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Barefoot Wine Co-Founders to Speak at UT Sept. 25

Published: Sep 17, 2013
Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey, co-founders of Barefoot Cellars, will be at The University of Tampa Wednesday, Sept. 25, to talk about Barefoot Wines, which they started in their laundry room in 1985 and is now a top wine brand in the U.S.

The event begins with breakfast and networking at 7:30 a.m., followed by the presentation. It will be held in the Vaughn Center Crescent Club.

From its humble beginnings, Houlihan and Harvey grew Barefoot Wines into a nationwide best-seller using unconventional techniques such as “worthy cause marketing” in lieu of traditional advertising to build a loyal following and promote their favorite causes. They successfully sold the brand to E&J Gallo in 2005.

Since then, Houlihan and Harvey have shared their knowledge with large and small corporations and start-ups, offering their real-world experiences to help companies improve profitability, grow their brands and improve their culture.

The two also co-authored The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand, a New York Times best-selling business book that chronicles the history and lessons learned building the Barefoot Wine brand.

The event, part of the Entrepreneurship Center in the Sykes College of Business’ Main Street Speaker Series, is sponsored by NorthStar Bank. Tickets are free for UT students, faculty and staff with a reservation; $15 for individuals; $100 for a table of eight (four seats go to sponsor a student); and a corporate sponsorship is $500.

For more information, go to www.ut.edu/entrepreneurcenter/mainstreetspeakerseries/, or contact Melissa Flohr, coordinator of centers and institutes, at mflohr@ut.edu or (813) 257-3782. Please RSVP by Wednesday, Sept. 18.