Get To Know UsBoozeBiz Connectors
Connecting people for over 25 years
Founder & CCO – Chief Connection Officer
Caitlyn loves helping others find their path and feels this is her true purpose in the world. A connector in her industry, who celebrates a hard day’s work over a delicious cocktail, she founded BoozeBiz to bring together her passions for mentorship, connection, and the booze industry into perfect harmony.
Caitlyn has honed her knowledge of the service industry from personal experiences with the onset of her career at the tender age of 18 as a bartender. Yes, luckily in NY you only have to be 18 to tend bar. It was love at first pour and she has since worked her way through every tier of the 3 tier system (including all levels in hospitality from doorgirl to bartender to GM, supplier, importer, distributor) and has made many friends and lasting relationships along the way. She has an extensive background in business development, sales consulting, and brand growth, with a focus on client satisfaction particularly within the wine and spirits industry.
She has been there, she has done that, and she understands what you do every day to be successful. She can talk the talk which makes explaining your hiring needs or new role dreams an easy and comfortable conversation.
On the wholesale side she has worked in sales for over 15 years including starting at a family owned distributor, Paramount/Eber Bros, as a sales consultant, then held multiple positions in management for Southern Wine & Spirits for 5 years, and then spent over 10 years with Ste. Michelle Wine Estates helping grow the portfolio in the NY market. She knows how it feels to pull a wine bag in the snow through Times Square and lose her voice on day 3 of NYCWFF. This is what truly sets her apart from other Recruiters – she gets it, she did it, she sold it, she worked with all departments from Marketing to Winemakers to Operations, and then some. She speaks the booze industry language which helps her truly connect the right people with the RIGHT jobs. Following her time in sales, she became an agency Executive Recruiter for the restaurant industry with the Forbes Top Ranked Recruiting Firm, Gecko Hospitality (who she still partners with to this day to help restaurant and hospitality professions and businesses with their hiring) and Nelson Connects as a National Executive Recruiter for the Wine & Spirits Industry where she won Rookie of the Year in her first year with the company – rookie for them but certainly not for the booze industry.
Inherent to her style, Caitlyn is always looking for new ways to support friends and colleagues in their pursuit of happiness. She founded BoozeBiz to build on the work she was already performing for her beloved network, and never backs down from the challenges the industry presents. Timing is everything in life. After going through the stress of the pandemic when our industry was upside down, working for a leader in the hospitality industry through the pandemic helping restaurants rebuild their management teams and then national recruiting for the alcbev biz, the universe put her together with a long time industry friend and SMWE alum turned recruiter to relaunch BoozeBiz as it was meant to be – a unique recruiting agency of industry experts helping our industry grow.
Her desire to promote and connect talent has helped cultivate the platform we are viewing today… BoozeBiz. She didn’t find recruiting…recruiting found her.
Caitlyn resides in Midtown Manhattan and when she’s not working to help YOU and/or your company, you can find her cycling along a river, devising healthy recipes at home in her NYC apartment, or enjoying all “the city that never sleeps” has to offer with her friends and family. She has found her dream job – now it’s time for her to help you find yours!
Favorite Boozy Bev: Hot Toddy (with Spanish Brandy, of course) & unique full bodied white wines. Anyone who has ever met Caitlyn knows that declaring just one favorite beverage just wasn’t an option.
Partner & Chief Strategy Officer
Wherever you are, is right where you need to be. Jennifer is a staunch believer in this perspective on the trials and tribulations of life and career. Her career has taken her in different, seemingly disconnected, directions. However, by joining BoozeBiz as the Partner and Chief Strategy Officer, Jennifer is bringing it all full circle, proving that we are so often right where we need to be, even if we don’t know it at the time.
4 years ago, Jen took a hard left turn out of the beverage industry after 15 years of success, growth, fantastic wine, food, friends, travel and, of course, countless quotas and scorecards. But she was ready for a change. She needed something rewarding, people-centric, and that landed her at home with her young children by 5 pm and in bed by 10. But as a consummate salesperson, she also needed the thrill of the hunt, the chase, and the close. A dear friend who has known her for years, and is himself a recruiter, assured her that she was meant for this industry… and it turns out, he was right. Recruiting checked all the boxes Jen was looking for, and draws on her greatest strengths of making connections, remembering everyone she’s ever met, and remaining in constant communication with people.
So, she took the leap and dove into the industry at Robert Half. There she received the best recruiting boot camp training out there. She then moved on to a wonderful boutique recruiting firm where she was able to focus on sales, marketing, and HR positions for small to mid-sized companies throughout the Mid-Atlantic. Jen continued to hone the craft of recruiting, further developing her understanding of different processes for different positions and learn more about industry and market trends.
But something was still missing. Jen didn’t want to be a jack of all trades and industries. She wanted to be an expert in the one industry that she knows best, where she grew up as a professional, worked with amazing people and could truly speak the language with clients and candidates. Missing the beverage industry and looking for a focused recruiting vertical, it was obvious that Jen needed to recruit for the booze industry exclusively, but where and how wasn’t yet apparent.
With a lifelong entrepreneurial spirit, and extensive experience running a business unit and managing sales teams, Jen knew she had the skills, experience, and drive to run a business. So, she began to grapple with the idea of going on her own. But as a single Mom living in Baltimore, MD, not exactly NY or SF, the “feet on the street”, face to face networking, travelling for events, and selling would be challenging if not, impossible.
Enter Caitlyn LuBell, the most gregarious, magnetic, mayor of the NYC booze industry! With genuine care and connection for everyone she meets and works with, with boundless energy to meet up, grab coffee, have a drink, travel for an event, and build meaningful relationships with everyone she encounters, Caitlyn appeared as the ideal partner and BoozeBiz was born! Caitlyn and Jen are beyond excited to lead BoozeBiz to the top!
When not meeting with candidates and clients, Jen lives in Baltimore, MD, with her two daughters, 6 and 9, and her extremely needy dog, Tela. She loves spending time with her family and friends, traveling with her girls, reading and being outside in all fashions!
Favorite Boozy Bev: Whenever Jen is asked this question, she has 10 more questions of her own. “What am I doing? What am I eating? What is the temperature? What is my mood? What is the phase of the moon?”…. but with her back against the wall, she’d have to say a Pisco Sour with a perfectly frothed egg white flip.
Kayla began her career in the industry bartending at ASU bars after college. From there she landed a full book Sales Representative job at Southern Glazers Wine & Spirits of Arizona where she fell in love with the wine and spirits business. After spending the majority of her 20s at SGWS, she was ready for a change and the opportunity arose to enter the recruiting world. She’s always had a passion to help people and see them succeed so recruiting came naturally. However, in the back of her mind she always had a feeling there was just one thing missing from this perfect career.. enter: BoozeBiz!
Kayla resides in sunny Arizona with her dog Lilly and spends her weekends on the lake or hiking.
Favorite Boozy Bev: Well that depends on her mood, of course, but you can never go wrong with a Manhattan or a bold glass of California Cabernet.
Sarah Durnin is a New Jersey native and has been in the food and beverage industry since she graduated from the University of Maryland in 2009. Sarah started her career as a merchandiser at Allied Beverage in NJ and has had a proven track record of success in many different sales roles throughout the world.
After Merchandising, Sarah learned the on and off premise as a retail account specialist at Allied, working on the Pernod Ricard portfolio where she built a strong foundation as an industry professional. From there, she moved to NY to work for SGWS as a Portfolio Manager continuing to build with the Pernod Ricard portfolio. Seeking to round out her industry experience, she switched to the supplier side working for the boutique wine and spirits company, Sovereign Brands, as an Area Manager for the state of NY. Seizing the opportunity to work internationally, Sarah moved to Toronto to join Campari Canada as a Territory Manager working with the LCBO in the greater Toronto area.
Recently, Sarah moved back to the states to become a Business Development Manager on the Trinchero Portfolio before deciding she was ready to make the change to recruiting. After working many different markets, Sarah realized she wanted to use her knowledge and experience to help others advance their careers in the industry she loves. She is thrilled to be a part of the BoozeBiz team as a National Recruiter.
Favorite Boozy Bev: Dirty Martini with bleu cheese olives
Marketing and Operations Coordinator
Favorite Boozy Bev: Beer, of course! An ice-cold crispy boi on a hot summer day, a chocolaty stout on cold winters night, a hoppy hazy IPA on a breezy spring day. “There really is a beer for every season.”