Dr. Elizabeth “Liz” Thach, MW is the Distinguished
Professor of Wine and a Professor of Management at Sonoma State University in
Rohnert Park, California. Her areas of expertise include Wine Business
Strategy, Human Resource Management, and Leadership Development. She started
teaching as a full-time professor at SSU in the Fall of 2000. In addition to
teaching, she currently conducts research and does consulting with multiple
wineries and other local businesses. Prior to coming to SSU, she worked more
than 10 years as an HR manager and executive in Fortune 100 companies.
In May of 2011 she was awarded the title of Master of Wine from
the Institute of Masters of Wine in London, making her the first female MW on
the West Coast and the 7th woman in the US to achieve this honor. Liz’s passion
is wine, and she has visited most of the major wine regions of the world and
more than 37 countries.
Liz holds a doctorate in Human Resource Development from Texas
A&M University, an M.A. in Organizational Communication and Management from
Texas Tech University, and a B.A. in English from Notre Dame de Namur University
in Belmont, CA. In addition, she is an award winning author who has published
over 120 articles and 6 wine books, including Call of the Vine, Wine – A Global Business and Wine Marketing & Sales. She is
an active member in community organizations, and has held positions with the
Board of Directors for Women for Wine Sense, Petaluma Gap WineGrowers Alliance,
PASCO and many others. She is on the Editorial boards for International Journal of Wine Business
Research and Wine Economics & Policy. In
addition, Liz serves as a
professional wine judge at many prestigious wine judging competitions.
In terms of honors, Liz was awarded a Fulbright Specialist
Scholarship to teach wine business in Argentina, was a recipient of the Korbel
Professorship for research, received the Andre Crispin Commanderie de Bordeaux
Scholarship to travel to France, and was the winner of the Reh Kendermann
Bursary that involved a trip to German wine regions. She has also received
three teaching awards, and several writing honors including Best Wine Marketing
Book in the World from Gourmand World. The National Women for Winesense
organization recognized her with a Rising Star Award for at least 12 years of
excellent service and contribution in the wine industry, and she received
Resolution No. 422 from the California Legislature for being the first woman in
California to become a Master of Wine.
Liz is married with one daughter. She lives on Sonoma Mountain
where she spends her free time hiking, reading, bird-watching, and tending a
hobby vineyard from which she makes pinot noir and sauvignon blanc wine. She
and her husband also enjoy golfing, travel, and cooking together, as well as
having friends over for wine-tastings and barbeques.