Meet the Team

  • Edward O’Keefe Jr.

    Chairman | CEO

    Chateau Grand Traverse is as much a colorful story of our founder Ed O’Keefe Jr., as it is of the winery itself.  Like many mavericks in the wine industry, it was a rather indirect route that ultimately led an Irishman from Philadelphia to northern Michigan to start a winery.  An Olympic gymnast (runner-up); Army Green […]

  • Eddie O’Keefe

    President | Since 1985

    Eddie is the President of Chateau Grand Traverse, Ltd. and leads the business side of the operation.  Eddie’s enthusiasm for wine began at an early age while tagging along with his father as a young kid in establishing the area’s first commercial winery and vineyard producing vinifera grapes.  He then spent his summers at the […]

  • Bernd Croissant

    Winemaker | Since 1991

    Bernd grew up in Edenkoben, Rheinland–Pfalz, Germany at his parent’s vineyards and winery located 25 miles north of the French border in the Palatinate.  As a child, Bernd assisted his father in the vineyards and winery through each year’s harvest.  In 1975 he began his formal wine training and apprenticeship earning his “Journeyman in Viticulture […]

  • Terrie McClelland

    Operations Manager | Since 1986

    Terrie is the Operations Manager at the winery and is the go-to person for almost anything.  She was originally hired as a tractor driver and vineyard worker back in 1987, and has moved through the winery having worked in the retail tasting room, wine production area, as well as the front office. Terrie is known […]

  • Alan Larrabee

    Controller | Since 2008

    Alan was born and raised in Traverse City graduating from Traverse City Senior High and later the University of Michigan.  He is a licensed CPA since 1995.  He has worked as an accountant in Traverse City since 1991 and joined Chateau Grand Traverse in April 2008. “I like the dynamics of a family-owned business and […]

  • Rhonda Riebow

    National Sales Manager | Since 1998

    Rhonda began her career in the wine industry working for various Wine Wholesalers throughout the mid-Michigan area.  After 22 years working in many different capacities, Rhonda broke away and started her own wine brokerage company called BevNet Marketing in 1998.  She successfully represented and built new markets for a few national and imported brands throughout the region. […]

  • Megan Molloy

    Marketing Coordinator | Since 2017

    Megan was hired on as the Marketing Coordinator at Chateau Grand Traverse in July of 2017. She was born in Detroit, Michigan and grew up in Fraser, graduating from Fraser High School in 2011. After graduating from Central Michigan University in 2015, Megan began working as the Digital Marketing Coordinator at the Mt. Pleasant Area […]

  • Hiro Miura

    Wine Tasting Room Manager | Since 2000

    Hiro has been a core member of Chateau Grand Traverse since his return from Japan in 2000.  He is responsible for day-to-day coordination of tasting room operations, and is the key liaison directly involved with customers who visit the winery for tours and tasting.  He enjoys interactions with novice as well as experienced wine tasters, and […]

  • Michael Bodus

    Retail Merchandise Manager | Since 2005

    Michael has deep roots in Northern Michigan having family homesteads in Cedar on the Leelanau Peninsula.  After graduating with his M.F.A. from Indiana University in 1997 he returned to the area bringing back a broad base of skills and experiences. The skills acquired were developed by holding such positions as Artist, Art Director, Teacher, and […]

  • Ann Ritzel

    Hospitality Coordinator | Since 2015 —

    Ann is the newest member of the team at CGT, hired on as Hospitality Coordinator. She hails from Norwich, New York but has called Traverse City her home since graduating with her bachelors in Culinary Arts and Service Management from Paul Smith’s College in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains in 2005. Her role includes […]

  • Perry Harmon

    Chef | Since 2016

    Chef Perry comes from Ohio, growing up in Copley and then Cleveland and lastly Mount Vernon. At age 30, he decided to follow his passion and went to culinary school in Cleveland, Ohio where he graduated “cum laude” with an Associate’s Degree in Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management. After graduating he won his first competition: […]

  • Ken Bowman

    Vintage Wine Club Manager | Since 2005

    Ken is our Vintage Wine Club manager and joined Chateau Grand Traverse in 2005 after 32 years of service to IBM in New York state.  Amongst his other duties, Ken coordinates all functions related to our Wine Club, and is often called upon to assist in various other functions here at the winery.  His BS […]

  • Tom Simmonds

    Assistant Tasting Room Manager

    Tom grew up in Grosse Pointe Farms, MI and came to Traverse City in 2004. After attending the Great Lakes Maritime Academy from 2004 to 2008, he ultimately decided not to work on ships and stay shore side. Tom has been at CGT since the spring of 2010. Fully settled in Traverse City, Tom lives […]

  • Peter Francisco

    Bottling Production Manager | Since 2005

    Peter was originally employed in construction and was involved in building an addition onto our winery. He observed the winemaking process and found it to be an interesting occupation and applied for a position.  Since then, Peter has been a key member of Chateau Grand Traverse winemaking team.  He is responsible for the operation and maintenance of our bottling line […]

  • Ron Harp

    Vineyard Manager | Since 1998

    Ron comes from strong agricultural background having worked his whole life on Old Mission Peninsula with cherries, apples and grapes.  Ron is our equipment “Artist” in his ability to maintain, fix, or operate a multitude of complex farm and vineyard equipment.  In farming, Ron is a rare breed with his ability to get the job done despite, […]

  • Joe Lefevre

    Cellar Technician | Since 2011

    Joe is quiet and meticulous and works hard to get the many jobs done within our winery operation.  He is directly involved in all aspects of winemaking from harvest to bottling.  Joe’s favorite part of the job is being instrumental in transforming each year’s grapes into beautiful finished wine ready to enjoy.  Joe has a bachelor’s degree in English and […]

  • Kurtis Berry

    Lab and Enologist Assistant | Since 2016

    Kurtis is a graduate from Traverse City Central. He went on to school at NMU and later back to Traverse City enrolling in Michigan States extension Viticulture program, graduating in 2016. He was the first Michigan State IAT student to intern internationally. He went on Internship to Italy, in the Marche area where he was […]

  • Mark Groenevelt

    Warehouse & Shipping | Since 1990

    Mark has been a key man at Chateau Grand Traverse through our many growth phases over the past few decades.  Mark’s current responsibility is for the shipping and warehousing of all of the products we produce.  Whether it is wine to be placed in our tasting room or product to be shipped to our distributors, he is the […]

  • Pablo Gomez

    Vineyard Assistant | Since 1999

    Pablo oversees daily activities in the vineyard.  His primary duties include pruning, vine maintenance, harvest and general upkeep.  Pablo is married and has three children.  In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family as well as serious vegetable gardening with a specialty in tomatoes and assorted peppers.

  • A.J. Kiel

    Groundskeeping | Since 2014

    A.J. was born and raised in Northern Michigan. Having always enjoyed both working outdoors and getting to see the fruits of his labor, Groundskeeping was a good fit. Since starting at CGT, he’s developed both a taste for wine and an interest in learning the wine-making process. He especially enjoys the variety his job provides, […]

  • Anne Steele

    Housekeeping and Guest Services | Since 2016

  • Emily Graham

    Housekeeping and Guest Services | Since 2013

  • Samantha Baker

    Housekeeping and Guest Services | Since 2017

  • Sitka

    Winery Dog | Since 2014

    Sitka follows in the long line of Samoyeds in the CGT family. He can be found chewing on anything left around the office, greeting guests at our Winery Inn, or cheering on the Michigan State Spartans. Sitka joined the winery team in March of 2014 and quickly fell into routine with his trainer, Boo.

Welcome to Chateau Grand Traverse

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