Michael Houlihan, Barefoot Wine Founder

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Date(s) - Wednesday, October 3, 2012
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Flamingo Conference Resort and Spa

Michael Houlihan, Barefoot Wine Founder

It’s hard to believe that such an iconic brand as Barefoot Wines started in a laundry room in Sonoma County by an average business couple with no money and no real knowledge about the wine industry. Find out how they built a top-selling brand and what they’re doing now to give back.

Michael is a serial entrepreneur, industry reformer, and brand builder. His consulting company, Great Thinks helps small and medium size businesses build their brands and achieve profitability.

Barefoot Wine Founder, February 2005 – Present

As a keynote speaker, author and consultant, Michael focuses on the proven Business and Marketing principles he learned growing the Barefoot Wine Brand. Using out-of-the-box thinking, pay-for-performance, positive culture, channel distribution management, and “Worthy Cause Marketing” he took an obscure brand to a National and International Best Selling American wine icon. He shares his winning business philosophies in his new book, “The Barefoot Spirit.”

Houlihan and Jones, April 2010 – Present

Michael is a partner with Martin Jones in a consulting firm assisting small and medium size wine country businesses to develop their brands, become more efficient, and achieve profitability.

Founder, President and CEO of Barefoot Wines, June 1985 – January 2005

With no money and no knowledge of the industry, Michael started and built the famous Barefoot Wine brand. Michael earned the industry’s top sales awards, including “Trend Setter, “Fast Track Growth Brand” and “Hot Brand” for sales and growth in 2003 and 2004 – all without advertising. In 2005, he successfully sold the brand to E&J Gallo. During the next year, he worked with them as a business consultant to maintain Barefoot’s entrepreneurial character and Worthy Cause Marketing program.

Recent speaking engagements: University of California at Davis, California State University at Sonoma, Ohio State University School of Entrepreneurialism, Wine Industry Financial Symposium, Wine Industry Technology Symposium, Direct to Consumer Symposium

Michael recently presented a webinar on Worthy Cause Marketing, and has been interviewed several times on nationally syndicated business radio programs.

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