Kimberly Charles - Founder & Owner, Charles Communications Associates (USA)
Years In the Industry:
35 this year. What began as an avocation in university where I was a part time sommelier became a calling when the education bug bit me, taking me on a path that included a tireless pursuit of knowledge to this day. I received the Diploma from WSET in 1997, the first group to be certified by America's first female Master of Wine, Mary Mulligan. I started in marketing for Kobrand Corporation in NYC, running the PR department at 26 years old, then moved West to California in 1998 to head up Communications at E. & J. Gallo with a focus on the launch of the estate and regional wines of Gallo of Sonoma, securing their reputation and commitment to premium winemaking.
From there, I established the wine division of Magnet Communications West, a division of Havas Advertising, and formed my own agency in 2003, based in San Francisco with clients in Europe, South and North America. I’ve been privileged to work with legacy families and brands that have worldwide renown.
I've served as Vice President and on the board of the Society of Wine Educators, Board member of Dress for Success, Trustee of the River Network, and am currently on the board of Les Dames d'Escoffier, San Francisco. A frequent presenter within the industry, I am on the conference program marketing committee for the 2020 Unified Wine & Grape Symposium.
My Biggest Challenge To Wellness:
Technology and its constant presence, a global clientele where time zones make for a day that can start at 6 AM with a call and end with checking in with the southern hemisphere at 9 PM. This can make it hard to carve out time for self-care, exercise and enough sleep.
How I keep it Together To Stay Well:
Remind myself each day is new. Start my day with a 10 minute meditation, 10 minute stretch, prayers and Matcha, a natural energetic and healthy boosting tea without the detriments and jolt of coffee. I practice Vinyasa style yoga twice a week with noted Lighting the Path Bay-Area based yoga teacher Peter Guinosso, and I attend regular retreats. I listen religiously to the Goop podcasts featuring thought leaders in healing, wellness, creativity. Some of my favorite listens of late are Brene Brown and author Bill Clegg .