As the Vice President of National Accounts, On-Premise for J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines, Rita Di Lello guides a world-class restaurant program that includes more than 200 elite accounts throughout the United States. With 17 years of focused wine industry sales experience, Rita has established a reputation as a creative, detail-oriented, on-premise specialist known for building collaborative, successful relationships with her accounts.
Rita was born and raised in Utah, and attended Weber State University, where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Technical Sales. While working as the corporate retail buyer for Mirage Resorts in Nevada, Rita also attended the University of Nevada Las Vegas, where she earned an MBA with a focus in Sales and Marketing. While studying for her MBA, Rita joined the UNLV Wine Club and quickly fell in love with wine. Following her newfound passion, Rita travelled to numerous wine regions and received her introductory level certification from the Court of Master Sommeliers.
In 2000, Rita joined the team at J. Lohr as West Coast National Accounts, On-Premise Manager and Nevada State Manager; she quickly built a robust list of prestigious casino and luxury restaurant accounts. Eager to gain a broader perspective of the industry, Rita went on to work for Banfi Vintners in 2003, where she ultimately became National Accounts Manager—West. Rita has also held positions as the Southern California and Nevada Regional Manager for 585 Wine Partners, and as the Western US National Accounts, On-Premise and Retail Chains Manager for Foley Family Wines.
In 2016, Rita rejoined the team at J. Lohr as VP National Accounts, On-Premise. In this role, Rita develops and nurtures relationships with key national and regional accounts, attains sales, distribution & profitability goals, coordinates national pricing, and educates key accounts on the unique stories of J. Lohr wines. In addition to her certification through the Court of Master Sommeliers, Rita was a member of the first graduating class to earn Certified Wine Professional accreditation from the Culinary Institute of America. She is also involved in the Society of Wine Educators, earning a Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) title from that organization in 2017.
Away from work, Rita enjoys road cycling, hiking, skiing and snowboarding. She is also actively involved as an ambassador for Children of Restaurant Employees (CORE) – a charitable organization dedicated to providing support for the children and families of food and beverage employees who are navigating life-altering circumstances or conditions.