About Us

Meet our team

Executive Leadership

Shaun Bishop

CEO

Shaun grew up in the south of Sweden where his father introduced him to the love of wine. After moving to the United States in 1985, his father turned his love into a career in wine sales and distribution, thus sealing their fate as a "wine family". Shaun began his first wine collection after college while working on the Pacific Stock Exchange in San Francisco, where he was a partner at a stock options trading firm. He held numerous positions with the Exchange, including Chair of the Options Allocations Committee and Vice-Chair of the Options Listing Committee, and helped build Cole-Roesler Trading into the largest privately held options trading firm on the Pacific Coast.

During this time, Shaun met Michael Stajer and became a co-partner and investor in WineCommune - the wine auction site Michael founded while in law school. In 2004, he left the financial markets for the wine markets and dedicated himself full-time to the enterprise. Together, Shaun and Michael developed a wine search engine site, WineZap, and in 2006, the retail entity JJ Buckley Fine Wines. With Michael, he helped secure many recognitions, including Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist in 2008 and The #1 Fastest Growing Bay Area Business in 2007 by the San Francisco Business Times.

Shaun is known for his quick thinking and fast decision making, but it is his wine knowledge that sustains the business that is JJ Buckley today. As CEO and "Chief Buyer", Shaun is responsible for managing all aspects of purchasing and sales. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling, sports, and spending time with his wife, Julie, and their three children.

Michael Stajer

President

Michael Stajer, began his career in the wine world in the late `90s while working his way through law school. As the manager and wine buyer for a high end Berkeley, California restaurant, he experienced the frustration of acquiring fine and rare wines. Never a man to sit around and complain, in 1999, Michael set to work on the creation of a wine auction website that would connect wine buyers to wine sellers - WineCommune.com. Michael graduated Magna cum Laude at Hastings Law School, but left the legal world to focus on WineCommune.

Accolades for Michael include Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist, the Inc. 500 list, and others. Michael and partner, Shaun Bishop, began JJ Buckley as the retail arm of WineCommune in 2006. Michael is responsible for the technology behind JJ Buckley and the daily operations of the company. He is also a pilot and a Board Member of San Francisco Goodwill, and enjoys spending time with his wife and two children.

Sales

Jeff Beckers

Fine Wine Specialist

As a California native, early wine education for Jeff came in the form of stolen sips during family adventures in (then) developing wine areas like Paso Robles, the Russian River, and the Sierra foothills. But it was post-college European travels, particularly in France, Italy and Spain, that set the hook for a life-long pursuit of beautiful food and wine

Before coming to JJ Buckley, Jeff enjoyed a long tenure in business banking. This afforded him the opportunity to grow his wine knowledge through international travel and the exploration of foreign cuisine, while always keeping an eye toward the evolution of California and other domestic wines.

Often yielding to the lure and charms of California wine country, Jeff also spends his free weekends with runs to the coast, hiking and fishing the Sierra mountains, or on the scene at the next live music experience. Mostly, happiness is achieved in the kitchen with his wife, chasing the flavors of their travels while sipping Riesling or Chablis, and the joy of a New Orleans record making their feet move.

Email Jeff or call him at 510.343.5099

Greg Bernitz

Fine Wine Specialist

Greg grew up in San Diego enjoying warm weather and beaches, but it was not until he landed at Sonoma State University that he decided to pursue a career in wine. While pursuing a degree in Wine Business Strategies, he worked for a number of Sonoma wineries, either in the tasting room or on the production pad during harvest – all of which only served to increase his passion for wine.

After graduation, Greg took a position with Southern Wine and Spirits, working with fine wine retailers and restaurants throughout the greater Bay Area. During his tenure at Southern, he attained Level II certification from the Wine and Spirits Educational Trust. When not exploring new wines, Greg can be found on the golf course, running shoreline trails with his dog, or coaching on the lacrosse field.

Email Greg or call him at 510.877.0296

Geoffrey Binder

Senior Fine Wine Specialist
Joined Team: 2006

During his third year working towards a degree in environmental studies at a small liberal arts college in New Jersey, Geoff began his career in the wine industry. He started working at a fine wine store where he was sales associate, inventory manager, and manager and buyer for the gourmet department over the course of three years. He then relocated to the Bay Area to work for JJ Buckley. 

Geoffrey is an avid wine collector with an extensive collection focused in German wines, but he also has a strong passion for the Rhône Valley and Italy. When he is not at home exploring a bottle of wine, he is off venturing through the many scenic areas that Northern California has to offer or pursuing an exceptional flavor experience from single origin espresso.

Email Geoffrey or call him at 510.903.5908

Jackson Corning

Fine Wine Specialist

More about Jackson coming soon!

Email Jackson or call him at 510.877.0290

Michel Deschodt

Senior Fine Wine Specialist

Michel grew up in a truly French-American household, being born to an American mother and French father. His family moved to Paris when he was eight years old, and there he was taught to appreciate fine food and fine wine at a young age.

After obtaining a Master’s degree from the Stockholm School of Economics in Sweden, Michel spent over 15 years in New York working on US business development projects with French companies. But he spent every free moment reading any wine book he could get his hands on and tasting his way through the wine world. Soon enough, he realized this was his true calling.

Michel came to California to attend the International Culinary Institute’s Intensive Sommelier Program, fell in love with the Bay Area and decided to make it his new home. He joined the JJ Buckley team in 2016 after spending almost two years at Ridge Vineyards in Cupertino. In his spare time, you will find Michel tending to his cellar, preparing for his next level in martial arts and planning his next travels.

Email Michel or call him at 510.250.5695

Carolyn Feng-Friberg

Fine Wine Specialist

Born in Beijing and raised in both Florida and Northern California, Carolyn caught the wine bug while at Cal after tasting a 15-year-old Dunn Howell Mountain Cab. Whether it was extreme generosity or fate that led to this experience in college, there was no turning back. After enjoying wine recreationally (and enthusiastically) for years, Carolyn left the world of financial investments to pursue a career in the wine industry.

Since then, Carolyn has become a Certified Sommelier through the Court of Master Sommeliers and passed the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) advanced certification exam. She’s worked in top restaurants and wine retail shops before landing at JJ Buckley. Carolyn continues to expand her wine knowledge by traveling around the world and exploring lesser known regions and varietals. Of course, she’ll never say no to Bordeaux, Burgundy, or any wine for that matter.

Email Carolyn or call her at 510.877.0295

Chris Greene

Senior Fine Wine Specialist
Joined Team: 2012

Although Chris’s love of wine can be traced back to a post-high school summer spent in France, it wasn’t until he formed his wine import business in 2001 that he turned that passion into a profession. Quickly becoming the on-call substitute for one of the premier wine educators of Northern California, Chris was soon contracted as a full instructor, and currently teaches several wine classes through the UC Berkeley Extension in the San Francisco Bay Area. Formerly the wine specialist for BevMo’s Emeryville location, he is now very proud to be sharing his wine expertise at JJ Buckley.

A Certified Sommelier through the court of Master Sommeliers, Chris is in Europe almost every year, exploring the wine regions and searching for the latest hidden (bottled) gems. When he is not immersed in the world of wine, Chris can be seen tooting his own horn as a trumpet player for the Solano Symphony and the Generation Gap Big Band dance band. He has also put his dramatic skills to work in roles in the motion pictures Milk and Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine, as well as the TV shows Trauma, Almost Got Away With It, and World’s Astonishing News.

Email Chris or call him at 510.858.2714

Noah Hart

Fine Wine Specialist

With almost 15 years of fine wine experience, Noah has had a diverse and productive career in the wine industry. His career has spanned many facets from working in the cellar at Kendall-Jackson to being the Lead Sommelier at Farallon - one of San Francisco’s top restaurants.

With an initial love of Burgundy and numerous years spent walking and tasting through the vineyards of California, the United States, and abroad, Noah has acquired a diverse palate and thorough knowledge of the world’s wines. He attended Oregon Pinot Camp in 2009, delving even deeper into the Oregon wine world in 2016 when he was chosen to attend Somm Select – an exclusive wine experience for a select group of 9 Sommeliers from around the country at Domaine Serene.

When not at a picnic in Golden Gate Park, or getting down to one of his favorite bands at one of the many varied venues around the Bay Area, you can find Noah stirring a pot of risotto and sipping on some bubbles.

Email Noah or call him at 510.343.6185

Kevin Johnson

Senior Fine Wine Specialist

Kevin worked for over 20 years in notable Bay Area restaurants, beginning in his high school days and continuing through college at the University of California, Davis. Following graduation, Kevin continued to work in various capacities at his family's Berkeley restaurant, which included management, hosting, and bartending. During this time, he developed a keen interest in food and wine pairings, and intensified his wine study by taking positions with restaurants in San Francisco and Marin. From there, he transitioned to wine sales with a San Francisco importer and distributor of small production, artisanal wines from around the globe.

Kevin's move to JJ Buckley was a natural step for someone with a passion for terroir, and the vintage conditions and winemaker philosophy that shapes a wine's personality. His extensive knowledge of wine, combined with a deep understanding of the sensory components of cuisine, continue to be assets to his customers. Kevin is a native of the San Francisco Bay Area where he continues to live with his wife and young son. He spends his free time as a "weekend-warrior" on his bike, camping in the Sierras, and brushing up on his Greek for annual trips to Athens to visit his wife's family.

Email Kevin or call him at 510.343.5341

James Katz

Fine Wine Specialist

James is the fourth generation of his family to work in the wine and spirits industry, dating back to the days of Prohibition. After attending college in Durango, Colorado, he returned to his native Boston to manage his family’s business, BLM, one of the city’s oldest wine and spirits establishments. He achieved great success in returning the shop to its glory days of the past by expanding and modernizing inventory, improving customer service, and connecting with a new generation of wine drinkers. His love of French wine, Burgundy in particular, was discovered during those formative years.

James’ adventurous spirit would lead him to South America and on to Patagonia where he led multi-week motorcycle tours throughout the region. He then returned to Boston and continued to work with wine and guest relations in the city’s bustling restaurant scene, before packing up his motorcycle and riding out to California to join the sales team at JJ Buckley. On the weekends, James can be found exploring mountain roads on his bike, hiking in the area’s National Parks or enjoying the live music scene in the Bay area.

Email James or call him at 510.254.5641

Will Litton

Senior Fine Wine Specialist
Joined Team: 2014

After earning a degree in economics from San Diego State University, Will decided it was time to make a move from slow, easy, surf-town living to something a bit more fast-paced. He wanted to stay on the west coast and decided to make San Francisco his new home. He took a position with the powerhouse distributor Southern Wines & Spirits as a general market sales/merchandiser. There, he developed his thirst to learn about wine and he pursued everything he could take in on the subject, including trips to California's wine regions, reading extensively about wine, and becoming a Certified Sommelier by the Court of Master Sommeliers.

His "epiphany" moment came after opening a Gaja Barolo, which gave him his first understanding of what defines the world's most extraordinary wines. His next role at Southern Wines & Spirits was as Key Account Specialist for the company's fine wine division. Here, he presented the finest wines in the portfolio to restaurateurs, fine wine shops, and independent grocery markets. From there, Will moved on to managing a wine department for a major restaurant supply wholesaler. He made many contacts and built relationships with San Francisco restaurateurs, assisting them with their wine programs and offering consultation. His passion for wine continues today, evidenced by his relentless pursuit of that special Italian bottle or German Riesling. Outside of the wine world, you’ll find Will on a tennis court, watching his beloved San Francisco Giants, playing drums, or watching West Ham Football.

Email Will or call him at 510.900.5785

Jeff Loo

Senior Fine Wine Specialist
Joined Team: 2010

Jeff Loo's interest in fine wine was sparked while managing the tasting room and dabbling in production for a small, family-run winery in Carneros where he fell for Pinot Noir. But his passion for wine really caught fire over a bottle of 1989 Chateau Palmer—the bouquet blew him away! This singular experience launched Jeff on a quest to learn everything he could about Bordeaux. 

Later working as wine manager and buyer for a wine bar and retail store in the San Francisco Bay Area, he was able to establish relationships throughout France. His passion, persistence and eminent congeniality finally paid off, providing him with the amazing opportunity to participate in the 2009 harvest in Bordeaux—at Chateaux La Croix, La Croix St. Georges in Pomerol, and at La Confession in St. Emilion.

Jeff is certified through the Court of Master Sommeliers and plans to sit for the rigorous advanced certification exam soon. In his spare time, he likes to golf, travel, smoke cigars, and enjoys working on his vertical of Chateau Palmer.

Email Jeff or call him at 510.250.5689

Kyle Luke

Senior Fine Wine Specialist

Although Kyle grew up in Lodi literally surrounded by vines, it wasn't until he moved to San Luis Obispo in his late teens that he began to develop a serious interest. Working at a local market, he began to learn about the wines of the Central Coast and two years later, worked his first harvest at a custom crush facility in the Edna Valley. From there, he worked in restaurants as a manager, bartender, and server, but always, his focus was on educating himself about wine.

In 2011 Kyle's love of winemaking led him to Lodi's Borra Vineyards, where he served as assistant winemaker for two years. Seeking to round-out his industry credentials, he moved to San Francisco where he served as Assistant General Manager at a prominent wine retailer. During his time there, Kyle acquired his Sommelier Certification through the Court of Master Sommeliers, as well as the French Wine Scholar Certification through the San Francisco Wine School.

After spending a short time with a boutique wine and spirits importer, Kyle returned to wine retail and joined the team at JJ Buckley. An avid surfer, Kyle is also an experienced long-distance and open-water swimmer, enjoys camping, live music shows, and of course, exploring new wines from the world's best regions and producers.

Email Kyle or call him at 510.343.5017

Devon Magee

Senior Fine Wine Specialist
Joined Team: 2011

Devon Magee hails from Seattle and studied International Politics and Economics as an undergraduate at Middlebury College. He spent his junior year abroad in Logrono, La Rioja, Spain, to build on his fluency in Spanish, and ended up falling in love with wine.

Back in Seattle after college, he landed his first wine job at the Pacific Northwest’s largest wine retail store, Esquin. After drinking a bottle of ’82 Lynch Bages that his buyer opened for him, the next step was obvious. He moved to France, where, while learning French, he worked in one of Paris’ longest-running wine bars, Juveniles; and also worked harvest at Vieux Telegraphe in Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Two years later, he returned to the States to work the harvest at Jordan Winery in Sonoma County. He finally settled in the Bay Area when he became the West Coast Associate Editor for Wine & Spirits Magazine.

Now, 10 years after starting in the wine industry, he’s back in retail as a Fine Wine Specialist for JJ Buckley. He still returns to France to work harvest - in 2011, he worked at Bellefont-Belcier in St. Emilion; and in 2012 and 2013, he worked at Chandon de Briailles in Burgundy. Devon is currently studying for the final exam to complete the Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET) Diploma, the last step before pursuing the Master of Wine certification.

Email Devon or call him at 510.903.5924

Christine Milam

Fine Wine Specialist

The daughter of a chef, Christine grew up in Portland, Oregon surrounded by food. Shortly after college, she caught the wine bug when she landed a job at a wine bar in Cheyenne, Wyoming where she tasted, learned, and became officially hooked.

Since that seminal spark, she has worked as a sommelier, manager, and wine buyer at James Beard Award winning restaurants in Boston, Denver, and Portland. Her quest to achieve a holistic view of the world of wine has led her to travel to many of its most famous regions- working at a cellar in Central Otago, exploring the ungrafted vineyards of South Australia, digging through the dirt in Piedmont, and hiking through rows of vines in Burgundy.

She is a forever student and has passed the Advanced Sommelier Exam through the Court of Master Sommeliers. While she works her way towards the illustrious Masters’ of Wine Exam, you can find her in Oakland, walking her dog and binge-listening to podcasts, or curled up with a good book, a glass of Champagne, and her cat within petting distance.

Email Christine or call her at 510.254.5635

Kaela Miller

Senior Fine Wine Specialist

Born and raised in Monterey, a California food and wine mecca, Kaela developed a passion for wine at a young age, passing her first sommelier exam at the incredibly young age of 22. Now with a decade of experience in hospitality and restaurants, Kaela has come to San Francisco to further expand her knowledge and experience in a city that influences food culture around the world.

While preparing to take the Court of Master Sommelier’s Advanced Exam, Kaela worked as a floor sommelier at one of San Francisco’s most esteemed private clubs, The Battery. While there, Kaela refined her professional skills and palate as a sommelier, with exposure to some of the worlds most esteemed and sought after wines and vintages.

When Kaela is not studying about all things wine or exploring the Bay Area’s extensive culinary scene, she can be found cycling her way through wine regions near and far, taking long hikes with friends or crushing it on her Xbox.

Email Kaela or call her at 510.250.5698

Justin Nevius

Fine Wine Specialist

Justin spent his formative years on Cape Cod where he developed a love for music, literature and writing. It wasn’t until he was studying these subjects at the University of Massachusetts and working part-time at a liquor store that he discovered another passion: wine. This led him to New York City where he found a position at a prestigious Lower Manhattan wine shop. Working alongside some of the greatest minds in the wine world, he devoured wine books to learn about different wine regions, varietals, and styles of winemaking.

In the spring of 2015 he hopped across the country and landed in the Bay Area. Happy to be in wine country, he began working events and communications for a small Sonoma winery and selling rare and back-vintage wine for an online wine retailer based in Napa. 

When not connecting wine with people at JJ Buckley, Justin can be found exploring the East Bay on bike, reading or playing guitar.

Email Justin or call him at 510.254.5639

Becky Rodriguez

Fine Wine Specialist

Originally from the east coast, Becky fell into wine by accident. After receiving her B.A. in Linguistics, she began working in a small wine shop in Baltimore which focused on esoteric French and other European wines.

Seriously intrigued by the winemaking process, Becky moved to western New York state where she bounced back and forth across the Canadian-American border, learning all she could about cool-climate viticulture and winemaking. She then continued her education with an AAS in Viticulture and Enology, leading to a year as assistant vineyard manager at Willamette Valley Vineyards in Oregon.

Ever “thirsty” for more, Becky took a harvest position in the Medoc region of Bordeaux, later enrolling at the Bordeaux International Wine Institute where she earned an MBA. Two years spent in France working for a Chateau in Saint-Emilion gave her entrée to some of the world’s most prestigious wine regions in Spain, Germany, and across France.

In her off time, you can find Becky working on her French or exploring new hiking trails. She also has a bit of an obsession with comedy – all Mel Brooks references are welcome!

Email Becky or call her at 510.877.0289

Tracey Rose

Senior Fine Wine Specialist
Joined Team: 2012

After graduating with an MS in Advertising in 1997 from the cornfields of University of Illinois, Tracey took off for the bright lights of the big city to pursue a career in comedy. While trying to make ends meet, Tracey took a front-of-house position in a Chicago French restaurant, not knowing the James Beard nominated chef was dedicated to educating his staff on all things food and wine. This new world of wine was intriguing and somewhat addictive (especially when it involved Sancerre, Chateauneuf-du-Pape and authentic Chablis). 

Bolstered with this daily education and an intuitive knack for creating great food and wine pairings, Tracey continued working in fine dining and wine training in Chicago and the Bay Area, before transitioning to wine retail in 2005. After a myriad of excellent experiences selling wine though importers, distributors and retailers, Tracey has joined the JJ Buckley family. 

An avid student of wine, Tracey is studying for the French Academy’s Burgundy Master Level, but takes time out for entertaining, tennis and hikes with her wife of five years.

Email Tracey or call her at 510.632.5308

Molly Rubinstein

Fine Wine Specialist

When 13 years old, Molly spent a summer in Champagne with a family connected to the Laurent-Perrier Champagne House, and it was here that she first became intrigued by wine. Of course it wouldn’t be until years later that she was able to fully explore these interests, but it was this experience that lit the spark!

In fact for most of her life, her main passion has been languages and travel. While at UC Davis she circumnavigated the globe by ship on Semester at Sea, before graduating with a B.S. in Linguistics and French. With an arsenal of foreign languages at her disposal (most pertaining to major wine regions!), Molly soon had enrolled in the esteemed Accelerated Wine and Beverage Program at the Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena – a 9 ½ month intensive graduate program covering all things wine and beverage, along with professional wine service.

Molly currently lives in San Francisco and on her time off enjoys dreaming about her next wine adventure (she worked harvest in France in 2016), cooking everything from the Ina Garden Cookbooks, and drinking as much Champagne as possible with her fiancé.

Email Molly or call her at 510.877.0304

Alex Shaw

Senior Fine Wine Specialist
Joined Team: 2009

Alex Shaw first joined JJ Buckley as a Fine Wine Specialist in 2009 following a varied career in the wine industry, including stops in Bordeaux, New York and various wholesale and marketing positions in northern California. A third-generation wine industry professional, Alex first visited Tuscany at age 11, worked for a wine distributor throughout high school, and focused on wine studies while earning a Bachelor of Science from Cornell University. 

Since joining JJ Buckley, he has worked extensively with clients across the country, helping to build their collections with many of the world’s most exclusive wines. When not working, Alex lives in Oakland with his wife and daughter, trains for marathons, enjoys cooking, entertaining and all things New Orleans.

Email Alex or call him at 510.250.5693

Bryan Thames

Fine Wine Specialist

Hailing from North Carolina and Alabama, Bryan’s life has always been rooted in wine. After graduating from the University of Alabama (go Crimson Tide!), the mountains of America’s west called and Bryan responded by moving to Telluride, Colorado. During his ten years there, he worked in the restaurant industry before landing a job with a high-end wine retailer – thus beginning his wine journey officially. After several years in wine sales with Southern Glazers Wine & Spirits, he eventually found his way to the heartland of California wine country and joined the JJ Buckley team as a Fine Wine Specialist.

Bryan has traveled extensively to Burgundy and the Rhone (both North and South), as well as Bordeaux. While he enjoys fine wine from all regions of the world, it’s safe to say he has a special place in his heart for the wines of France. A Certified Sommelier by the Court of Master Sommeliers, Bryan looks forward to taking the Advanced Certification soon. When not helping his clients find amazing wine at JJ Buckley, you can find him in wine country, or checking out San Francisco’s latest hot spot with a glass of wine in his hand.

Email Bryan or call him at 510.877.0293

Diana Navarrete

Sales Advisor

A Bay Area native and graduate of UC Santa Cruz, Diana brings her developing wine skills and customer-oriented approach to our team in her role as Sales Advisor. Her positive attitude, creativity, and adaptability ensure our clients receive the best possible service – and her language skills are of great benefit to our Spanish-speaking clients!

When she’s not cheering for The Raiders, Diana spends her time watching or reading anime, exploring nature, or shooting with her Nikon. Mostly though, you can find her in her “happy place” at the gym enjoying a killer workout. 

Email Diana or call her at 510.632.5306

Seth Rico

Sales Advisor
Joined Team: 2012

More about Seth coming soon!

Email Seth or call him at 510.900.5786

Customer Service

Jeff Boeder

Customer Service Manager

From coordinating tournaments, to serving as services department lead for one of the world’s foremost manufacturers of golf equipment, it’s pretty safe to say Jeff’s first love is golf. However, his lifelong fascination with wine combined with a move to the Bay Area offered an opportunity to switch gears – and what better place to do it than JJ Buckley!

Jeff’s many years of experience in customer service and his attention to detail make him a great candidate to lead our Customer Service team. When he is not working tirelessly to deliver excellence to our clients, Jeff enjoys spending time with his wife and dog, travelling, playing golf (naturally), and rooting for the Green Bay Packers as one of its owners.

Email Jeff or call him at 510.343.7986

Jack Farmer

Customer Service Lead

After living in over 30 different U.S. states (!!), Jack finally settled down to make the SF Bay Area his home. He brings our service team a wide range of experience in customer-centric roles - from leading the Revenue Retention Department at AT&T Wireless, to wearing many hats for a popular San Francisco ecommerce start-up, to Corporate Conciergerie for American Express. 

It was in this role that he developed his love for wine, creating personalized wine tours for Black Card members. Living vicariously through his jet-setting clients from around the world, he was able to expand his knowledge of both the hospitality and wine industries.

With over 15 years in customer service, Jack's goal is to ensure that all of our clients get the world class experience they deserve. In his spare time, he loves spending time with his wife and French Bulldog dog Lil Monster. They're always planning their next Caribbean getaway, wine tasting adventure, or road trip to explore somewhere new.

Email Jack

Purchasing

David Derby

Wine Buyer
Joined Team: 2007

Like many in the industry, David experienced his wine epiphany while traveling through Europe - his was a fine Riesling Spatlese, drunk on the banks of the Mosel in Koblenz. When he returned home, he took a job as a waiter, and six months later became the restaurant's floor sommelier. The following year, he was promoted to beverage manager and the wine list grew from 5 pages to over 100.

Pursuing the marriage of food and wine, David moved to Philadelphia to work at the Four Seasons Hotel, and later as a wine broker for Margolis Wine and Spirits. Frustrated with the limitations of working in a controlled state monopoly, David packed his bags and headed to San Diego to continue his passion for learning. He landed at the WineSellar & Brasserie - a combination wine retail shop and restaurant with a Wine Spectator Grand Award wine list. With access to older wines, he conducted many vertical tastings to demonstrate the changing characteristics as wine matures. To balance those events, he hosted large horizontal tastings of current releases.

Since 2007 David has been a buyer for JJ Buckley, still staying abreast of all the growth and changes in the wonderful world of wine. David’s philosophy on buying focuses on what will make his customers happy, not on what he likes. David says, “There is beauty in a well made wine that speaks of its place and history, and a joy in matching it with someone who appreciates those charms.”

Email David or call him at 510.257.2655

Ryan Massari

Wine Buyer - Private Acquisitions
Joined Team: 2010

Ryan joined JJ Buckley in 2010 as an auction clerk, later transitioning to our acquisitions team where he trained to assess condition and value for wines in private collections. Over the years, he has worn many hats (often at the same time!) and now leads our Private Acquisitions team.

Born with a collector's passion, when he's not evaluating fine and rare wine you can find Ryan adding to his extensive collection of rare vinyl, or DJ'ing and doing volunteer work for U.C. Berkeley's radio station KALX. His greatest treat in life, however, is to snuggle up with his wife and two cats to binge-watch Golden Girls.

Email Ryan

Leanne Jones

Assistant Wine Buyer

Leanne grew up in the Salinas Valley – one of the most productive agriculture regions in California. Though she developed an appreciation for the marriage between food and wine at an early age, her passion for all things wine related did not spark until after college.


During her time at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where she studied Communications and Political Science, she developed quite a palate – for Pinot Noir in particular. Then in 2010, Leanne went to Barcelona to study and travel throughout Europe, returning with an even bigger love of the bottled grape. Following graduation, Leanne took a position in ad sales in the Bay Area. But she soon found herself feeling uninspired and searching for ways to reignite her passion. The spark came in the form of a 2002 Domaine Faiveley Latricieres-Chambertin, enjoyed with her family for Thanksgiving.


Leanne is now a Certified Sommelier and has worked in all aspects of the industry – from cellar hand in Australia to tasting room manager in Oakland. Joining our purchasing team in 2017, she spends her spare time swimming, tending to her growing garden, cooking with freshly picked ingredients, traveling with her husband, hiking with her chocolate labs, Brix & Macie, and always seeking out new and exciting wines from around the globe.

Email Leanne

Marketing & Technology

Paige Granback

Ecommerce & Digital Marketing Manager
Joined Team: 2009

Paige first experienced the world of wine as a child in Virginia, stomping grapes in a plastic kiddie pool for her grandfather's home winemaking "experiments". Always fascinated by this process, her palate thankfully evolved leading her to explore the world of Bordeaux and California cabernet in her early 20s. After careers in retail, social work and early childhood education, she took a more formal step into the wine trade, spending 10 years with a prominent San Francisco retailer. There she served as Spanish wine buyer, and later expanded her position to develop the store's first ecommerce platform and digital marketing programs.

Paige is fascinated by the intersection of wine and technology and aims to deliver JJ Buckley's customers a more engaging online experience. When she’s not geeking out on the latest in web development, you might find her at one of San Francisco's small music venues or traveling to Australia or New Zealand with her partner Chuck Hayward.

Email Paige

John Perry

Email Marketing & Sales Operations
Joined Team: 2008

John developed his passion for wine while working at a local market. Educating himself by gradually tasting through the store’s inventory, John worked his way up to become the wine buyer. This coincided with his time at UC Davis, where John was pursuing a degree in Political Science, while at the same time immersing himself in as many classes as possible at the school’s renowned Department of Viticulture and Enology.

After working briefly as an advocate for patients' rights, John followed his dream of making it in the wine industry when he gained employment with a Napa retailer. He later joined the team at JJ Buckley, first in consignment and cellar acquisitions, and soon after in sales as a Fine Wine Specialist. In his current position, John serves as the link between sales and marketing, manages our product merchandising and content, and works with our strategic marketing partners. In his free time, John is an avid cyclist, throwing himself with reckless abandon up and down the scenic hills of the Bay Area.

Email John

Sam Enos

Technology Manager
Joined Team: 2004

Sam is busy right now supporting helpful internet things. But we'll get a bio from him one day.

Email Sam

Operations

Charlie Zeitler

Operations Manager

Charlie was born and raised in central Pennsylvania. After studying at both Ithaca and Mercyhurst College, Charles spent a year in East Africa doing development work centered on HIV education and prevention.

While abroad, the responsibility of overseeing the day to day operations of a full-service backpackers’ lodge was thrust upon him. His success in that endeavor lead him back stateside, where he opened and operated a restaurant with his twin brother in northern Colorado. It was there he met and fell in love with his best friend and soul mate, with whom he ventured to the Bay Area almost a decade ago.

Through perseverance and hard work, Charlie became the warehouse manager for Northern California’s largest catering company, successfully executing events for groups as large as 30,000 guests. His immense experience in the hospitality industry has taught him an ardent appreciation for both customer service and the importance of efficient logistics.

Charlie joined JJ Buckley in early 2017. When he isn’t ensuring your wine arrives on time, you can find him with his wife and two daughters exploring California nature, working magic on his barbecue, or enjoying great company and delicious wine with his friends at a poker table.

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Jesse Acker-Johnson

Logistics Manager

Jesse grew up in Northern California, Washington, and New Mexico. From a family of musicians, he began to seriously study music philosophy and perform in his teenage years. For the following two decades, he studied with some of the world’s preeminent classical guitarists, earned his doctorate in performance, gave concerts and recitals, composed, and toured in bands. 

Jesse was introduced to wine by way of his father’s love for Italian wines and decided a career in the wine business would complement his interest in the aesthetic life. He approaches his position as Logistics Manager from a perspective that emphasizes human relationships. By endeavoring to understand the strengths and constraints of everyone in his network - from producers, importers and freight forwarders, to his coworkers at JJ Buckley – he is able to optimize transparency, efficiency, reliability, and cost savings from front to back throughout the supply chain.

Jesse enjoys spending his spare time with his wife and two children, performing and composing music, reading, and connecting with friends and family.

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Sambat Cheam

Receiving Manager
Joined Team: 2007

A resident and native of Oakland, CA Sambat (aka "Sam") leads our Receiving team with a twinkle in his eye and a spring in his step. Ensuring the thousands and thousands of bottles we purchase each year are properly received and photographed, he gives 110% every day and is the first to help out a team member in need.

From a large family with origins in Thailand and Cambodia, Sam is a fluent speaker of both languages. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his wife, hiking, and playing with his children.

Chhay Chhy

Assistant Operations Manager
Joined Team: 2006

As Assistant Ops Manager, Chhay overseas the team who handles the nearly 800,000 bottles we ship each year - ensuring our clients receive their wines on time and as promised. His reliability, dedication, committment, and positive attitude make him an ideal candidate for this challenging position!

Emigrating from Cambodia as a small child, Chhay has become a true native son of Oakland, having worked in activist groups to help empower the local community. When he's not working tirelessly to get your shipments to you, he loves to spend time with his wife, two children, and his dog Max. A huge fan of the outdoors, Chhay also loves camping and fishing, karaoke, watching horror movies, writing, and most of all, spending time with his kids.

Byron Lively

Storage Services Manager
Joined Team: 2011

Byron's obsessive attention to detail and commitment to excellent service make him the perfect leader for our Storage Services team. Keeping our immense storage warehouse organized and in ship-shape, he wears other hats for us as needed due to his natural problem-solving abilities and his calm, cool, and collected demeanor. (We're pretty sure he's a super-hero.)

When not giving the utmost of care to your stored wines, Byron likes to read - history mostly, but he's well-rounded. He also plays guitar, walks and enjoys spending time with his wife of 20+ years.

Operational Support

aka Warehouse Warriors

Erik Hernandez - Customer Service Associate
Manuel Roa - Customer Service Associate
Charles Chen - Int'l & Freight Logistics Coordinator
Alexandro Hernandez - Inventory Quality Assurance
Sarith Pel - Inventory Quality Assurance
David Ryan - Inventory Quality Assurance
Jose Cortez - Receiving Lead
Treshawn Wilson - Warehouse Lead
Joseph Blake - Warehouse Associate
Sel Butler - Warehouse Associate
Emmanuel Cruz - Warehouse Associate
Luis Garcia - Warehouse Associate
Akil Hill - Warehouse Associate
David Hill - Warehouse Associate
Ricky Hoang - Warehouse Associate
Stan Jackson - Warehouse Associate
Deandre Moore - Warehouse Associate
Eduardo Navarrete - Warehouse Associate
Roeun Pos - Warehouse Associate
Lauren Rutkovitz - Warehouse Associate
Carl Smith - Warehouse Associate

Human Resources

Cindy Allen

Office Manager
Joined Team: 2011

When Cindy’s not kicking the copier or resetting the server, you can find her getting a tattoo, questing in WoW, or playing with fire.

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Accounting & Finance

Benny Owyang

Accounting Manager
Joined Team: 2016

Benny brings vast experience in corporate finance and accounting experience to JJ Buckley, including leadership positions in the high tech and non-profit sectors. A Certified Public Accountant, Benny earned his MBA at Cal State East Bay. Joining us in 2016, he leads our Accounting & Finance group.

A Bay Area native and dedicated father of three, Benny likes to stay fit and healthy by working out at the local gym and refereeing youth soccer games.

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Jason Leung

Accountant
Joined Team: 2015

More about Jason coming soon!

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Sandra Enget

Accounts Receivable/Payable
Joined Team: 2015

More about Sandra coming soon!

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