CEO and Founder
CEO and Founder
Marisa first started dreaming about becoming a winemaker in the fifth grade. Since then it’s become an even more passionate pursuit for her. In 2015, she earned a degree at in Enology and Viticulture at Cornell.
An internship at E&J Gallo led to full-time employment for Marisa at their corporate headquarters in California as a new product development enologist. While it was difficult for her to leave such a highly sought-after position with the dominant player in the U.S. wine industry, Marisa could no longer resist the lure of starting her own wine label.
Marisa relocated back to Ohio and launched RedHead Brands in 2016. In addition to developing company strategy and direction, Marisa is responsible for product quality and new product development. She is the face of the company and brand ambassador.
A passionate person, Marisa loves food, family and friends and is on a mission to ensure that more people discover the joy that wine can bring. In addition to her daily workout, she also loves connecting with her customers, her RHDWine vanity tag and the challenge of building a great company whose products make people smile.
Matthew Kurtas is a dynamic speaker, enthusiastic leader, and merited mind in the hospitality industry. As 1 of 5 kids, he knows the importance of sharing (even when you don’t want to) and team-building to create harmony among diverse groups and strong egos. In his speaking engagements, he enjoys discussing employee engagement for millennials and wine programming in private clubs.
He has traveled the world to dance with over 1,000 strangers, walked on 800 degree fiery hot coals, jumped out of a moving plane for fun, spent a summer working on Wall Street, and even climbed a few mountains in his short time on this earth. As a Certified Sommelier (that’s a wine expert) and an author for the International Wine Society publication The Grapevine, he has also consulted to two wineries in the Finger Lakes for service-staff training and marketing strategy.
He is currently the Food and Beverage Director at the Loxahatchee Club of Jupiter, Florida, and to top things off, Matthew celebrates the 6 year anniversary of good health and recovery from brain surgery and a stroke!
Sales and Marketing Expert
Sales and Marketing Expert
John is a full-time Lecturer and member of the Marketing Department at the Williamson College of Business at Youngstown State University. In addition, he is the Director of “The Professional Sales Center” in the College of Business. He teaches Professional Selling - Relationship Selling through Service, with an emphasis in developing marketing relationships, understanding buyer motivation and behavior, and building a selling strategy and sales management techniques. John was instrumental in developing the Sales/Sales Management track which includes courses in Sales and Account Management, Negotiations, and Organizational Purchasing and Sourcing. He is currently working on three new course offerings - Entrepreneurial Selling, Sports Marketing: Marketing of and through Sports, and Social CRM - Customer Relation Management.
William Santangelo is our VP of Sales. He has been on the forefront of making RedHead Wine available in over 500+ stores and counting. William brings over 20 years of sales and management experience to our growing team. He started out working at grocery stores in produce in his teens and early twenties and later worked his way to managing a team of 30 sales represenetatives at Gia Russia Italian Foods. Want to carry RedHead in your store? Reach out today at firstname.lastname@example.org
Jim Cossler is the Huntington Bank Entrepreneur in Residence for the Youngstown Business Incubator.
From his position as Senior Vice President for Corporate Services of the Regional Chamber of Commerce, Jim joined the organization in 1998 as its CEO, when YBI was positioned as a traditional “mixed use” incubator, and became the primary architect of its transformation into the internationally known incubator, accelerator and managed technology cluster that YBI is today. In 2014, YBI was named as the #1 University Affiliated Incubator in the World by the global bench marking firm UBI, based in Stockholm, Sweden.
In June 2017, Jim stepped down from his CEO to devote his full time to mentoring and coaching YBI Portfolio Companies as the Huntington Bank Entrepreneur in Residence.
Jim is passionate about instilling the entrepreneurial spirit in our next generation of young people as well. To that end, he is actively involved in working with students in their business schools and entrepreneurship programs at universities and colleges throughout the Cleveland to Pittsburgh region.
Ruth and Frank Sergi are the current owners and operators of L'uva Bella Winery. Ruth and Frank are the parents of Marisa and have helped guide and provide Marisa in her growing business. Ruth has a background in Ceramic Engineering & Mathematics from Alfred University. Frank started L'uva Bella Winery in 2005 and produces fine California wines and juices for all to enjoy. Frank shares his love of winemaking with the home winemaker by providing grape juices to 14 states in the US. Visit www.luvabella.com for more information.