Jono brings his experience as a sommelier, sales representative, manager, and amateur tinker to his role as Partner and General Manager at Progress Wine Group. Thanks to a series of fortuitous events, Jono found himself atop Hermitage with his wife, a bottle of wine in hand, and a new sense of purpose and direction. The culture and people at Quench and Hensley helped cultivate that pursuit of personal and professional growth. Progress is a continuation of that pursuit and an opportunity to build something incredible with an awesome crew in an exciting market. If he’s not in the field or warehouse, you’ll find Jono teaching his two kiddos the timeless art of Lego construction.
As a Miami native, Carolyn grew up in the diverse multicultural community of South Florida where she parlayed her love of the arts, nature and business into finding a fulfilling career in the wine and spirits industry. Having studied International Business and Anthropology at The University of South Florida, and Spanish at Universal de Idiomas in Costa Rica, she is dedicated to being a global citizen and has deep appreciation for the small farmers and hard-working families that produce quality wines and spirits across the world. Inspired by her experience, and the people, at the fine dining landmark, Mise en Place in Tampa, Carolyn pursued a career in fine wine distribution and joined Augustan Wine Imports as the Palm Beach sales rep in 2006. She found, over the next ten years, meaningful work, travel, friends and success in her further roles as Portfolio Manager and State Sales Manager.
Looking forward, and moved to innovate in the landscape of wholesale distribution in Florida, Carolyn is excited to bring a customer-centered perspective, purpose-driven culture, and to be in service of our Progress Wine Group team, partners and the community.
When not in wine, Carolyn can be found adventuring with her son Gabriel, spending time with family or somewhere near the water.
Proal Perry has been a Florida resident since childhood, spending most of his formative years in the Bohemian environs of Key West. Upon returning from college, Proal followed an arc of endeavors from, injecting new life into the somnolent Sloppy Joes, restoring the nationally registered landmark, Louie’s Backyard, to its modern day image, to establishing reference point cuisine and service at MIRA!, along with Chef Norman Van Aken.
In 1993 the allure of wine seemed like a logical segue from the rigors of the restaurant business. So, Proal and his wife Connie, founded Augustan Wine Imports, dedicated solely to family owned, farm wineries, which they nurtured and grew over the following 23 years. In 2016 Proal and Connie stepped down from their positions at Augustan, to pursue a more personal project in the wine arena: helping shepherd smaller, but high profile European wineries, needing assistance to better navigate the US market.
While continuing in this pursuit, the “siren call” to return to distribution in a consulting capacity, for the forward-thinking Progress Wine Group, has proved irresistible. Hopefully, the last 40 years of business experience in the wine and food world, will bring some value to this dynamic new organization.
Eric Foster was born in Mississippi and raised in the South. Spending a better part of his childhood at his grandfather's restaurant is where he found his passion for good manners, great food, and a properly stocked bar.
It was on a road trip touring the country's best bars and restaurants with his beautiful wife and dog, that Eric had the best Negroni ever. There was no looking back from this beautiful, bitter, boozy drink and his path to pursuing a better cocktail culture was set. The only thing he loves doing more than reading cocktail books is getting behind the bar, telling a story, and making drinks for friends. He has been featured in Saveur and Garden & Gun Magazine.
As a Certified Specialist of Spirits, Eric is dedicated to continued education and believes that there is always something to learn and be inspired by. With over a decade of helming some of Florida's most revered bars and Spirit Specialist for Stacole Fine Wines, he is excited to use his experience and passion to foster a culture of hospitality and education as Director of Spirits for Progress Wine Group.
Eric is proud to call Orlando "The City Beautiful" home and credits all of his happiness and success to his wife and two kids, Esper Bell and Arlo. (…and artisanal mezcal.)
Born in Belo Horizonte, Brazil – Henrique first moved to Memphis TN in 2000 to pursue a degree in Journalism. While working at Texas de Brazil as a meat carver, he became fascinated with the wine culture of the restaurant business. Meat carving led to serving, serving led to management and finally management led him to be the wine director for 15 restaurants nationwide in a span of 7 years. Henrique first became a certified sommelier in 2005 and ventured on to the hotel business where he opened the prestigious Waldorf Astoria Hotel and Hilton Bonnet Creek properties in Orlando, FL. After working as Sommelier for Hakkasan at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach, he started a distribution career with RNDC, Stacole and Augustan Wine Imports.
Henrique’s love of wine took him to Spain to experience harvest as an intern at Raventos I Blanc. Henrique’s education has taken him to many wine regions including New Zealand, Australia & Tasmania, South Africa, Italy, France and California.
As Broward Regional Manager and State Retail Chain Manager for Progress Wine Group, you can typically find Henrique in the beautiful beachfront resorts of Fort Lauderdale, Whole Foods or on the beach volleyball courts.
Ileana Fajardo was born in Cuba and raised in South Florida. Her love of wine was sparked by a glass of Mencia during her first trip to Spain. This ignited her passion for Wine and the traditions of Family and sense of place it evokes. Her appetite for knowledge led her to obtain her C.S., C.S.W, W.S.E.T & Sake Specialist Certification. Ready to inspire and educate the Miami community, she opened up Vine Wine Shop in the upper east side.
To further explore her entrepreneurial spirit, she worked to establish distribution for the newly formed Selected Brands. Now fully immersed in the world of distribution, Ileana moved to Stacole Fine Wines to become one of the most trusted and respected members of the wine community, before joining Progress Wine Group. Her love for her home town of Miami brings a great sense of pride in being part of the evolution of the culinary scene. Her passion lies in representing Family estates of quality and tradition offering alternatives in the market.
Todd Richman’s transition to the world of fine wine and spirits sales with progress was a unique one. With origins working in professional kitchens in Las Vegas and New York City, he nurtured his appreciation for the love and care that goes into what people eat and drink. As he left the restaurant world to start working with wine importers like Frederick Wildman and Sons, he realized his true calling in the beverage industry. From there he began to represent Le Grande Chartreuse and developed relationships with bartenders on a national level, learning as he went along in his travels. Todd reverse engineered his education by seeing bartenders and sommeliers create cocktails and develop beverage programs with the same love as the cooks he worked with for so many years.
With time, Todd developed his educational growth thanks to the many opportunities that came along in the industry. Todd is a graduate of the BarSmarts Advanced Program, a BAR ready graduate of the Beverage Alcohol Resource 5 day program, The Liquid Lab and a Level One Certified Sake Specialist. In July 2013, Todd was honored with the prestigious award of Best American Brand Ambassador of the year at the Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards for his work with the Sidney Frank Importing portfolio.
Todd Richman joins Progress Wine Group as a Regional Manager in Miami-Dade county and as the Portfolio Manager for Altamar Brands, where he aims to provide exceptional service and support of our portfolio and family of wine and spirit producers.
Megan was born and raised in New England. From a young age, she knew she wanted to be involved in the wine and spirits industry as her father is a 40-year industry veteran. Throughout her college years at University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Megan worked in restaurants. It was there she discovered a love for hospitality. After several years in the restaurant industry, Megan was presented with an opportunity to join then Premier Beverage and later Augustan Wine Imports.
For the past ten years, Megan has worked in various roles in distribution with a focus on Fine Wine. Her experience has given her the opportunity to work with many great Chefs and Sommeliers in Southwest Florida. She has travelled extensively to many winemaking regions and hopes to continue her exploration and discovery of the world of wine.
Whether it is collaborating with the Chef in the creation of a menu for a winemaker dinner, developing an accessible yet eclectic wine list or introducing a winemaker to a group of local sommeliers, there is nothing she enjoys more.
Megan brings experience, love for her customers and excitement for this new endeavor as West Coast Regional Manager and Portfolio Manager for Progress Wine Group.
When she is not working in wine, you can probably find Megan at the ballpark with her husband David, and son Noah, in their hometown Ft. Myers.
Benjamin grew up in a small town on the North Fork of Long Island, New York. From his first job as a busboy for a local French restaurant, he knew there was something magical about the abundance of local food and wine that put smiles on the faces of the restaurant’ patrons.
While attending the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Manhattan, Benjamin spent weekends serving at some of the greatest restaurants in the city. He also spent his summers working at the local wineries on Long Island. This is where he “caught the bug” and his journey in the wine world began. He quickly worked his way from tasting room help, to manager and finally Operations Manager for Pellegrini Vineyards and Martha Clara Vineyards.
Following his heart down to Florida he quickly fell in love with the bourgeoning wine industry and local feel that was growing throughout North Florida. For over a decade,Benjamin has been lucky enough to spend extensive time traveling throughout the wine world gaining a better understanding of Fine Wine. He brings his experience back to the Sunshine State to help educate and elevate wine and food programs.
From “No Nouveau” (a campaign to educate consumers on the joy of Beaujolais) to Elemental Tasting Programs (how life elements affect wine), Benjamin brings a fresh approach to the education and enjoyment of some of the world’s less travelled wine routes. He enjoys the “slow” approach to food and wine with a huge emphasis on sustainability and transparency
When he is not popping corks, he can be found spending time in the kitchen with his daughter Cerise, quoting Shakespeare or strumming away on his favorite Taylor guitar.
Born in Suffolk, England. Pat spent his youth moving across the U.S as a military brat before finally settling in the Florida Panhandle in the late 1980’s.
Pat has spent fifteen years, collectively in the Florida independent restaurant and retail wine industry while pursuing his college education first from University of West Florida with a degree in English and finally from Florida State University certified to teach Secondary Education. After three years teaching High School Literature while also managing restaurants in the summers, Pat ultimately decided to follow his passion for wine and leave teaching to pursue a career in wine distribution.
He began his distribution career as a wine & spirits sales representative for Premier Beverage in the Florida Panhandle. After only a year, he was promoted to an on-premise management role with a team of five sales reps and remained in that role for eight years.
Looking toward new opportunities, Pat took on the position as Director of Sales for McNeese Distributing, a small, independent, fine-wine distributor based in North Florida. In this role, he worked for two years developing solid relationships with new customers from around the state as well as managing a portfolio of small-production, family-owned producers.
As both North Florida Regional Manager and a Progress Portfolio Manager, Pat will draw on his experience and passion for wine to join the needs of both winery and retail partners based on a commitment to service, transparency and trust.
Hunter began his career in service working at the prestigious Restaurant Medure near the Jacksonville Beaches while studying fine wine and spirits obtaining his level 2 certification through the Court of Master Sommeliers program. Hunter's passion for music plays a pivotal role in his connection to his community. Playing at multiple venues around the greater area of Jacksonville and Saint Augustine for the past 10 years, he has naturally networked into the restaurant owners/managers market on a personal level.
Born in Chicago, and raised in Jacksonville Beach, Hunter has started multiple wine education seminars and tasting groups in order to raise the market’s general understanding of the beverages he loves. In his free time, you’ll find Hunter playing his guitar and singing out around town, enjoying a glass of wine with a few friends, and ranting about the different characteristics of what’s in his glass.
Miguel has been a wine enthusiast since his teen years, he didn’t know exactly why, but there was always something that fascinated him about it. Growing up in Brazil where the culture is very relaxed his introduction to wine was guided by his mother who was always interested in all things cultural, including wine.
His first love was a Bordeaux his mother opened to celebrate his 18th birthday. As the years passed, wine was always of interest but during college years’ beer was at the forefront given the hot weather, and sorroundings. In 2007 after working in the Organizing Committee for the Pan American Games in Rio, Miguel headed to Florida to visit family and study amongst other things, it was meant to be a five-month trip.
Ten years later Miguel looks back and remembers how nervous he was during his sommelier certification exam in 2012. He remembers when he went down the wine world rabbit whole for the first time in 2010 and devoured wine publications and tasted everything he could find, it was only meant to be a hobby. But after his first sip of Barbaresco, thirty year old Bordeaux, Grand Cru burgundy and many sabered bottles of Champagne he slowly realized it was always meant to be.
Throughout his working career he spent many years in hospitality, enjoyed some time in health and wellness, sports management and coaching, as well as the auto racing world. Since his foray into wine he has been a sommelier and helped manage a variety of venues from country club, Avant-guard restaurant, wine bar, and most recently a wine retailer and bar, and a small wine importer. A lover of the arts, food and travel, he tries to get around as much as possible. Miguel brings incredible knowledge, passion and personal connections to Progress, and is eager to share his talent and infectious love for wine with the Palm Beach community.
After more than a decade spent travelling the country in search of virtuous vino and curious cocktails, Kory is thrilled to be back in the sunshine state and able to share his knowledge and unwavering passion for great beverages with the St Pete community.
Kory started his career behind the bar during the early part of the craft cocktail boom while he was attending college at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. He developed an unquenchable thirst for wine after his first encounter with Riesling, and devoted his life to preaching the gospel of the grape from that moment forward. He has been privileged to work with and learn from some of the industry's most respected restaurateurs and independent retailers, as well as mentor some of the industry's newest rising stars. With experience ranging from opening renegade wine bars with a renowned Master Sommelier to sourcing the rarest wines in the world for billionaires, Kory brings a tremendous wealth of knowledge to Progress Wine Group.
He is equally as likely to be seen collaborating on a menu with a James Beard Award-winning chef as he is arguing over the merits of his favorite cheap vodka in some dive bar down by the railroad tracks. When he's not out selling the greatest wines and spirits in the world, he can be found supporting local beer culture. He lives with his amazingly tolerant girlfriend and their cat, who's mostly pretty okay, as far as cats go.
After 15+ years in the Orlando restaurant and bar scene, this ex-touring drummer found a home at Progress in the Spring of '18.
Drawing inspiration from his success as a buyer and manager of high-volume wine and cocktail bars, the central theme of Tyson's focus for Progress Wine Group is cultivating experience-rich bar programs to further the continuing growth of the Wine & Spirits business in Central Florida. As a 4th Generation Floridian, he takes great pride in being immersed in the evolution of this State's burgeoning beverage culture.