Minda Harrell, General ManagerMinda Harrell’s 25 years of experience in the service and hospitality industry began in high school and has grown to include roles in Louisiana, New Mexico and now Nashville. Her financial and operational experiences have more than prepared her to move into general management for City Winery Nashville. As the daughter of a Navy captain, Harrell had the opportunity to live in various places around the country including her birthplace, the Philippines. She’s excited to apply her experience to her new hometown and career at City Winery Nashville. Harrell and her husband met in the field more than 20 years ago in Baton Rouge. They now have two children and are thrilled to be in Nashville. They plan to take a lot of weekend trips to explore all that Tennessee has to offer.
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!
Garrett PIttler, Executive ChefGarrett Pittler’s love for cooking began as a child, spending time in his mother’s Buffalo, NY kitchen cooking alongside his Greek grandmother. While other children were watching Mr. Rogers, he was infatuated by Martin Yan and Justin Wilson’s cooking shows. At the age of eighteen, knowing his calling was to become a professional chef, Garrett left home to pursue a degree at Baltimore International College of Culinary Arts. In 1999, Garrett graduated and started his career with McCormick & Schmick's Seafood under Executive Chef Jerome Dorsch. Chef Dorsch mentored Garrett, helping him to build a strong culinary arts foundation as well as assisting him in perfecting his cooking skills.
In 2001, Garrett became kitchen supervisor and opening trainer for Hard Rock Café. He was instrumental in opening restaurants in Queenstown, Rio de Janeiro, Melbourne, Grand Cayman Islands, Osaka, Dublin and Moscow, applying his craft while learning about the local culture and food heritage. After travelling all six continents, Garrett returned home to Nashville and became Sous Chef at Romano’s Macaroni Grill. There he focused on simple Italian cooking and learned how to run a fast paced kitchen line in a high volume restaurant. In 2004, Garrett joined Loews Vanderbilt Hotel. He was promoted to Restaurant Chef of “eat”, the primary restaurant of the hotel. He strongly believes in sourcing local ingredients to express his “New Southern food experience” using classical dishes as inspiration. In 2013, after seven years with Loews Hotels, Garrett left to pursue his next venture as Executive Chef of Chelsea Bistro in Whites Creek, TN. Chelsea Bistro is a traditional French bistro, specializing in casual French fare. Garrett grows about 75% of the produce used at the bistro in the garden on the property. Sourcing local meats, produce, composting all vegetables and plant material, Garrett works toward his idea of a sustainable restaurant. In his time away from the restaurant, Garrett routinely assists several Nashville charity organizations like Ronald McDonald House, Our Kids, and the March of Dimes. Cheers!
Kayleann McKinney, Pastry ChefKayleann McKinney knew she wanted to be a baker when she was three years old after watching her grandmother bake. She told her mother that she was going to be a baker; make people sweets and make people happy.
Earning her degree in baking & pastry from the Art Institute of Tennessee, McKinney has spent six years in the hospitality industry—as a pastry cook with Omni Hotels & Resorts and now a pastry chef at City Winery—working toward achieving what inspired her as a child: her grandmother’s ability to “make magic out of a few ingredients.”
When out of the kitchen, McKinney spends her time camping, hiking, gardening, reading and drawing with her three dogs, Dixie, Coon and Ace, and cat Oreo.
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.
Alexandra Cole, Private Event CoordinatorAlexandra (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.
Liz Hughes, Private Event DirectorLiz Hughes has been with City Winery Nashville since the beginning. Before joining the Nashville outpost’s opening team in 2014, she worked in the Music City fine dining industry for 11 years, including serving at Eastland Café and managing private dining and catering at F. Scott’s and Table 3 Restaurant and Market. Hughes moved from Indiana to Nashville as the local culinary scene began to peak, and her years of experience in restaurants and events allowed her to move from event manager to director at City Winery Nashville within two years. Hughes and her husband, Michael, live in Bellevue with their two children and two dogs. When she’s not at work, Hughes takes advantage of every moment she has in order to spend time with family and friends.
Ryan Walters, Private Event ManagerRyan 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.
Otis Pinkerton III, Venue DirectorOtis Pinkerton III began his career in the food industry for one simple reason: to make people happy. A Nashville native, he started out as a busser at the Old Spaghetti Factory in 2004 where he saw his direct impact on a customer’s day through good food, laughter and unforgettable service. Emboldened with a greater sense of purpose, Otis climbed the ranks until he entered management, first at Tupelo Honey Café and then at City Winery. Every day, he works to provide incredible customer service experiences while developing a company culture that keeps employees happy and engaged in the organization’s overall mission. In his spare time, Otis enjoys hiking, cooking, reading, eating and traveling. On trips, he travels with a chest of board games in his truck at all times in case the chance arises for some friendly competition, and he always makes a point to try new restaurants with his partner-in-crime, his five-year-old daughter Keira.
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.
Garrett Pittler, Head ChefGarrett Pittler’s love for cooking began as a child, spending time in his mother’s Buffalo, NY kitchen cooking alongside his Greek grandmother. While other children were watching Mr. Rogers, he was infatuated by Martin Yan and Justin Wilson’s cooking shows. At the age of eighteen, knowing his calling was to become a professional chef, Garrett left home to pursue a degree at Baltimore International College of Culinary Arts.
Emily Short, Graphic DesignerEmily Short is the Graphic Designer of City Winery Nashville. Emily joined the team at City Winery Nashville in March of 2015 following being the Lead Designer at The Shoppe Designs in Franklin, TN. Her experience is vastly strong in apparel, marketing, and branding. Emily learned early that she had a sharp eye for design. She began designing as early as high school, where she grew up in Dayton, Ohio. Emily attended the School of Advertising Art. She loves tending to her vegetable garden and filling her sketchbooks in her spare time.
Liza Saturday, Concert ManagerLiza 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 Dolly Chandler, 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.
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.
Jenelle Engleson, Beverage DirectorIt was while traveling the world as a professional dancer for 10 years that Jenelle Engleson developed a second passion for food and wine. After retiring as a dancer, she became a Certified Sommelier through the Court of Master Sommeliers and earned an Advanced Certificate of Wine & Spirits through WSET. After working 10+ years in wine sales and service all over New York City, Los Angeles and Nashville, including at Music City mainstays such as The Crying Wolf, Miel and Grand Cru Wine & Spirits, Jenelle brings her experience, skills and passion for wine to City Winery. Additionally, she’s an active member of the Nashville Wine Guild. In her spare time, Jenelle enjoys studying spirits and participating in blind tasting, as well as staying active through yoga, running and hiking with her dog in her East Nashville neighborhood.
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.