Cooper's Hawk Winery & Restaurant Expands Corporate Team

Former McDonald's, Bravo Brio, China Grill, and Darden Group Executives Join Cooper's Hawk Team to Support Growth Plans

Dec 04, 2012, 09:45 ET from Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants

COUNTRYSIDE, Ill., Dec. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Cooper's Hawk Winery & Restaurants, a multi-unit winery, restaurant, and retail concept, is ringing in the holidays with the addition of five corporate executive team members to accommodate the company's aggressive growth strategies.

  • David A. Grooms, former Vice President and Chief Information Officer at McDonald's Corporation (USA), has been named the Senior Vice President of Information Systems. 
  • Michael Moore, former Corporate Director of China Grill Management, joins the team as Vice President of Operations. 
  • Jill Golder, former Senior Vice President Finance of Darden's Specialty Restaurant Group, will be replacing Dee Sortino as Chief Financial Officer, as Sortino steps into her new role as Executive Vice President of Production. 
  • Ron Dee  has joined the team as Senior Vice President of Development, after relinquishing his role as Senior Vice President of Real Estate Development for Bravo Brio Restaurant Group.
  • Robert Hartley, former Director of Food & Beverage at Border Café/Jose Tejas Restaurants, has been named Director of Culinary Operations.

The team expansion will support plans for eight to ten new Cooper's Hawk Winery & Restaurant locations through 2014, with four to five new units each year thereafter, including particular focus on Ohio, Virginia, and Florida markets. Each new location will create more than 150 jobs for their respective communities. 

"Attracting and retaining great talent within the industry is one of our most important goals," said Cooper's Hawk Founder and CEO, Tim McEnery. "We realized we need world class leaders to support our growth and lead an innovative team as we expand beyond our Illinois roots and beyond the Midwest."

CFO Jill Golder explains, "I made the decision to leave a very successful and well respected organization, Darden, for what I see as a unique concept within the industry with exciting and challenging growth plans, and enormous opportunities."

The corporate expansion comes on the heels of Peter D'Amelio, former President of The Cheesecake Factory, who joined Cooper's Hawk in January 2012 as Chief Operating Officer.  All team members will work out of the corporate offices headquartered in Countryside, Ill.

Today Cooper's Hawk produces over 175,000 cases of wine per year, making them the fifth largest U.S. wine producer outside of California with projected revenues of over $100 million for 2013.

About Cooper's Hawk Winery & Restaurants
An eclectic combination of winery, restaurants, and retail stores, Cooper's Hawk is the brain-child of entrepreneur, Tim McEnery, who opened the first winery and restaurant in 2005. Operations have since expanded to ten locations, with Kansas City, Missouri slated to open December 2012 as their eleventh. The uniquely modern yet casual dining experience coupled with an exclusive and active wine club has led to over 200 wine awards. In 2010, Cooper's Hawk was named  "Hot Concept" Winner by Nations Restaurant News. To learn more about Cooper's Hawk Winery and Restaurants, visit

Melanie Pierce

SOURCE Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants