Erin Hayden Seal, Creative Director
Erin Hayden Seal has been working on the creative side of the magazine publishing industry for twenty-years and has been Creative Director with WEB Media Group for the majority of that time. She began contributing to Napa Valley Life a few years ago and took over the design of the magazine in 2018. Erin received her Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art from the University of Texas at Austin where she fell in love with all things design, and Austin. When not at her computer working to make deadline, she loves to travel, spend time with friends and hang with her husband, son and dog at their home in Austin.
Laura Larson, Editor
Laura Larson is the Editor, contributing writer and photographer for Napa Valley Life. She is the Founder of Virtual Vines, a sales and marketing consultancy focused on helping businesses launch into new markets and create market strategies. Her success is based on best practices from her decades of leadership roles in the Fortune 500 Global Sector. She serves on the Board of the Napa Valley Hospitality Forum, is a featured speaker, panel expert, and judge at various Wine Industry events. Laura is a regular contributor as a featured columnist for Wine Industry Network. As an accredited sommelier, Laura’s passion for wine led her to explore wine regions all over the world and to launch of her own Napa-based winery, “601 Cellars” in 2018.
Doris Hobbs, Account Executive
Doris Hobbs is an Account Executive for Napa Valley Life, where she represents an elite portfolio of luxury wine labels and retail brands in the wine industry. She graduated from Delta College, with a Communications Degree in Media Studies and Marketing. After graduation she embarked a fruitful journey in the publishing industry working alongside some of today’s renowned Editors and Publishers. Named “Best of the East Bay” in 2014 as well as featured in the San Francisco Chronicle, British Vogue, Hawaii News Now, CBS13/CW31 and KPIX-TV CBS television networks. Doris is also a highly recognized Diabetes Awareness Advocate and Motivational Speaker. Follow her on Twitter or reach out via email.
Fran Miller, Contributing Writer
Fran Endicott Miller is a travel, dining, and wine-focused freelance feature writer for a variety of lifestyle publications and websites. Prior to her journalism career, she held positions in the fields of politics, television, and professional sports – having established the Golden State Warriors’ first community relations department and programs. Principled and genuine, she prides herself on lyrically capturing and conveying the heart of each of her stories. When not traveling, she can be found in her East Bay neighborhood walking her beloved golden retriever, Nate. – See more examples of Fran’s Writing
Laurie Jo Miller Farr, Contributing Writer
A career-long tourism, destination, hotel sales and marketing pro, Laurie is an Ameri-Brit with one foot on each side of the pond. A dedicated urbanite who loves walkable cities, weekend getaways, and trips back home to London, she hasn’t made up her mind about the Oxford comma and will never be finished exploring Northern California. A member of the Society of American Travel Writers, Laurie’s byline also appears in USA Today, CBS Travel, Haute Living, Where Traveler, Frommers, Fast Company, Food & Travel and other titles.
Daniel Mangin, Contributing Writer
Daniel Mangin is the author of Fodor’s Napa and Sonoma and coauthor of The California Directory of Fine Wineries. A travel journalist for nearly three decades, he has also written or coauthored books about California, New York City, San Francisco, and the Central Coast wine region. He served five years as the editorial director of Fodors.com and three in the same position at the Compass American Guides. His photos, travel writing, and arts-related features have appeared in numerous print and online venues. A resident of Marin, he often takes to the county’s many hiking trails when not covering the Wine Country.
Lowell Downy, Contributing Photographer – Art Clarity
Since 2001, Lowell has served as cover and editorial photographer as well as an occasional editor and writer for Napa Valley Life Magazine. Lowell is an accomplished international photographer/artist with commissions by museums and book publishers, aerial photography commissions, and a host of fine art exhibitions. He received a five year assignment to document the landscapes and cultures of Bolivia, Chile, Dubai, Switzerland and India from the advantage point of hot air balloons. Lowell is co-owner of Art & Clarity, a photography and video company based in Napa.
Jillian Dara, Contributing Writer
Jillian Dara is a freelance wine, spirits, travel, and culture journalist. She loves reporting on the intersection of them all for publications including SommJournal, Wine Enthusiast, VinePair and SommTV. Jillian is partial to Napa Cab Franc but internationally she’s drawn to Carménère, discovered
while living in Santiago, Chile, as well as a mineral-forward Albariño.
Layne Randolph, Contributing Writer
Layne is the founder of RTS Communications/Roma to Sonoma, a luxury marketing, copywriting, and PR firm based in Sonoma County, California. While living in Italy for a decade, Layne dusted off her Journalism degree and began freelance writing. She gallivanted around the boot as a celebrity reporter for Us Magazine and contributed to a variety of magazines. Layne’s recent portfolio includes crafting copy for luxury wines like Napa Valley’s Cardinale, Lokoya, and La Jota Vineyard Co. Fun Fact: Layne is an attorney and studied international law at Università di Torino. She worked as a FENDI attorney in Rome. Her appreciation of la dolce vita led her to write about travel, lifestyle, and wine and pursue her love of prose full time.
Kevin Evans, Executive Consultant/Partner
Kevin Evans is Executive Consultant/Partner of WEB Media Group, a niche media company specializing in the relocation/newcomer and lifestyle market. In 2002 he started with a single employee, single market concept that has grown to a national company producing multiple titles and websites across 5 states. Evans caught the publishing bug early in college, he served as Editor-in-Chief of his college newspaper, then worked for Auto Trader, traveling the country fixing problem publications and establishing new markets. After leaving Auto Trader, he served as Vice-President of New Business Development with the Los Angeles Times before moving to Austin and launching the Austin Relocation Guide.