Next Steps

As so many in the wine industry have struggled to absorb the recent reports, GuildSomm has been working to respond directly to the alleged despicable transgressions documented by the New York Times involving Master Sommeliers. Three of the accused have or had close ties to GuildSomm, and we have a responsibility to evaluate our organization to protect our members, staff, and sponsors.

 We are appalled by these graphic reports of sexual misconduct in our industry and recognize many of our members may see their own experiences reflected in this article. It is absolutely unacceptable our colleagues have been subjected to this kind of behavior. 

 We want to be clear: GuildSomm condemns sexual harassment, coercion, and violence in all of its forms. We must confront the abhorrent behavior that has hurt so many people – especially women.  This will be only the first of many steps needed as we work to heal our industry. 

To ensure GuildSomm is a safe space for all, here are the immediate actions we are taking: 

  • GuildSomm no longer employs any of those accused in the recent report. A named board member is also on leave to allow a full external investigation to be completed
  • We are commissioning an internal investigation by an independent agency to bring to light any previous or ongoing incidents of sexual misconduct involving any GuildSomm employee or board member
  • A confidential system is being created for members and staff to report sexual harassment. All complaints will be reviewed by employee leadership, the GuildSomm board, and its legal team, which will conduct a third-party investigation
  • We’ve retained Empowered Hospitality to independently assess and update our employee handbook
  • We are recruiting new members to our board of directors to include gender, racial and cultural diversity, and expertise from outside the wine industry

 We know these actions are only the first phase of the work needed to rebuild trust in our community. For you, our members, we are determined to build an environment that is stronger and safer, while being the best resource to further your wine education goals.

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