Barbara was previously Managing Director, MKF Research LLC, having built that organization from a primarily single product research publishing operation to a widely respected advisor on all phases of the wine business. She is a member of the Market Development Task Force of the Wine Institute, the Planning Committee (and marketing co-chair) for the Unified Wine and Grape Symposium and the Steering Committee for 40th Anniversary of the Napa Agricultural Preserve and was formerly a Board member of the Napa Valley Economic Development Corporation.
Barbara is a leading speaker on the business of wine. She has been a featured speaker at the Unified Wine and Grape Symposium, the Free the Grapes Symposium, Viticulture 2007 and meetings of Napa Valley Vintners, the Wine Institute, California Association of Winegrape Growers, the National Association for Business Economics, Family Winemakers of California and numerous regional, national and international organizations. In addition to publishing in Wine Business Monthly, Business Economics and Foreign Affairs and contributing key articles to the forthcoming Encyclopedia of the Business of Wine, Ms. Insel has also been appeared on the Fox Business Network and NBC-11 and been quoted in a variety of media including the Wall Street Journal, the San Francisco Chronicle, Bloomberg, the Sacramento Bee, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, the Associated Press and the Baltimore Sun. Having taught for several years at the University of California, Davis Wine Marketing Course, Ms. Insel is now a regular contributor to the Wine Business course at the Culinary Institute of America. Barbara has led key projects for the Wine Institute, the Napa Valley Vintners, the San Luis Obispo Economic Vitality Corporation, the New York Wine and Grape Foundation, Wine America and Family Winemakers of California, among others, as well as numerous individual businesses and investors in the industry.
Ms. Insel spent more than twenty years in international investment and finance and related research, having held senior positions at Salomon Brothers, Morgan Stanley Asset Management and Kleinwort Benson. Throughout her career, Barbara has been involved in wine-related investments and transactions from Latin America to Eastern Europe's wineries and vineyards. Originally from New York, she has worked there, London, Prague and Moscow. She was one of the founding staff of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, created to rebuild Eastern Europe and Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union. Early in her career she worked on financial institution restructuring and privatization with the World Bank and then became an International Affairs Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.
Barbara's education includes a BA from Barnard College, an MA in Economics from Brown University and an MBA from Stanford's Graduate School of Business.