Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) are those that have a deep understanding of a particular field, job, process, material, or any other specific area. This expertise comes from years (If not decades) working with the subject matter at hand. Likely, the individual has advanced degrees pertaining to their subject while also engaging in continuous education to…
Michael Wangbickler is President of Balzac. With nearly 30 years of experience in marketing and public relations, Mike is a trusted advisor and strategic consultant to his clients. While others are frozen when faced with barriers, Mike is energized by it. He relishes analyzing problems for his clients, finding what is wrong, and providing them with innovative solutions. Mike’s strategic mind enables him to sort through the noise and find the best way forward. He embraces ambiguity and can identify paths to real progress.
Before following his heart to wine country, Mike followed his head to Silicon Valley where he spent 8 fast-paced years in technology communications, where he caught the bug for following the latest trends in marketing tech. Armed with a “live to eat” motto and an evident passion for craft food and beverages and the land, Mike entered Balzac’s life in 2004 and became the agency’s President in 2016.
As a studied disciple of Walt Disney, Mike thinks it’s fun to do the impossible. He believes leadership, imagination, and innovation require a certain level of fearlessness and he encourages his team to step off the worn pathways and break new ground. He leads a team who are driven forward by the stories that inspire people to share in a dream. It is with this philosophy that he’s guided successful marketing and communications campaigns for more than 70 global companies and trade associations from a dozen countries.
But he’d trade it all to be a Jedi.
- Nearly 30 years managing marketing communications programs
- Advised and collaborated with 100+ clients
- Managed hundreds of marketing events including tradeshows, seminars, tours, and parties.
- Led dozens of educational seminars, webinars, and classes on marketing
- President of the American Wine Society (2021-2022)
- Adjunct Instructor at Napa Valley College
With over a decade of experience in most all facets of marketing and public relations, Emma provides a well-rounded and trusted view to her clients. With a Bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism, she is also able to see the perspective of media in a way that not many can. An intuitive problem solver, Emma is always able to figure out a solution and a path forward, whether that is through doing it on her own, or finding the perfect expert to get the job done. As a words person, and a detailed planner, Emma is a perfect foil to Mike’s love of ambiguity and visuals. Together, they are a powerhouse team.
Emma’s professional life has always been wine-centric. She initially became enamored with learning about wine in grad school, and found a path to marry her love of communication with her newfound passion by finding a path into the wine industry. Since then she’s done everything from create buzz around little known spirits to igniting fresh excitement around centuries old Champagne houses.
Through it all, though, she is consistently seeking balance. Whether that’s making sure to drink water in flight, incorporating a post travel hotel yoga session into her day, or sneaking off from a late night at TEXSOM, Emma’s wellbeing is most important to her. Luckily, physical and mental health are pillars of Balzac, and she’s found a great home.
She works this hard, so that her cat can have a better life.
- Over 10 years managing marketing communications programs
- Nearly 1,500 events planned and executed
- Experience with new brands, and established luxury
- Certified with the American Sommelier Association
- Adult wine educator at Franklin Park Conservatory