Women of Virtue: Michele McDonnell, Marketing Director

In honor of Women’s History Month this March, we are featuring some of the women who make up Virtue Cider. These women work in production, commercial, and farming operations; all are a part of every glass of Virtue Cider. Take a moment to learn a bit about what they all do, and if you see any of them at Virtue, please say hello! Here is Michele McDonnell, our marketing director.

Michele McDonnell, Marketing Director

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How long have you been at Virtue Cider and what is your role?

5 ½ years. Marketing Director.

What is your background?

Raised in New York, lived in Portland, OR, for 10 years before moving to Chicago to work for Virtue Cider. Grew up in the restaurant industry — both parents were entrepreneurs — and started working in them at 14. After earning a Fine Arts degree, and working in the fashion industry as a buyer and project manager, came back to hospitality opening my own bar and music venue in Portland then selling it before moving on to be a business manager for an award-winning chef.

What do you like about working at Virtue Cider?

The possibilities and creative freedom. The American cider industry is at an exciting place where we can decide what it looks and feels like. The story of our farm, environmental responsibility, and the fact that we use the best ingredients available to us also makes storytelling rich and beautiful.

About being a woman in your industry:

Stay true to your intent, support other women, and never underestimate what you are capable of.

What’s your favorite cider?

Depends on what I’m eating! Right now I’m really into the versatility of our ciders, so Mezzo Spritz is pretty fun. A light, refreshing cocktail based on an Italian Spritz, Mezzo Spritz transports me to vacation feels where I am busy doing nothing.

Fun fact:

I collect vintage clothing, shoes, and jewelry and once had a clothing line called Heartbreaker, and owned a vintage clothing and record store named Omnibus.

Stay tuned for our next installment of Women of Virtue!  International Women’s Day is March 8.