HEATHER OTTO General ManagerHeather is a people-oriented mentor, developer and leader. Over the past 20 years she has built various major businesses in the beverage, service, hospitality and entertainment industries. Heather encountered her first management endeavors while in East Carolina during college managing a Sports Bar and Entertainment Complex before moving on to working several years for a billion dollar internationally known Royal Caribbean Cruise line as a Beverage Manager on their large ships, to then developing the training and development for a $ 400 million start up Hard Rock Amusement Park. She later went on to work eight years for Hard Rock Cafe restaurants in Boston and Washington DC, building the business and eventually becoming the General Manager of the DC Cafe. Heather believes that each employee can become part of a great team and views her job as a developer of talent and mentor of managers while giving every employee the opportunity to grow beyond their perceived abilities. Her trademark of building a cross-functional team is what she believes is so important to the long-term success of businesses, and views herself as having a major role as a coach and orchestrator of that talent. Heather is a high energy person who is an active and avid supporter of the various music genres and arts, having attended over 50 Broadway plays, over 150 music festivals and concerts, and keeping up with the various popular musical groups which are a big part of the City Winery success. Heather is a dedicated and passionate leader, excited to be leading the team building almost every component of the first DC City Winery from virtually an abandoned warehouse LOVE night club. Heather enjoys spending time with her family and friends, supporting local charities in the DC community and being an advisor on the National board for Musicians on Call, traveling to major concerts across the US, ship cruising, and visiting foreign countries. She enjoys the food and beverage industry; creating and providing a unique and memorable experience for all guests.
Brandon Ingenito Executive ChefChef Brandon has been bred into culinary preeminence since he was a young boy; he had been fortunate enough of being born into a family of chefs. His father Paul, was a mentor and served an important role into laying the groundwork for the future of his career. Chef Brandon graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY in 2008. His first Position was at the prestigious Ritz Carlton hotel in pentagon city at the Fyve Restaurant Lounge. At the age of 21, Brandon had landed his first Chef De Cuisine position at Kemble Park Tavern in Georgetown, DC. Brandon’s next venture took place at the Central Intelligence Agency’s fine dining room, in which he played an important role in preparing food for foreign dignitaries, ambassadors, politicians and even presidents. He then branched off as an entrepreneur and opened a gourmet food truck, where he served all over the northern Virginia and D.C area. It is where Chef Brandon was recognized by Washingtonian magazine and was rated for top best food trucks in Northern Virginia. Chef Brandon acknowledged the importance and demanding nature of High Volume restaurants, as one of many aspects of the food industry, this is where he joined Great American Restaurants and resided at the Carlyle Grand Café in Arlington, VA. A place where you could truly grow into an outstanding team player and an operations specialist. Next, Brandon took the back roads down to Stafford Virginia where he helmed as executive chef for Potomac Point Winery; A wonderful hidden gem where a chef could truly be creative with some of Virginia’s best wines. Now, with over 10 years of experience, Chef Brandon has now joined our team at City Winery. He will be leading our team with all weddings, receptions and music events to come!
Adam DriciWinemakerAdam is a winemaker hailing from Virginia. After getting a Biology degree from William & Mary, Adam began smooshing grapes and turning it into tasty wine for a number of years, spending most of his career in nearby Maryland at a working farm winery called Rocklands Farm. Adam spent a lot of time digging around in the vineyard and working hard in the cellar there, but the most important part was being able to pet friendly pasture-raised pigs/cows/sheep/chickens whenever possible. While working there Adam took courses from UC Davis that greatly deepened his knowledge of winemaking. Adam has also spent a lot of time honing his craft in Virginia as well as France studying the very diverse winemaking regions and techniques there (and tasting wine of course). An avid lover of all kinds of music, City Winery just made sense to Adam. In his spare time Adam hosts wine-themed charity auctions and dinners raising money for various worthwhile organizations around the world. Adam is looking forward to bringing high quality, minimal intervention, vineyard-focused wines that taste good and smell good to the D.C. area.
Chris Anukwuem Service DirectorChris was born and raised in Houston, TX. He moved to Washington, DC to attend school at Howard University and has stayed ever since. His restaurant experience spans 14 years, starting out as a host then moving on to become a food runner, expo, server, bartender, restaurant supervisor and finally a manager. He is a big R&B fan, but would tell you that he loves all music. He is currently listening to Marian Hill at the moment. As for wine, Chris loves a good Malbec. He has been to Bermuda twice, enjoying the pink sand and clear waters most of all. His favorite food is mac & cheese! Chris played trombone in High School. In college, he was in the marching band percussion section and started a hip-hop dance group as well.
Erin Douglass Venue DirectorErin joined the City Winery family in January 2018 from Hard Rock International. In the nine years + at Hard Rock, Erin had the pleasure of working in six cafes on the East Coast while climbing the professional ladder from Operations Manager, to Kitchen Manager, Retail Manager, and finally Assistant General Manager to the Washington, D.C. location. Erin comes to us with a background in hospitality from Penn State University. She has a keen eye for details and strives to provide the highest level of experience. When not at City Winery, you will find Erin spending time with her husband and 2 Boston Terriers, Mother Remington the Man slaughterer and Sister Matilda Bawling Brooke.
John O'NeillTalent BuyerJohn is one of those weirdo success stories who was able to eventually turn a decent record collection into the lifelong dream of never having to wear grownup clothing to work. His long, circuitous route to talent buyer has included stops as a radio host (WCUW) as well as music columnist for a variety of now all-but-extinct alternative weeklies, including the San Francisco Bay Guardian, SF Weekly, Phoenix Media Group and Houston Press. Those thunderbolts of judgement could also be occasionally heard on WTAG and KQED. Booking-wise he helped launch San Francisco's now venerable punk dive Thee Parkside (also co-founding the annual BudgetRock Festival) as well as stints at Austin’s legendary Antone’s and acting as National Buyer for Hill Country Barbecue’s New York and DC stages. In his spare time John enjoys napping, hollow carbs, eBaying and cheering for the perpetually doomed Southern Maryland Blue Crabs of the thread-worn Atlantic League.
Ann Marie Collins Marketing ManagerAnn Marie was born in Morgantown, WV and raised in the small town of Culpeper, VA with her three brothers in the same crazy, loud house her entire life. She was the only girl and the first sibling with any musical interest. Ann Marie took after her grandmother who played piano and organ at their local church where she grew up singing in the choir. She picked up some basic piano skills and then the flute in 4th grade. Ann Marie was accepted into the JMU Flute Studio in 2007 and studied under Dr. Beth Chandler Cahill for four years. During her time there, Ann Marie toured and performed with the JMU Marching Royal Dukes and various ensembles such as the JMU Wind Symphony, Chamber Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra, Flute Choir and Concert Band. In 2008, she performed in the Macy's Day Parade with the massive JMU marching band, which had 500+ members at the time. She fell into a music marketing career during graduate school at George Mason University, through an internship with the DC Chapter of The Recording Academy (The GRAMMY foundation). After graduation, she worked her way up to Marketing and Box Office Manager at a local music venue until 2015, then moved to Charlotte, NC where she became the Sales and Marketing Manager for a local restaurant and event space. She returned to DC in 2017, and has paved her own way in a unique journey that led to a current position as Marketing Manager at City Winery. Ann Marie is an avid flute teacher and has a passion for growing the live music scene in Washington DC through live music promotion, accessibility of music venues, and talent development.
Kristi Littman DesignerKristi is a Virginia-born and raised graphic designer. Throughout her career, she has had the opportunity to work with clients from a wide variety of industries including business and professional clients, as well as restaurant groups, wineries, and film producers - which is where her love for the Food & Beverage industry began.
Kristi graduated from Radford University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design and a minor in Marketing. Prior to joining us, Kristi worked as a freelancer specializing in design work for restaurants in Northern Virginia. She also worked as the senior graphic designer for award-winning marketing firm 37 Media & Marketing Group. At 37MMG she specialized in branding, logo development, print design, digital design, the creation of visual identities, and upholding brand standards for multiple clients.
When Kristi isn't working, you can find her adventuring with her dog Thor, travelling, practicing yoga, or running around snapping photos of a new city.
Jesse Free Production ManagerJesse was born and raised just outside of DC in Fairfax, VA and attended Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA where he received a BFA in Technical Theater with a focus in Audio and Lighting in 2013. Out of college, he worked as a Lead Technician at Artisphere in Arlington, VA while also freelancing around the area in multiple venues including Shakespeare Theatre Co, Hill Country DC, Signature Theatre, Jaxx Nightclub, and others. Most recently, Jesse was the Technical Director and Touring Engineer for the original, world famous Harlem Globetrotters, traveling the globe and bringing his skills to some of the biggest (and smallest!) venues and basketball courts across the planet. After 3 years of touring, Jesse has returned home to pursue his true passion, live concerts, at the new City Winery DC location. Some of his favorite things to listen to are Audiotree and Daytrotter live sessions, watching and listening to new and well-known artists performing in intimate studio settings. When not at work, Jesse enjoys relaxing and occasionally playing drums or bass with friends. He enjoys working with such a close and skilled team at City Winery, and can't wait to have you join us for a wonderful evening you won't forget.
Terri BlackBusiness ManagerTerri joins City Winery with over 20 years of business management in offices worldwide, including Guatemala, Saudi Arabia and Cypress. Her vast travel and professional experience have given her a keen and comprehensive understanding of how to help keep small to large scale businesses operating at their highest potential. When not at works, Terri stays busy attending live concerts and spending time with her friends and family.
Jared Godes Box Office ManagerRaised in Southern California, Jared found his niche in wine, food & events when he moved to the central coast to attend Cal Poly San Luis Obispo; interning at J. Lohr, health foods companies, and spearheading events on the central coast at various restaurants. Post-graduation, Jared moved to Los Angeles to pursue sales and later had the opportunity to join City Winery Nashville in the marketing and winemaking team, where he could continue to cultivate his passion. Now, Jared joins the DC team as Box Office Manager.
Outside of the office, Jared enjoys time with his dog, hitting the gym, and spending too much money on wine and food.
Samantha MillerBeverage DirectorSamantha was born and raised in Purcellville, VA, a well-known and recognized Virginia wine region. She attended college at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA. Shortly after graduating and realizing "cubicle" life was not for her, she found her calling geared towards the food and beverage industry (and naturally focused around wine and the winemaking process). With extensive experience working farmlands, Sam developed a hands-on, get your hands dirty mentality that gives her an organic and well founded understanding of winemaking from the ground up. After spending a year managing a winery, Sam took the next step in her career by attending the International Culinary Center in New York City and becoming a certified sommelier. From there she accepted a job at City Winery NYC and the rest is history!
Outside of City Winery you can find Sam enjoying her favorites; Dornfelder wine, listening to bluegrass music and hiking/camping with her dog, Howie!
Brittany AgroPrivate Events DirectorOriginally from Western New York (Go Bills!), Brittany brings her background in communications along with a strong understanding of events, catering, marketing and sales to the DC City Winery team. She received her Bachelor's in Science degree from the University of Florida and went on to obtain her Master's thereafter from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Upon graduating, Brittany returned to Florida to help oversee operations at her father's proprietary school business. In 2012, she founded a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that brings joy through re-purposed flowers to children, the elderly and those living with disabilities. Her efforts with the organization resulted in unique partnerships with resorts, hotels and wedding planners. Not only did she gain valuable business development and fundraising experience, but also learned the importance of corporate social responsibility. When she's not planning parties or attending them, Brittany enjoys being in good company with fine wine and some country music.
Daniel Martchek Assistant Concert ManagerDaniel was born and raised in the Cleveland suburb of Hudson, Ohio. After playing piano, trumpet, and violin in his youth, he truly committed to a life-long relationship with music when he picked up a guitar at the age of 10. His mid-life crisis, to date, came at 15 when his family moved to Virginia and he took up intensive record keeping of his favorite bands’ past touring schedules. This experience sparked a deep interest in music venue operation and promotion that has since guided his career path. Daniel graduated from The College of William & Mary with a B.A. in music and marketing, having studied classical and jazz guitar, audio engineering, composition, and digital marketing strategy along the way. In May of 2018, he moved to Washington D.C. to pursue a career in the industry. Daniel initially joined the City Winery team as a marketing intern before joining the team as an Assistant Concert Manager. When he isn’t on the job, Daniel is attending concerts, watching tennis (also looking for a hitting partner!), and/or enjoying a good craft beer.
Justin HarrisonDirector of Business Development and Local OutreachJustin combines entrepreneurial experiences and a passion for the culinary arts that brings innovative approaches to educate and deliver unique customer experiences. A certified Sommelier, Justin founded a wine e-commerce company and the VinoFest Wine and Music festival, and also holds an MBA from Babson College.
Justine O'Connor Event ManagerJustine was born was born in Staten Island, New York and raised in nearby Parlin, New Jersey. She found a love of food, wine, and hospitality working in and out of different restaurants and service institutions. After moving to Washington DC, she soon became involved in event planning and coordinating within the industry. Justine enjoys going out to dinner with friends and trying the latest and greatest new restaurants in the area. Her favorite type of cuisine is Spanish tapas after traveling around the coast of Spain post high school. She hopes her next adventure will soon be exploring the wine regions of Bordeaux.
Chloe PannellAssistant Concert ManagerBorn and raised in the land of pleasant living, Baltimore, MD, Chloe joined the City Winery family in October of 2018 after spending a few years freelancing for numerous promoters, festival & event companies. Before making the transition to freelancing, Chloe held a variety of positions at venues all across the DMV. Her start in the music industry came when she landed a Venue Operations Internship with Live Nation at Warner Theatre in Washington, D.C in fall of 2014. However, about a month into the program, she clearly found where she was meant to be as she was offered a full time position as Production Assistant for the theatre. From there she moved on to Warner’s sister venue, The Fillmore in Silver Spring, MD where she likes to give credit to most of her learning experience. Since departing from The Fillmore in December of 2016, Chloe has toured, managed bands, ridden the festival circuit holding a variety of positions, as well as continues to fill in at other venues in her hometown of Baltimore through the relationships she fostered throughout her years of working in the local music scene. Chloe is excited to have joined the City Winery family and looks forward to using her experience and skill to bring in and foster new content to a flourishing venue & event space.