Meet The Board of Directors

Dale DeGroff: President

Master Mixologist Dale DeGroff, aka King Cocktail, developed his extraordinary techniques and talent tending bar at great establishments, most notably, New York’s famous Rainbow Room, where in the late 1980’s he pioneered a gourmet approach to recreating the great classic cocktails. Universally acknowledged as one of the world's premier mixologists whose innovations have globally impacted the industry, DeGroff has been credited with reinventing the profession of bartending and setting off the cocktail explosion that continues to transform the industry.
A leading trainer, and sought after authority in the beverage industry, DeGroff is a founding partner of Beverage Alcohol Resource (BAR), a partnership of six of the world's leading spirits and cocktails authorities who provide training and credentialing in distilled spirits and mixology.
Industry awards include: the 2009 James Beard Wine & Spirits Professional Award, the 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award from Nightclub & Bar Magazine, 2008 TOTC Helen David Lifetime Achievement Award, and the 2007 Cheers Beverage Industry Innovator of the Year with his partners, for Beverage Alcohol Resource.
DeGroff is the author of “The Essential Cocktail” (Random House), winner of the 2009 Spirit Awards, and “The Craft of the Cocktail” (Random House), winner of the 2002 IACP Julia Child Award. He is also the founding President of The Museum of the American Cocktail, a non-profit museum with an exhibit in New Orleans that celebrates 200 years of the rich history of the cocktail.

Jill DeGroff: Vice President

Founding vice president of the Museum of the American Cocktail, Jill DeGroff handles most of the administrative and fundraising aspects of operations. She dreamed up the idea of a cocktail museum to showcase the extensive collections of husband Dale DeGroff and his colleagues. Jill is also an itinerant saloon artist who uses bars around the world as her studio. Having had the privilege of pursuing her art in the company of the world’s greatest mixologists, much of her work focuses on these unique individuals. Her book, “Lush Life; Portraits from the Bar” (, is a collection of portraits and stories from the colorful characters she has met in bars over the years.


Ted Haigh: Curator

Ted Haigh designs and curates the permanent Museum exhibits. A highly respected graphic designer for the film industry, as well as a cocktail authority, Haigh will maintain and augment the exhibit over time based on locale, subject, acquisitions, and evolving knowledge. Haigh, also known as Dr. Cocktail, has been called “the premiere cocktail historian in America” and is the author of Vintage Spirits & Forgotten Cocktails, published by Quarry Books. He was the cocktail and spirits advisor for America Online and writes regular columns for Imbibe Magazine and Martini Republic. He has been widely interviewed and quoted in books, magazines, newspapers, on radio and on screen. Doc is the co-founder of The Internet Cocktail Database, and the inventor of the Mixilator. He writes and lectures on subjects pertaining to classic cocktails and has one of the largest collections of vintage and antique cocktail ingredients in the world.


Robert Hess: Secretary

Robert Hess is the Administrator of the The Museum of the American Cocktail website and managing editor of Mixologist; the Journal of the American Cocktail. Hess, by profession, is a Technical Evangelist at Microsoft, a published author, and is widely known among his peers in the cocktail world as the ambassador of cocktails. He is the creator of the widely recognized cocktail education website, Robert provides authoritative and persuasive outreach to the public and to the food & beverage industry to increase recognition and respect for this unique and undervalued art.


Phil Greene: Treasurer

As a founding board member of The Museum of the American Cocktail, Phil Greene assists with outreach, promotion, writing, and local communications, while providing legal counsel. Greene is an attorney; Senior Counsel for Internet Technology with the U.S. Department of Commerce. He is a descendant of Antoine Amedee Peychaud, the 19th New Orleans pharmacist who created Peychaud’s Bitters and is credited with inventing one of the great classic cocktails of all times, the Sazerac - a New Orleans drink, which is still made with Peychaud’s Bitters today. Phil is the author of Creole Gumbo and other writings and is an authority on the life of the ironically initialed A. A. Peychaud, and of New Orleans cocktail lore & history in general.


Chris & Laura McMillian

When historic New Orleans drinks are the quest, all roads lead eventually to Chris McMillian, the bartender at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel’s Library Lounge. Chris McMillian, a New Orleans native, descends from four generations of barkeepers; his great grandfather was a saloon keeper and his uncles owned casinos and night clubs in the 1930s and 1940s. After plying his trade at landmarks Arnaud's and the Royal Sonesta, Chris opened the swank and sensually-lit Library Lounge where he entertains his guests with outstanding classic drinks and perhaps a lesson in cocktail history as well; Chris is one of the foremost authorities on 19th century drinking in the nation and serves the finest Mint Julep known to Man.


Tim McNally

Raised and educated in Texas, Tim has lived in New Orleans for more than 40 years, and he is regarded by locals and visitors alike as the Consummate New Orleanian. He has been involved in marketing and advertising at every level, local, regional, and national, and he has guided his own company, IDEAS of New Orleans, since 1986. His love of cocktails and wine has led him back to what he received his college degree in, Journalism. His weekly two-hour radio program, The Wine Show, is heard in numerous markets, and he is the executive editor of the quarterly magazine, Gulf Coast Wine & Dine. He also is the Wine and Spirits Editor for New Orleans Magazine, where he authors a monthly cocktail photo feature, Last Call (no one in New Orleans understands the term), and he writes a weekly wine and spirits column, Happy Hour (everyone in New Orleans understands that term), for
Tim is a wine commentator and lecturer, with frequent appearances at seminars and at Hospitality Programs in universities.
Tim and his wife, Brenda Maitland, also a writer and also on the Board of MOTAC, travel extensively to vineyards all over North America and Europe. They are judges at professional wine competitions, and are often involved in festivals and spirits-related events.


Brenda Maitland

Brenda Maitland, a wine, food and cocktail writer, lives in New Orleans, home of the Museum of the American Cocktail and one of the best cocktail/nightlife venues in America. That's not just a native's viewpoint, but the response from Travel + Leisure's 2009 "America's Favorite Cities survey." A journalism graduate, Brenda's work has appeared in national. regional and local publications for more than 25 years. She currently writes for Country Roads. Gambit Weekly, TravelHost New Orleans and Gulf Coast Wine and Dine. When not judging wine and cocktail competitions from California to Florida, she and her husband, Tim McNally,a fellow MoTac board member, travel the world chasing the good life and seeking the best in food, wine and spirits.

Derek Brown

Nominated in 2010 for a James Beard Foundation Award, Derek Brown developed celebrated beverage programs as a bartender and sommelier at Washington D.C.’s finest bars and restaurants, gaining recognition as one of the top five new sommeliers in the country by Wine & Spirits magazine in 2007 and as Sommelier of the Year by DC Modern Luxury magazine in 2008, before opening The Gibson and then his celebrated Columbia Room. He was also invited to the White House to serve cocktails during the 2009 holiday parties for the First Family.In the past year, Derek Brown has been profiled in the Wall Street Journal , featured on CNN, lauded by Washingtonian magazine as one of Washington DC’s “40 Who Shaped 2010,” and listed in GQ magazine as crafting the best martini in America. You can find Derek holding seminars, behind the bar in the Columbia Room, writing for and otherwise traveling throughout the country. Derek is also a founding member of the DC Craft Bartender’s Guild and on the Board of Directors for the Museum of the American Cocktail.

The Museum of the American Cocktail Distinguished Board of Advisors

Tony Abou-Ganim, Laura Baddish, Jeff Berry, Mark Bigler, Anthony Blue, Ted Breaux, Dave Broom, Salvatore Calabrese, Kathy Casey, Fernando Castellon, Chuck Cowdrey, Kathie Crabtree, Cathryn Davis, Simon Difford, Jonathan Downey, Lowell Edmunds, Jennifer English, Simon Ford, Saint John Frizell, Lorin Gaudin, Kathy Hamlin, Paul Harrington, Francesco Lafranconi, Livio Lauro, Doc Lawrence, Jeffrey Lindenmuth, Ryan Magarian, Robert Markel, Ti Martin, Robert McCarthy, John Myers, Tim Neill, Cynthia Nims, Sasha Petraske, Robert Plotkin, Brian Rea, Gary Regan, Julie Reiner, Audrey Saunders, Terry Sullivan, Chuck Taggart, Stephen Visakay, James Walker, Michael Waterhouse, Angus Winchester, David Wondrich
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