l’Eté du Vin Names Co-Executive Directors Tom Laffey & Holly Hearn Whaley

March 14, 2011 – Nashville, TN – l’Eté du Vin, America’s oldest charity wine auction whose mission is to unite the wine community in the fight against cancer, has appointed two Co-Executive Directors – Tom Laffey and Holly Hearn Whaley.

After an extensive search conducted by Nashville’s Center for Non-Profit Management paid for in part by a grant from The HCA Foundation, l’Eté du Vin chose two Nashvillians to share the job.  The board of directors has been changing the course of the 30-year-old organization over the past 18 months and feels that this unique and innovative Job Share Partnership will provide the nationally recognized wine auction with the necessary executive leadership to maintain its status.

Tom Laffey, former Sales Manager with WSM AM/FM and Comcast Advertising Sales, left a successful media career to launch Tilted Palm Beverages and his line of high end cocktail mixes.  Laffey brings entrepreneurialism, sales and marketing experience, and liquor industry know-how to the dynamic duo, while Holly Hearn Whaley, former Director of Corporate Communications with EMI Christian Music Group, and Executive Director of The Sparrow Foundation, adds strong communications, event planning, non-profit volunteerism experience to the partnership.  “Together the two Executive Directors will combine their time and talents to achieve the challenging goals set for our wine auction,” says board Chair, Diane Madison-Jammal.

Laffey and Whaley have been volunteers for l’Eté du Vin for over a decade, Chairing the Premiere auction with their spouses in 2005 and 2008 respectively.  They share a strong motivation to fight cancer having both lost loved ones to the terrible disease.

Since its inception in 1980, l’Eté du Vin has raised more than 15 million dollars for its beneficiaries among them the American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge and Camp Horizon, Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center, Gilda’s Club, Dan Rudy Cancer Center, to name a few.

“Tom and I are eager to reach out into the community and partner with even more organizations that are working to battle the disease,” says Whaley.  “In the next 90 days we will be focusing on producing a new and fresh wine auction that will appeal to both serious wine collectors and neophyte wine enthusiasts.”  “We believe our auction can raise much more money for research and patient services; and Holly and I plan to build and re-build relationships with local and national sponsors, volunteers, and the worldwide wine community,” says Laffey.

L’Eté du Vin, pronounced (le tay´ dʊ və´), in French means A Summer of Wine.  This year’s auction Chaired by Steve and Pam Taylor will take place on Saturday, July 16th at Loews Vanderbilt Hotel.  The evening will begin with a formal educational wine tasting, followed by Silent then Live Auctions with a seated dinner and Late Party with dancing and dessert buffets. For more information visit www.nashvillewineauction.com, and Like us at Nashville Wine Auction on Facebook.

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