Marla Priest, a wine professional, will be installed as a member of the Jersey City Rotary Club at its meeting on Thursday at Casino-in-the-Park. Ms. Priest met with Past Presidents of the Club at its meeting on January 26, and upon their endorsement, the Club’s Board of Directors recommended her admission into the Club.

Following is a biographical profile which was provided to members of the Club along with the Board’s recommendation on January 28:

Marla Priest is a multi-faceted wine professional with over 10 years of industry experience. In 2002, fresh out of college with a Business Marketing degree, she decided to jump at the chance to move to NYC and work for Mario Batali at his newest restaurant, Otto, in the West Village. Here, under the direction of Mr. Batali, she was exposed to the high est quality of food and wine education in New York City. After three years, Marla went on to explore marketing and sales opportunities at various companies like, Braintree Pharmaceuticals and The New York Times. Early on, it was clear that her heart remained with food and wine and she was determined to get back into the industry; this tim e as a Sommelier and Wine Educator.

Quickly taken back by the Batali family, she devoted her time to learn about viticulture, vinification and the grape varietals of Italy. She accomplished this through completing a rigorous 24-month program through American Sommelier Association. After passing with distinction, Marla was promoted to head sommelier at 3-star Michelin restaurant, Babbo. After one year, she was again promoted. This time to develop the wine list for Batali’s new restaurant, Osteria Mozza, in Marina Bay Sands, Singapore.

After returning to the states, she changed gears to focus on wine education, PR and marketing for prestigious vineyards in Bordeaux, France. Education was a daily part of her routine while she traveled the country to educate consumers and trade about the beautiful wines of Margaux and Saint-Julien. She has been a main fixture at educational based trade shows including: Aspen Food & Wine, Pebble Beach Food & Wine, South Beach Food & Wine, Grand Tour: Las Vegas, NYC, Chicago, Montreal.
Marla’s current role as Director of Mana Wine at Mana Contemporary, allows her to properly execute her wine education, PR and marketing experience, as well as, highlight her people skills in order to build a budding but strong wine community within a 2-million square foot art campus in Jersey City. Marla holds advanced wine certificates from Wine & Spirits Education Trust, French and Italian Wine Scholar. She is also a member of the prestigious International Business and Wine Society. Most recently she joined Hudson County Community College as a board member.


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