NoMI Brand Ambassador ‘Class of 2012’ – Laura Schwartz

Laura Schwartz, author of the acclaimed book Eat, Drink & Succeed was the White House Director of Events for the Clinton Administration where she created and executed more than 1000 White House events including 12 State arrival ceremonies and dinners, America’s Millennium Celebration and NATO’s 50th Anniversary.  Prior to be named the Director of Events, Laura served as the White House Director of Television and the Midwest Press Secretary.  Today, Laura has a world renowned speaking series and appears as a commentator on CBS News and internationally on Good Morning London, the BBC World News and Sir David Frost’s “Frost Over The World.” In addition to her television appearances, Laura is the founder of White House Strategies,, and works with Fortune’s Top 50 and 500 companies, independent businesses, industry associations, universities and nonprofit organizations, teaching people of all ages how they too, can: EAT, DRINK & SUCCEED!

Get to know Laura a little better:

Name: Laura Schwartz

Twitter Handle: @lauraschwartz


Title: Author of Eat, Drink & Succeed! Professional Speaker and International Television Commentator

Sign: Aries

Neighborhood: Goldcoast

Favorite Band/Artist: P!NK

Red, white, or bubbly? Bubbly

What is your signature dish for a backyard barbeque? A Caprese Salad I make with ingredients fresh from that day’s farmers market!

To give back (community involvement/philanthropic efforts): Advocacy Board of the AHA, United Way, YWCA, Illinois School of Art


NoMI Brand Ambassador ‘Class of 2012’ – Andrew Kaplan

Andrew Kaplan is the Director of Rachael Ray’s nonprofit organization,Yum-o!, where he is responsible for managing its core initiatives and day-to-day operations. Andrew developed a lifestyle at a young age that involved cooking and appreciation for food. That lifestyle inspired him to create a charity that celebrated his passion for cooking and his desire to share his knowledge of the culinary world with children. After spending time with Rachael Ray, the two realized they had both grown up with a similar admiration for the culinary world and decided to launch Yum-o!. Andrew is also the Director of Special Projects for Rachael Ray/Watch Entertainment where he is involved in managing various projects and appearances for Rachael. He also served as an Associate Producer for Rachael Ray’s daytime television show, Rachael Ray.

Get to Know Andrew a little better:

Name:  Andrew “Kappy” Kaplan

Twitter Handle:  @OnKappysPlate

Title:  Director of Special Projects, Rachael Ray – Director, Rachael Ray’s Yum-o! Organization

Sign:  Aries

Neighborhood:  Wicker Park (Rookie)

Favorite Band/Artist:  Not super into music, but I will listen to whatever you put on while I am cooking

Red, white, or bubbly? Bubbles- red or white bubbles

What is your signature dish for a backyard barbeque? Bacon-Jalapeno Cole Slaw

To give back (community involvement/philanthropic efforts): I am the Director of Rachael Ray’s cooking and kids charity, but anything food/kids related, as well as hunger organizations. Also Academy for Global Citizenship in Chicago.

NoMI Brand Ambassador ‘Class of 2012’ – Jessica Murnane

Jessica Murnane is the owner of Suitor, the high-end stationery line known for both its personal and professional custom paper goods and its accompanying retail line found in such stores as Cursive at ABC Carpet & Home, Greer and Walker Art Center.

In addition to her work at Suitor, Murnane has worked as a creative consultant for brands including RSVP Gallery, Optimo Hats, Nina Falana and RM Champagne Salon.

Murnane’s work has appeared in publications including House Beautiful, Oprah Magazine, and Real Simple. She is currently a contributing editor at Country Living Magazine.

Get to know Jessica better:

Name: Jesssica Murnane

Twitter Handle: @suitorlife


Title: Owner/Designer – Suitor, Contributing Editor at Country Living Magazine

Sign: Capricorn

Neighborhood: Boystown

Favorite Band/Artist: There is no way I can choose one…but Jay-Z (new school) & Can (old school) are always on rotation.

Red, white, or bubbly? I do not discriminate.

What is your signature dish for a backyard barbeque? I make a mean Jerusalem Salad.

To give back (community involvement/philanthropic efforts): Salvation Army Angel Tree. And for the past five years I have mentored young adults as they enter the workforce – without a doubt one of my biggest passions.

NoMI Brand Ambassador ‘Class of 2012’ – Kelli Zink

Kelli Zink grew up with a microphone in her hand, always knowing she wanted to be a reporter which saved her parents thousands of dollars as she graduated college in 4 years at  Michigan State University .

From knocking on the door of a Fox Sports production truck after a basketball game in her cheerleader uniform to winning an ESPN reality show, she did whatever it took to get her foot in the television door.

By age 22, she had been a sports anchor in two markets and decided it was time to move west. She drove her 1996 Ford to LA and helped launch the NFL Network- even creating the network’s original slogan; “Where Football Season Never Ends”.

After 3.5 wonderful years of working behind the scenes in sports she came back to the Midwest to launch

She has appeared on is and is regular guest for various TV outlets including; Anderson Cooper 360, Nancy Grace, Prime News, Showbiz Tonight, Geraldo at Large, multiple specials for TV Guide Channel and she hosts weekly segment on My Fox Chicago. Kelli has also written for various publications and hosted two network specials for ABC.

When not interviewing celebs, Kelli enjoys eating “seagan”, doing yoga, documenting her life across various social media platforms, drinking champagne and dancing like Elaine from “Seinfeld”.

Get to know Kelli better:

Name: Kelli Zink

Twitter Handle: @KelliZink



Title: Host of

Sign: Sagittarius

Neighborhood: Gold Coast

Favorite Band/Artist: The Bravery

Red, white, or bubbly? Pink bubbles

What is your signature dish for a backyard barbeque? Great conversation or a bottle of champagne

To give back (community involvement/philanthropic efforts): Bright Pink

NoMI Brand Ambassador ‘Class of 2012’- Danny Wirtz

Mr. Wirtz oversees all aspects of marketing and sales for the Wirtz Beverage Group portfolio throughout the country.  The alcohol beverage wholesaler is among the country’s industry leaders with more than $1.8 billion in sales and 3,000 employees.  In this role, Wirtz serves as a primary liaison with suppler partners and focuses on using innovation to expand brand and market share for each of the company’s state affiliates.

In addition to bringing new and luxury brands to the Wirtz Beverage portfolios, Wirtz also uses his national and international marketing experience to lead strategic initiatives for the company.  These include integrating technology solutions to both sales and marketing and overseeing the company’s Digital Activation Teams dedicated to advancing e-commerce, social technology and trade marketing efforts.

Wirtz is a member of the company’s OPCOM executive team and leads the SELLCOM sales leadership team directing the overall strategic initiatives for the company’s wine, spirits and beer divisions.

Previously, Wirtz held several positions with Wirtz Beverage Illinois, including overseeing luxury and multicultural sales positioning in the Trade Development department.   His business acumen is matched by significant marketing experience where, prior to joining the company, he aided large-scale promotion campaigns for global product clients including Nike, Apple and Motorola.

Wirtz also leads the philanthropic efforts for Wirtz Beverage Group and is actively engaged with both community and industry affiliations including serving as a member of the Greater North Michigan Avenue Association Board of Directors, Christ the King Jesuit High School Rising Leaders Council and the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers Council of Leadership Development.

Wirtz is also a Chevalier de L’Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne, among the world’s foremost educators and endorsers of the wines of Champagne.  This distinction includes promoting the wines unique features, their ways of consumption and everything which contributes to their reputation and image as the most prestigious symbol of success and celebration.

Mr. Wirtz holds a vested interest in Wirtz Corporation, whose diversified holdings include the Chicago Blackhawk Hockey Team, the United Center, Wirtz Realty, Wirtz Insurance and banking interests in Illinois and Florida. To that end, he offers strategic insight and coordination of business strategies to all the Wirtz Corporation’s family of companies.

A graduate of Boston College, Danny and his wife Anne live in Chicago with their two children.

Get to know a little more about Danny:

Name: Danny Wirtz

Twitter Handle: @dannywirtz


Title: SVP, Wirtz Beverage Group

Sign: Capricorn

Neighborhood: Ukrainian Village

Favorite Band/Artist: An ever evolving questions.  Currently listening to new Brendan Benson record.

Red, White, or Bubbly: Yes, please.

What is your Signature Dish for a backyard barbecue? Bison Burgers

To give back (community involvement/philanthropic efforts): Member of the Rising Leaders Council for Christ the King Jesuit Prep High School in the Austin neighborhood of Chicago.

Also, proud supporter of Common Threads, Meals on Wheels, and Francis Xavier Warde School

NoMI Brand Ambassador ‘Class of 2012’ – Julia Buckingham Edelmann

Julia Buckingham Edelmann’s passion for antiques, artifacts, and found objects translates into beautiful and exuberantly youthful homes with a timeless quality.

As a former antiques dealer, she designs her interior environments with keen interest in integrating antiques and artifacts with modern elements to reflect today’s lifestyles. Her degree in Fashion Merchandising and Marketing from the University of Arizona led to multiple jobs in the fashion industry, where she honed her aesthetic eye, all the while visiting antique markets across the world while on holiday with her husband and three children.

From the Rose Bowl Flea Market in Los Angeles to the famous Parisian market, Clignancourt – and all points in between – Julia developed an educated eye for only the best and most unique pieces. She further cultivated her experiences and knowledge of both dealers and collectors as co-owner of an antiques store in Cincinnati, Ohio, as well as by exhibiting at the Botanic Garden Antiques and Garden Fair and the Bridgehampton Historical Society Antique Show.

A return to her hometown of Chicago led her to open her own showroom and interior design firm, where she concentrates on mixing styles and eras to create surprising, whimsical, and unique environments. Now on her 2nd Chicago Showroom, located in the burgeoning design district on Grand

Avenue, she welcomes a visit to see in person her unique perspective – where antiques can be observed as pieces of modern art.

Get to know Julia a little better…

Name:  Julia Buckingham Edelmann

Twitter Handle:  @BuckinghamID


Title:  Principal of Buckingham Interiors + Design

Sign:  Sagittarius

Neighborhood:  North Shore

Favorite Band/Artist:  Counting Crows & Snow Patrol

Red, white, or bubbly?  Bubbly – Veuve Clicquot!

What is your signature dish for a backyard barbeque?  BBQ Chicken with Sweet Baby Rays Sauce

To give back (community involvement/philanthropic efforts):  I donate to and am involved with Pi Beta Phi National Fraternity, the sorority I belonged to and was president of, while at University of Arizona.