Martha graduated with honors from James Madison University in 2007 with a B.S. degree, majoring in Business Management and minoring in Nonprofit Studies. As a member of the Empson USA Inc. team, she has been afforded the incredible opportunity to learn from a family owned importer with an extensive history as a pioneer in the import wine & spirits industry. Her interest and passion for facilitating the sale and appreciation of wine and spirits has been perpetuated by continuous education. She is both a Certified Sommelier through the Court of Master Sommeliers and a Certified Specialist of Wine through the Society of Wine Educators. In the Spring of 2021, she will graduate from the inaugural Global Wine Executive MBA Program at Sonoma State University. She is excited to continue learning and growing as beverage innovation built on a foundation of rich agricultural history and artistry is what makes the industry so exciting and fascinating. In her free time, she enjoys traveling around the world with her Wife and spending time with her three dogs enjoying city life.
"I am overwhelmed with gratitude and so very honored to receive the Elizabeth Smyth Student Scholarship Award from E&J Gallo Winery's Women Behind the Wine Initiative. In reading the words written by Elizabeth Smyth’s family, I couldn’t help but feel inspired; “..mentoring young women at the Gallo Early Start Leadership Camp, supporting, encouraging, and inspiring young women to be the best version of themselves was a passion held close to Elizabeth's heart.” The benefits are endless when everyone has the opportunity to live and work in an environment that values authenticity and diverse voices. I am deeply encouraged by the dedication of individuals like Elizabeth, industry leading companies like E&J Gallo Winery, and advocacy groups like Women of the Vine & Spirits. This generous donation to my career development will afford me the opportunity to work with top instructors at Sonoma State University and leading professionals across all tiers of the industry. I see every dollar in scholarship funding as a temporary loan – one which must get paid back by extending investment and opportunity to the women who come after me."