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Consultant Sommelier, My Own Private Cellar

Shawn O’Hara’s appreciation for wine started as a child when her parents allowed her a ‘sip’ of wine at special dinners.  As an adult, her appreciation for wine and the vintner community grew as she realized wine events were a way to bring the philanthropic community together with fundraising, special tastings and wine-oriented events in San Francisco, California where she made frequent trips to the vineyards of Sonoma and Napa Valley.  The opportunity to further pursue her passion for wine came after she moved to Tokyo, where Shawn pursued a formal education in wine. 

She graduated from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET) with an Advanced Certificate, becoming a Certified Sommelier.  An active member of the Wine Committee of the Tokyo American Club, Shawn hosted several private wine tasting events and became known for wine tasting dinners and fundraising events.  After transferring to Singapore, she was appointed to the Food and Beverage Committee at the Singapore American Club and again organized wine events in the community. The real opportunity to share her passion for wine came when she transferred to Paris, where she recognized the potential to enjoy and share some of the finest wines in the world with her friends and associates and the vision for her newest venture My Own Private Cellar was launched. 

Her travels, relationships and wine experiences span the vineyards of France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Chile, Argentina, California and Oregon. 

In addition to her advanced certificate from WSET, Shawn earned a certificate in French Wine and certificates in Module I and Module II Wines of the World from the Le Cordon Bleu Academy in Paris.  She has also completed the French Wine Society’s The Wines of France and Introduction to Wine courses.  She is a member of the Linked-In Wine Business Network, Vins de France and The French Wine Society.  She regularly holds wine tasting events and private tastings for her friends and clients.

When she isn’t helping people fill their wine cellar, Shawn is a Principle of O’Hara Management Consultants and a Consultant with Brakeley Briscoe (USA), Brakekey Associated (France) and Mira Partnership (International) specializing in the areas of fund-raising, market planning, grant writing, governance, board development, and research. Shawn holds an MBA from the University of San Francisco with an emphasis in Human Resource and Organizational Development and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Utah in Therapeutic and IndustrialRecreation.

For more information contact Shawn E. O’Hara, CFRE at or at