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Pinot's Palette Annual Retreat 2013
Pinot's Palette - Annual Retreat 2013
Craig Ceccanti

Craig Ceccanti - Co-founder and CEO

Craig Ceccanti is a founding member and CEO of Pinot’s Palette, Houston’s first and premier, upscale BYOB Painting Studio. As a pioneer in the newly developed and rapidly expanding Sip and Paint industry, Craig has directed an innovative start-up business with one location to a concept which is now being sold nationwide.

His contributions at Pinot’s Palette have involved strategy, financing, architecting proprietary technology, developing and standardizing operations, fundraising, building a team-based culture and a purpose-driven brand. These efforts have helped Pinot’s Palette attract both local and national media attention from TLC Network, The Business Journal, 002 Houston, Envy, Houston Press, ABC 13, Great Day Houston, among others.

Outside of Pinot’s Palette, Craig stays true to his background in Consulting and Project Management. He actively devotes his time to supporting young entrepreneurs, charities and alumni chapters in the Houston community. Some of his favorite projects include teaching "Marketing for Small Business" at Rice University's Jones Graduate School and coaching at Vintage CrossFit.

Read Craig's Blog Articles

Charles Willis

Charles Willis - Co-founder and President

Charles Willis is a founding member and President of Pinot’s Palette (formerly Pinot & Picasso), Houston’s first and premier, upscale BYOB Painting Studio. As a pioneer in the newly developed and rapidly expanding Sip and Paint industry, Charles has played an instrumental role in expanding both the Houston corporate business as well as developing the business through national franchising.

His expertise has evolved Pinot’s Palette’s growth strategy, streamlining supply chains, developing key markets and strategic management techniques. His project management efforts have helped Pinot’s Palette attract national franchisees as he guides them through the process from introduction, implementation and ongoing support.

Outside of Pinot’s Palette, Charles stays true to his background in Project Management. He actively devotes his time to supporting local charities and alumni chapters in the Houston community and spending time with his wife, Beth, and their daughters.

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Beth Willis

Beth Willis - Co-founder and CCO

Beth Willis is a founding member and Chief Creative Officer of Pinot’s Palette. Beth is regarded as the leading visionary for product development, represents the customer’s perspective, and identifies key consumers trends. Within this role, she collaborates locally and nationally to develop multiple new paintings every month for the Pinot’s Palette library, including any custom paintings requested by Pinot’s Palette customers, and plans the monthly calendars according to customer demand.

In the first days of Pinot’s Palette, Beth presented key evidence for consumer market sustainability of the Paint and Sip business which provided fuel for Charles and Craig to put their plans into action. She is both credited with scouting the Montrose location and designing the Galleria location, including the stylish Picasso room.

Outside of her work with Pinot’s Palette, Beth is a full time Clinical Pharmacy Specialist and mother of two daughters.

Mari Sokolowski

Mari Sokolowski - Franchise Development Director

Mari Johnson Sokolowski joined the Pinot’s Palette team in 2011 as Marketing Director, the first full-time hire to the headquarters team. Since 2012, Mari has been directing franchise development from coast-to-coast through managing the national marketing budgets as well as leading the Pinot’s Palette sales efforts from her satellite office in Chicago, IL. Her passion for the industry and Pinot’s Palette brand has helped guide over 22 new franchise partners through the sales process, making Pinot’s Palette the fastest growing paint and sip in the nation. When Mari is not working with qualified candidates, she focuses her time on opening her own franchise studio in Chicago, IL, volunteering and spending time with her family.

Mari graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with undergraduate degrees in both Marketing (B.B.A., 2005) and Advertising (B.S., 2005), and has marketing experience with national brands like P&G as well as local media start-ups like CultureMap.

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Lori Lockerd

Lori Lockerd - Franchise Development Manager

Lori Lockerd joined Pinot’s Palette in 2012 as the Franchise Development Manager. She grew up in Denver, Colorado, and graduated from the University of Colorado with Bachelor Degrees in both Advertising and Fine Art. Following graduation from college, Lori found work with Village Voice Media (known in Denver as The Westword Newspaper). She started her career as an Account Manager for the sales staff, moved into the position of Marketing Coordinator, and found her way to Houston via a promotion to be Marketing Director of the Houston Press. After spending 8 years with Village Voice Media, Lori took leave to start her own social media business. She worked at home for 2 years before taking the opportunity to work with Team Pinot. As Franchise Development Manager, Lori helps drive the sales process by transmitting information to potential partners, following up on inquiries, and planning the logistics of Discovery Days and Signing Days. She will also wear the hat of Event Planner, and will be an integral part of both the Pinot’s Palette Annual Retreat and Art Tasting Event. When not offering the Pinot’s Palette opportunity to the nation, one studio at a time, she can be found spending time with her husband Patrick and son Owen.

Myka Aultman

Myka Aultman - Franchise Development Manager

Myka has an extensive sales background. Her skills include management, leadership, customer service, business development, and branding. Her experience working for the top distributors in Texas, representing the largest international alcohol brands and suppliers, establishes her as an expert within the wine consumer industry. A Texas A&M University graduate with a degree in International Business and Commerce, Myka is a perfect fit Pinot’s Palette family. Additionally, Myka’s love of different cultures and her work experience in Spain provide a unique international business perspective. An avid outdoor adventure seeker, she brings a new amount of energy and an abundance of ideas to the team. In her spare time, Myka teaches belly dancing, enjoys wine, practices interior design, and spends time with her husband, Chris, and their two pets--French Bulldog, Winston Tubbs, and Labrador, Brilee Bear.

Jacqueline Deavenport

Jacqueline Deavenport - Marketing Manager
Franchise Development and National Partnerships

Jacqueline's love of art and franchise marketing have found their home with our Pinot's Palette family. A graduate of Baylor University, Jacqueline began her career in the radio and television sphere as a journalist and assistant producer. After completing her Master’s in Media Management, she found a home in franchising and implemented franchise sales marketing strategies for The Dwyer Group, a holding company for seven service-based franchise brands. Jacqueline brings her love of creative writing and marketing expertise to Pinot’s Palette to help grow the franchise system and brand. In her free time she loves taking time to ride her horse and spending time with her two cats.

Chasiti Mosely

Chasiti Mosely - Operations Director

Chasiti Mosely joined the Pinot’s Palette team in early 2012 as the Operations Director. With over six years of experience working for Rosetta Stone and European Wax Center, she is an expert in managing retail establishments and was instrumental in the development of their nationwide franchise systems. Her expertise in customer service, employee relations and business operations, as well as her love for art, culture and community, makes Chasiti an asset to the Pinot’s Palette team.

Haley Hughes

Haley Hughes - Marketing Manager
Local Marketing and National Partnerships

As one of the nation’s top special event planners, Haley Hughes makes having fun an art form. Drawing on her marketing expertise and business acumen, Haley’s expert advice assists franchisees in developing tailored marketing plans to help them grow their businesses. Haley has received a number of professional awards. She was recognized in the Top 25 Planners Nationally by Special Events Magazine, and the Houston Business Journal named her in its 40 Under 40 list of rising, young professionals. In her spare time, Haley enjoys kayaking on Texas’ rivers and relaxing with a glass of wine in the company of her furry companions: Frankie, Linus and Ruger.

Hannah Padley

Hannah Padley - Operations Coordinator

With a background in customer service, hospitality, and sales, Hannah’s position as Studio Manager for Pinot’s Palette was a perfect fit. After spending a year managing the Houston-Galleria location as well as helping to maintain the Montrose and Memorial City studios, she was promoted to Operations Coordinator on the Pinot’s Palette Headquarters team. This role allows her to use her studio management experience and proficiency in the Pinot Technology Suite to help sustain a high level of quality in the Houston studios, as well as provide support to our national partners. When not Painting, Drinking, and Having Fun, she enjoys reading voraciously, attempting gourmet recipes in her kitchen, and taking her dogs out for walks in the woods.

Eric Wright

Eric Wright - Technology Manager

Eric Wright joined Pinot’s Palette in 2012 as the Technology Manager. He holds Bachelor Degrees in both Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of Houston. Eric has worked in IT for 3 years, including 2 years in the role as a software developer at JV Industrial. His primary role as Technology Manager at Pinot’s Palette is to make sure the PTS systems and features are performing with high utility. When he is not writing code and fulfilling requests, he enjoys spending time with his family and watching the Rockets and Texans.

Ashley Gardner

Ashley Gardner - Artist Trainer

Ashley quickly accelerated into the Artist Trainer role after starting with Pinot’s Palette in 2010. Since then, she has been instrumental for onboarding and training initial artists across the Pinot’s Palette system. Her photography, event coordinating skills, and painting background has helped her develop the training programs that are successful in our studios across the United States. Ashley is opening a Pinot's Palette studio in Oklahoma City in the spring of 2013. Outside of Pinot's Palette, Ashley enjoys spending time with her family and friends, and still continues creating her own unique multimedia pieces of art.

Carmen Talbert

Carmen Talbert - Artist Trainer

Carmen Talbert has been working with Pinot's Palette since August of 2010. She studied art at California State University East Bay acquiring her Bachelor's Degree in Liberal Arts with a concentration in Studio Arts. Not only has Carmen volunteered as an Art Docent at the elementary school in Alameda, California, where she lived for several years, she has also volunteered as a curator for a small Gallery in the historic area of College Avenue in Oakland, California. Her work has been shown in California, Louisiana, and Texas.

"I have always considered myself an artist as far as I can remember; always creating and making things since I was a small child. I never imagined myself making a career strictly as an artist." says Carmen.

Pinot's Palette has allowed Carmen to continue her passion as a freelance artist while sharing basic techniques with people who do not paint on a regular basis. She is recognized as a Senior Artist at Pinot's Palette and is involved with artist and partner training. As the Off-Site Manager she loves bringing the Pinot's Palette experience to our customers and has mastered the challenge of replicating the Pinot’s Palette atmosphere off-site.

Natalie Wells

Natalie Wells - Artist Trainer

Natalie joined the Pinot team in 2011 after earning a BFA in Art and working as a self-employed photographer for 5 years. Her background in creative expression and customer service, as well as her enthusiasm for expanding the painting library, has quickly led her to her position with the corporate team. As an artist trainer, she hires, trains and mentors new artists and provides support to ensure their success. Natalie also manages the Master Painting Library, working with artists and franchise owners to promote the growth and integrity of our painting selections. Her other contributions include developing and coordinating our kids’ camps and special classes, as well as teaching regular public classes in the corporate studios. She works with both artists and the headquarters team to develop strategies to ensure maximum success in our classes, and she is excited to be part of the future endeavors of Pinot’s Palette.

Disclaimer and Pre-Disclosure
Entrepreneur Magazine 2013 Franchise 500 List
Entrepreneur Magazine 2013 Franchise 500 List
Entrepreneur Magazine 2013 Franchise 500 List
Entrepreneur Magazine 2013 Franchise 500 List
Franchise Business Review 2014 FBR50 Franchisee Satisfaction Award Winner
International Franchise Association