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Derek Sandhaus (Educational Director, Ming River Inc.)

Derek Sandhaus

Educational Director, Ming River Inc.

Derek is a leading international voice on baijiu. He is the author of Baijiu: The Essential Guide to Chinese Spirits, and a forthcoming work on Chinese drinking culture, Drunk in China (Potomac, 2019). His work has been cited in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, among others, and he has spoken at drinks industry events and literary festivals. Derek is Ming River’s baijiu category expert and chief Bai-ologist at He currently lives with his wife and dog in Jerusalem, where he is developing a fondness for arak.

Bill Isler (CEO, Ming River Inc.)

Bill Isler

CEO, Ming River Inc.

Bill spent 15 years in Beijing after graduating from Columbia University. Focusing on food and beverage ventures targeting expatriates and middle-class Chinese, Bill's most recent F&B venture was the still open Capital Spirits baijiu bar. Bill's passion for introducing Chinese spirits to new audiences has now led him back to the USA where he resides in New York City. His time-honed language skills and unique ability to navigate the Chinese business and bureaucratic environments make him Luzhou Laojiao’s primary point of contact within Ming River.