Who Are We?
Find Out More About the Five Senses Tastings Team

Kala Maxym

Founder & Chief Event Composer

Kala Maxym is the Founder and Chief Event Composer of Five Senses Tastings, and the Co-founder of the company’s cocktail branch, Song & Tonic. Her varied professional background includes time as a Senior Program Analyst with the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, as a Customer Success Manager at a VC-funded Tech start-up, and as a professional opera singer performing on stages across the U.S., Europe, and Latin America. Kala founded Five Senses Tastings in 2012 while working full-time for the above-mentioned tech company. After almost five years, she decided to take the leap into full-time entrepreneurship in 2016, quitting her job and moving to Los Angeles in the same week.

Kala was born and raised in Germany and has spent time living in the UK, Spain, Chile, and throughout the United States. She brings a European sensitivity – and sensibility – to her work as a performer and in the wine tasting events and full-sensory storytelling experiences she composes. She speaks Spanish, German, and French, is WSET Level II Certified with Distinction, and is also a California Wine Appellation Specialist (CWAS). 

Kala lives in Los Angeles with her two Bronx street cats, Ollie and Caspar. Learn more about Kala or listen to audio and video clips on her personal website.

Alexandra (Ali) Hoyt

Manager, Sensory Experiences

Ali Hoyt is the Manager of Sensory Experiences at Five Senses Tastings. In this role, Ali focuses on designing new experiential offerings, growing our client base, and managing the technical aspects of our virtual events.

Ali is an event producer currently based in Los Angeles, CA. She has been producing experiences since 2013. Ali’s background in event planning spans across a diverse range of sectors: non-profits, donor development, media & entertainment production, talent relations, educational program architecture, tent-pole events, and now virtual experiences.

She loves talking to people about their favorite gatherings and learning how to use events to empower communities.

Learn more about Ali here.

Susan Oshan

Susan Oshan is a rising junior at Barnard College of Columbia University, where she majors in Economics and Sociology. She is a huge foodie and loves trying new restaurants and recipes in her free time. An Angeleno-turned New Yorker, she frequently frolics in Central Park and the Met. Susan also enjoys writing and researching the digital tech ecosystem, which is why she’s excited to work on our blog and website.

Charlene Ruell

Virtual Assistant

Charlene (she/they) is a Virtual Assistant at Five Senses Tastings and takes on a plethora of tasks from organizing pesky spreadsheets to web design. She is also a small business owner and maintains Panache Consulting — a creative agency for small businesses — and Panache — a retail collection of unique handmade items featuring her custom artwork. 

Charlene has worked in many capacities across the globe from education to fighting climate change and always looks forward to a challenge.

Meet Our World Class Artists

We are so fortunate to have worked with some of the most amazing musical artists gracing the world’s stages today.

Our artists have performed around the world for thousands of people, and we are incredibly grateful for their amazing artistry and dedication to our mission.

What Our Clients & Guests Are Saying

“Kala’s creativity with pairing song, story and wine is incredible! I loved her live events pre-Covid, but am so impressed by what she has created with her monthly online events for the Five Senses Tastings club. I always learn more about music at these events and come away with a note pad full of new songs to add to my playlist. Brava!”

Lisa G.

Guest

“It was a pleasure to play in the Five Senses Tastings show on Valentine’s Day. Kala and Jean-Baptiste turned D’Vine Lounge Bar into a romantic performance space that was comfortable for the guests as well as the musicians. I’m glad there was enough wine and chocolate left over for me to taste—the pairings were delicious.”

David C.

Roster Artist

“The Five Senses Tasting event was sensational, leaving guests feeling overjoyed and vibrant. Kala and her team performed phenomenally, both capturing the essence of the Jo Malone London brand and the spirit of a harmonious balance between the senses.”

Vanessa K.

Jo Malone