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Francis Ford Coppola Expands Wine Marketing Team with Four New Hires

by Press Release
June 08, 2016

GEYSERVILLE, Calif. (June 8, 2016) – Francis Ford Coppola announced today the appointment of four new management hires to The Family Coppola’s Marketing department, including a Vice President, two Directors and a Senior Brand Manager. Coppola, who assumes the role of Chief Marketing Officer at the company, will work closely with the department to drastically expand consumer marketing efforts on behalf of Francis Ford Coppola Winery and Virginia Dare Winery.

Spearheading these efforts will be Jennifer Leitman who has been named Vice President of Marketing. An accomplished marketing veteran with more than 17 years of creative marketing strategy experience in television and digital, Leitman worked with Scripps Networks Interactive on highly regarded brands including HGTV and DIY Network. She will work closely with Coppola to seamlessly weave his creative thinking into the winemaking team’s critically-acclaimed wine portfolio, driving consumer marketing and visibility into a new era.

“I’m always learning new things and developing ideas out of what I like to call our ‘Crazy Idea Department,” says Francis Coppola. “Hiring someone outside of the wine industry may seem like a risk, but I think it lends a complementary perspective to my thoughts, and can be beneficial to make these ideas come to life.”

“This is a very exciting time in our company,” says Steve Spadarotto, The Family Coppola’s CEO. “As we further define ourselves as one of Sonoma County’s superior wine producers, Jennifer’s expertise from outside our industry will lend support to cutting-edge campaigns, while industry experts in the additional Marketing roles offer a combined 32 years of pivotal, innovative trade and consumer experience.

Kathleen Murphy will serve as Director of Innovation and will be responsible for bringing awareness to new product launches as well as the successful Sofia and Votre Santé brands. Prior to joining Coppola, she let the innovation pipeline of new products at Constellation Brands, worked on global teams with Diageo in The Netherlands, managed international brand development for Campari in Monaco, and championed marketing strategies for E&J Gallo in the U.S., Latin America, Benelux, France and Spain.

Gabriela Becker joins the Coppola team as Director of Marketing, overseeing the global marketing efforts on behalf of the company’s award-winning brands – the flagship Diamond Collection, Rosso & Bianco, and Gia. Previously, Becker managed the overall marketing and restructuring of three Jackson Family Wines’ Central Coast brands and led consumer and channel marketing initiatives for E & J Gallo Winery.

Rebecca Gilbert joins as Senior Brand Manager responsible for the Virginia Dare Winery portfolio as well as the Director’s and Director’s Cut tiers. Her recent accomplishments can be seen in the Rodney Strong and Davis Bynum brands where she developed engaging consumer and trade programming. Her brand marketing career began with Jackson Family Wines overseeing La Crema, Matanzas Creek and Stonestreet.

About The Family Coppola

The Family Coppola encompasses all of the things Francis loves most – cinema, wine, food, resorts, and adventure – and embraces quality, authenticity and pleasure as a backbone to each of these vibrant business endeavors. Anchored in Sonoma County, Francis Ford Coppola Winery, known for the superior level of quality and integrity, is, as Francis puts it, “a wine wonderland, a park of pleasure where people of all ages can enjoy all the best things in life: food, wine, music, dancing, games, swimming and performances of all types. A place to celebrate the love of life.” Coppola’s second foray into Sonoma County came in 2015 with the launch of Virginia Dare Winery, American wines since 1835, ushering in a new era of elevated quality and vineyard-specific wines. The Coppola Resorts are a collection of unique properties where adventure meets serenity. Drawing upon inspiration from his film career and travels around the globe to the far reaching corners of the world, Francis created each resort embracing its off-the-beaten-track location, making it an ideal destination for exploring the natural wonders of the area while relaxing in tranquil surroundings. Additionally, The Family Coppola operates a venerable film production company, American Zoetrope; the award-winning all-literary magazine, Zoetrope: All-Story; Cafe Zoetrope in San Francisco’s iconic Sentinel Building in North Beach; and Mammarella Foods, an authentic line of premium organic pastas and sauces.

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