How I Made It

Business Profiles

A childhood dream ferments into an award-winning winery

The gig: At 65, Robert Reyes is living his childhood dream of running a vineyard and winery. Reyes owns Reyes Winery in Agua Dulce, situated on a 17-acre hillside near the Angeles National Forest in northern Los Angeles County. His reds and whites, which sell for $18 to $35 a bottle, have won 62...

More Success Stories

  • Alwyn Hight Kushner is making her own imprint on Chinese Theatres

    Alwyn Hight Kushner is making her own imprint on Chinese Theatres

    The gig: Alwyn Hight Kushner, 33, is president and chief operating officer of TCL Chinese Theatres in Hollywood — once known as Grauman's Chinese Theatre (and, for a while, Mann's Chinese Theatre) —home to the handprints and footprints of 279 celebrities. Kushner oversees an operation that employs...

  • Ernst & Young's Patrick Niemann is not just a numbers guy

    Ernst & Young's Patrick Niemann is not just a numbers guy

    The gig: Patrick Niemann, 46, is the managing partner of Ernst & Young's Greater Los Angeles practice. EY is one of the so-called Big Four accounting firms. In Los Angeles, Niemann runs an operation with 1,500 workers.

  • Ad man Rick Sittig puts fun spin on spots

    Ad man Rick Sittig puts fun spin on spots

    The gig: Rick Sittig is the founder and creative director of Secret Weapon Marketing, a Santa Monica advertising firm. He's best known as the brains behind Jack, the wisecracking, round-headed fictional leader of Jack in the Box restaurants.

  • Musician Blake Robin creates his own life of Luxxury

    Musician Blake Robin creates his own life of Luxxury

    The gig: Blake Robin, a.k.a. Luxxury, is producer and songwriter whose accomplishments include writing songs for film and TV commercials, performing at San Francisco's Treasure Island music festival and DJing at silent discos (dancers wear headphones) in Santa Monica. Robin's most recent work includes...

  • How I Made It: Arlene Blum

    How I Made It: Arlene Blum

    The gig: Arlene Blum is a California scientist, educator, author and an international mountain climber. Her work has helped eliminate dangerous fire retardants from children's pajamas and foam furniture.

  • Activist Paulina Gonzalez puts pressure on banks to help the poor

    Activist Paulina Gonzalez puts pressure on banks to help the poor

    The gig: Former union organizer and community activist Paulina Gonzalez, 41, became executive director this year of the California Reinvestment Coalition, an advocate for better financial services and affordable housing in low-income neighborhoods.

  • How I Made It: Simon 'Si' Ramo

    How I Made It: Simon 'Si' Ramo

    The gig: Simon "Si" Ramo helped lead the Cold War development of the intercontinental ballistic missile, which could send a nuclear warhead thousands of miles. The aerospace pioneer co-founded two Fortune 500 companies, including TRW Inc., for which he built a sprawling campus in Redondo Beach...

  • Developer David Wilstein has made his mark on Los Angeles

    Developer David Wilstein has made his mark on Los Angeles

    The gig: David Wilstein, 86, is founder and president of Realtech Construction Co., one of Los Angeles' oldest and largest commercial real estate development firms. Since its founding in 1976, he has overseen more than 100 projects, including high-rise office towers, medical buildings, apartments,...

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