Every family business comes to a moment of truth. As the managing generation readies for retirement, (or as we say – where is the Lord leading us next?) what will happen to the business?
The only way such a business truly lives on is for someone in the next generation to understand the vision, feel the passion for the product, and embrace the challenge to succeed. Paul V (VI) and I started Messina Hof on a leap of faith when we planted our first vines in 1977. We never really thought about the end, only the beginning. As the Lord blessed the work of our hands and provided 17 expansions in 25 years, the business grew as did our family with Paul Mitchell and our extended Messina Hof family. Messina Hof became more than just a business. It is a collective of many family members who share the vision, believe in all that can be, and who support us in the journey. Paul V has been a great family leader.
Messina Hof is blessed with a great successor in Paul M Bonarrigo (VII). Paul (VII) left home to attend the Naval Academy in 2001 with the intent of becoming a career Marine. He graduated and was commissioned a Marine officer in 2005; served 2 tours in Iraq; and finished his time as the operations officer of the Wounded Warrior Battalion East at Camp LeJeune.
In 2009 he and his wife Karen felt a calling to come back to Messina Hof to continue the legacy. They moved back to Texas and joined Messina Hof in 2010. Both of them worked diligently to learn all aspects of the business and took leadership roles in all departments. They began to implement positive changes in the winery that continue today from implementing new more dynamic and multi-location point of sale software, improved organization and systems control, and aggressive e-commerce and VIP loyalty programs to enhanced departmental training and retail expansion.
It was with a great sense of pride and joy that Paul V and I announced on August 19, 2012, that Paul M Bonarrigo (VII) is the new CEO for Messina Hof Wine Cellars, Inc. and that Karen Bonarrigo of Administration. It is appropriate that successorship is based on the word success. We believe that if the Lord calls us to do something, we will be successful in whatever He calls us to do. We are thankful that Paul M and Karen were called to continue the good work of what the Lord has provided at Messina Hof.