The President of Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards is stepping down at the end of the year.
According to the Finger Lakes Tourism Alliance, John Keeler has been President since 2009. A Hazlitt news release said:
“John has served the company well and led us through the transition from a small regional winery into a significant East Coast producer.” Leigh Triner, Co-CEO said. “We wish him the best as he moves into a well-deserved retirement.” Doug Hazlitt, Leigh’s brother, and Co-CEO added, “I’m sure John will keep busy. There are plenty of fishing holes that need attention!”
Born and raised in Willard, NY, John Keeler has been a life-long resident of upstate New York. He graduated from South Seneca High School in 1975 and received an Associate’s Degree in Accounting from Bryant & Stratton College in 1977. Later, during his time in the workforce, John received his Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting with honors from the Rochester Institute of Technology.
John began his career at Robeson Appliances, a manufacturer of small kitchen appliances in Castile, NY. In 1980, John took a position in the finance department at the EPD Division of Goulds Pumps in Seneca Falls, NY. Then in 1986, John became Controller at CCN International, a manufacturer of high-end office furniture, in Geneva, NY. Ten years later, John was hired as Controller at Monarch Machine Tool in Cortland, NY. There he was eventually named Co-CEO and took on an ownership position as well. One of the highlights during his time at Monarch, John successfully managed negotiations of employment contracts with the United Auto Workers Union (UAW).
John joined Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards as company President in February 2009. During his tenure, John was instrumental in the acquisition of Widmer Wine Cellars (now Hazlitt Red Cat Cellars) from Constellation Brands and the founding of East Coast Crush & Co-Pack in Naples, NY. Under John’s purview, Red Cat Cellars has grown from 14 to 53 full-time employees with an additional 10-12 temporary hires at any time. In addition, the facility has seen many upgrades to allow for a multitude of co-packing capabilities.
In retirement, John plans on volunteering at charitable organizations. In addition to pursuing the many outdoor sporting activities he loves, John is also looking forward to traveling and spending more time with his family.
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