OUR Business Development Team
As General Manager at Rack & Riddle Custom Wine Services, Mark Garaventa delivers strategic and tactical growth initiatives across Rack & Riddle’s portfolio of business units.
He oversaw the successful rollout of the Rack & Riddle brand, as well as the Major League Baseball sparkling wine—both have enjoyed unprecedented success across a variety of markets.
His most recent accomplishment was launching the 6 Bar wine brand, a volume-priced addition to the Rack & Riddle family of brands that fills a need in the marketplace for brokers, distributors and retailers seeking a premium bubbly that over delivers.
With a unique background in sales, marketing and financial development, and a drive to be an integral part in the growth and development of a promising company, Mark has enjoyed his role over the past seven years helping shape Rack & Riddle into an award-winning winery and custom crush facility.
Born and raised locally, Mark brings 25-plus years of senior management experience and leadership to Rack & Riddle. Having hit the ground running since earning his degree from St. Mary’s College in 1988, Mark possesses talents and experience ranging from working in a family business in the 1990’s to running national sales for a large corporation. Mark’s business acumen and consistency are a natural fit with the team at Rack & Riddle.
As Managing Partner Bruce Lundquist said, “Mark has taken us into the next tier as a business—helping us to exceed our clients’ expectations in every capacity. He is a natural fit with our boots-on-the-ground approach to doing business and we are lucky to have him, as are our clients.”
Mark currently resides in Marin County and has three children EJ, Michael and Alexandra and is a proud Nonno to his three-year-old grandson Robert. Mark is an avid wine enthusiast, but spends most weekends with his family—playing sports, enjoying time with his children and grandson, or brushing up on his golf game. Mark is driven and finds joy in his successes with which he will happily raise a glass to toast.
Business Development Manager
Cynthia Faust brings nearly 20 years of business experience to Rack & Riddle Custom Wine Services. As Business Development Manager, Cynthia oversees strategic initiatives that have resulted in unprecedented growth for the Rack & Riddle winery brand and all custom crush, base-to-bottle and grape-to-bottle programs.
Cynthia develops quarterly and yearly plans and projections for the department, assesses strategic alignment of business development projects to ensure goals are met on time and within budget, and also shepherds client projects from beginning to end, ensuring each project is handled with the greatest care and attention.
Born and raised in Sonoma County, Cynthia earned her degree from St. Mary’s College in business administration, and spent the first 18 years of her career as a financial controller for several Napa wineries, and, most recently, as a securities-licensed CFO for a private equity placement firm in Nevada.
“The really intriguing part of my role here at Rack & Riddle is getting to be a part of the energy as clients come in with their own label and story,” says Cynthia. “Our sparkling shiner program especially – we get to help them develop new directions and new opportunities for their brand, so it’s a lot of fun.”
Cynthia enjoys spending time with her three daughters, taking their dog on walks around Spring Lake and hiking in Annadel State Park.
Along with her sisters Rebecca and Sharon, Cynthia also recently founded Breathless Wines, in memory of their mother. The three sisters are proud to be creating award-winning sparkling wines hand-crafted in the méthode champenoise tradition, while bringing awareness to Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency, the disease that challenged their mom.
Business Development Client Service Specialist
Monica Smith joined Rack & Riddle in March 2013 as Executive Administrator, a role that involved providing operational support for Managing Partner Bruce Lundquist’s projects and strategic initiatives. From new equipment acquisitions and insurance renewals, to everything in between, Monica ensured projects remained on time, on scope and within budget.
In June 2014, Monica was invited to join the Business Development team as Business Development Associate, where she manages the sparkling shiner/private label program, as well as grape to bottle and base to bottle sparkling client relations, the Rack & Riddle wine club, and various industry events. Monica enjoys the personal interaction with Rack & Riddle’s varied clientele that her role entails, as well as collaborating internally with Rack & Riddle’s production and winemaking teams; she splits her time between Rack & Riddle’s Healdsburg and Alexander Valley offices.
Monica brings a wealth of food and wine industry management experience to Rack & Riddle Custom Wine Services. Upon graduating with a bachelor’s degree in advertising and marketing communications from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, Monica worked in public relations for a short time and then started her restaurant career in 2001 with The Charlie Palmer Group in NYC. In January 2006 Monica relocated to Healdsburg to manage the acclaimed Dry Creek Kitchen restaurant. In 2007 Monica made a transition into the wine industry, working with the likes of St. Francis Winery, Lambert Bridge and TastingRoom.com, and has happily been enjoying the fruits of her labor ever since!
When not at the winery, Monica enjoys spending time with her husband Paul, and their twin boys Jackson and Wyatt. Together the family relishes life in Healdsburg and loves spending time outdoors with their dogs Maggie, a spirited Vizsla and Olive, a sweet rescue pup.
Gabe recently joined our Business Development Team in early 2019. We’re excited to have him on board. His niche is business development, identify emerging markets and trends, and broadening our relationships with current clients.
He’s a graduate of Washington State University holding a Bachelor’s in Business with an emphasis in Marketing and a Minor in Economics. Previously, he’s done sales, account management and analysis for various companies such as an Italian wine importer — Vinefera Imports, Fetzer Vineyards and Young’s Market. He was also a Harvest Intern at Kosta Browne Winery which helped him to understand the inner workings of harvest and all that entails.
Gabe enjoys playing sports, hiking in nearby redwoods, and traversing Wine Country to explore and savor the region he now calls home.
Business Development Administrative Assistant
Megan attended the School of Business and Economics at Sonoma State University. She has a Bachelor’s in Business with an emphasis on Wine Strategies. She also holds a minor in Modern Languages, French Studies — très bon!
Her first foray into the wine industry was working for Dutton Estate Winery as both a Wine Educator and Harvest Intern. She was a back office coordinator at the deLorimier Winery tasting room before coming to Rack & Riddle.
We rely on Megan for a myriad of daily department needs. She maintains our meeting schedules, coordinates new client tastings and tours, and monitors our at-hand wine inventory. She’s a vital part of our team.
Megan says, “I am always looking to expand my horizons and explore new cultures. I have a passion for the wine industry and customer service.”
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