In 2002, David Parker founded Benchmark Wine Group after having a successful history of high-tech ventures. With a unique blend of talents, plus wine and high-tech industry contacts, he has succeeded in bridging the gap between high-quality wine producers and well-informed fine wine collectors and connoisseurs. An avid wine collector, David has been involved in the wine industry since 1987 owning commercial vineyards in Geyserville, California and in the Eola Hills of Oregon. He and his wife Sandy Sturrus Parker have four children and live in the Pacific Northwest.
Before her career in the wine industry, Kari started in the art world. Upon graduating from UCLA with an arts degree, she worked at the Getty Museum as a docent and later became the manager of the fine dining restaurant at the museum to pay her bills. During her time at the restaurant, she quickly fell in love with building the wine list and growing the wine tasting menu program.
Eventually, she moved to the Napa Valley to pursue a career in wine and found herself at BWG in 2005. She prides herself on learning the fine wine business from the ground up. Starting in sales and marketing, she quickly progressed into the acquisitions department.
Mikaela's passion for wine comes from growing up in Sonoma County and being immersed in the wine culture her whole life. She graduated with a degree in Business and Economics at Sonoma State University, which is the only University in the United States to offer an undergraduate degree that focused on the business of wine. As the Vice President of Operations, Mikaela plays a pivotal role in BWG's success in day-to-day functions across all departments.
She has been in the food and wine industry for over ten years. In 2012, she found herself at BWG enamored with the world of fine wine. Through the years, she has worked her way from the ground up, learning every detail of the business and watched it grow. She now leads the sales, client relations, marketing, and quality management teams at BWG. Being at BWG, her favorite things are the BWG team, the clients, and wine.
She has been fortunate to drink all kinds of wines, the oldest being a 1934 Haut Brion. When Mikaela is not working, she's spending time with her husband and 2-year-old daughter.