Monica Stevens, Co-Founder
David Stevens, Co-Founder

Katie Somple


Katie Somple is the founder and broker of St. Helena-based Lifestyle Properties/WineryX Real Estate, a dual-specialty real estate brokerage. Katie is also a Napa Valley community leader and volunteer in her spare time. A graduate of Leadership Napa Valley, Katie’s desire to serve the community stems from the credo “to whom much is given, much is required.” In addition to acting as Chair of the dynamic St. Helena Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, she serves on the Board of Napa Emergency Women’s Services, Napa County’s domestic violence and sexual assault prevention agency. Katie’s strengths include resource networking, fundraising, and budgets. Her love and reverence of animals push the boundaries of reason. Currently Katie is owned by Phoebe, age 4, and Mae Flower, age 8, both rescues. 

Say hi.


Ashley Kassis


Ashley learned the value of prowess from a young age: at 12, she marched up to Kelly Brothers, a specialist in asset management and a well-respected business reporter for several news stations, and convinced him to be an emcee for her mothers’ latest fundraising event. That dexterity has continued through her life in both personal and professional aspects.

Although she completed her first degree in Business Administration at the liberal arts college, St. Mary’s College of California, she attributes her current path in hospitality to the two years studying in Barcelona obtaining her degree in PR and Communications. While completing her thesis, she took an opportunity to build an event management company alongside a business broker with strong ties in the Barcelona hospitality world and her pathway was formed.  

After her return to California and a two year stint developing the marketing initiatives for a mental health care facility, she was drawn back to the hospitality world and ran the events department for one of the most recognizable wine brands in the United States. There, she thrived, learning about winemaking, terroir, gastronomy, and the luxury world of Napa Valley.  

With over 7 years’ experience in marketing and events, including 5+ years in the Napa Valley hospitality industry, Ashley flourishes in her fast paced little town of Napa and finds enjoyment in searching out the next special experience for her guests.  Ashley also spends her days fostering animals through Jameson Animal Rescue Ranch, surviving off of smoothies and yoga, while trying to provide a little more sparkle to life through her valued friendships and family.  

Say hi.

Elizabeth Hawkins


Elizabeth Hawkins is a Certified Professional Accountant for G&J Seiberlich & Co LLP in Napa and Calistoga where she serves a wide range of individuals and business including winery, construction, retail and not-for-profit throughout the Napa Valley. Elizabeth also serves as Vice-President/Treasurer of Mentis, which provides bilingual, professional mental health services throughout the county. She is Treasurer/Secretary to Napa Valley Support Services, an organization that provides employment, education and recreation services for developmentally disabled adults in Napa Valley. Elizabeth lives in Napa with her husband, two young boys, two rescue cats and one miniature Australian Shepherd. Growing up in the Valley and being a graduate of Leadership Napa Valley, she has strong ties to the community and believes in contributing her strengths to help Napa thrive.

Say hi.


Susan Fickinger

A newcomer to both California and Napa Valley, Susan first attended WineaPAWlooza [as a guest of Realm Cellar’s Juan Mercado,] in 2017 and immediately knew she had to be a part of JARR.

Susan brings with her a combined passion for animal rights, environmentalism and social activism, along with a successful track record in marketing and advertising. Nearly a decade ago, she opened a yoga and wellness studio in northern New Jersey, and furthered her commitment to living a life of “non-harming” and ethical vegetarianism, and promoting the many benefits of eating a plant-based diet.

A graduate of Penn State’s College of Communications, she began her career in the late 80’s in advertising, learning the importance of research-based marketing and brand positioning for both corporate clients as well as advocacy interests. “Stretching” marketing dollars for the biggest impact was Susan’s “strong suit,” and led to innovative “outside the box” campaigns and promotions. Later, as a “philanthropist mom,” she utilized these same marketing strategies to help raise both community awareness and the need for funding for local charities, including two regional children’s hospitals as part of their capital campaign drives.

Besides her forever husband Tom, and three children, the loves of her life are Bella, a feral kitty she and her daughter rescued from a kill-shelter in New Jersey, and Brodie, a rambunctious mini husky with a very large ego. 

Say hi.

Lars E. Johansson


Lars Johansson is a corporate partner in the firm’s Palo Alto and San Francisco offices. He represents U.S.-based and international public and private companies, as well as investors, in connection with corporate transactions, including domestic and cross-border mergers and acquisitions, venture capital financings, joint ventures, and international business transactions. He works with clients in a wide range of industries, including financial services, fintech, telecom, data analytics, information technology, software, medical device, nanotechnology, clean technology, and viniculture.

Mr. Johansson actively counsels boards of directors, special committees, and management executives with respect to corporate governance, fiduciary duties, strategic issues, privacy issues, securities laws, and general corporate and business matters.

In the corporate finance and securities areas, Mr. Johansson’s experience includes public and private equity and debt financings, representing both U.S. and foreign issuers and investors, ranging from simple debt and equity offerings to more complex financings coupled with recapitalizations and rights offerings.