4 - 5 July, 2022
Olympia London

Ambassadors

Introducing our official Imbibe Live ambassadors for our 2021 in-person event.

We’re honoured to have some of the most respected and influential industry leaders involved in curating this year’s masterclass programme.

Follow them on social, get to know them and look out for updates on what we’ve got coming up at the event.

Laura Willoughby MBE

Co-Founder of Club Soda; The Mindful Drinking Movement

Laura Willoughby MBE is co-founder of Club Soda, the Mindful Drinking Movement. Their aim is to help people drink more mindfully and live well.

The inspiration for Club Soda comes from Laura’s experience of giving up drinking nine years ago. A campaigner at heart with a background in movement building and politics, she realised that one of the big sticking points was a way to support people to take a self-guided journey to change their drinking.

Club Soda has over 50,000 individual members and nearly 80 brand members who they support through research and collaborative projects. They have built a venue listing guide for mindful drinkers and they run the UK’s only Mindful Drinking Festival which is now in its 8th edition. She is author of How to Be a Mindful Drinker published by DK books. 

Laura was chair of Imbibe’s No & Low Taste Awards judging panel in 2020. 

Instagram: @laurawilloughby
Twitter: @lcwilloughby
Website: www.joinclubsoda.com

Lorraine Copes

Founder of Be Inclusive Hospitality. Procurement Consultant. Business Coach

Having spent almost two decades working within the hospitality sector successfully leading procurement teams for brands including Shake Shack, Gordon Ramsay Restaurants and Corbin & King, her experience spans new market entry, national and international leadership roles.

Lorraine is passionate about helping others advance and has been able to do so during her career within procurement by helping organisations to improve profitability, and as a Business Coach through helping individuals gain clarity, confidence and courage.

In 2019 Lorraine felt compelled to form Be Inclusive Hospitality due to the consistent lack of representation of people from Black, Asian and Minority backgrounds in positions of influence.

This social enterprise will now hold the prime position of accelerating racial equality and levelling the playing field for those from underrepresented backgrounds within hospitality, food and drink sectors.

Instagram: @lorraine.copes
Twitter: @LorraineCopes
Website: www.bihospitality.co.uk

Jan Konetzki

Director of Wine at Ten Trinity Square - Four Seasons Hotel, La Dame de Pic and Private Club. Independent Sommelier

Jan’s experience spans over 20 years in the hospitality industry and breaks every common cliché in the wine business, maintaining an almost casual and playful style of handling professional conventions.

He began his UK career in 2007 and has since won the title of ‘Best UK Sommelier’ four times. He is today one of the UK’s most distinguished sommeliers, tasting wines on various judging panels and juries.

Jan started out at Gordon Ramsay’s flagship restaurant, Royal Hospital Road, where he worked as Head Sommelier until 2016.

He is now a self-employed sommelier and acts as the Director of Wine at Ten Trinity Square’s Four Seasons Hotel, La Dame de Pic and Private Club.

In addition, he is the UK and German Ambassador for Château Latour and Artemis Domaines and also looks after a small circle of private clients as their cellar and portfolio manager.

Instagram: @JanKonetzki
Twitter: @JanKonetzki
Website: www.konetzki.co.uk

Gabe Cook

The Ciderologist, writer, industry consultant and award-winning, global cider expert

Gabe Cook is The Ciderologist, an award-winning, global cider expert attempting to change the way the world thinks and drinks cider.

Gabe has worked in the cider industry for 15 years, spanning cider making, corporate communications and public affairs.

He has worked for cider makers in the UK and New Zealand, from small farmhouse operations all the way up the world's biggest. He has even presented a bottle of Cider to The Queen.

As well as chairing a number of international cider competitions, Gabe is a cider writer, industry consultant and the de facto “go to” independent voice on all matters cider. He established the UK's first Cider Sommelier (Pommelier) programme back in 2018.

Gabe also co-hosts the Neutral Cider Hotel podcast and his new book, Modern British Cider, will be published in September 2021. So, keep a look out for it.

Instagram: @ciderologist
Twitter: @theciderologist
Facebook: @ciderologist
Website: www.theciderologist.com

Clement Ogbonnaya

Landlord, The Prince of Peckham, London

Clement has worked in hospitality for 15 years, starting off as a promoter for venues in London’s West End, before moving on to work in marketing for some of London’s leading venue operators.

He opened the doors to Prince of Peckham pub, in South East London, four years ago. Nigerian born Clement was raised in Peckham and his goal for the pub was to create an inclusive, community space, where all in Peckham and beyond are welcome.

During the past four years Clement and his team have created a beautiful space, cultivated loyal customers and provided an excellent standard of hospitality. The Prince of Peckham has received a variety of award nominations including ‘Best Marketing Pub’ and ‘Most Innovative Pub’ at the annual Star Pubs and Bar Awards, and Clement was a runner up for Imbibe’s Pub Personality of the Year Award in 2020.

Clement is a real people person and finds people and their habits captivating, which is what attracted him to the hospitality industry. He firmly believes that this fascination is why he has been successful with his first pub.

He has collaborated with brands such as Mulberry, Wray and Nephew, TikTok and Clarks.

Prince of Peckham has also featured on TV shows including BBC Two’s Tom Kerridge’s Saving Britain’s Pubs and Sky Sports’ ‘The Pub: Football’s Home.

Instagram: @clemface
Twitter: @clemface
Website: www.princeofpeckham.co.uk

Anna Sebastian

Former Bar Manager of the Artesian Bar at the Langham Hotel, industry consultant and Head of Brand at Served® Hard Seltzer.

London based Anna Sebastian most recently worked as a Bar Manager at the Artesian Bar at the Langham Hotel, and has since gone on to work for Served® Hard Seltzer as their Head of Brand.

Having worked in luxury hospitality for the last 10 years, including a 7-year tenure at The Savoy, Anna is well versed in the hospitality world.

She is passionate about making a difference, especially with gender equality, which led her to set up Celebrate Her a platform to elevate women via education.

Anna has several accolades including several nominations and wins at Tales of the Cocktail, running bars in the worlds 50 Best Bars, Imbibe team and menu of the year and Class Bar Manager of the year and cocktail menu.

Anna started volunteering at the beginning of lockdown for Under One Sky, a charity which helps the homeless. She is an advocate of preventing homeless especially in hospitality.

Her go to drinks are champagne and vodka martinis but is a huge fan of the growing hard seltzer category.

Instagram: @annasebastian3
Twitter: @AnnaSebastian
Website: www.celebrateher.me

Jaega Wise

Head Brewer at Wild Card Brewery

Jaega is the Head Brewer of East London based micro Wild Card Brewery.

Combining expertise in engineering, mathematics, logistics and a love of all things beer, she has been leading the brewing team at Wild Card since 2012.

Jaega is listed within London's one thousand most influential figures in the Evening Standard's Progress 1000 as well as Brewer of the Year in 2018. Jaega is also part of the core presenting team for BBC Radio Four’s The Food Programme, and was announced as one of the 12 judges for the BBC Food & Farming Awards 2019.

Hailing from Nottingham City, Jaega holds a Chemical Engineering Degree and has worked in Water Treatment and International Chemical Trading. She is a member of the Institute of Chemical Engineers and regularly brews with the ladies of the Venus Project, which aims to promote women in brewing through education & collaborative brewing.

Instagram: @jaegawise
Twitter: @jaegawise
Website: www.wildcardbrewery.co.uk
Photo credit: Joan Tinney

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