaboration with an international advisory board, aims to support a more sustainable olive oil agriculture, inspire olive oil producers in Greece to save olive oil biodiversity by cultivating native varieties, and promote the importance of the EVOO consumption in our daily diet. Cristina has studied the Italian language and art history, and she brings her enthusiasm and entrepreneurial spirit to all her endeavors.
Communication & Social Media team
Angela is a pharmacist, opticitian, and optometrist, based in Spain. After earning an MBA in international management in Madrid, she worked for a biotechnology company, specializing in recombinant enzymes. There, she participated in launches and marketing strategies for a variety of international biotechnical projects. Over the past few years, she has been managing several pharmacies. Angela belongs to an olive oil cultivator family, and she has always been drawn to the olive oil world. She collaborates with her family and is also working on her own project, NOV (New Oil Vision), that will incorporate expertise in the sciences.
Lauren is a professional writer specializing in technical writing for the healthcare industry. She lives and works in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Lauren has a successful history as a grant writer for a variety of organizations including liberal arts colleges, public universities, and local government, and brings her experience and knowledge to the WIOO business team to help write and secure grants. While she does not have direct ties to the olive oil industry, Lauren has fond memories of spending countless hours in the kitchen with her mom and dad when she was growing up. She has retained a love for cooking and baking from scratch and uses natural, homegrown ingredients.
Communication & Social Media team
Sara Phillips is the Digital Media Coordinator for Women in Olive Oil. She currently serves as an Ambassador for Re/make, a global sustainable fashion advocacy organization with a mission to get women in the clothing industry paid fairly. In 2021, she completed a Masters in Sustainable Fashion at Polimoda in Florence, Italy. Previously she worked in the United States Federal Government at the Department of State for almost a decade, specializing in communications. Additionally, Sara is an accomplished entrepreneur, starting a niche perfume brand that was featured in print media and local television in the Washington, D.C. area and teaching over 200 students in the art of botanical perfumery.
Carola is a journalist and food & wine industry expert living in Santiago, Chile. She fell in love with olive oil 20 years ago, when olive oil production in Chile was just beginning. In 2007, she began a four-year training in olive oil sensory assessment with Italian professor Marino Giorgetti. She participated as a judge in the international contest Sol d’Oro (2011 and 2013), and at every New York International Olive Oil Competition (NYIOOC) since 2013. In Santiago, she co-organized the first Sol d’Oro Southern Hemisphere Competition (2014), which is still being held every year. Since 2016, she has been an instructor with the Olive Oil Sommelier Certification body. Carola works as a consultant to companies and buyers, and develops activities and tastings in Chile through her online community OlivaLovers (www.olivalovers.com). In 2019 launched the first olive oil guide in Chile, Guía Oliva, with her partner Alicia Moya.
EVP of Communication & Social Media
EVP of Programs & Innovation Strategy
Imene is a full professor of Marketing at the University of Sfax (Tunisia) Department of Management, specializing in olive oil and agri-food marketing. She is the Director of the Marketing Research Laboratory at Sfax and an expert consultant at INNOVIC Trading & Consulting Company. She is also a panel judge at London International Olive Oil Competitions. Imene collaborates with companies in developing their branding and marketing design strategies. She assists them in promoting their international positioning through innovative and digital tools such as artificial intelligence, Chatbots, and VR/AR, in order to enhance their notoriety worldwide. She is a member of the Economics and Management Sciences Faculty of Sfax and is published in many international scientific journals. Imene, who earned her PhD from Université d’Auvergne-France, has over 20 years of experience supporting students and researchers at all levels, including supervising doctoral students dealing with complex marketing topics.
Beth is a writer, editor, and communications specialist living in New York City. For over seventeen years, she served as the senior writer for executive communications at Barnard College of Columbia University, drafting major speeches, strategic messages, content, and tributes. She mentors high school students on their college essays, helps job seekers on their letters and resumes, and works in a range of fields on writing of all kinds. A former professional dancer, Beth graduated from Harvard College where she studied visual arts. Her love of performance, color, rhythm, and style are evident in her written work, and she attributes her passion for olive oil to her husband Joseph R. Profaci, executive director of the North American Olive Oil Association.
Vivian Van Wordragen
Vivian is a Dutch certified olive oil expert, specializing in sensory analysis. In 2020, she graduated best in class from the Organizzazione Nazionale Assaggiatori Olio di Oliva (ONAOO), the world’s oldest olive oil tasting school. Vivian has been working in the international olive oil business for more than 15 years as a product manager, senior buyer, and category manager for several renowned retail brands. In 2017, she started her own company Via Viv (www.viaviv.nl) and is fully devoted to promoting high quality extra virgin olive oil. As an expert and importer of her own premium brand, she focuses on educating buyers, chefs, and other decision makers on how to appreciate and select high quality olive oil through masterclasses, consultations, and tasting workshops. Vivian speaks Dutch, English, German, and Spanish and has gained international recognition as a panel judge in the best international olive oil competitions, including the London International Olive Oil Competition (LIOOC) and Terraolivo in Israel.