Kay Zink, CEO/Founder A to Zinfandel; PMP; CSW (preparing for the exam)

kayzink @ AtoZinfandel . com

Kay earned her Bachelor’s Degree in International Business and French from the University of Texas at Austin and holds a Master’s Degree in International Marketing and French from Thunderbird, the American Graduate School of International Business.

Following an eight year wild ride working as a trader on Wall Street in the 1980′s (think “Liar’s Poker”, Michael Lewis), Kay Zink, retired and moved to LA and drove a convertible up and down PCH – probably providing her with plenty of opportunities for wrinkles later in life.

Eventually came a 15-year information technology career, where Kay earned her PMP (Project Management Professional). She again retired in 2007 to spend more time on her passion of wine, increase her involvement in the local community and begin a second career focused on her passion. Kay is the founding president of A to Zinfandel and serves on the organization’s national board as the director of social media.

In continuing her pursuit of the grape, Kay pursued a formal study of wine. She currently holds a Wine Fundamentals 1 Diploma from the International Sommelier Guild. She is now working towards her CSW (Certified Specialist of Wine) certification from the Society of Wine Educators and towards becoming a member of the Wine Century Club (tasting a minimum of 100 different grape varietals.

Kay is a self-made social media expert having first worked as a Virtual Assistant to entrepreneurs. It simply made sense to blend her passions of online marketing/social media and wine, food, and tourism.

Although Kay has traveled extensively, when asked what her favorite country is, she no longer hesitates. She quickly says France.

Harold D. Partain, CTC, CCTP

hPartain @ AtoZinfandel . com

Being equally at home in Italy and Texas, Harold has dedicated over 35 years to the travel industry. His ownership, management and training skills have lead several companies to success and recognition. Harold, a senior partner with McCabe Travel Group, lectures on travel styles and trends, destinations, and the history of food – the past six years at Brookhaven College in Dallas, and for various travel organizations and conferences. Often the theme of his lectures, as well as professional specialization, is the Mediterranean region.

Focused on culinary and wine tourism Harold has marketed creatively designed travel experiences such as; Pilgrimage for the Perfect Pinot Noir, The Architecture of Wine Making: Spain’s Commitment to the Future, Arts and Opera – A Taste of the Veneto, Down on the Farm – Italian Style, and Assaggio Toscana! Among many others.

In a remote region of eastern Tuscany where he spends time each year Harold advises and consults with several local enterprises; Priello – a restored 50 acre 17th century hillside organic farm, Valle di Mezzo one of the largest goat farms in Italy and the only ‘fabbricazione di formaggio di artiginale’ in the region, and Farm In Tuscany – a management/reservation service for agriturismi, country houses and village apartments.

Harold has served on the Board of Directors of the International Culinary Tourism Association (ICTA) since 2004. In October 2006 his professional colleagues honored him when he was elected Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors. He continues to serve as Vice-Chairman of ICTA today. Harold also serves as Chair of the Education & Certification Committee and is on the Membership Committee of ICTA and several Advisory Boards related to culinary tourism.

Harold is one of the first to earn the CCTP designation confired by ICTI – International Culinary Tourism Institute. CCTP – Certified Culinary Travel Professional is the only industry certification program available for those seeking a higher level of knowledge and verification of their professional dedication to the high standards of culinary tourism.

Harold has a passion for travel that is simply contagious. The wonders of the Ancient World always beckoned him. Harold’s collection of international postage stamps was a farm child’s link to the mysterious and unusual. He spent hours watching planes high above winging their way to unexplored worlds.

Harold’s career led to Dallas in 1972 where he has been associated with several leading travel companies. His knowledge, management and training skills helped to bring these companies to national recognition. In 1991, Harold founded Exclusive Travel Designs International with business partner, Ann Olene Sale.

A passion for books and seeing a change ahead in the travel industry led Harold in 1997 to accept the challenge as Director of Travel Operations for Voyagers The Travel Store in Dallas. His association helped to forge the team that quickly grew the company to four retail locations and a substantial Internet Store offering complete travel services along with travel books, luggage, accessories and a wide range of travel related gifts.

In 1999/2000, Harold celebrated 30 years of professional travel career. He rewarded himself by taking a three months sabbatical and traveled throughout France and Italy. This life changing experience inspired him to speak out and declare the virtues of a life filled with worldly pleasures! He continues to share his burning desire to travel.

Although Harold has traveled extensively, when asked what his favorite country is, he no longer hesitates. He quickly says Italy.


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