Ian was born and raised in New York City, one of the world’s most vibrant and dynamic cities. He attended Duke University, graduating with a BA in History, focusing primarily on modern China and Mandarin Chinese. After an initial sojourn in China for one year in 1990, Ian moved permanently to China in 1995 to take up a career in the wine and spirits business with Seagram, based in Beijing. In 1999 Ian co-founded Summergate, an importer and distributor, focusing on wine, with the goal in mind of leading the Chinese market in imported wines and more in the future.
Now also the marketer and sole distributor of the leading imported sparkling mineral water in China, Summergate, for many in the industry, is the leading company by reputation, quality, knowledge, and professionalism. Ian has traveled to and studied wine in virtually every fine winemaking region worldwide, and for fifteen years has been working closely with leading winemakers, developing their brands in China. Ian has been proudly leading a Riesling Revolution in China in collaboration with the great Riesling producers in Summergate's portfolio.