Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Michael Dorf was born and raised in Milwaukee, WI. He graduated in 1984 from Washington University in St. Louis with a double major in Psychology and Business. With a strong love for music, in 1986, at the age of 23, Dorf founded New York City’s go-to venue for independent music, the Knitting Factory. From its inception to 2002, as Chairman and CEO, Dorf helped foster the concert house into prominence and expanded the brand into Europe and Asia through the production and sale of records, as well as the creation of branded festivals and tours.
Dorf was recognized as a pioneer in producing music on the Internet, through a variety of strategic relationships with Apple Computer, Intel, MCI and Bell Atlantic. During his tenure at the Knitting Factory, he produced over 200 recordings with Knitting Factory Records, a television series, and eventually expanded and built the Knitting Factory in Los Angeles. In 2002, he left his operating responsibilities, sold his equity position and resigned from the Knitting Factory Board to pursue other endeavors. By 2008, Dorf had conceptualized a venue that brought his love for both the making and enjoyment of wine under one roof and created City Winery – Manhattan’s first fully-functional winery, restaurant, music venue and private event space. City Winery offers a wide selection of wines (on-tap, by the bottle or barrel), exquisite cuisine and performances from iconic performers (including David Crosby and Patti Smith to name a few) – making it one of the ultimate nightlife experiences available in New York. Dorf expanded his company in 2012 with the opening of City Winery Chicago. The location has attracted world-renowned performers to its stage, including legendary singer Prince, for intimate shows unlike any other. 2014 saw two new locations; in wine mecca Napa Valley at the historic Napa Valley Opera House and country music capitol Nashville.
City Winery will continue to grow with plans for one or more locations to open annually. Dorf has become one of the most prolific independent promoters in New York and important music impresarios and according the The New Yorker. He has perfected the art of the Tribute concert. This year the series will honor David Byrne and Talking Heads at Carnegie Hall. The money raised this year should push the total for the 11 years of tribute concerts to over $1 million. Proceeds will go to benefit music education programs such as the American Symphony Orchestra's Music Notes, Church Street School for Music and Art, Young Audiences New York, Fixing Instruments for Kids in Schools, Little Kids Rock and the Center for Arts Education. Dorf has very a very strong tie to the Jewish Community. He created Tribeca Hebrew, an after-school program in Lower Manhattan. He served as the founding Chairman of Tribeca Hebrew and developed the school to 150 children before it merged with JCP in 2009. He is additionally on the board of Jewish Week, American Symphony Orchestra and is currently Chairman of LabShul/Storahtelling.
For more about Michael Dorf please visit www.michaeldorf.com.
Chief Growth Officer
Jack Laschever was born and raised in Princeton, New Jersey and grew up body surfing on the Jersey Shore, honed his restaurant skills as a waiter at T.G.I.Fridays, and pursued his love of music as a DJ at the Playpen Discotheque near the Wildwood boardwalk. After graduating from Harvard with a degree in political science, he spent most of his career in media management including roles as publisher of GQ and Departures, and as chief marketing officer of Forbes. A mid-career shift led to indulging his passion for wine in a position at a boutique private equity firm investing in hotels and vineyard real estate in Argentina and an early investment in City Winery. As Chief Growth Officer, Laschever works with the team to access new sources of capital, new locations, brand extensions, and strategic partnerships to drive profitable expansion. Laschever lives in Rye, New York, with his wife Sonali, kids Ben and Tara, and the real master of the house, King Louie the Cavapoo.
President of Venues
National Director of Operations