Joe GuerraGeneral ManagerJoe Guerra brings 15 years of experience, including 10 years as a staffing consultant, to City Winery Nashville as the service director, where his responsibilities include directing and overseeing the venue’s customer service policies and initiatives and managing employee-customer interactions. The Chicago native grew up with a passion for cooking before attending Arizona State University, where he earned a degree in Business Administration. Guerra is excited to join the City Winery Nashville team and work in an environment surrounded by people who also enjoy great food, music and wine. Guerra lives in Franklin, Tenn., with his wife, Jennifer, and their two children. When he’s not at City Winery, Guerra enjoys golfing and traveling. Email: joe(at)citywinery.com
Donald CountsExecutive ChefA native of Tupelo, Miss., Donald Counts’ love for food started as a toddler when he would observe his grandmother as she prepared meals for the family. Growing up, Counts recalls never going out to eat, instead, every meal was prepared at home from scratch, and to this day, he credits his upbringing as having provided him with the drive and passion to continue cooking over the past 17 years.
Prior to accepting a position with City Winery Nashville, Counts spent years gaining experience as an executive chef for restaurants, including Homestead Manner, Puckett’s Boathouse, Gray’s on Main and Steamer’s Seafood in Hilton Head, SC. In 2017, Counts was recognized by the Greater Nashville Hospitality Association with the Chef of the Year award.
In addition to earning a degree in hospitality management from Western Kentucky University, Counts also holds a degree in accounting from the University of Mississippi, which has allowed him to understand the financial aspects associated with working in the restaurant industry.
Counts currently resides in East Nashville with his wife, Kayla and their fur baby, Emma Sue. When he’s not working, Counts spends his time working in the yard or out on the lake. Soon
Mike Simon Program DirectorMike is extremely excited to join the City Winery Nashville team after spending the past 2 years working with City Winery Chicago as the Concierge & Box Office lead. Originally from Cincinnati, Mike graduated from Indiana University in 2006 with a BA in Public Policy and Business Management. In his spare time, Mike has spent the past 8+ years volunteering with HeadCount.org as a Regional Coordinator, a non-partisan organization that uses the power of music to register voters and promote participation in democracy. Mike is an avid live music fan, and when not attending concerts and festivals he enjoys playing the guitar & fiddle, & hacking up local golf courses with his mediocre at best golf game.
Caroline Acree Marketing DirectorSince her time as a communications student at Belmont University, Caroline has made her mark on the local community and invested herself in Nashville’s arts & culture scene, most notably through her Nashville Scene award-winning blog Caroline Margaret Studio. While fashion has remained a hobby, Caroline now focuses her creative attention toward marketing, spending five years as the Marketing & Operations Director for American Songwriter before becoming the Marketing Director at City Winery. Caroline is wholeheartedly devoted to the Nashville community and enjoys using her passion for forward-thinking, creative content to show off the culinary and entertainment opportunities available at City Winery. Caroline currently resides in Berry Hill with her adorable dog, Bonny, and spends her time traveling, trying new restaurants and artistic pursuits such as photography, interior design and styling her local-boutique finds.
Bill Anton WinemakerBill Anton is a retired Thoroughbred Jockey, with a career spanning from 1981-1996. There, through the many contacts in the Industry, Bill became exposed to some incredible food and wine. The wine that did it for Bill was a 1979 Chateau Latour.
Anyone who really knows Bill, knows his love for the old world wines! After retiring, Bill decided to attend a Culinary school in Florida to follow his 2nd passion, food! During the program he took a food and wine pairing course. Out of curiosity, he applied to work a harvest at Castello Di Borghese in Cutchogue, NY in 2002. After the harvest, Bill was offered a full time position. In 2005, Bill was offered the cellar master position by fellow LI winemaker Mark Friszolowski at Childress Vineyards in Lexington, NC. In 2009, after reading an article about City Winery, the concept of making wine in an urban setting sounded interesting. After applying a few times, a position finally opened working with David Lecomte. Back to his home state he went! Holding the position of Assistant Winemaker at City Winery New York since 2009, then the same at City Winery Chicago to assist Robert Kowal, from 2013. Bill is thrilled that his hard work has paid off and that he is now the production winemaker of City Winery Nashville in 2015. Now, he can live in a city where the music never stops!
Ryan Walters Private Events DirectorRyan Walters’ passion for food and cooking led her all over the country and it almost led her to culinary school, but in a stroke of luck for City Winery, a heart for service and problem solving kept her in event planning and management.
With more than a decade of experience in hospitality, including work with ARAMARK in Columbus, Ohio, and Homestead Manor in Thompson’s Station, Tenn., Ryan’s expertise in the field and wide range of skillsets—from catering to lodging to restaurant work—set her apart.
In her spare time, Ryan enjoys cooking for her two sons, Cooper and Hunter, and spending time with good friends and good wine. When she’s not juggling events, she’s juggling time spent with her family (including two cats, Ted & Jackson) and practicing yoga.
Alexandra Cole Private Events ManagerAlexandra (Alex) Cole’s passion for the hospitality industry has led to her 10+ years of varied experience in hotels, country clubs, conference centers and most recently, restaurants. In the last two years, she has acted as a server, lead event captain and now event coordinator at City Winery Nashville. Alex studied hotel and restaurant management at Auburn University. While at Auburn, had the opportunity to sit for the Court of Master Sommeliers Intro exam and received her Level One certification. Alex’s interest—and expertise—in wine and food is one of the many assets she brings to her position at City Winery. Alex and her dog, Kiva, can be found hiking and camping all across Nashville. She also loves to take road trips to local shows and music festivals, but hates to leave behind both Kiva and her chickens.
William Dougherty Box Office ManagerWilliam (Bill) comes to City Winery from Warner Music Group’s WEA team as Senior Account Manager in New York City. There he led marketing and ticketing campaigns for some of the labels biggest acts. A Florida Native and graduate of the University of Florida (Go Gators), Bill has always had a passion for music. It was that passion that led him to ditch the standard path of entry-level cubicle life for one on the road as Production Manager and Tour Manager. After 3 years of endless touring, Bill accepted a position in NYC with Artist Arena, a marketing and ticketing start up later purchased by Warner Music Group. After 5 years in NYC, Nashville would become home. With an extensive background in hospitality, years on the road in working in live music & ticketing expertise with a major label, City Winery became the perfect fit for this mediocre jack-of-all-trades. When Bill isn’t at City Winery, he is supporting Manchester City or finding the best dog friendly patios in Nashville.
Lauren Brumley Business ManagerLauren has had a passion for music since she can remember. She grew up in a musical household, started writing songs at age 14 and became fascinated by the music business. Diving into internships at Southern Ground Records and Rival Entertainment, Lauren was eager to learn every aspect of the industry she possibly could. After graduating from Kennesaw State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications and Media Studies, Lauren moved to Nashville with the hopes of getting involved in the city’s rich music scene. Lauren was drawn to City Winery’s unique music/wine/food experience and jumped on board opening the Nashville location as a host. She quickly moved on to the concierge staff and has now joined the management team as the Office Manager.
Ryan Johns Wine Sales DirectorRyan comes to City Winery with a background in the fashion industry. Originally from Columbia, SC, Ryan attended Middle Tennessee University for music business graduating in 2011. With the excitement of hearing about the opening of City Winery in Nashville, Ryan's passions for music, food, and wine made City Winery a natural fit.
Benjamin Stager Production Manager/ Sound EngineerBenjamin (Ben) Stager’s lifelong love for music drew him to Nashville; specifically, Belmont University where he earned his bachelor’s degree in audio engineering. After college, Stager held multiple positions in sound production before landing at City Winery Nashville as the production manager and audio engineer. The versatility of City Winery’s concert setups and audio culture provides Stager with new and unique experiences each night. A member of the Audio Engineering Society, Stager thrives in the world of sound and plays drums or works in the studio building audio electronics when he’s not managing shows at City Winery. Stager currently lives in Madison with his two beautiful dogs, Eddie and Steve.
Liza Saturday Concert Manager & Junior Talent BuyerLiza oversees artist hospitality, artist relations, and the general execution of shows at City Winery Nashville. As someone who likes to get things done, she enjoys working face-to-face with our artists and their teams on a daily basis, making her an invaluable asset to City Winery Nashville. With the well rounded experience she has accrued over the past ten years, including booking acts, slinging merchandise, running festival hospitality, and social media marketing, she is well equipped for anything. She works closely with Talent Buyer Mike Simon, processing contracts and other administrative duties. Through her professionalism and overall respect for musicians and their teams, Liza truly aspires to create the best experience for the artists and their fans at City Winery Nashville making it the preferred venue of many artists and industry personnel.
Catie Long Service ManagerComing Soon
Amy Bruns Graphic DesignerAmy Bruns is an Ohio native with a lifelong passion for creativity. Her organic approach to graphic design is evident in all of her projects across her 11-year career in the design world. She attributes this approach to her understanding of the unity of fine arts and graphic design—something she learned while in college.
Bruns attended Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design in Denver, Colo., and graduated with a degree in illustration. From creating album artwork for bands in college, to making a name for herself in the design world, Bruns’ love for graphic design has not ceased. With past positions including Senior Designer at Legends Hill and Studio Manager/Graphic Designer at Andrew Clark Photography, Bruns brings years of experience and a new creative energy to her role as Graphic Designer for City Winery Nashville.
When she’s not working, Bruns enjoys hosting fire pits with her husband, oil painting and hanging with her beloved cat, River.
Michelle Foletta Assistant Wine MakerA California native, Michelle Foletta was born with a spirited passion for the history, art and skill of winemaking. She brings four years of experience in the industry to City Winery Nashville as the assistant winemaker.
After tasting her way through major wine regions around the world, Foletta studied wine with the Guild of Sommeliers and started her career in winery tasting rooms across California. She worked at Paso Robles AVA near the St. Lucia mountain range and then managed the wine club and commercial sales at Tanner Vineyards, a boutique winery in the Sierra Foothills. While Foletta loved working in the tasting room, her joy has always been in winemaking. In October of 2017, Foletta jumped at the chance to move to Nashville and join the City Winery winemaking team.
Foletta lives in East Nashville where she loves to play guitar and cook. Wine is a part of her home life as well and she loves pairing a beautiful bottle of wine with something delicious and unhealthy. Additionally, Foletta teaches with the Roxy Regional Theatre in Clarksville, where she remains active with her first passion—theatre.