Our instructors are highly-qualified, well known and respected wine industry veterans who bring a wealth of expertise and experience to the classroom, ensuring that students are well-prepared to enter the job market after graduation or progress in their current careers.
Wine Production Instructor, Wine Maker
Bill Snyder was born outside Saratoga, New York and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience. Bill fell in love with wine while working in the restaurant industry in Philadelphia and Tucson. After working at wineries in California and Australia, Bill worked most recently as Technical Director for Testarossa Winery in Los Gatos, California overseeing analysis, quality assurance, bottling, and winemaking operations. Bill also served as a consultant for First Growth Vineyard Management, specializing in establishing small vineyards intended for premium wine grape production in the Santa Cruz Mountains.
Bill has experience making wine from both cool- and warm-climate growing regions, and under conventional and organic/biodynamic viticulture systems. He has taken advanced coursework in enology, viticulture, wine microbiology, food safety, quality assurance, and biodynamic agriculture. He loves education and training, and is passionate about sharing the wine industry with others.
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Tanya Morning Star Darling
Tanya has been working in the wine industry; in restaurants, retail and education for nearly two decades. Tanya was first exposed to fine food and wine as a young woman during her studies in France, & New York City; where she became fascinated by the interplay between wine, food, history, and cultural identity. A stalwart traveller, Tanya has visited many of the great wine regions of Western and Eastern Europe as well as those of the United States; she holds a Bachelor or Fine Arts from New York University, and studied wine formally at the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET), completing the Diploma level. Tanya is also certified by the Society of Wine Educators, and the Wine Scholar Guild. Tanya is proud to be faculty at the Northwest Wine Academy at South Seattle College, where she teaches Wine History, Introduction to Wines of the World, and Advanced Wines of the World courses (including both the Wine Scholar Guild’s French and Italian Wine Scholar certifications). Tanya also teaches WSET coursework.
Most recently Tanya was named a Bourgogne Ambassador by the Bureau Interprofessionnel des Vins de Bourgogne – Bourgogne Wine Board (BIVB).
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Jennifer Hurley grew up in Alaska and moved to Seattle in 2012 after stops in Chicago and Cincinnati. Jen has a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology and a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Cincinnati. After moving to the Pacific Northwest, Jen began exploring the wine industry by taking classes at the Northwest Wine Academy, and completed her Certificate in Wine Making in 2015. Jen has worked harvests at both NWWA and Chateau Ste. Michelle. In her free time, Jen loves to travel with her husband and always checks out regional wineries; her favorite trips include New Zealand, South Africa and Spain.
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Food & Wine Instructor
A restaurateur, wine steward, consultant and educator with almost 30 years of industry experience, Leonard Redé has a unique blend of culinary and wine expertise. He is currently the European Wine Specialist at Esquin Wine Merchants. Prior to that, he was Operations Manager at Wine World working alongside David LeClaire helping to create the largest wine store in Washington State. He has worked as a Wine Steward for Metropolitan Market and is a well regarded in the wine industry for his knowledge of wine history and gastronomy. As instructor in the Wine Technology Program at South Seattle College, he wrote the curriculum for the Associate of Arts Degree in Food and Wine Pairing, the first college level program of its kind. He is a an award winning chef and he was nominated for educator of the year while Chef Instructor at the world renowned Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts.
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Stephanie Schrankel has been a Certified Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers since 2012. She is also a Certified Specialist of Wine through the Society of Wine Educators, and holds the Level 2 certification from the Wine & Spirits Educational Trust. For the past three years, Stephanie has been the lead sommelier and assistant cellar mistress at the Wine Spectator-awarded Seastar Restaurant in downtown Bellevue, Washington. Previously, she held the corporate national wine sourcing manager position at Vino Volo, the nation’s premium airport wine bar concept.
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Paul Beveridge (yes, that’s his real name) fell in love with wine at an early age. In the 1960s, his father worked a week at a time as an intern at the Napa Valley Mental Hospital while studying to be an Episcopal Priest. Mom and family (three boys) would pick up Dad at the hospital each weekend and go wine tasting on the way home to Berkeley. Paul and his brothers loved exploring the wine cellars and caves. “I remember most the wonderful smells of wine and oak in the barrel rooms.”
Fast forward through several moves across the country, and law school, Paul continued to develop his love of and knowledge of wine, eventually becoming a winemaker himself after moving back to Seattle.
Paul has been privileged to learn from some of Washington State’s best winemakers. “There is a spirit of camaraderie in Washington State that is very inspiring. We are all trying to make the best possible wine and raise the quality bar for the entire state. I would like to think that I have helped a few of the new winemakers who are now emerging in Washington State.”
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Sensory and Sommelier Instructor
Ezra is a true hospitality professional. He cares deeply for all people and wants their experience and passions to be fully realized and nurtured. He grew up in the restaurants of Seattle, working first as a cook on Capitol Hill at the age of 14 years old, and since having worked every position in restaurants from dishwasher to chef; from busser to General Manager and Wine Director. He is a devout believer in continuing education, and hopes that no matter what place in their lives people are they always find the inspiration to learn something new, or to better their current knowledge of any particular subject.
Ezra holds multiple certifications in wine and spirits, including: Advanced Sommelier (Level 3) with the Court of Master Sommeliers, Level 3 Advanced Certificate in Wine and Spirits (Pass with Distinction) with the Wine and Spirits Education Trust, Italian Wine Specialist (Pass with Distinction) with the North American Sommelier Association, French Wine Scholar, Certified Sherry Educator with the Consejo Regulador DO Sherry, Certified Bordeaux Educator with CIVB, Certified Specialist of Wine with the Society of Wine Educators, among others. He is currently studying for the Master Sommelier Diploma, which he plans to take in 2020. In addition to being an instructor at the NWWA he is also Wine Director of Bar Ferdinand and the James Beard Award winning Sitka & Spruce.
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Rick Rubbo was born and raised in eastern Ohio and moved to Seattle after earning his Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Youngstown State University. Rick has spent the past forty years (and counting) as an engineer and engineering manager focused on process development and improvement, project management and program management, development of control systems and the integration and resolution of technical issues. Along the way he has earned MBA and MS in Finance degrees from Seattle University.
Rick is new to the wine industry. He recently completed his Wine Production Certificate here at Northwest Wine Academy. As cellar master, Rick will bring his systems engineering and program management experience to assist the wine maker to develop and implement (and in most cases perform) standardized procedures for all cellar operations (e.g. crush, barrel management, winery sanitation, etc.). Spare time activities involve doing everything and anything associated with live music, the arts, food & wine; nurturing his “creative” side by continuously seeking out and taking classes and learning experiences (e.g. drumming, photography, watercolor painting, cooking and whatever else catches his eye); and managing his stress level by biking, hiking, and snowshoeing whenever possible.
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For General Information
Contact Nick Albritton, Recruitment Specialist, at (206) 934-6746 or SouthProfTech@seattlecolleges.edu.
To explore Steps to Enroll, visit this Guide.
To schedule an appointment with an internship/career specialist, contact:
Le’onna Lee, Embedded Career Specialist
Phone: (206) 934-7962
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