Montana Rae Neiley
Founder, Certified Sommelier, WSET II with Distinction
Montana started her career in wine in 2010 as a salesperson for a small Colorado distributor. After ten months in sales, she found a new home at one of Colorado's finest distribution houses, where she served as Director of Marketing for eight years.
During her tenure in distribution, Montana merged her background in design and marketing with wine sales, importing, brand development, and strategic planning. She led a talented team of wine professionals, creating innovative solutions for bringing the portfolio to the Colorado market. She accomplished this through events, winery activations, import trade, and design, always keeping the goal of remaining at the forefront of the ever-changing wine industry top of mind.
In the summer of 2021, Montana committed her full attention to the launch of her own business, The Wine Ship. Started in 2014, The Wine Ship began as a platform for Montana to share her love of wine through her blog and social media channels. Over time, the desire to practice her unique approach to the business became paramount—so Montana ventured out on her own with a mission of bringing great wine to consumers, assisting wineries and importers. She now drives marketing initiatives while building the greatest team of creative wine professionals the industry has to offer.
In 2018, Montana earned her WSET Level II award with Distinction and in 2019 she became a Certified Sommelier through the Court of Master Sommeliers. In March of 2022, she will sit for her Level III exam through The Wine and Spirits Education Trust.
The wine business is Montana's true passion and the more she learns, the more in love she falls with the world of fine wine. Montana is eager to serve and lead, and she invites you to dive deeper into the world of wine through the various services provided by The Wine Ship Cru.
Director of Marketing & Business Development - WSET Level II
Lauren began her career in the hospitality industry, sparking her fascination with wine. In 2020, she launched her social media account, Your Favorite Wino, which ignited her drive and gave her a creative outlet to share her love of wine with the world. Her daily activity on social media and knowledge of the changing algorithms is key to her activation strategy.
In 2020, she began pursuing in-depth wine education and achieved WSET Level II with Distinction. She plans to continue and will take the Level III exam in the Fall of 2021. Lauren also earned a Bachelor's Degree in Business and Marketing from the University of Central Florida.
Senior Designer & Business Development
Courtney brings over 15 years of experience leading projects, both as a talented graphic designer and account manager.
Courtney’s capabilities center around branding, corporate identity, UX/UI website design, consumer touchpoints, and implementation. She has worked with an impressive list of companies that range from startups, to large national corporations, including The North Face, Ball Corporation, Red Bull, to non-profits such as LoveYourBrain Foundation, to local Denver small businesses. The hallmark of Courtney’s work is design meets execution.
Wine, Spirits, & Beer Educator - Certified Cicerone, WSET Level II
Lee is a 20-year veteran of the spirits, wine, and beer industry. His focus is on face-to-face hospitality in bar, restaurant, and event settings. In addition to his beverage industry credentials, Lee earned a Masters of Arts in Teaching.
Lee enjoys guiding others through the intricate processes involved in producing high-quality spirits, wine, and beer, helping them gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for their favorite beverages. Lee invites his students to push their boundaries and explore styles, varieties, and categories through learning. Lee’s background in education and hospitality provides him with the skills and experience to offer a learning environment that caters to beginners and experts alike.
Photography, Videography, & Production
Siobhan graduated with a degree in public relations and marketing in 2018. Since graduation, she has worked as a marketing and social media consultant, videographer, and indie film producer.
Through her work in the film industry, she discovered her passion for creating beautiful, dynamic imagery, and her company McMillen New Media was born.
Siobhan has since focused her efforts on working as a media consultant for the beverage industry and directing her own indie film projects. Her unique skill set and attention to detail make her an invaluable addition to the Cru.
Wine Educator - dipWSET, CWE, Certified Sommelier
Nathan began his career in the wine industry at the age twenty-one in Boulder, Colorado, and has continued to work in managerial capacities in wine retail and wine distribution for over 25 years. He holds a master’s degree in marketing and instructional design from the University of Denver, an undergraduate degree in Sociology. He also holds various wine industry credentials, including: Diploma in Wines (Wine & Spirit Education Trust), Certified Wine Educator (Society of Wine Educators), Certified Sommelier (Court of Master Sommeliers), and French Wine Scholar (French Wine Society).
Nathan has worked as an adjunct wine instructor at Johnson & Wales culinary university, and has served as a wine judge for the Denver International Wine Competition.