Image by Stacey Zinoveva

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.

OUR GOAL

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.

ABOUT US

Aceitunas

OUR TEAM

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Jill Myers

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.  

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Alexis Kerner 

President

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.

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Wiem Ben Haj Amara

COO

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. 

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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. 

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Lori Jean Levy

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Cristina Stribacu

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.

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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.

Ángela Ruiz-Díaz

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Business Team 

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.

Lauren Brandmeier

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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. 

Sara Phillips

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Carola Dummer

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.

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EVP of Communication & Social Media

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Imene Trabelsi-Trigui

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.

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Beth 

Editorial Director

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. 

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Vivian Van Wordragen

Project Manager

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.

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