About us

About us

Our team

Management and Operations

Pierre Bernier

Chief Executive Officer

Technology savvy, wine enthusiast and operations specialist.

With 20 years of management experience, Pierre is known and recognized as a leader who thrives at delivering shareholder value, business performance and customer satisfaction.  He has experience in large organization as well as start-up companies.  He has a broad network of contact and has been involved and led small and large M&A initiatives. He works well in complex environments, where technology is a key factor in delivering value.

During his tenure Pierre has worked for the financial regulator, in the wireline and wireless telecommunication, gaming and advertising industry where he held executive roles as CFO, EVP operations, and CRO.

Prior to joining JJ Buckley, he was involved in the restructuration of Media5 a VOIP equipment provider and Mitec Telecom a satellite and wireless equipment provider.

Pierre holds a bachelor degree in finance from Sherbrooke University and has followed Executive training at McGill University. He is a certified corporate director(ICD) and currently serves on the board of privately held Media5 and Orizon Mobile, he also served on the board of governmental agencies as President, Vice-President and audit Chair.

Email Pierre

Nathalie Tremblay

Marketing And Sales Director

Nathalie is a full time Marketer by day, part time singer, ardent fitness fan and wine enthusiast. Her desire to foster new ideas, innovate and spice up her part time passions brought Nathalie to the Golden State and JJ Buckley in 2012.

With prior experience in a variety of progressive senior leadership roles in large and small organizations in the telecommunication and media industries, Nathalie has a proven track record of building deep marketing and sales competency and a solid reputation for increasing revenues and profitability across a matrix environment. Fueled by hard work, her strong beliefs in teamwork, customer advocacy, and a constant strive to do better through innovation are now her trademark.

Her previous accomplishments include driving a better connection of product marketing and demand generation; creation and revitalization of award winning acquisition and content websites – enhancing digital marketing tools and strategies.

Her Executive MBA from ESG at l’Université du Québec à Montréal and her 15-year career in media, communications, and marketing have provided Nathalie with the skill set to push the marketing envelope.

Both at work and at play, Nathalie gets the best out of whoever is around her. She knows the name of the game – put 110% in and you’ll get 110% back.

Email Nathalie or call her at 510.250.5688

Stan Jimenez

Director of Operations

With over 15 years of experience in operational excellency, Stan brings his experience and education in running best in class warehousing and fulfillment operations.  – including many years in the wine industry.

Stan joined JJ Buckley in 2012 to oversee the warehouse, delivery operations and customer service across all warehouse facilities. He spent the past 10 years in various warehouse management roles, where he was instrumental in leading and engaging a team that implemented numerous warehouse efficiencies resulting in significant operating expense reductions and new revenue opportunities.

Email Stan or call him at 510.858.2713

Steve Hookey

Senior Director of Finance

Throughout his thirty-year career Steve has held various accounting and finance positions which included working in cross functional roles supporting sales, marketing, and operations in the consumer packaged goods industry, but it was at Diageo and Robert Mondavi Winery where Steve developed his passion for wine.

After graduating from the University of Delaware, Steve spent three years in the US Army as a Field Artillery Lieutenant with the 101st Airborne Division. Steve then earned an MBA from Loyola University and became a Certified Public Accountant.

During the last few years Steve has primarily worked in financial leadership roles where he’s been able to apply his wealth of expertise and experience to improve cash flow, develop budgets and forecast processes, reduce expenses and help companies grow profitably.

When not at work, Steve enjoys attending his youngest daughter’s soccer and softball games, losing golf balls on the golf course, and sports photography.

Email Steve or call him at 510.858.2709

Buying and Procurement

Tommy Svendberg

Tommy Svendberg joins JJ Buckley Fine Wines as the company’s senior wine buyer. 

His breadth of experience includes deep relationships with European producers and purveyors, a specialization in collectible wines, and a personal penchant for getting the best deals available in the wine world.

Previously, Tommy served as the Director of Wine Sourcing for Vinfolio, an online wine retail and cellar management company.  In his role, he sourced wine directly from European vendors and enjoyed serving as an advisor to private collectors, educating them on effective purchasing strategies for their personal collections.  Through his career, Tommy has experienced many facets of the wine industry – educating customers on rare wines in retail and sales to supporting with finance and serving guests. 

In Paris, Tommy worked with Societe Holding ADM, supporting the financial details related to operations for seven of its portfolio restaurants  He also served as a Bar Manager for the acclaimed Mustang Café in Paris France, managing operations, hiring, staff and serving clientele.  Today, Tommy lives in San Francisco with his wife, Amy.

Email Tommy or give him a call at 510.250.5684.

Christian Esser

Assistant Wine Buyer

Christian is a native of Northern California and grew up in wine country with several family members in the wine business.

While Christian developed an appreciation for wine growing up around it, his travel to the world’s most famous wine regions solidified an intense personal interest in wine and the business of wine. Christian started his wine career with a leading wine retailer stocking shelves while helping customers select the evening’s wine.

A short year later, Christian joined a local urban winery, The Winery SF, in a unique role assisting in viticulture, cellar operations, and working directly with customers within the tasting room on weekends. Throughout his years at the winery, Christian was also the senior sales associate at a tasting room in San Francisco pouring for the local crowd.

Christian joined JJBuckley in 2012 and worked as part of the private cellar acquisition team assessing potential acquisitions and managing client relationships for collectors looking to auction their wines on WineCommune.

When he is not thinking about, buying, selling or savoring wine, Christian enjoys time outdoors with his dogs, traveling and building his personal wine collection.

Email Christian

Chris Nielsen

Consignment Manager

Chris Nielsen’s first real introduction to wine happened while he was at Tulane University in New Orleans. In need of gainful employment, he saw a job posting with a well known retailer in the Uptown area. Not having much wine knowledge, he was hired on as a stock clerk and quickly acquired an appreciation for good wine. After taking some courses, Chris found himself promoted to salesman, a capacity in which stayed throughout college. After graduation, he had a brief stint in the world of advertising and retail while maintaining a strong personal interest in wine. Almost a decade later, Chris was living in the Bay Area and looking for a new challenge. He found it at JJ Buckley in 2006. As the manager of the Consignment Department, Chris takes pride in acquiring, safeguarding and placing your fine wines in the hands of others who will enjoy them. Chris is also an avid follower of the ‘beautiful game’ (Go Gunners!) and loves the outdoors.

Email Chris or call him at 510.250.5690

Marketing

Chuck Hayward

Brand & Communications Sr. Manager
Fine Wine Buyer - Australia & New Zealand

Chuck was born in Michigan, grew up in Philadelphia, got a degree in political science from Claremont Men's College outside of Los Angeles, and later moved to Louisiana to further his studies at LSU. In that time he worked as librarian, cook, political consultant, government bureaucrat, disc jockey and music promoter. He then moved to California in 1986 to pursue his passion for wine. Job stability began the day he walked into a San Francisco wine store before Christmas and was hired as temporary help.

Serving 23 years at legendary wine retailer The Jug Shop, Chuck was responsible for wine buying, consumer and staff training and education, as well as daily operations. The store gained international recognition for its wine program during his tenure, and he has become one of the leading experts on Australian and New Zealand wines in the country. In his current job at JJ Buckley, Chuck continues his specialization in wines from Down Under as a wine buyer and fine wine specialist, while assisting the wine department in education and procurement.

Chuck is an avid traveler who is famous for his "Paris for the Weekend" trips, as well as his frequent jaunts to the Southern hemisphere. Soccer is his favorite sport and he actively follows the Earthquakes and the US national team except when he's watching the Grand Final for Aussie Rules Football. You'll frequently see Chuck and his girlfriend Paige out and about in the bars and restaurants of San Francisco as he looks for the perfect negroni. Check out Chuck’s latest blog posts and discover why JJ Buckley's Austrailan and New Zealand wine buyer thinks these wines are world class by clicking here.

Email Chuck or call him at 510.257.2653

Eliana Bergman

Online Marketing Manager

Eliana grew up in Florida but always had the desire to live and work abroard. After a semester at sea on board The Scholar Ship, Eliana received her B.A. in International Media and Communications from Franklin College in Lugano Switzerland and went on to complete her M.A. in Social Science with and emphasis on Communications from Uppsala University in Uppsala Sweden.

Experienced in communications, media relations, and marketing, Eliana effectively combines these strengths to deliver creative and effective communication and content. Through targeted messaging, brand management, digital strategy and Web development, media outreach, and integrated marketing campaigns, Eliana works to increase brand awareness.

When Eliana isn’t busy at work she enjoys traveling, reading, hiking, and spending time with family and friends.

Email Eliana or call her at 510.257.2655

John Perry

Fine Wine Specialist, Marketing and Sales

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 for the store. 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 renown 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. Wanting to be closer to his family in Oakland, John joined the team at JJ Buckley soon thereafter and has been a productive member of both the Consignment and Sales Department of our operation for the past two years. In his free time, John is an avid cyclist, throwing himself with reckless abandon up and down the scenic hills of the Bay Area, that is, when he's not chasing after his two-year-old daughter.

Email John or call him at 510.903.5910

Wine Specialists and Sales

Ryan Moses

Sales Manager

Ryan Moses grew up in Michigan and went to school at Boston College, receiving a business degree in accounting and information systems.  He discovered his love of fine wine after taking a restaurant position in Nantucket that drove his initial enthusiasm for the industry.  After crafting wine lists and beverage programs at Massachusetts restaurants such as DeMarco, the Westmoor Club, Apocrypha, and 51 Lincoln, he found himself in an enviable production position at Sine Qua Non, learning the heart of winemaking in all its exciting detail over two vintages.  After working as a Wine Specialist for two years alongside some of the most enthusiastic and knowledgable folks in the industry, he was promoted to Sales Manager.

Outside of the professional realm, Moses spends as much time as he can with his beautiful wife and two daughters, is an ardent hockey and football fan, and is dedicated to the pursuit of the perfect cocktail, cappuccino, and bottle of wine. Although his original wine passion involved Barolo and Barbaresco, he has found favorites over the years in Central Coast California, Bordeaux, Rhone Valley, and Burgundy.  As a savvy collector of the market’s best high-end values, his enthusiasm for the product is at the heart of why this is the ideal environment for Moses.

Email Ryan or call him at 510.632.5322

Geoffrey Binder

Wine Specialist

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 now 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

Adam Bloom

Wine Specialist

Adam grew up in Encinitas, California. His family exposed him to wine early on with a shot glass full of red wine at family dinners. His first job in the wine business was at a tasting bar during his senior year of college at UCSB. For his final three units of school, Adam travelled to Burgundy for a study abroad winemaking intro course offered through UC Davis. After school, Adam spent four years at WineSellar & Brasserie in San Diego, and was exposed to wines from all over the world, eventually becoming the wine buyer. His curiosity soon led him to pursue work in wine production, and he has since worked harvests in the Barossa Valley (Elderton), Willamette Valley (Penner-Ash), Central Otago (Amisfield) and the Russian River (Merry Edwards). In 2010 he was hired by Hirsch Vineyards as the Assistant Winemaker, where he worked and lived for three years on the property in the far northwestern corner of the Sonoma Coast.

 

Adam joined JJ Buckley for the opportunity to share his knowledge and experience with others. Outside of work Adam is working to finish up his WSET diploma. Outside of wine he enjoys snowboarding, painting and woodworking, and (even though it’s not easy), he’s a big San Diego Chargers and Padres fan.

Email Adam or call him at 510.250.5698

Ian Conroy

Wine Specialist

Ian’s passion for wine was ignited in 2002 after tasting a Marc Kreydenweiss Gewürztraminer during a wine class at U.N.L.V. While becoming certified with the Court of Master Sommeliers, he traveled and tasted his way through both Burgundy and Bordeaux. He was forever marked by the history and purity of old world wine. Ian then went back to work in fine dining under the leadership of Master Sommelier Steven Geddes at Andre Rochet’s Gastronomy Management Group. Working as a sommelier in all four of Andre’s restaurants, he was able to learn from unique lists that were mainly built upon the chef’s private collection of old world wine (though it also contained one of the rarest collections of cognac in North America!).

Born and raised in the Bay Area, Ian moved back to San Francisco in 2007, and became the Cellar Master at Gary Danko, where he expanded his knowledge of California wine. After almost five years he became the Head Sommelier at Quince in San Francisco. Ian is now very proud to share his experiences and expertise at JJ Buckley. When not at work he enjoys spending time with his family, surfing, and experiencing live music.

Email Ian or call him at 510.858.2717

Andy Frieden

Wine Specialist

Andy Frieden developed a passion for wine while working as an accountant for the San Francisco based restaurant firm, Il Fornaio. After a trip to Italy's Tuscan Coast to visit his cousin’s olive oil farm near Ornellaia, his interest in wine magnified. He decided to go for it and leave a ten-year career in finance.

Upon his return, Andy immediately moved to Napa Valley and began a year working for the peerless winery, Chateau Montelena. With 16 years of retail and wholesale wine distribution in the San Francisco Bay Area and his experience teaching the first wine course on the internet for Virtual Vineyards in 1997, he possesses a wealth of knowledge. Andy is also WSET Certified (Level 3 Advanced) and brings this educational interest into his approach to selling wine at JJ Buckley. Andy's focus leans towards Burgundy's chameleon of flavors and a new love of the Left Bank of Bordeaux with its loamy clay soil profile, but the Bay Area's backyard wine regions of Napa and Sonoma are still dear to his heart.

In his spare time, Andy enjoys skiing, competitive tennis, and practicing his mad culinary skills.

Email Andy or call him at 510.257.2650

Chris Greene

Wine Specialist

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 new film, 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

Cory Gowan

Wine Specialist

Cory's first ‘wine moment’ happened years ago at a small French restaurant in Oakland, California. He doesn't remember the wine, but he remembers being floored by the fact that a wine could smell like pepper! He went on to explore Napa and Sonoma counties, marveling at the beauty of the vineyards and eating lunch among the vines and the orchards. Cory has been at JJ Buckley since 2007. He also assists at tasting events for a small California winery and has continued his wine education through courses and industry tastings. He especially enjoys Rhône varietals (red and white), and just about any small production or single vineyard wines. In his spare time he plays softball, checks out new restaurants, and travels the world (or at least the back roads of California). Cory logs his wine adventures on Twitter @CorysWineWorld and lives in Oakland with his wife and two cats.

Email Cory or call him at 510.257.2654

Roland Hankerson

Wine Specialist

Roland and his wife Jennifer made their way to California in 2006. A graduate of Morehouse College in Atlanta with a BA in International Studies, he has spent time studying and working abroad with various organizations throughout Latin America, Africa, and Asia, later transitioning to a career in fine dining and hospitality. He was first introduced to wine during a staff tasting while opening an Italian restaurant in Washington D.C. This was the spark that led to his lifelong passion and career in the wine world, spanning nearly every aspect of the industry from hospitality, wholesale, retail buying, vineyard operations, and consumer consulting and sales.

Roland has always believed that wine is for everyone, and his ability to connect his customers to their own palates and deepen their appreciation for wine has lead him to be featured in The Washington Post and other publications. “I like spending time with clients, getting to know them and their individual preferences. I like coming across a wine and saying, this would be great for Susan in South Carolina, Tom in Texas, or my wife tonight!” His interests aside from wine are wrangling/raising his adorable son Joshua, cooking, music, movies, martial arts, travel and poker.

Email Roland or call him at 510.250.5691

Jeff Loo

Wine Specialist

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, Jeff likes to golf, travel, smoke cigars, and enjoys working on his vertical of Chateau Palmer.

Email Jeff or call him at 510.250.5689

Devon Magee

Wine Specialist

Devon Magee hails from Seattle and studied International Politics and Economics as an undergraduate at Middlebury College. He spent his junior year abroad to build his fluency in Spanish in Logrono, La Rioja, and ended up falling in love with wine. After college, he landed his first wine job in Seattle’s largest wine retail store, Esquin. After his buyer opened a bottle of ’82 Lynch Bages for him, the next step was obvious. He moved to France, where he learned French and worked in one of Paris’ longest-running wine bars, Juveniles. He also completed harvest at Vieux Telegraphe in Chateauneuf-du-Pape.

Two years later, he returned stateside to work 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, after ten years of wine adventure, he’s been back in retail as a Fine Wine Specialist at JJB for over 2 years. He still returns to France to work harvest - in 2011 he worked at Bellefont-Belcier in St. Emilion, and in 2012, he worked at Chandon de Briailles in Burgundy. Devon is currently studying for the final exam to complete his 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

Tracey Rose

Wine Specialist

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

Catherine Stefani

Wine Specialist

Catherine Stefani has over 20 years of experience in the wine industry and fully understands the wine business from production to sales to collector services.  Catherine completed her B.S. in Food Science at Cal Poly, SLO - a school recognized for agriculture and wine programs.  She adapted well to the science of wine, but her interests quickly turned to the relationship building side of the business.  This led Catherine to over a decade of outside sales representing importers and wineries from regions all over the world. Now a specialist in rare and collectable wine, Catherine’s true passion is buying for the top collectors in the world.  As a certified Sommelier through the Court of Masters and a level three Advanced Certificate through the WSET, Catherine also makes wine from her own vineyard in California which allows her to stay connected to her family’s history of farming and agriculture.   Catherine’s hobbies include tennis, skiing, hiking, and of course...wine collecting.

Email Catherine or call her at 1.888.379.3570

Operations, Technology and Customer service

Yeigi "A.G." Melendez

Inventory Control And Customer Service Manager

Before JJ Buckley, A.G. worked within a variety of industries, including retail, mortgage/finance, computer networking, and as a State of California employee at the Department of Motor Vehicles for many years. Back in 2004, he became one of Wine Commune's first employees in an office loft in Emeryville. A real veteran, A.G. has been instrumental in keeping all systems going and has built a reputation as the “go-to.” He often finds himself wearing a lot of hats, as he has a hand in most of what happens at JJ Buckley and manages the day-to-day operations, including customer service and the warehouse and shipping departments. His hard working nature, can-do attitude and great rapport with people have made him a significant player and asset to the company.

Spending time around wine on a daily basis brought out love and passion for the industry. He currently enjoys German Rieslings and right bank Bordeaux. In his spare time, if A.G. is not improving his handicap on the golf course or riding his motorcycle through the Bay Area back roads, you will likely find him spending time with his wife and his two sons.

Email Yeigi "A.G." or call him at 510.250.5687

Phillip Samson

Operations Manager, California

Phil is passionate about wine, spirits and food. This passion has served to fuel over 15 years of managerial experience in the wine, spirits & food industry in various roles including production, logistics, customer service, and human resources. He spent 10 years at Young's Market, the largest distributor in the region, managing teams in high volume, automated distribution centers as well as supporting sales and internal operations personnel. Phil's previous experience also lead him to develop managerial expertise in smaller boutique and start-up companies that catered to high end clientele in the wine and spirits industry. His success driven attitude is balanced by his effective leadership skills that motivate team members to generate results. Phil spends his leisure time exploring new running paths with his black lab, Lily.

Email Phillip or call him at 510.250.5686

Michael Wright

Operations Manager, Florida

Michael came to JJ Buckley from a background in electronics and industrial packaging distribution in Florida. Having grown up in Northern California, Michael was first introduced to local cabernets by his parents, who own property and vines in Sonoma County. 

Looking for adventure in his early 20’s after graduating from school in Pacific Beach, Michael travelled across the country with a group of close friends, finally landing in South Florida, where he met his wife of now 21 years and settled down. His main hobbies are spending time at the beach, boating with his three children, golfing at some of the finest South Florida courses and cooking for friends and family during basketball and football season (Go 49ers, Go Miami Heat)!!

Email Michael or call him at 305.290.3981

Kenneth Rivers

Operations Manager, Texas

Kenneth’s comes to the wine industry from a wide-ranging professional background that includes retail, graphic design, sales, purchasing, inventory and in various leadership positions. Throughout his career, Kenneth has enjoyed a reputation as a fixer, and has played a large part in making sure many of your favorite social media sites, news outlets and businesses stayed online and kept their data management intact. These companies include Facebook, Twitter, ESPN, Wal-Mart, Apple, Google and Disney Pixar, to name a few.

A Texan through and through, Kenneth attended college in Dallas, and has lived in his native Houston his entire life. He is a husband of seven years and father to two wonderful kids. When not spending time with his family, Kenneth enjoys working out, reading, bowling and cooking. He is excited for this opportunity to learn more about wine and his palate is quickly evolving - please feel free to contact Kenneth and share some of your favorite wines with him. Your favorite may soon become his favorite as well!

Email Kenneth or call him at 281.315.3193

Sam Enos

Project Manager

Darnell Mirador

Senior Data Analyst

Cindy Allen

Office Manager

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

Email Cindy or her at 510.257.2658

Accounting and Finance

Nader Hana

Accountant

 

Michelle Ng

Bookkeeping