Erie PA - Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership

Meet Our Speakers

Mary Kramer

Mary Kramer was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She is a graduate of Grand Valley State University and worked for six daily newspapers before joining Crain's Detroit Business in April 1989 as editor. She later held dual roles as editor and publisher, and in 2012, oversight of Crain’s Cleveland Business was added. In January 2017, she stepped away from day-to-day management in Detroit to focus on specific Crain projects in Detroit and Cleveland as a group publisher for the company.

Crain's Detroit Business (CDB) covers business news – including nonprofits and philanthropy -- in the five-county metropolitan Detroit area. A statewide enewsletter, Crain’s Michigan Morning, extends that coverage statewide.

Mary was inducted into the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame in March 2017. She is the first woman to be elected president of the historic (and formerly all-male) Detroit Athletic Club. Her volunteer roles include many that support education, children and women’s issues, including serving as a board member at Grand Valley State University and the Skillman Foundation. She holds honorary doctorates from Grand Valley State, Walsh College, Alma College and Central and Eastern Michigan universities. She earned a B.S. degree in media from Grand Valley and an M.S. degree in Integrated Marketing Communications from Eastern Michigan University.

Donna Quadri-Felitti

Donna Quadri-Felitti, is the Marvin Ashner Director of the School of Hospitality Management at The Pennsylvania State University, where she also serves as an Associate Professor of one the oldest degree granting hospitality programs in the nation. Educating nearly 700 undergraduate students, the School also boasts a prestigious doctoral program, and several distinctive thought leadership and research centers, with over 30 faculty at this research one land-grant institution.

Quadri-Felitti earned a Ph.D. from Iowa State University in Hospitality Management, as well as a M.S. in hospitality industry studies, and a B.S. in social studies education both from New York University. Prior to joining Penn State, Quadri-Felitti served on the faculty of the Tisch Center for Hospitality and Tourism at NYU and as academic chair of the center.

Quadri-Felitti’s industry experience includes working for some of the field’s notable brands such as in marketing with STR, in hospitality real estate valuation and advisory services with Horwath Landauer/Grubb & Ellis Real Estate Advisors, in development with Loews Hotels and Resorts, and in merchandising and retail services with Aramark as well as early benchmarking and revenue management startup with HotelRevMAX.

As an active member of the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI), she assumed the presidency of the Greater NY Chapter in 2007–the first faculty member to do so in the 80-plus year history of the organization. An early revenue management advocate, the first HSMAI chapter-level Special Interest Group in Revenue Management and chapter award for revenue management, were instituted during her leadership.

She was recognized as one of the Top 25 Most Extraordinary Minds in Sales & Marketing for 2012 by HSMAI and named one of “10 to Watch in 2016” by Hotel Business magazine, among additional awards and recognitions. Her main research themes involve improving consumer experiences within a wide range of tourism products from destinations to hotels. Additionally, she authors a column for, Hotel Management magazine and is a frequent speaker at hospitality and travel conferences on changing consumer preferences and expectations. A native of Erie, Pennsylvania, Donna is married to Pasquale “Pat” Felitti.

Joe Bione

Joseph Bione is President and founder of the Whitehall Group with over 35+ years of experience in manufacturing and restructuring. Mr. Bione’s expertise includes the areas of operations, finance, reengineering, enterprise lean, continuous improvement and supply chain management. The Whitehall Group provides services to companies in transition or trouble.

In industry, Mr. Bione has served as Interim CEO/President for many clients during transition and return to profitability, including CMI Holdings, Venture Industries, Talon Automotive Group, Como Plastics, Detroit Plastic Molding and Kuhlman Automotive Group. He is currently serving as Interim President/CEO for American Special Vehicle Cars, (ASC) where he has won the 2016 Manufacturing Leadership Award (ML100) for Visionary Leadership. He was recently engaged as EVP of Operations at Constar, Inc. a $500MM manufacturing company, working with a team on restructuring the company, where he won the 2012 Manufacturing Leadership 100 (ML 100) Award for Turnarounds. Mr. Bione is on the Governors’ list of potential Emergency Managers and Whitehall has been approved by the State of Michigan as an approved “Turnaround and Restructuring” resource. (Contract # 271B4300019)

Mr. Bione started his manufacturing career in “Erie, PA” at Johnson Controls, where he served as VP & General Manager for both the Automotive Group and Beverage Bottle Division and at the American Sterilizer Company, as Director of Operations for the Medical Products Division. Mr. Bione was also a Partner at Deloitte Consulting in the Automotive, Supply Chain and Restructuring Practices with Global Account Responsibility for DaimlerChrysler and co-leadership of the Global Automotive Practice.

Mr. Bione is a frequent speaker at industry events, including the MICPA Management and Information Business Show, the Automotive News APD Motor Vehicle Metal Resins Conference and the OESA “Best Practices” Regional Meetings. He also contributed two guest columns in both the TMA newsletter and at the OESA Annual Outlook Conference. He participated in Powerplex as a guest speaker, the Automotive Supplier Finance Summit, and Eastern Michigan’s College of Business’ Ethos Week. Besides speaking, Mr. Bione has authored a series of four (4) articles in addressing the “Business Transition Issues” that companies are facing today featured in Business Management Magazine.

Mr. Bione is an Advisory Board Member of Gannon University’s Business & Engineering Programs, University of Detroit Mercy’s Turnaround Management M.B.A. program, Eastern Michigan University’s Supply Chain Management program and the Erie Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Bione earned his B.S. in Business Management with a minor in Engineering, an M.B.A. in Organizational Behavior, and the “Distinguished Alumni Award” from Gannon University in Erie, PA. His certifications include the CPM (Purchasing), CPIM (Production Control & Inventory), and is a longtime member of the Turnaround Management Association. (TMA)

Rob Englert

Rob Englert is the founder and principal designer of ram industrial design, inc. (ram), a consultancy specializing in consumer products, user interactions, and experiences. ram is focused on solving complex problems through critical thinking, design, and technology and developing solutions that are research-based with a strong emphasis on the end user.

Rob Englert founded ram in 2005 as a vehicle to create products that make a difference in people's lives. He has designed everything from aircraft seating to cameras; including, consumer electronics, medical devices, housewares, environments, tools, packaging, experiences, and user interfaces. Over his career, Rob has created custom solutions and products for a wide range of clients, including: Alcoa, Bose, Chobani, Carrier, Energizer, Honeywell, KitchenAid, Kodak, Procter & Gamble, RIDGID, Safety 1st, Swiss Army, and Welch Allyn.

Rob Englert is named on over 50 patents and taught at Syracuse University for ten years. He holds a BFA in Industrial Design from the Columbus College of Art & Design and an MFA in Industrial Design from the Rochester Institute of Technology. Rob has guest lectured on design and technology and its relationship to business and sustainability at several colleges and universities, including: Hobart and William Smith's Colleges, Rochester Institute of Technology, Syracuse University, Yale, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF), and the University of Oregon.

Rob is a native of Harbor Creek and grew up in a farm house on Gospel Hill, next door to Penn State Behrend.

Currently, Rob and his team are entering the production phase for (sphere)™, the world’s only 360°/VR DSLR camera lens that can capture real-time, fully spherical video in a single image, eliminating the need to stitch several images from a multi-camera array, streamlining the virtual reality/360° video production process, and dramatically lowering production costs. The (sphere)™ lens won’t just disrupt the professional VR video production market: the smaller consumer version of (sphere)™—now in the prototyping phase—will place immersive video creation, streaming, and sharing in the hands of anyone who owns a smartphone.

Mark Fuhrman

More than 25 years as a senior executive in television, sports and entertainment management.
Almost three decades of senior management experience in entertainment, sports and television including revenue generation, broadcast, marketing, branding, venue development, promotion and new media.

Experienced professional and leader:

  • Proficient revenue generation
  • Innovative and creative leader
  • Effective manager of organizations with proven track record of success
  • Strong network of industry relationships within the professional and collegiate sports world, media and business community

Led an experienced management team for over ten years in growing a regional sports television network in subscriber growth (+1.8MM subs), ad sales revenue (+400%) and NOCF (+$7.2MM). Was responsible for all aspects of the business including: marketing, sales, finance, programming and production.

Kevin John

Since 1987, the Kevin-John brand has become one of the strongest fine art brands nationally. With a client list that boasts more than 350 of the top athletes, celebrities, pro sports teams and corporations in the country, as well as an international list of collectors, Kevin-John is one of the most in-demand professional artists of our time.

Kevin-John’s art has been showcased at major events throughout the country as well as on ESPN, ABC, Spike TV, The Golf Channel, at the Super Bowl, Walt Disney World Resort and the PGA Tour. He has also been chosen by leading companies to be the official artist for many of their sports and pop culture themed products.

Never limiting his style or subject matter, Kevin-John has been commissioned to create art for some of the biggest brands in the world. He is currently under contract with the Walt Disney Com-pany as a Disney Master Artist, commissioned to create theme park exclusive art for sale in the Art of Disney Galleries and gift shops at the Walt Disney World Resort and at Disneyland.

The team at Kevin-John Studios, based in Melbourne Beach, Florida, continues to develop new relationships with retail and corporate partners to bring the ever expanding Kevin-John brand to his ever growing fan base. Wine, apparel, coffee and home goods, featuring the art of Kevin-John, add to the spectrum of offerings.

For more than 30 years, Kevin-John has shown a deep dedication to countless charitable
concerns as his art has helped to raise more than a half a million dollars for deserving causes around the world.

Pete Kadens

Pete Kadens is a serial entrepreneur and dedicated philanthropist. He has started three companies, which have employed thousands of people over the last 13 years, including one of the largest commercial solar companies in the US, SoCore Energy.

Under his leadership, SoCore grew into a company with operations across 17 states and was named one of Chicago's most innovative businesses by Chicago Innovation Awards. In 2013, he sold SoCore Energy to Edison International, a Fortune 500 energy holding company.

He is one of five cannabis industry CEOs selected to serve on the Board of Directors of the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), the nation's leading organization focused solely on federal and state-wide marijuana policy reform.

Pete believes deeply in, and actively leads, organizations that seek to transform lives and strengthen communities, serving as Chairman of StreetWise (2009 – present), one of the largest homeless aid organizations in the Midwest. He also serves as board member at The Cara Program, one of the largest non-profit workforce training programs in the Midwest which focuses on preparing individuals on the verge of homelessness for employment. He is also the CEO of Purpose Investors, his own investment vehicle investing in businesses that have significant social impact.

Pete was awarded the Distinguished Alumnus for Citizenship in 2010 by his alma mater, Bucknell University, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. He was also named 40 under 40 by Crains Chicago Business in 2012.

John Moon

John is a partner at Miller & Wrubel PC in New York City where he defends financial institutions, public companies and executives in civil actions, and investigations and enforcement proceedings brought by the SEC, FINRA, DOJ and other regulatory entities. His effectiveness results from years of experience as an Enforcement Branch Chief at the SEC, a Federal Prosecutor in the Fraud Section of the U.S. Department of Justice, a securities lawyer in private practice, and an Executive Director in the Litigation Group of UBS Investment Bank. Early in his career, John was a Principal Consultant in the Banking, Finance and International Group of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, where he advised governments in emerging markets on the establishment of regulatory structures for capital markets.

John's civil litigation practice focuses on structured finance and securitizations. He represents financial institutions in two proposed multi-billion dollar "private label" RMBS settlements. He has also represented financial institutions in civil disputes involving CDO's, CLO's and warehouse agreements.

His honors and professional activities include:

• Panelist: ACI's 8th National Forum on Controlling Litigation Costs (New York 2013)
• Frequent speaker at conferences concerning regulatory and securities issues
• Panelist: Stafford Publications, In-House Counsel's Evolving Duties (New York 2011)
• Panelist: ACI, Forum on Reducing Legal Costs (Philadelphia 2009, 2010)
• Co-Chair: ACI, Advanced Forum on Securities Litigation (New York 2009, 2010)

A Cathedral Prep graduate, he received degrees from the following: Harvard Law School, Washington College of Law and Dickinson College (magna cum laude).

Chris Reim

Christopher Reim brings a blend of venture capital and economic policy thought leadership to the role of innovation in society, focused on encouraging private investment for creating social impact at scale. His practitioner and academic work seeks to identify how novel approaches in science can foster a more sustainable use of resources, resilient manufacturing, and create new employment opportunity in the future of work. Mr. Reim is the Managing Director of the Community Development Venture Capital Alliance, where he is Managing General Partner of the Innovate NY Fund, LP, and Managing Partner of the Puerto Rico Fund for Growth, LP, both economic development fund-of-funds. In addition, Mr Reim has been an Adjunct Associate Professor at Columbia University (School of International and Public Affairs) and Lecturer at Yale University (School of Management), where he teaches on Investment for Social Change.

He has managed a family office venture capital fund and managed investments for a $2 billion private equity fund focused on environmental remediation. Associated with the venture fund, he is a serial entrepreneur, and was the Interim President of a research firm focused on algae use for sustainable water treatment and biofuels. His academic and advocacy work focuses on the role of technology in society, in particular, on investment's role within the economics of innovation.

Mr Reim is on the Faculty of the National Science Foundation’s Innovation-Corps accelerator program. He is a board member of the State University of New York Downstate Technology Incubator.

Rob Scypinski

Rob is a 41-year veteran of the hospitality industry.

He started his career in 1976 with Oakdale Corporation owners of the Holiday Inns of Erie where held several operational and sales positions over 8 years.
During this time Rob earned his BS Degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management from the Pennsylvania State University

In 1984, he joined Hilton Hotels Corporation as a sales manager at the 1250 room Hilton Atlanta and by 1987 was Director of Sales for that hotel. While in Atlanta he became very familiar with the national convention markets, international tourism and business travel elements.

Rob was then promoted in 1990 to Director of Sales and Marketing at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square, the largest hotel on the west coast with almost 2,000 guest rooms and 150,000 square feet of event space. There he oversaw all aspects of selling a truly international hotel, its catering and event services operations as well as product development.

While in San Francisco he also helped found the North of Market Planning Coalition, Tenderloin Business Improvement District and Glide Economic Development Corporation as well as created a cutting-edge position on his team of ‘Community Projects Manager’ which focused on Corporate Social Responsibility. This helped position Hilton as a forerunner in community service and recycling and helped inspire the San Francisco Hotel Collaborative which pooled the resources of hotels for the betterment of San Franciscans and tourists.

In 2005 Rob was promoted to Regional Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Hilton’s western region hotels, then in 2008 to Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Hilton’s owned and managed hotels within the Americas. His team supported 355 hotels in 22 countries and oversaw hotel based sales, marketing, catering and events with over 2,500 people representing over $8 billion in sales.

In 2013 Rob was elevated to the senior leadership group of Hilton as Senior Vice President of Hotel Sales where he also took on responsibilities for Industry Relations, Customer Engagement, Global Contracting and group electronic distribution.

Rob has served as faculty for several professional industry organizations including America Society of Association Executives, Professional Convention Management Association and Meeting Professionals International. He served on the Foundation boards for these organizations as well as a board member of Travel Industry of America’s Meetings Mean Business Coalition which supports the power of face to face engagement and quantifies the importance of it to the US economy.

In April of this year Rob retired from Hilton after 33 years of service and is splitting his time between Erie and San Francisco consulting, teaching and taking care of his 88-year-old mother, Mary Margaret.

Jack Speer

Jack Speer is a newscaster at NPR in Washington, D.C. In this role he reports, writes, edits and produces live hourly updates airing during NPR programming.

Prior to joining the Newscast Unit in 2007, Speer was a correspondent with NPR's Business Desk. For nearly a decade he covered the nation's top business and economic news. Speer was part of a team that covered the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. As a business correspondent, he also traveled the country doing a wide range of stories, including one-on-one interviews with CEO's, a day in the life of one of the last door-to-door Fuller Brush salesmen and a profile of North America's oldest brewery.

Before coming to NPR in 1998, Speer anchored the Washington Business Journal reports on WUSA-TV Channel 9 in Washington, D.C. Over his career, he has worked at radio and television stations in Washington, Cleveland and Trenton, N.J.

Speer has been honored with a number of industry awards for his work including: American Universities 14th Annual Journalism Award for Excellence in Personal Finance Reporting, the Best Editorial Commentary award from the Washington Journalism Society and the Best Newscaster award from the New Jersey Associated Press.
In addition to his broadcast work, Speer is an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University's Carey School of Business where his areas of expertise include crisis communications and media convergence. Speer has also interviewed major thought leaders for ongoing programs at the Smithsonian Institution.

Jack has a BA in Communications from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and an MA in Journalism from the University of Maryland. He and his wife Colleen Allen have two children and live in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Todd Wyman

Todd Wyman is the president for Ingersoll Rand Compression Technologies and Services (CTS), responsible for leading all aspects of the CTS strategic business unit. Wyman has been instrumental in company’s enterprise-wide value stream transformation and in the development of the business operating system, which is the foundation for growth and operational excellence strategies at Ingersoll Rand.

Prior to joining Ingersoll Rand, Wyman worked for GE for 20 years in operations, sourcing and general management.

Wyman holds a Bachelor of Science degree in management engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Chris Sirianni

Born & raised in Erie, PA, Chris is the proud son of Peter & Barbara Sirianni.

He is a lifelong member of Our Lady of Peace Parish, where he also attended grade school, and is a graduate of Cathedral Prep.

He attended IUP for four years & graduated in 2000 with a Bachelors Degree in Business Management with a concentration on Marketing.

Upon graduating, he developed a business plan to open a micro brewery and pub in downtown Erie. After nearly five years of fieldwork, planning and setbacks, The Brewerie at Union Station opened in the fall of 2006 as Erie’s exclusive brewpub. He currently holds the position of President & General Manager there.
Chris has various roles in the community including positions as a Visit Erie Executive Board Member and Erie Downtown Partnership Marketing Committee Member. He is also the current the president of the Lake Erie Ale Trail, as well as the president of the Pennsylvania Restaurant Association—Northwest Chapter.

His most rewarding role however, is coaching several youth baseball & basketball teams.

Chris now resides in Millcreek with his wife Karin & their two children, ages 10 & 11.

Megan Callaghan

• Company Name: Method & Medium
• Title: Brand Designer
• Company Description
• Designers are translators. We take concepts and turn them into polished, stable entities that communicate goals. We make the conscious decision to produce a seamless, unified experience for consumers. I began Method & Medium to build and grow not only my own career, but the careers and businesses of others. I help both startups and long established businesses shape their identities and sharpen their brands. My preferred drink is whiskey with one or two rocks at the most. Watery whiskey is blasphemy.

Erin Green

Title: President & Problem Solver
• Company Name is: Verify Services
• Company Description
As a seasoned executive with 20 years of telecommunications experience, Erin and the team at Verify! specializes in the management of telecommunications services for medium to large businesses, as well as multi-national companies and municipalities. The Verify! team of experts helps their clients make informed telecommunications buying decisions, works with their clients' existing carriers to recover billing errors, lower the overall telecom expense, renegotiate existing contracts, resolve any outstanding service issues, and increase customer service levels. @VerifyIt4u

Jim Noland

• Title: Founder & Former CEO
• Company Name is: Conduit Technologies (a Bright Tree Company)
• Company Description
Conduit Technology offered three distinct technologies to help physical therapists, clinicians, support staff and rehabilitation technology suppliers work more efficiently and effectively. Acquired by Bright Tree – their largest client – in early 2017, Founding CEO and his co-founder partner Chris Mentch built a team of 12 technology, operations and marketing experts and are continuing to grow their product, LMN Builder, as an integrated component of their new parent company’s offerings. Noland and his investors exited in 2017.

Aaron Lewis

• Title: Founder & CEO
• Company Name is: Sphere Brakes
• Company Description
We’re making history developing the first commercial sphere brake system. Our patented technology leverages inherent design to outperform air disc and drum brake systems in a much smaller package unlocking new opportunities for the commercial vehicle and DoD tactical vehicle industries. Sphere Brakes, LLC provides innovative technology solutions through the Build-Measure-Learn feedback loop business model. The strengths of Sphere Brakes are its people, practices, and unwavering customer service.

Dan Bensur

• Title: Founder & CEO
• Company Name is: M-Dot, Inc.
• Company Description
In January 2009, Bensur founded M-Dot, a company focused on the installation of proprietary software on a store branded prepaid wireless telephone. M-Dot enabled the real time redemption of digital “coupon” incentives via retail store point of sale (POS) systems with the security and compliance standards required by the financial transaction processing industry. M-Dot’s Network provided real-time connectivity between Internet and mobile devices to in-store retail point of sale systems. Dan played a key role in the development of the technology, helping M-Dot to be named the 2011 winner of the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Start-Up Challenge, a global competition based on how well the business addresses a need in the marketplace. Bensur and his investors exited in 2012.

Jonathan D'Silva

• Title is: Founder & Principal
• Company Name is: MMI IP
• Company Description
Jonathan D'Silva is a registered patent attorney who practices various aspects of intellectual property law from prosecuting patent, trademark, and copyright applications, to drafting agreements for the sale or licensing of intellectual property, to the enforcement of intellectual property rights. Jonathan deals with not only the science, engineering, and technology aspects of intellectual property, but also the business aspects. He works closely with CEOs, R&D engineers, small business owners, and inventors to make sure that they understand the options available to them and how best to protect their intellectual property assets. Jonathan works to protect his clients' intellectual property locally, state-wide, nationally, and internationally and is active in the community and gives presentations and lectures on intellectual property issues to students at various regional colleges and universities and to the public through many of the local and regional economic development organizations.

Mat Silva

· Title: Technical Founder & CTO
· Company Name is: (a RendrFX Company)
· Company Description
Tap into thousand of creators and get an awesome video tailored to your needs without having to hire an expensive production service. Traditionally, marketing videos cost thousands of dollars, weeks of time, dozens of back-and-forth emails and in the end, it still wasn’t exactly what you wanted. But now, with Video Gigs, you can get a professionally created, hand crafted, video for use in marketing your business, service or just about anything else. Save the time, save your money and get what you want . . . Video Gigs, from RendrFX

Brian Slawin

• Title: Regional Director & Portfolio Manager
• Company Name: Ben Franklin Technology PArtners / Central & Northern Pennsylvania / Northwest
• Company Description
Brian Slawin is a recovering entrepreneur who, after exiting his technology startup, moved to Northwest Pennsylvania and is the portfolio manager at the Ben Franklin Technology PArtners. By working with entrepreneurs interested in taking their company to the next level or starting their idea from scratch, Brian helps nurture, support and ultimately invest in companies as they innovate in their industry; be that small manufacturers or technology startups. Ultimately, the goal of helping those entrepreneurs is to grow their idea into a full-fledged company employing a few dozen or a few thousand people. In short, Brian and Ben Franklin supports the vision entrepreneurs have and believes in the power that comes with passion and commitment. Plus, as he tells everyone, he’s fortunate to have found an entire region of people to work with and invest in, all who are looking at their future and working to “Give that a try”.

Jeff McCullor

Jeff opened Erie Ale Works together with his business partner, Steve Anthony in 2014. He moved to Erie in 2004 upon graduating RIT with a BS in Marketing. Together they run all business operations from brewing to sweeping the floors. He also holds down the title of Account Manager for Werkbot Studios in Erie.

Jeff lives in Millcreek with his wife Emily, daughter Olivia and two dogs, Gus and Charley.

Jason Lavery

Jason Lavery and his wife Nicole founded Lavery Brewing Company in 2009.

His beers and brewery have earned many awards, including a Great American Beer Fest Gold medal. Lavery Brewing sells beers to 5 states and produces around 35,000 gallons of beer per year.

Mario Mazza

Originally from North East, PA, Mario grew up in a small family winery but started his career as a chemical engineer with a degree from Case Western Reserve University. He quickly moved on to study oenology at the University of Adelaide in South Australia where he obtained his MS. While living in Australia, he found valuable experience in both the Adelaide Hills and the Barossa Valley before returning to the Lake Erie Region to rejoin his family and Mazza Vineyards. Since 2005 he has worked with his family to develop the company with the addition of two wine brands: Mazza Chautauqua Cellars and the South Shore Wine Company. In addition to wine, the Mazzas delved into the crafts spirits arena with the addition of a still to Mazza Chautauqua Cellars in 2006 and expansion and rebranding as Five & 20 Spirits at a new facility in 2013. In 2015, Five & 20 expanded to include a brewing operation making the Westfield New York facility the first in the state to house a farm winery, farm distillery and farm brewery all in one.

Mario maintains an active role in the community and industry through his involvement with the Pennsylvania Wine Marketing and Research Board where he is the current chair, as a board member and chair of VisitErie, as a board member of Wine America, and as former interim program administrator for the PA Wine Quality Initiative where he continues to provide sensory training in conjunction with Penn State University’s Food Science Department.