Cassandra Schaeg and Theresa Hoiles
Cassandra Schaeg (left) and Theresa Hoiles of the KPBS “Fresh Glass” show

Cassandra Schaeg is not trained as a “cicerone,” a certified beer expert, or a “sommelier,” a wine steward, but she successfully operates a popular beer and wine tasting room in Escondido.

Schaeg, a San Diego woman with a charismatic personality and never-quit determination, sees herself as an entrepreneur who enjoys beer and wine. To her credit, she has raised $175,000 from sponsors to finance production of a new, six-week television show that will debut at 8:30 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 15, on KPBS-TV.

The show, called “Fresh Glass,” will focus on BIPOC (Black Indigenous and People Of Color) and women entrepreneurs in the beer and wine industry. It will air from Sept. 15 to Oct. 20.

“Fresh Glass” is described as a lifestyle show in food, beverage, and entrepreneurship with guests whose backgrounds, personalities, and journeys symbolize empowerment, grit and perseverance.

“What makes me qualified for the TV show is I’m lover of beer and wine,” Schaeg told Times of San Diego. “I’m not proclaiming that I know it all. The show is about people like myself who have taken chances and have the hustle, grind and drive as entrepreneurs.”

The show will feature interviews with Californians operating beverage businesses, including Denise Clark of Altipiano Vineyard in Escondido, Amanda-Jane Thomas and Shanita Nicholas of SIP & Sonder in Inglewood and Aaliyah Nitoto of Free Range Flower Winery in Livermore. Also featured will be Anaya Wineyards in Lodi, Rideau Vineyard in Solvant and McClain Cellars in Laguna Beach, as well as the first Native American woman winemaker and her wife and the first Creole woman in the U.S. to own a winery.

“I am privileged to share the stories of individuals who bet on themselves and took a leap to pursue their entrepreneurial journey,” Schaeg said.

Schaeg explained her thinking behind the “Fresh Glass” title. “When we were bringing this concept to life, we wanted the title to reflect that we are bringing new stories to light,” she said. “Fresh Glass is centered on the idea of sharing fresh perspectives and faces to the food and beverage industry.”

Schaegm who is Black, hosts “Fresh Glass” with Theresa Hoiles, who is white. Hoiles, a writer and producer, pitched the “Fresh Glass” idea to John Decker, KPBS interim associate general manager of content. In 2017, Hoiles produced a KPBS series called Re’flect, which chronicled the lives of aging adults. Re’flect aired nationally on PBS affiliates.

“Theresa had an existing friendship with John Decker,” said Schaeg. “She came up with the idea, approached John, we created and pilot and here we are.”

Schaeg said she paid $10,000 from her own pocket to produce the pilot.

According to Schaeg, sponsors who covered much of the $175,000 production expenses for the six weekly episodes include Visit California, a tourism nonprofit, the Conrad Prebys Foundation, Stone Brewing, Beyond Law, a San Diego law firm, and KPBS. In addition, about $18,000 was raised from IFundWomen, a crowd-funding platform.

KPBS said “Fresh Glass” is the newest addition to its Explore Local content program. Explore Project aims to collaborate with local producers on ideas for programs and series that reflect San Diego’s diverse and dynamic community and allow audiences to connect over shared experiences, KPBS said.

“One of the key criteria we use to decide if we will bring a show to our lineup is what we call the explorer spirit,” Decker said in a statement. “Does the show invite audiences from all walks of life to explore new worlds, discover new ideas and broaden their horizons? Fresh Glass embodies this spirit. When Cassandra and Theresa reached out to me with their show and we saw the pilot, I knew this was something special.”

“Fresh Glass” is directed by two-time Emmy award-winning director, Michael Taylor with NWB Imaging, a San Diego production company. Fresh Glass Productions LLC, founded by Schaeg and Hoiles, owns the “Fresh Glass” show, said Schaeg. A KPBS statement said “Fresh Glass” is scheduled for national syndication in January 2023.

In June 2016, Schaeg opened SIP Wine & Beer, a tasting room at 131 South Orange St., Escondido. She said it took a year of planning and securing permits and licensing before the doors opened.

While operating SIP Wine & Beer, Schaeg worked fulltime for one year for the San Diego Community College District as a job placement specialist and for three years as a senor program manager at Richard Heath & Associates.

Schaeg said her career prior to SIP Wine & Beer included a decade of working with tribal communities and the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program.

COVID-19 shut down SIP Wine & Beer for a year, said Schaeg, between March 2020 and June 2021. “Recovery from a pandemic doesn’t happen overnight,” said Schaeg. “We still have not regained the position we were at before. It will take time, but I am still here.”

Scott Lake at the casino

Jamul Casino Names Scott Lake as Chief Marketing Officer

Jamul Casino has named Scott Lake, with more than 25 years of experience in senior marketing management roles with world-class hotel and casino properties, as its chief marketing officer.

“Scott has the leadership experience, innovative thinking and analytical skills we need to continue building momentum in our region,” said Mary Cheeks, president and GM, Jamul Casino. “I’m excited to see what ideas Scott has to amp up our marketing efforts.”

Lake was previously a managing consultant for Kognitiv, a Canadian company that designs and develops application software for the hotel industry. He also spent eight years with Sands China, most recently serving as senior VP of loyalty marketing and strategic analysis.

He also worked at several hotels in Macau, a special administrative region on the south coast of China. The hotels included the Sands, Venetian, Londoner, Parisian, Plaza and Four Seasons. And he spent 13 years with Caesars Entertainment in positions that included director for VIP marketing and director for national casino marketing.

Lake has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in hotel administration from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He also has earned several professional designations, including a Certified Digital Marketing Professional from the Digital Marketing Institute and Professional Certified Marketer in Digital Marketing from the American Marketing Association.

“I was drawn to Jamul Casino because of the outstanding leadership of both the Jamul Indian Village Tribe and the casino management,” said Lake. “I’m impressed with the way this team has been able to build this property and its brand from the ground-up to become a regional leader in less than six years. I hope to help the next six years be just as extraordinary.” 

Jamul Casino, opened in 2016, currently features nearly 1,700 slot machines, 46 live table games, a dedicated poker room and various restaurants, bars and lounges.

UK Advertising Paused Following Queen’s Passing

As the world learned of the death of Queen Elizabeth II, a group of advertising executives — representing some of the United Kingdom’s largest brands — were meeting together, listening to a presentation about future anticipated growth in the ad industry.

As reported in Ad Age, an advertising industry trade publication, when the news was announced, following a minute of silence, several execs promptly left the room to mull next steps for campaign launches and messaging.

What happened next across the British Isles was an immediate pause in advertising among the UK’s leading broadcasters, publishers and social media platforms, including ITV, Britain’s largest commercial broadcaster, and Bauer Media, a large commercial radio network. The Times, a print newspaper, and Mail Online, UK’s largest digital newspaper, carried no advertising for a day.

For the next 48 hours or so following Her Majesty’s death, commercial breaks were halted and regular programming was replaced with tributes to the Queen’s life and 70-year reign on the world stage.

One advertising exec told The Drum, a UK-based publisher of marketing and media publications, “Never try to sell something on the back of a tragedy or death.”

The Drum also quoted UK ad agency staff members who said clients had been asking for advice. In response, clients were advised to postpone or pause their advertising as a mark of respect or because the public was not in the mindset to receive commercial messages, The Drum reported.

One industry exec told Ad Age, “I think every client and agency is looking at their copy carefully. Anything that references royalty or crowns, for example, is out. Also, people’s moods are different and nobody particularly wants to see an ad today.”

Another temporary moratorium on advertising in the UK is expected leading up to Monday, Sept. 19, the date for the legendary monarch’s state funeral at Westminster Abbey.

Raindrop Founder Begins Podcast

Jacques Spitzer, founder and CEO of Raindrop, a San Diego creative marketing agency, has launched a podcast called “Marketing People Love.”

The podcast, featuring conversations between Spitzer and leading branding experts, will cover such topics as the most important lessons learned about marketing, why consumers love their brand, emerging opportunities for brands to connect with consumers and actionable advice for marketers and entrepreneurs, a statement said. The 30-to-35-minute podcasts will be available on Spotify and Apple podcasts.

“My goal for the podcast is to inspire storytellers and brand marketers who are hungry for inspiration and takeaways,” said Spitzer. “I didn’t want to create something that focuses on overly technical content or trade secrets. Rather, I hope to dive into the emotional side of marketing and understand why top marketers think their content resonates with audiences and what they love about the industry outside the brands they work for.” 

The debut episode featured Sean Frank, CEO of Ridge Wallet, a Los Angeles-based company that makes a small wallet the size of a credit card. The company has posted revenue of $50 million annually.

Rick Griffin is a San Diego-based public relations and marketing consultant. His MarketInk column appears weekly on Mondays in Times of San Diego.



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Ellen Bullock