Lou Garcia was born in the Bronx, New York and grew up on Long Island. He has a Bachelor’s degree from University of Cincinnati and an MBA in Finance & Marketing from Indiana University. He spent 25 years in various division, group, and corporate financial roles at three large companies - Procter & Gamble, PepsiCo, and Avery Dennison.
In 1998, his first career venture outside the big corporate world was as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for LBC, Inc. in Lancaster, Ohio, the largest distributor of charitable gaming and bingo products, equipment, and services in the U.S. Lou developed an interest in the wine industry in the late 1990’s, but decided to wait and continue his search in California after accepting a job offer in 2001 to become CFO of a company in San Jose. However, he was still unable to find a senior financial position in the wine industry because he did not have any wine related experience. Lou combined his entrepreneurial spirit and love of wine when he and his wife, Janice, purchased Stover Oaks Winery, a small winery and vineyard in El Dorado County in the Sierra Foothills of California.
One year later, with hands-on experience, Lou became General Manager and CFO of Frank Johnson Vineyards and Roshambo Winery in Sonoma County and held this position for four years while owning Stover Oaks. In 2009, he became Controller & CFO for Hall Wines in Napa County and worked there through the end of 2015 when he retired with a plan to move back to Ohio. Even though he no longer owns the winery and vineyard property in the Sierra Foothills, he still maintains the Stover Oaks brand while living here in Ohio. The wines are made in California from locally grown grapes.
Lou has been owner of Blackthorn Enterprises, Inc. since it was created in 2004 to purchase Stover Oaks Winery. For the past four years, while still owning Stover Oaks, Lou was an independent sales agent for H & A Barrel Management which leases new barrels and sells used & reconditioned barrels to the wine & spirits industry. His recent focus has shifted to financial & business consulting and recently became Area CFO for SharpCFO providing fractional and interim advisory services for both profit and non-profit organizations.
As a strong believer in giving back to the community, Lou has been involved with many non- profit organizations over the years. He has participated in multiple community, college, and corporate fund raising drives including the United Way Board of Review in Fairfield County (Ohio) and the Napa Valley College Foundation (California) as a board member from 2012 thru 2015. He is currently V.P. & Treasurer for his trade association composed of wineries, vintners, and growers, a 501 (c) 6 non-profit, which was formed in 2002 in California. He is one of the Charter members.
Lou has consistently demonstrated success in achieving business objectives by providing analytical skills and financial advice that generate effective strategic and tactical decisions.
AAAV - https://www.aaavintners.org/
Stover Oaks - https://www.sierrawines.com/winery/winery00026.aspx
H&A Barrel Management - http://ha-barrelmanagement.com/
Association of African American Vintners:
Phil Long: firstname.lastname@example.org
Longevity Wines: https://www.longevitywines.com