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The Beverage Group is an integrated media company, dedicated to providing business solutions to the global beverage industry. Events include the annual World Tea Expo ( and Healthy Beverage Expo ( World Tea Media also produces the North American Tea Championship (, a professionally judged tea competition, World Tea News (, the premier news portal for the tea industry, and World Tea Academy ( professional training and online certification provider.

The Beverage Group is a division of F+W Media, Inc.

About F+W Media, Inc.

FW MediaF+W Media is a community-focused, content creator and marketer of products and services for enthusiasts. The Company offers a diversified portfolio of books, ebooks, magazines, events, competitions, ecommerce, education, video and more. The Company serves 20 different communities, including writing, fine art, genealogy, antiques and collectibles, design, outdoors, and horticulture. Its growing portfolio includes print and online properties, free and for-fee subscription sites, educational programs, competitions, and events. 

Management Team

George JageGeorge Jage – Director

After 10 years in the trade show industry, George was presented with the idea of a trade show for the tea industry and after some extensive research saw that an emerging community of specialty tea wholesalers lacked a sense of community and identity, and had no true marketplace for their industry.

In 2003, George founded and launched the first North American tea trade show. Since then, World Tea Expo® has been thrice recognized as one of the Fastest 50™ growing events in North America, launched the leading industry news source, the World Tea News®, and created the North American Tea Championship™. World Tea Expo has also in the past held the first ever tea auction on U.S. soil, created and hosted the Top Tea Cocktail Competition™, developed the World Tea Ratings™, publishes the World Tea Buyers’ Guide™, and most recently launched the Tea Infusionist Challenge™.

In 2004, George was named as one of Tradeshow Executive’s “Next Generation of Leaders”. In 2006, George was named by Gourmet News as one of the “Top 20 Under 40” in the specialty food business. In 2008 was given the Nevada Entrepreneur Award by In Business Magazine. And most recently in 2010, George was honored by the University of Nevada Las Vegas with the Jerry Valen Award of Distinction for “Hospitality and Convention Executive of the Year”.

George has served on the Specialty Tea Institute Advisory Board and was chair for the 2005 STI Symposium. He was a member of Young Entrepreneurs’ Organization from 2003 to 2006. Since 2004, George has been a member of SISO (Society of Independent Show Organizers), currently serves as a Board Member, and chaired the 2010 SISO Executive Conference.

Val Moon Headshot 2013 - resized Val Moon – Sales & Marketing Director

A distinguished hospitality industry expert, Moon brings years of experience with leading brands, where she was instrumental in key executive roles. During the course of her career, she's helped to develop and manage sales and marketing departments, created innovative programs, established convention service divisions and trained team members to exceptional service levels. She was most recently the director of sales at Primm Valley Casino Resorts, and previously the director of sales and convention services for the Excalibur and Luxor Resort Hotels and Casinos.

Moon previously held management positions at organizations including the Las Vegas Monorail Company, Alliance Airport Advertising, the Stardust Resort and Casino and the Tropicana Resort and Casino, among others. She was also one of the first women at a major Las Vegas property to hold an executive management position in sales. Career highlights include: past chair of the Nevada Commission on Tourism, founder of the Las Vegas Sales Advisory Council, a past president with the Las Vegas Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association, and past president of the Women's Convention Sales Association. Moon is also a board member with the Foundation for Independent Tomorrow, which focuses on the challenge and success of creating meaningful employment for the underemployed and financially challenged.


Ash headshotAshley Sostaric - Event Marketing Director

Making strides in the marketing industry, Ashley brings experience from multiple corners of the event industry to pull together successful, comprehensive marketing campaigns for multiple B2B/B2C trade show events. She continues to oversee audience development and event marketing campaigns across brand websites, email marketing and print/digital efforts.

Prior to joining F+W Media in 2012, Ashley held Marketing Manager positions for multiple event projects. She currently serves as President of the International Special Events Society - Cincinnati Chapter Board of Directors. Originally from Pittsburgh, she received her B.A. in Communications from Kent State University; continued on to receive her Masters in Tourism Administration from George Washington University.


edie-webEdie Gillette – Customer Service Representative/Registrar

As Customer Service Representative/Registrar, Edie is responsible for the attendee management and registration process for The Beverage Group events. Her responsibilities include customer service and support in communicating all necessary requirements to potential and registered attendees, and facilitation of the VISA application process for international delegates. She also is responsible for on-site registration management.

Prior to joining the team in 2009, Edie held management positions in various business industries. Originally from northern California, she received her B.A. in Human Services from Holy Names University. For Edie, tea is a necessi-tea…she begins each day with a cup!


monicaMonique Hatchett – Education Manager

A San Diego native, Monique moved to Nevada to pursue a Bachelors Degree in Meetings and Events Management at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Little did she know that when searching for an internship, she’d find the team and an “internship that never ended.” Monique spent two years interning with the conference program at World Tea Expo and eventually took over the role of Education Manager after completing her degree. Having worked for both large, luxury hotel properties and a smaller, independent planning company, Monique brings this experience into her new role, in which she’s responsible for all planning, content and logistics related to The Beverage Group's education programs.


Michael Lee resizedMichael Lee - Sales Executive

Michael has worked in the Hotel and Food/Beverage Industries for over 20 years, spending a majority of that time with Sheraton Hotels in Hawaii and eventually relocated to Las Vegas with the original Desert Inn Resort and Country Club, then owned and operated by the ITT Sheraton Corporation.  The sale of the Desert Inn led him to several hotel positions along the famed Las Vegas strip before returning to Hawaii to continue his sales career for major properties in the islands.

Once again back in Las Vegas, Michael endeavored to become a hotel professional on a consulting basis for several years then eventually returned to Hotel Sales before taking a new path of joining World Tea Expo and Healthy Beverage Expo as their sales executive. He is specializing in booth and sponsorship sales for the company’s 2 flagship B2B tradeshows that are held in Long Beach, CA.  Michael is married to Nancy Lee and they have 2 sons.


Yesenia resizedYesenia Hasakian - Sales Coordinator

Raised in the beautiful city of Miami, Fl, Yesenia was inspired to move to Las Vegas to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Hospitality Management with a particular focus in Meetings & Events at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.  Her graduation is slated for December of 2014 and to date she is holding a high 3.7 grade point average, while working part time for World Tea Expo and Healthy Beverage Expo, a division of FW Media.  

Additionally, she has taken on a leadership role as Chair of the IAEE UNLV Chapter, which has been influential and vital to her development in the Meetings & events industry.  She continues to grow with this ever-changing business endeavor and plans to make the industry her chosen career path.