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
Chris AllenExecutive ChefIllinois-native Christopher Allen developed a passion for cooking at an early age, as he was always fascinated watching his parents prepare meals. When his parents opened a restaurant in 2004, Chris immediately began working alongside them. Years later, Chris enrolled at John Wood Community College in Quincy, Illinois, where he took his love for culinary arts one step further by studying Professional Cooking. Throughout his 15-year career, Chris has lent his talents to a variety of well-known restaurants across the U.S. and Music City, including Palm Nashville. In addition to his current role as Executive Chef of City Winery Nashville, Chris creates and bottles his own line of BBQ seasonings, rubs, sauces and marinades, and has also served as a member of the Kansas City BBQ Society (KCBS). Chris currently resides in Nashville with his wife, Tara, and their 4-year-old spoiled fur baby named Bailey. When he’s not working, Chris enjoys hiking, kayaking, cooking at home and having a relaxing movie night with his family.
Mike Simon Talent BuyerMike graduated from Indiana University Bloomington in 2006, after which time he spent a few years working in his hometown of Cincinnati. Mike then moved to Chicago, where he would end up joining the City Winery Chicago team when CW's second location was opened in 2012. Mike then moved to Nashville in 2014 for the opening of City Winery's 'Music City' location. Mike started working with the CW Box Office team, was later promoted to Venue Director in Nashville, and was then promoted to the Talent Buyer role in 2017 which was always his long-term goal within the City Winery organization. In his spare time, Mike has spent the good part of a decade in various leadership roles for HeadCount.org, a non-partisan organization that uses the power of music to register voters and promote participation in democracy. Go Vote! Mike is an avid live music fan, and when not at shows and festivals he enjoys playing the guitar & fiddle, and spending time outdoors hiking, kayaking, camping & golfing.
Caroline Acree Marketing DirectorCaroline has made her mark on the Nashville community, investing her time in the local scene through arts, food & beverage, music, fashion, media & culture. Focusing her creative attention towards marketing, Caroline spent five years as the Marketing & Operations Director for American Songwriter before becoming the Marketing Director at City Winery. Most notably through her extracurricular work with Nashville Fashion Alliance, Nashville Fashion Week, and her previously-operated Nashville Scene award-winning blog, Caroline is wholeheartedly devoted to the local community and enjoys using her passion for forward-thinking. Caroline enjoys creating content to show off the culinary & entertainment opportunities available at City Winery, as well as furthering the philanthropic efforts of the multi-cultural brand. Outside of work, Caroline spends her free time traveling, trying new restaurants, and relaxing with her family (and family puppies!).
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.
Robert Kowal WinemakerThroughout his professional career, Robert Kowal has always relied on passion rather than convention. His interest in wine was sparked while working as a writer and producer for the PBS cooking series, Hawaii Cooks with Roy Yamaguchi. During that time, Kowal met Master Sommelier Chuck Furuya, and it wasn’t long before he found himself relocating from Hawaii to Portland to volunteer for harvest with the small but renowned family winery, Bethel Heights. Over the course of five years, Kowal worked his way up to assistant winemaker and in 2001 established his own label, Frameworks Wine, which specialized in small lots of Willamette Valley Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Kowal joined City Winery’s New York team in 2008 as assistant winemaker under David Lecomte. Since then, he has held myriad positions within the company, including Northwest vineyard liaison and winemaker at City Winery Chicago. Today, Kowal brings his passion for wine, his love of the vineyard and his sardonic wit to City Winery Nashville as winemaker.
Evan Danielson Beverage DirectorEvan Danielson’s involvement in the beverage industry developed over the course of several years while working for a coffee company in his hometown of Dayton, Ohio. From there, Danielson began experimenting with classic, mixology-style bartending, which eventually led to an interest in wine. Today, Danielson has over 10 years of behind-the-bar experience and has become a Certified Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers, as well as a Certified Cicerone with the Cicerone Certification Program. In addition to actively pursuing upper levels of sommelier and cicerone studies, Danielson also enjoys running, as well as composing and arranging music.
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.
Allison Noah Concert ManagerAllison Noah, a Virginia native, has always had a passion for music and from an early age, Allison knew she wanted to make her love for music into a career. Allison graduated from Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester, Virginia where she studied Music Production and Recording Technology. She then went on to pursue a master’s degree in Performing Arts Leadership and Management. Through audio engineering, Allison found the career she was looking for: arts management. Since joining the City Winery team, Allison first assumed the role as a cellar assistant where she assisted the wine-maker with day to day operations. She has also worked as an audio engineer and social media director for Sono Luminus Studios. Allison is a two-time Grammy nominee as a recording technician on the album Seven Words From The Cross by Skylark Vocal Ensemble and spends most of her free time pursuing her passion for music. She is a part-time artist manager with Rock Ridge music and supports up and coming artists by going to live events.
Rayna Woodman Service ManagerRayna Woodman—an Illinois native—fell in love with the service industry while working the overnight bar shift at an acclaimed diner in Denver, Colo. Since then, her passion for the industry’s ever-changing atmosphere has only grown, and she’s looking forward to bringing that excitement to her new role as service manager at City Winery Nashville. Since moving to Music City in 2018, Woodman has applied her eight years of industry experience to a myriad of positions at City Winery, including but not limited to, server, bartender, food runner and pastry assistant. Woodman currently resides in Hermitage, Tenn., where she enjoys baking, crocheting and volunteering at her dad’s animal rescue, Loving Journey Sanctuary, in Waverly, Tenn.
Caitlyn Etheridge Floor ManagerCaitlyn Etheridge—a native of Music City—is no stranger to Nashville’s growing hospitality industry. Prior to joining the City Winery team, Etheridge spent four-and-a-half years at Puckett’s Grocery & Restaurant, where she gained a myriad of experience in roles including hostess, server and bartender. Since arriving at City Winery, Etheridge has not only worked her way up to service manager but has also pursued her level one sommelier certification. When she’s not working, Etheridge loves to hike, kayak and travel.
Francesca Mijango Floor ManagerCalifornia native Francesca Mijango graduated from The University of Massachusetts Lowell where she studied business entrepreneurship. Following a position as Maître D’ at City Winery’s Boston location, Mijango made the move to Music City where she is now acting service manager. Mijango’s passion for the service industry began while working at a bakery more than 12 years ago. Since then, she’s become an expert at navigating the fast-paced environment associated with a career in hospitality. In her free time, Mijango enjoys spending time with her loveable cat Bergs, attending concerts and exploring all the amazing restaurants that Nashville has to offer.
Stephanie Helfenbein Floor ManagerWhile working for 12 years in a myriad of positions in the hospitality industry, Stephanie Helfenbein’s jobs turned into a lifelong passion. A Chicago-native, Stephanie graduated from The University of Missouri with a degree in Film Studies. Developing a deep appreciation for the arts, Stephanie’s passions now collide as she starts her new role as Floor Manager for City Winery Nashville. Prior to working at City Winery Nashville, Stephanie held various positions at local Nashville bars and restaurants including Server and Bartender at Fleet Street Pub, Bar Manager, Bartender and Assistant General Manager at Americano, and Bartender and Server at Red Door Saloon. Recently, Stephanie has also become a certified beer server through the cicerone program. She also achieved the introductory level through the sommelier program and is currently pursuing the level two certified. Stephanie currently resides in the Midtown neighborhood with her cat, Gary. When she’s not working and perusing her sommelier certification, she enjoys knitting and getting together with friends.
Mickey McConnell Floor Manager
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.
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.
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.
Tianna Connelly Junior Events ManagerTianna Connelly—a Kentucky native—fell in love with weddings two years ago and has been working in the special events field ever since. After earning a degree in Hospitality Management and Tourism from the University of Kentucky, Tianna immersed herself in the hospitality industry at Evan’s Orchard Event Barn and Nashville’s historic Riverwood Mansion. When she’s not helping plan her clients’ dream weddings, Tianna enjoys curling up with a book—thriller novels to be exact, exploring the food scene in Nashville and traveling abroad.