From musicians to educators, from actors to programmers, from politicians to entrepreneurs, the 2016 class of Erie’s 40 Under 40 features inspiring men and women working to make Erie a better place for young and old alike. Almost half of of those chosen grew up right here in Erie County. Other young people from all over the state – and all over the world – arrived here and stayed to help build up our community. Together they represent some of the brightest beacons of hope for our city. Some faces might be familiar, while some might seem brand new. Some are leading the fight for equal rights, and some have bravely fought for our country. All are innovators, and all are champions in their fields. We had hundreds of nominations, and eventually we were able to narrow them down to an exceptional twoscore honorees. So without further ado, here they are: the 2016 class of Erie’s 40 Under 40.
General Manager and Enologist at Mazza Wines
The Mazza family sowed its fortunes in the vineyards, but their fields have grown beyond the grapevines under Mario’s stewardship. Just as long as they stay there – Mazza is committed to preserving area farmlands against the slow creep of sprawl.
“I hope that by creating these products we provide a viable market for local agriculture, which will keep our region beautiful by keeping ag-land from being turned into housing,” he says.
As the general manager and enologist at Mazza, he oversees production from grape or grain to bottle (as opposed to a viticulturist, who addresses the planting/growing aspects – a different subdivision). Mazza has spent most of his life in the Great Lakes area – North East High School and then Case Western University in Cleveland – before receiving his master’s in oenology down under in Adelaide, Australia. Besides Five & 20’s distilled spirits, nothing warms him quite like young people “breathing new life, ideas, and enthusiasm into our community.” We could certainly use more of that vintage.
Read about the other 39 here