Meet Our Staff
We are pleased to introduce you to the team at Presque Isle Wine Cellars. From our customer service team that provides you with the home and commercial wine making supplies and support you need to craft superior wine, to the team that creates, crafts, and sells our award winning wines, we are proud of the people that work with us and their contributions toward helping the company live up to its values.
Doug Moorhead is Vice President of Presque Isle Wine Cellars and a company Director. Doug grew up on a fruit farm in Harborcreek Township in Erie County and at 80-something still farms on his 170 acre family owned vineyard in addition to his activities with Presque Isle Wine Cellars. He graduated from Penn State in 1956 with a degree in Pomology. Doug's father, Douglas McCord Moorhead, to help survive during the Great Depression, had a side business brokering what few wine varieties there were in the area with several small ethnic wineries in or near Cleveland, Ohio and with Gold Seal Vineyards and Widmer Vineyards in the Finger Lakes Region. He was also very active in cooperatives in the Lake Erie area and was President of National Grape Cooperative when it was able to purchase Welch Foods and vastly improve the economic prospects of Concord growers. He was later President of Welch Foods in the late 1950's. Doug grew up in that environment and became interested in the economics of growing wine grapes to replace the acreage of other fruits such as sweet and sour cherries, peaches, plums and apples which had become less and less profitable in the Lake Erie area. Doug experimented with nearly 200 French Hybrid varieties and introduced the growing of European grapes (Vitis vinifera) into the Lake Erie area in the late 1950's. One of his main interests has been to produce quality wines from traditional European grapes grown in Pennsylvania, a goal which several other wineries in the state are now also accomplishing. He was the first chairman of a State Grape Marketing Council which developed the legislative proposal that became the Pennsylvania Limited Winery Act in 1968. He was a long time director and a past president of The Pennsylvania Wine Association, was a long time director in the National Grape Cooperative, which owns Welch Foods, was an adjunct professor in the culinary department at Mercyhurst College in North East, PA, and is currently a director of Wine America and The Pennsylvania Grape Marketing Board. Though he enjoys walking a bit more these days, Doug was a competitive runner completing marathons and ultra-marathons into his fifties. He is also an avid Bridge player holding the Life Master rank.
Marlene Moorhead is a company Shareholder. With a background in child development and a Master’s Degree in School Psychology from Edinboro State University, Marlene joined Doug in the business when Bill Konnerth retired in early 1975. She acted as winemaker when she began, and retired after 34 years at the end of 2007, though she still keeps an eye on things and pinch-hits now and again during busy times. Marlene is a well-respected wine taster and judge, and she became a lifetime member of The American Wine Society in 1984.
Erik Moorhead, son of Doug and Marlene, is currently Chairman of The Board and PIWC President and Treasurer. He graduated from Penn State in 1984 with degrees in civil engineering and humanities and received a Master’s Degree in Structural Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. After spending summers and a year after college (three economic meltdowns ago) working with PIWC, he ventured off to pursue a career in architectural engineering but has kept close ties to PIWC. Erik resides with his architect wife, Lorrie Adair, and daughters, Tully and Ava, in Grapevine, Texas. When he is not helping PIWC move into the future and attending to our Texas customers, Erik is involved in managing large projects such as Terminals D and E at DFW Internatrional Airport, the Ritz-Carlton Dallas, and JW Marriott Austin for HKS Inc., a noted architectural firm. At his current stage of "maturity", Erik is happy to still be playing fly half for his local rugby club and is the token American in his squash group.
Robert (Bob) Green has returned to Presque Isle Wine Cellars as our Executive Winemaker as of September 2015 and oversees our Wine and Fresh Product operations. Bob had been our Winemaker for 23 years until leaving us in 2004 to pursue opportunities in winemaking education and we are happy and fortunate to have him back with us. Bob has been a thoughtful and innovative winemaker with 33 years of professional experience as well as being a longtime instructor at Mercyhurst University Culinary and Wine Institute and Director of the Viticulture and Enology program at Harrisburg Area Community College. Bob is a native of Union City and was trained at Penn State Erie as a benthologist, a biologist specializing in studying swamp life and ecosystems. This rigorous scientific and laboratory training and experience in tandem with Bob's winemaking artistry are a powerful combination that has led to many memorable and award-winning wines produced throughout his career.
Dan Wolfe joined PIWC in 2011 after a previous Career in Human Resources was redirected by the recession and is our Associate Winemaker. The recession had a silver lining for us as Dan has been a great addition to the company and our winemaking team. Dan started making wines from Wine kits in 2007 and the hobby quickly became an obsession. His habit then escalated to buying Fresh Grape Juice at harvest time and he started experimenting with blending different wines. Dan has entered his wines in many local and out of town competitions, bringing home Gold medals and best of show in places like California. Dan is passionate about winemaking and is very active in promoting winemaking education and the online winemaking community, serving as a moderator on the wine making forum winemakingtalk.com. Dan meets regularly with both home and professional winemakers to talk about winemaking and its current challenges. Dan is a frequent contributor to our PIWC blogs and Facebook page and can be seen as the “talent” in many of our Wine making How-To Videos. He is a member of the American Wine Society and judges wine competitions locally and around the state. Dan’s other hobbies include Gardening, Kayaking, and wildlife photography.
Randy Branch is our Commercial Sales Manager and Business Manager. He joined PIWC in May 2014 and brings with him over 25 years of sales experience in industries such as insurance, technology and commercial real estate. A native of Olean, NY and a graduate of the College of Wooster, Randy is looking forward to providing our customers the wine making supplies and equipment needed to craft great wine. His hobbies include sailing, skiing and the occasional round of golf.
Jim Rice joined the company in 2016 and is currently PIWC’s Accounting and Human Resource Manager. He is responsible for managing the daily accounting functions of our winery including accounts payable, accounts receivable, and financial reporting. Jim’s human resource duties include payroll and administering the company’s employee benefits package. Jim received his bachelor’s degree from Edinboro University and his Master‘s degree in Accounting from Walden University. Previously Jim has worked with Glowacki Management and Develop Erie and has had management roles in the retail and restaurant sector. Jim is a native of Erie and proudly calls the City of Erie Home. Jim enjoys baseball and summer trips to the Lake Erie Islands and Sandusky.
Debbie Lam is our Customer Service Manager. She is always ready to help, and with her encyclopedic knowledge of wine making, she is sure to help solve any technical wine making problems that arise. From winemaking techniques to wine making supplies and equipment recommendations, Debbie is well qualified to guide our customers through the wine making process. When not helping our customers, Debbie acts as a EMS volunteer with our local Fire/Rescue department. A long time home winemaker, Debbie is happily willing to share her tips and experiences to help anyone make the best wine possible.
Kelly Chylinski is our Customer Service Representative. As well as processing orders and assisting customers with technical wine making concerns, she keeps our wine making supply showroom looking great. If you visit us at any festivals and events, you will most likely see Kelly leading the team. Kelly has a strong wine background with experience in upscale wine shops. She is also an avid home winemaker, with many years of experience.
Sheila Hiller is our Presque Isle wine Cellars at the Colony Store Manager. Sheila has been with PIWC for over 15 years, and has recently moved to our Shops at the Colony location to manage. She keeps the gift shop at the Colony stocked with the latest products for the wine lover. She is very knowledgeable about our wines, and is always excited to assist our guests with wine tasting and selecting wines for any occasion. She also represents Presque Isle Wine Cellars at various wine pouring events throughout the area. Come visit her at our Erie location at Presque Isle Wine Cellars at the Colony.
Jason Schwenk is our Inventory Control Manager. Jason is responsible for tracking the winemaking supply inventory numbers through daily reports and physical checks for accuracy. He also keeps track of the wine production records, bottled and bulk wine transfers between the wine room in the barn, the supply shop, the winery and the Isle House and physically receives in supplies from our vendors and returns from our customers. Jason is always willing help out Cliff, shipping and breakdown when they need it.
Jim Kunselman is our all-around “do everything” guy, and has been with us since almost the beginning, working seasonally during harvest before retiring as a GE Master Electrician. If it breaks, Jim can fix it. He keeps our production wine making equipment running at peak efficiency during our harvest time. Jim helps with wine production and bottling, and keeps our buildings and grounds looking great.
Adam Hodack is our Winery Assistant. Adam helps in all aspects of wine production from receiving grapes to bottling wine. Always versatile and willing to jump in where needed, he also assists with our grounds and maintenance projects.