• About Us

MISSION

Uniting the Wine Community to Fund the Fight Against Cancer
Nashville Wine Auction engages local and world wine communities to produce wine related events which raise money to fight cancer. Increased appreciation of wine through Nashville Wine Auction results in an influential charitable organization of importance to its constituents and beneficiaries.

Our Vision is Accelerating Generosity Through the Sharing of Wine
Nashville Wine Auction is a self-sustaining, non-profit, charitable organization which exists solely to raise funds to support the fight against cancer.  The organization’s primary focus is its series of wine-related events and activities. All activities operate within a framework of social and educational events, thus stimulating an environment of “natural giving” by those who love and appreciate wine.  Toward that end, Nashville Wine Auction cultivates participation by the domestic and international wine communities to work in conjunction with businesses, restaurants, entertainment, and communications firms, as well as individuals united in the common goal of winning the battle against cancer.

 

HISTORY

Jan4_for WebsiteIt began simply enough. In the summer of 1980, a group of Nashville friends, led by Tennessean critic Homer Blitch and businessman Thomas J. Milam, were looking for a new and entertaining way to raise funds for charity.

What was needed was something elegant but relaxed, an evening filled with good food, great wine, and the laughter of friends. Then inspiration struck: an auction of favorite wines. Most of the bottles sold at the first (Un) Eté du Vin, A Summer of Wine, auction were opened and shared on the spot, with some $3,000 raised.   Since that evening in 1980 the Nashville Wine Auction has raised more than $27 million for organizations whose purpose is directly related to treatment, patient care and the eradication of cancer.

By 1993, l’Eté du Vin had become the nation’s largest one-day charity wine auction outside the California wine industry. Its success has inspired a large number of similar events, but its unique character has never been duplicated.

In January of 2003, l’Eté du Vin became an independent 501(c)(3), dedicated to raising funds to support the fight against cancer, and began funding additional cancer related non-profit charitable organizations.

While l’Eté du Vin continues to contribute to the important work of the American Cancer Society, its horizons have expanded in support of the fight against cancer. To that end, l’Eté du Vin now offers grants of financial support to other local cancer related non-profit organizations. All of the money raised stays in middle Tennessee.

What sets Nashville Wine Auction apart? Part of the answer is the unique assortment of wines available for auction at each event. Part of the answer, too, lies in the events’ friendly and convivial mix of attendees. Finally, Nashville Wine Auction is unique because it has never lost sight of its original purpose. As science grows ever closer to finding better answers for detecting, diagnosing and treating cancer, the organizers and guests of Nashville Wine Auction events find renewed purpose. Nashville Wine Auction remains focused on its mission of uniting the wine community to fund the fight against cancer, which all of us cherish and support.

 

The Company We Keep

Over our forty year history and tradition, l’Eté du Vin has been honored to host the world’s leading and most respected wine professionals.  Acclaimed château and winery owners, winemakers, wine educators, celebrities and entertainers have all participated in our world renown wine events and become part of  l’Eté du Vin and our Nashville family.  We thank all the Guests of Honor who have graced us with their participation, generosity, friendship and support to help us fund the fight against cancer. Together we do make a difference!

Past Guests of Honor

2019 l'Eté du Vin | 40th Annual l'Eté du Vin
Taste the History, Savor the Wine & Find the Cure

Domaine Marcel Servin of Chablis
François Servin

Heitz Cellar of Napa Valley
Carlton McCoy, Jr.

 

2018 l'Eté du Vin | Celebrating Women in Wine

Zelma Long
International Winemaker
Vitalie Taittinger
Champagne Taittinger
Shannon Staglin
Staglin Family Wines
Pam Starr
Crocker & Starr Wines
Marimar Torres
Marimar Estate Vineyard & Winery
Lindy Novak
Spottswoode Estate Vineyard & Winery
Jenne Lee Bonaccorsi
Bonaccorsi Wine Company.

2017 l'Eté du Vin | California Collectibles

Schramsberg Vineyards
Monique & Hugh Davies
Hirsch Vineyards
Jasmine Hirsch
PlumpJack Estate Winery
CADE Estate Winery
Odette Estate Winery
John Conover

2016 l'Eté du Vin | Generations of Greatness

GAJA
Gaia Gaja

2015 l'Eté du Vin | Above the Fogline

Lokoya, Cardinale, La Jota Vineyard Co., Mt. Brave
Chris Carpenter, 100 point Winemaker

2014 l'Eté du Vin | You Had Me at Margaux

Château Margaux
Mr. Paul Pontallier

2013 l'Eté du Vin | Pour de France

Champagne Taittinger
Mr. Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger
Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande
Mr. Nicolas Glumineau
Martine’s Wines, Inc.
Ms. Martine Saunier

2012 l'Eté du Vin | Gone Country

Château Lynch-Bages
Mr. Jean-Charles Cazes
Cakebread Cellars
Mr. Dennis Cakebread
2012 Special Guest
Arrington Vineyards
Mr. Kip Summers

2011 Nashville Crush

Krug
Mr. Seth Box
Newton
Numanthia
Cloudy Bay
Cheval des Andes

2010 Auction Week Guests

Casa Lapostolle
Ms. Ginevra Altomara
L’Aventure Winery
Mr. Stephan Asseo
Moët et Chandon
Ms. Dominique Giovine
Morlet Family Vineyards
Mr. Eben Drucker
Torbreck Vintners
Mr. David Powell

2009 Grand Auction Guests

Champagne Ruinart
Mr. Fredreic Panaiotis
Château Cos d’Estournel
Mr. Jean-Guillaume Prats
Colgin Cellars
Ms. Ann Colgin
Sassicaia
Dr. Sebastiano Rosa
Moderated by:
Ms. Andrea Immer-Robinson, MS

2009 Premiere Auction Guests

Beringer Vineyards
Mr. Dirk Langford
Charles Krug Winery
Mr. Peter Mondavi, Jr.
Château Montelena
Mr. Bo Marrett
La Sirena Winery
Mrs. Heidi Barrett
Joseph Phelps Vineyards
Mr. Damian Parker
Schramsberg Vineyards
Mr. Laurent Sarazin
Moderated by:
Mr. Doug Frost, MS, MW and
Mr. Gary Vaynerchuk

2008 Grand Auction Guests

Château Palmer
Mr. Thomas Duroux
Hugel & Fils
Mr. Etienne Hugel
Maison Louis Jadot
Mr. Jacques Lardiere
Champagne Pol Roger
Mr. Patrice Noyelle

2008 Premier Auction Guests

Grgich Hills Estates
Mr. Dave Douzmanoff
Spring Mountain Vineyards
Mr. Jac Cole
Twomey Cellars
Ms. Christina Pallmann & Mr. Tom Johnson
Vineyard 29
Mr. Chuck McMinn

2007 Grand Auction Guests

Torres & Marimar Estates
Mrs. Marimar Torres
Champagne Veuve Clicquot
Mr. Clement Reid
Vilafonté
Ms. Zelma Long
Tenute Silvio Nardi
Ms. Emilia Nardi

Norman M. Lipman Award

NWAJune-34-1024x683Established in 1991, the Norman M. Lipman Award was created to honor individuals of unique gifts and character – individuals as outstanding in their own way as the man for whom the award is named.

Nominees are proposed annually by people who are in some way associated with the wine and spirits industry throughout the world. Requests for nominations are sent in April of each year from the Administrative Office of l’Eté du Vin. Nomination forms must be received by June 1.

Norman Lipman is remembered by many as a person who observed, honored and encouraged achievement in other people. Nominators are asked to continue this tradition by naming a person who they feel is especially worthy of recognition for his or her positive personal attributes. The recipient is then chosen by a selection committee made up of prominent members of the national business community, the media, government and the clergy.

Unlike other awards of national distinction, the Norman M. Lipman Award does not have prescribed criteria for nomination. Instead, it is given in recognition of the most inspiring qualities of its recipient, as defined by his or her nominator. Past recipients have included leading figures from the wine and spirits industry, as well as private individuals noted for their love of wine and their respect for those who produce it. These individuals have been recognized for qualities as diverse as energy, vision, accomplishment, generosity, and leadership.

The public commemoration of the Norman Lipman Award is a specially commissioned sculpture, Man of Love and Wisdom, by Tennessee artist Terry Williams. Created of burnished steel, the twelve-foot statue depicts a figure striding forward in confident leadership. His hand is outstretched, palm up, in a gesture of support and encouragement. On his arm is the heart of love and on his shoulder the owl of divine perception and wisdom.

A special committee was formed to take proposals from young, local artists, and to choose the one which would best commemorate Norman Lipman’s life and relationships with others, and would honor the recipients of the Norman Lipman Award. On permanent loan to Saint Thomas Hospital in Nashville, where Norman Lipman received treatment and comfort during his final illness, the sculpture is housed in a private atrium where the families of cancer patients can retire for peace and reflection.

Each recipient of the Norman M. Lipman Award receives a small steel replica of the owl from Man of Love and Wisdom, created annually by artist Terry Williams as a unique recognition of his or her achievement.


NORMAN M. LIPMAN AWARD RECIPIENTS

2019 ANN & GLENN EADEN, Nashville Tennessee for Wisdom & Kindness

2018 PAM & STEVE TAYLOR, Nashville Tennessee for Creative Generosity

2017 TOM BLACK, Nashville, Tennessee for Generosity and Loyalty

2016 KIX BROOKS, Nashville, Tennessee for Leadership and Community Involvement

2015 DAVID K. MORGAN, Nashville, Tennessee for Wisdom and Leadership

2014 DEBY & KEITH PITTS, Nashville, Tennessee for Generosity and Involvement

2009 MICHAEL BROADBENT London, England for A Passion for Wine Education and Enthusiasm

2006 WILLIAM GOLDRING Louisiana for Philanthropy and Community Service

2005 RICHARD SANDFORD California for Vision and Courage

2004 MICHAEL A. TYE Boston, Massachusetts (Posthumously) for Integrity and Commitment

2003 ANTHONY J. TERLATO Lake Bluff, Illinois for Innovation and Determination

2002 BILLY RAY HEARN Nashville, Tennessee for Passionate Enthusiasm

2001 JAMIE DAVIES Calistoga, California for Dedication and Graciousness

2000 JIM CLENDENEN Los Olivos, California for Leadership and Benevolence

1999 JOHN PARDUCCI Mendocino County, California for Dedication and Altruism

1998 GEORGE L FEHRMANN Franklin, Tennessee for Generosity of Spirit

1997 LOUIS TRINCHERO St. Helena, California for Innovation and Commitment

1996 SAM BRONFMAN II San Mateo, California for Integrity and Philanthropy

1995 MICHAEL J. RICHARDSON Nashville, Tennessee for Dedication and Vision

1994 THOMAS J. MILAM Nashville, Tennessee for Leadership and Commitment

1993 ROBERT MONDAVI Oakville, California for Vision and Determination

1992 MARVIN D. OVERTON, III, M.D. Fort Worth, Texas for Accomplishment and Generosity

1991 MARVIN L. SHANKEN New York, New York for Energy and Integrity

Meet the Staff

Holly Whaley

President / CEO Email

Holly Hearn Whaley has more than three decades of experience creating successful, and significant special events with purpose. She is recognized as a top fundraising professional in her field. Her love of fine wine has led her to travel to wine regions all over the world, and her experience in producing world-class wine events and tastings has developed into well-rounded and respected knowledge of wine and the many aspects of wine culture. These attributes and more make Holly Whaley the perfect person to run the Nashville Wine Auction, the country’s longest-running charity wine auction.

Whaley has led the Nashville Wine Auction since March 2011. Her passion for wine and demonstrated talent for leadership are not the only reasons for her success at this Nashville-based nonprofit organization whose mission is to unite the wine community to help fund the fight against cancer. Like many people, Whaley’s life has been negatively impacted by cancer, having lost her mother and brother to this horrible disease.

Whaley now works tirelessly to raise money to fight cancer and does so by creating extraordinary wine experiences for donors to the cause. As a result, the nonprofit organization has raised millions of dollars over the years, garnered positive recognition in many media outlets, and won Nashville honors for accomplishments such as “Best Party,” “Best Guest of Honor,” “Best Wine Dinner,” “Best Auction Item,” and more.

Under Whaley’s leadership, the Nashville Wine Auction has grown in many ways. Its annual revenue grew from $350,000 in 2011 to almost $2 million in 2019 ($1.9k). When Whaley came on board, the organization’s name was l’Eté du Vin, which is the name of the organization’s premier wine auction event held each summer. With the addition of winter and fall events, the name was changed to the Nashville Wine Auction, which helped expand the accessibility and offerings of the organization. Now there are year-round wine programs for all levels of wine lovers: Explorers, Enthusiasts, and Experts.

Whaley’s knowledge of wine and accomplishments as a leader are widely recognized. She is a current member of the Commanderie de Bordeaux and serves as the Educatuer for the Nashville Chapter. Additionally, Whaley has been named in Nashville’s Post’s prestigious “In Charge” list of top nonprofit leaders in Nashville in 2018 and in 2019. Whaley was also honored as Gilda’s Club’s Inaugural Red Door Champion in 2018.

Whaley has served on numerous non-profit and community boards and councils, including: the Tennessee Chapter of MPI (Meeting Professionals International), Barefoot Republic Camps, Inc., the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, the Gospel Music Association’s Hall of Fame, the Nashville Chamber Orchestra, and l’Eté du Vin. She has held leadership positions as a member of NARAS (National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences), Williamson County Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Brentwood, and Fellowship Bible Church. Holly was awarded the Ann York Huff Volunteer of the Year by the Williamson County Chamber of Commerce, the Barefoot Republic Camp’s Butler Award in 2007, and EMI Music’s North America Volunteer of the Year in 1997.

Holly resides in Nashville with her husband, Dr. Mark B. Whaley, an AACD accredited cosmetic dentist. She has one son, Trevor Redding, a Major and pilot instructor in the US Air Force, a daughter-in-law, Lane Redding, and two grandsons, Huck and Ben.

Theresa Johnson

Operations/Event Director Email

A Nashville native, Theresa joined Nashville Wine Auction in 2011 in the role of Finance Manager. By 2012, NWA saw an increased need for an Event Manager and it was a natural transition to incorporate Theresa’s 20 years of event and project planning to the role.

After graduating from Middle Tennessee State University with a degree in Recording Industry Management, Theresa spent 16 years in Corporate Communications at Sparrow Records/EMI Christian Music Group. Here with the guidance of her talented mentor, Holly Hearn Whaley, Theresa was able to combine experience with her servant heart and discovered her true niche of coordinating quality events for others.

In 2005, Theresa “retired” to stay home with two young boys and continued to hone her various event skills by coordinating church VBS, Cub Scout summer camps, and soccer team activities. At the same time, she began working as a part time bookkeeper. As an avid audiobook reader, she was presented in 2008 with the opportunity to start her own audiobook proofing company where for two years she led a team of 10 audiobook proofers.

After volunteering at l’Eté du Vin in 2011, Theresa joined Holly again in a new adventure at the Nashville Wine Auction. “Everyone has been touched by cancer in one way or another, my family included. It is a blessing to be able to continue offering my gifts and skills in a new chapter that helps further the mission of Nashville Wine Auction. Plus I get to work with Holly again!”

In addition to her duties at NWA, you might find Theresa reading in her hammock, knitting, leading church activities or enjoying a nice Cabernet Sauvignon by the fire pit. Theresa lives with her husband and two sons in Murfreesboro.

Kristen Thomas

Information Manager Email

Kristen Thomas was born and raised in Nashville by a CPA and Church Bookkeeper, so it is not surprising that developed a passion for the nonprofit world and organizing data. Kristen came to the Nashville Wine Auction in 2015 as an intern and has grown into the position of Information Manager.

In her first 3 years as the Event Assistant, she helped develop the Dinners and Tastings program, coordinated and executed all main events, and began the organization of auction and attendee data. In 2019, Kristen was promoted to the new position of Information Manager and now manages the Auction and CRM software programs which includes Event Registration. She helps manage the office administration, encourages the staff to Marie Kondo their offices and assists CEO, Holly Whaley.

When not at the office, Kristen likes to crochet, bake, and watch British Baking Show. She and her husband, Jacob live in Bellevue and are currently dreaming of a time when they can get a cat and build their very own tiny home.

Kathy Maynard

Marketing Director Email

Kathy brings a wide-range of expertise to her role as Marketing Director for Nashville Wine Auction. Her areas of responsibility span event marketing, digital/social media presence, website strategy, sponsorship relationships, and overall brand awareness to increase fundraising for the auction.

Prior to joining Nashville Wine Auction, she was the Director of Marketing and Sales Operations for Capitol Christian Distribution where she managed all business to business marketing and sales operation initiatives for the distribution team and co-managed relationships with numerous label, studio, and publisher partners at various levels. She led the award winning execution of the company’s tradeshow presence with more than 6 industry awards including CBA’s Total Exhibitor Impact Award for booth presence and total show promotions.

Kathy is a graduate of West Texas A & M University and currently lives in Nolensville, TN with her daughters Hannah and Halle.

NIKKI SHANNON

Auction Director Email

Nikki’s history with Nashville Wine Auction began when she started donating her wine paintings in 2004. It continued when NWA gave her the biggest compliment of her art career by honoring her as the featured artist for the l’Eté du Vin Premiere Auction in 2007. Later in 2013 when Nikki decided to return to work fulltime (after 11 years as a stay at home mom), the job at Nashville Wine Auction magically fell in her lap. It was kismet.

Today, as Auction Director, Nikki feels right at home managing the sales of the wine, trips, dinners, and luxury items sold at auction. Every year she wrangles the details of thousands of donated wine bottles. From solicitation to storage, display to deductions, her goal is to have the wine bottles’ experience at the auction streamlined and the customer experience at auction exhilarating!

It didn’t take long for Nikki to realize that becoming a wine expert was not in the cards (Wonder why? Just ask her opinion of Pinot Noir), so instead she decided to focus on becoming an auction expert. As a result, she is now a licensed Tennessee Principal Auctioneer who avoids Pinot Noir.

No, Nikki isn’t from here, and despite living in Tennessee for 25+ years, she still gets asked that question. She hails from Ohio and graduated from Ohio University with a Journalism degree. She makes her home in Bellevue with her partner, Adam, and children, Jayne and Wesley. There you can find her sipping CA Cabs, Spanish reds, or anything bubbly. She also enjoys spending quality time in the garage where she has been known to break out the paint brushes or get creative repurposing old wooden wine boxes.

Board

Tom Baldwin, Chair

Managing Director of Sales
MARS Petcare

Lisa Maki - Vice Chair

Senior Vice President of Capital Markets
Avison Young

Christopher D. Otillio - Secretary/Treasurer

First Vice President-Investments
Wells Fargo Advisors

Jim Lewis, Past Chair

Owner
Community Hospitality

Amy Atkinson

Founding Partner
Amy Atkinson Communications

Ned Braman

Retired EY Assurance Partner
Consultant

Loren L. Chumley

Principal, KPMG LLP

Eric Decker

Retired NFL/Entrepreneur

Jack (Jay) Erter

Hematologist/Oncologist
Tennessee Oncology, PLLC

Brian Junghans

Healthcare Information Technology Consultant

Tim Kirch

Vice President & Branch Manager
Charles Schwab

Tiffany Kling

Realtor
Nashville Realtor

David Kretschmer

Retired Healthcare Executive
Consultant – Self Employed

Jenn McDonnell

Director of Private Events
E3 Chophouse

Eric Osborne

Attorney
Sherrard Roe Voigt & Harbison

Blake Patterson
YLC Board Intern

Fixed Income Product Specialist
Alliance Bernstein

Mark Peacock

Pulmonary/Critical Care Physician
MidState Pulmonary Associates

Bill Piper

Retired Healthcare Executive

Jim Sloan

Managing Director of Corporate & Investment Banking
Regions Securities/Regions Bank

CT Stevens

Senior Manager
Assurance Services, Ernst & Young

Riley Sweat

Managing Director
Raymond James Health Care Investment Banking

Steven Taylor

Retired Lawyer
FedEx Regulatory & Industrial Affairs

Lynne D. Teckman

Retired Proprietor
Per Cazo Cellars

Jessie Tretbar
Board Intern

Business Development Manager
Layton Construction

Rob Turner

Managing Partner
Turner Law Offices

Christie Wilson

President/CEO
The Wilson Group Real Estate Services