Who We Are
Mariah Williamson, AFV Tasting Room Manager
Like most people, my story starts with a love of wine. I moved to the Seattle area about four years ago and was excited to realize how much great wine was made here in Washington. Wanting to learn more, I started taking a few classes at the South Seattle’s Wine Academy, where I saw an opportunity to volunteer pouring wine at Obelisco. I had the chance to pour and talk about amazing wine – it couldn’t have been a better fit! I soon joined the Obelisco family and still love to pour and talk wine with our guests.
Nathanial Helligso, Leavenworth Tasting Room Manager
I was born on the coast of Oregon and moved to the mountainous area of Washington during my freshman year. From there, I graduated high school with my AA and received my Bachelors in Communication from Western Washington University. After working in the film industry for five years, I returned to the Leavenworth area to pursue my Masters in Organizational Management. In 2017 I joined the Obelisco team and began setting up their third tasting room in Leavenworth. What I enjoy most about Obelisco are the conversations, it’s never about selling or bombarding customers with wine facts, it’s about engagement centered over an amazing glass of wine. I believe that is what Obelisco is about – the commitment to celebrating life and those around you.
Kerry Walsh, Wine Club Manager
I began with Obelisco as a tasting room volunteer in December of 2010. After a 27 year career at Boeing, I wanted to step up both my knowledge and involvement with the world of wine, and thus became a staff member with Obelisco in 2012. In summer of 2017, I became the wine club manager. I love the Pacific Northwest, and getting outdoors, weather permitting, and in my spare time, I am trying to progress from a duffer to a real golfer.
Stacey Armstrong, Leavenworth Tasting Room Associate
I joined the Obelisco team in May of this year and have felt at home since day one! I moved up to Washington state from southern Idaho and have called the Leavenworth area my home for over 25 years. I enjoy traveling out of the country with my brother every couple of years and with that, enjoying all types of food and wine from all over the world. In my free time you can find me in the river on my paddleboard, in the mountains on my mountain bike and/or skis, trail running with my two doggies, and spending quality time with friends. Come on over and check out the new Leavenworth tasting room and say hello!!
Corinne Zibelli, Warehouse District Tasting Room Associate
I was born in Honolulu, HI and now reside in Issaquah, WA. I started at Obelisco when I was asked to volunteer by a fellow-wine student at South Seattle College Wine Technology School, who knew the previous manager at Obelisco’s Warehouse location. I adore all the people I work with and all the interesting people who come to taste wine. I love the wine too… lucky me! My favorite food and wine pairing is sparkling wine and dill pickle potato chips. If you see me, be sure to ask me about the 2nd holiday party at Tulio’s at the Hotel Vintage Park, where we all partied after dinner in Doug and Betsy’s hotel room, wearing leopard skin bathrobes….
Debbie Bailey, AFV and Warehouse District Tasting Room Associate
Hi my name is Debbie, or Deb. My father was a jockey so I grew up traveling between Washington and California. I live in Woodinville now, walking distance to Apple Farm Village, although I enjoy working at both locations in Woodinville. I started volunteering for Obelisco in 2012 and became an employee in December of 2015 in preparation of the new Apple Farm Village opening. Some of the things that make Obelisco special to me are the great wine, of course, but the family atmosphere and lack of pretentiousness, even though the wine is worthy of it – it’s inspiring. Doug and Betsy Long were a great part of that. My favorite memory was at a volunteer meeting where Doug was introducing us to 2011 Estate Cab. He talked about how elegant it was and he thought it was among the best he had made. It is still my favorite! I love to pair food with wine but I am happy to have it as a stand alone at a cocktail party. I love our summer party, it is a chance for the staff to really mingle with our club members and have a good time. I also enjoy the new comedy night and working with our artists for our summer solstice event.
Mike Bailey, AFV and Warehouse District Tasting Room Associate
My name is Mike Bailey, I’ve been a team member here with Obelisco Estates winery for about five years now. The last few years, I have been a (very) part-time staff member serving in both the AFV and warehouse tasting rooms. My wife (Debbie) and I live in Woodinville – walking distance from the AFV tasting room. We’ve lived in Woodinville about 13 years now. One of my favorite Obelisco memories stems from the 2017 Summer Party. Watching Doug and Betsy Long enjoy their dance together still causes me to pause and reminisce. One of the things I love most about Obelisco is the true family feeling. I’ve enjoyed getting to learn more about wine making and Red Mountain. I love the stories and the passion that have gone into making Obelisco wine some of the finest in Washington state. I love all the wines – but the Nefer III has to be a favorite. We hope others sense the pride and passion we have for our Obelisco family when they visit our tasting rooms.
Rita Fridman, AFV Tasting Room Associate
My name is Rita and I’m a tasting room associate at the Apple Farm Village location. I also assist with social media updates and photography. During my free time I enjoy hiking, yoga, running, reading and I’m hopelessly addicted to watching Netflix. I started working at Obelisco because I was lucky enough to have a previous manager send me a job listing for a tasting room associate so I applied and here I am! I love working at Obelisco because the staff and the club members are so warm and welcoming. Despite being one of the newest people on the team, I always feel like I belong. Obelisco is a great company to work for and I feel extremely honored to be part of this amazing group of people.
Sherine Ibusuki, AFV and Warehouse District Tasting Room Associate
I have been at Obelisco for about 9 months now! I am originally from India but have grown up in various parts of the world and feel that experience has inspired my passion in food (cooking and eating), travel, various cultures, and wine. In my free time, I love spending time with friends and family, and sharing a good bottle of wine (currently the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon) with a delicious steak or Wild mushroom pasta. I enjoy meeting people and working at Obelisco, as I feel like I am consistently learning about the complexities of wine and that keeps it challenging and interesting. Looking forward to seeing you soon in the tasting room!
Michael Nguyen, AFV and Warehouse District Tasting Room Associate
I’ve been with Obelisco since 2012, first starting off as a wine club member and volunteer, then eventually as a staff member starting in 2015. I’m somewhat of a “wine geek” and enjoy tasting and learning about wine from all over the world. I love food and wine, but most of all, I enjoy the great company that goes along with it. During my free time, I enjoy running, cooking, and spending time with my family. My favorite part about working at Obelisco is feeling like part of a family – I love spending time with other staff and wine club members that come in!
Kirsten Evangelista, AFV Tasting Room Associate
I am from Chicago, IL by way of Woodstock IL. I currently live in Greenlake. I started volunteering for Obelisco about 5 years ago. I remember it like it was yesterday.….I became a member the first day I walked through the door. On That Day, I was pretty down in the dumps and my husband let me do anything I wanted to cheer up. Of course I opted to go wine tasting. We had a card that got us free tastings to different places. (Similar to the Passport). We didn’t have any cash on us, and I promised I wouldn’t spend any “Cash” so no need to stop at the ATM. Walking through the Warehouse District, I spotted a sign that said “Red Mountain all wine 90+ Points” I literally stopped in my tracks and bee-lined it straight to the door dragging my husband in tow. Every single wine I tasted (including the whites and the Syrah) I loved! I thought to myself, “I am already a member at a place that I only liked 1 or 2 wines. So it was a no brainer to join a wine club which I liked every wine!” I loved this winery and the people so much I wanted to do everything in my power to help promote Obelisco. I asked Ken many times what I needed to do to volunteer. He said, “Just shoot me an email”. I asked him at least 5 more times. I finally emailed and I was volunteering the next month. Two and a half years later when AFV opened I begged and pleaded with Ken to let me work there. He really had no choice, but to say Yes!