Kimberly Charles, Founder
Kimberly has worked her PR and marketing mojo all over the world for close to 30 years. On both the client and the agency side, she has tackled marketing issues large and small on behalf of brands from start up to established. She has generated buzz & tangible results for wineries, gourmet food producers, nonprofit organizations, museums, hotels, perfume, luxury cars and more. Kimberly's work accentuates building a synergy with the various audiences of a client while imbuing their programs with meaning and resonance – all driven by bottom line results. Her particular passion is representing clients with a socially responsible or sustainable platform for conducting business at all levels. During her career, Kimberly has largely focused on the wine industry; however, she has also crafted cause marketing, co-branding and event programming with companies as diverse as BMW, Ritz-Carlton, American Express, the Marriott and Hyatt Hotel chains, the Tony Awards® among many others.
Kimberly's work has covered a good part of the globe. She began in New York at the premium importing company Kobrand Corporation, where she served as Public Relations Director for a portfolio of internationally recognized brands including Taittinger Champagne, Louis Jadot Burgundies, Taylor Fladgate Ports and others. At that time, she oversaw all company media relations, co-marketing partnerships, winemaker travel with a highlight being tours she throughout France and Germany, putting her language and travel skills to great use. She was part of the team that launched and nurtured the marketing phenom brand Alizé de France. Her next move was to Northern California to become Director of Communications for E. & J. Gallo Winery, directing corporate and internal communications as well as focusing on the successful re-launch of the Gallo of Sonoma brand. She then accepted a position as Senior Vice President of Magnet Communications in San Francisco, where she built an impressive roster of wine industry clients including Perrier Jouet & G.H. Mumm Champagne brands, St.Supéry Winery & Vineyards, Fetzer Vineyards, Fess Parker Winery and Robert Mondavi Imports among many others.
In the spring of 2003, Kimberly launched her own company, Charles Communications Associates in San Francisco, specializing in strategic branding, corporate social responsibility with a focus on launching, reinvigorating and repositioning of brands. This opened the world of client possibilities to her various social and cultural interests.
Kimberly holds a B.A. in History & Government from Georgetown University and also successfully completed the Diploma course for the Wine & Spirit Education Trust in London in 1997, one the early group of American candidates to attempt this challenging exam. She is a member of Slow Food and Les Dames d'Escoffier San Francisco. She is also a Trustee of the River Network. She served as Vice President of the Society of Wine Educators (2003-2005) and a board member for five years.
When she has time to breathe, Kimberly loves to travel and live it up. Her travel bug has fueled the fire for not just classic food and wine but also sake, arak, single malt scotch…she loves the lore tied into travel and gastronomy. Her travels to Russia, Lebanon, Iceland, Japan and Greenland continue to quench her thirst for exotic locales. That being said, after her worldly exploits, she finds her restored 1900 Victorian home in San Francisco’s Mission District to be a great place to share her love of cooking and entertaining with a great group of friends and colleagues. She is a devotee of the yogic practice and endeavors to stay centered in an ever-changing world.
Kimberly: A Snapshot
Restaurant: Lately, her passion is for food trucks, some favorites: Namu, Kung Fu Tacos, El Huarache Loco and of course the Crème Brulee Man (inside joke)
City to visit: Reykjavik
Place to shop: Hayes Street San Francisco, 6e Arrondissement Paris
Musician: Killian MacGeraghty
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Wine: Any great producer in Bonnes Mares, Burgundy or a vintage champagne
Book: Journey of Souls, Michael Newton
Film: The Lives of Others, Memento
Katie Hunter, Account Executive & Social Media Director
From a family with roots anchored in southern Italy, Katie believes she was predestined to love great food and wine. A high school trip to France and Spain, and a college semester spent abroad in her native country, confirmed those expectations.
While in Rome, Katie deepened her love of the culinary arts in the home of her host mother, whose simple yet delicious meals of sugo de pomodori, pasta and sweet peppers still make Katie's mouth water. Yet it was her discovery of Italian vino—in its infinite varietals, and costing just a few euros per bottle—that pulled Katie into a lifelong love affair with wine.
Katie pursued this passion in Washington, D.C., where she served as a media specialist for Heritage Link Brands, an importer of wines from South Africa and its diaspora. While in D.C., Katie also pursued her passion for social change at Arabella Advisors, a philanthropic consulting firm, where she helped devise giving strategies for clients like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the NFL Player Care Foundation.
In her free time, Katie loves cooking (especially Mediterranean fare), shopping for vintage clothes and boots, and discovering new wines. She recently obtained her Advanced Certification with Merit from the Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET).
Katie's favorite way to broaden her wine knowledge, though, is through travel. From sipping Chenin Blanc in Stellenbosch, South Africa, to exploring the caves of Vouvray in France's Loire Valley, Katie has been lucky enough to visit some of the world’s most beautiful wine regions. She recently spent two months backpacking through South America, a trip whose highlights include visiting the vineyards of Mendoza and zipping around Santiago, Chile on a motorcycle.
Katie is a great addition to the talented team at Charles Communications, and loves her role as Account Executive and social media guru. She is also excited to have wine country—not to mention an amazing city—right at her doorstep.
Katie: A Snapshot
City to visit: Istanbul
Place to shop: Vintage shops in the East Village and Lower East Side, NoLiTa
Musician: Frank Sinatra, Chromeo, Gotan Project
Philsopher: John Rawls
Movie: Roman Holiday
Cuisine: Mediterranean, specifically Southern Italian, and Thai
Wine: Domaine de la Janesse CDP or Elias Mora Crianza 2006
Skye Morgan, Account Coordinator
Skye's love for food and wine began at a young age. Growing up in the beautiful Napa Valley, she was surrounded by some of the greatest food and wine in the country. Her parents, winemakers and cookbook authors, designated Skye as an official taster every evening, trying something new. She then began organizing potluck dinners with friends, sharing favorite recipes and pairing dishes with family wines.
Although Skye took advantage of the wondrous food and wine available to her in the Napa Valley, she eventually realized it was time to explore other renowned food and wine regions. For her junior year at University of California Santa Cruz, Skye studied abroad in Bordeaux, France. There, she discovered a new love of food and wine. Over the course of a year, Skye traveled to ten countries and over twenty cities, with a mission to taste the best local dishes and wines. Her ultimate epicurean epiphany occurred while sitting along the Garonne River in Bordeaux and enjoying a sublime bottle of 6-euro white wine with oysters from Arcachon at the Sunday, Chartrons Marché. At that moment, she made a commitment to food and wine as a career.
After returning to the States, Skye continued to pursue her passion. As she finished up her degree in Global Economics, she interned in the marketing department at New Leaf Community Markets, a local natural foods store chain.
With an understanding that great meals require fine wine, Skye recently took the ultimate crash course on the subject. She spent a week at the Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley enrolled in The Professional World of Wine, where she studied everything from viticulture and winemaking to food and wine pairing.
About a month before graduating from college, Skye reached out to Charles Communications Associates. She immediately applied to the company's internship program to expand and refine her communications skills in the real-life professional world of food and wine with one of the leading companies in the field. We're thrilled to have her!
Skye: A Snapshot
Restaurant: Chez Paulette, Bordeaux
City to visit: Santorini Island, Greece
Place to shop: Le Marais, Paris
Musician: Frank Sinatra
Cuisine: Thai and Italian
Wine: Any great Pinot Noir
Book: Middlesex, Jeffrey Eugenides
Film: Funny Girl, It's Complicated, every Harry Potter film
Morgan Chilton, Intern
Morgan discovered her excitement and passion for food with her first trip to Italy. It emerged as she fell in love with the pasta in Rome, the seafood in Positano, and the gelato in Sicily. In the course of these experiences, she had her first taste of Italian wine at its best – a sampling that is not forgotten to this day! While having traveled extensively throughout Western Europe, North America and the Middle East, she has always sought out the best local eateries in each city knowing that it will reveal some of the best qualities of the people and their culture. These travels have only broadened her love for all types of cuisine as she continues to seek out new and exotic dishes and vintages at every opportunity. After moving to San Francisco for university, Morgan quickly became enthralled by the cities’ effervescent food and wine culture.
Morgan graduated from the University of San Francisco in May 2011 with a BS in Business Administration. While attending school, she interned at companies such as SS Communications and MKTG Inc., which thoroughly introduced her to the world of marketing and public relations. Never far from her enthusiasm for wonderful food, Morgan has also worked in the restaurant industry for many years. Throughout her time in restaurants and coffee shops, she has acquired an appreciation and love for the hospitality industry. Soon after graduation, Morgan sought to combine her love for food and wine with the skills she had acquired from her education and business background. It was then with great excitement and enthusiasm that Morgan joined the team at Charles Communications and Associates as an intern where she is excited to be around colleagues that are equally as committed to a field that they too involve themselves in both personally and professionally.
In her free time Morgan enjoys skiing, yoga and lounging in Dolores Park (after all it is ALWAYS sunny in the Mission). On the weekends she spends most of her time with her friends discovering the cities hidden culinary gems. Her favorites so far include Burma Superstar, Shanghai Dumpling King, B44, Zazi and Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream.
Morgan: A Snapshot
Restaurant: Mama's Fish House in Paia, Maui
City to visit: Aqaba, Jordan
Place to shop: Nooworks on Valencia
Musician: Currently can't stop listening to Lykke Li
Ice Cream: Bi-Rite's Malted Vanilla with Peanut Brittle and Humphry Slocombe's Hot Mess Sundae
Book: 1,000 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Wine: Ridge 2009 Ponzo Zinfandel
Film: Pan's Labyrinth