New York, NY, USA
Already considered a quintessential maven of modern-day marketing, GARY VAYNERCHUK is a New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-selling author as well as a self-trained wine and social media expert. In high school, while working at his family owned liquor store, Gary started reading The Wine Spectator among other wine books and realized collecting wine offered an allure similar to his previous hobby of collecting baseball cards. With a newfound wealth of knowledge, an entrepreneurial spirit, and a clear recognition of the emergence of e-commerce in 1997, Gary launched Winelibrary.com and helped grow his family business from $3 million to $45 million by 2005. Although Gary does not consider himself to be a ‘techie’, in 2005, he began video blogging and established himself as a true social media trailblazer. Gaining nearly 1 million Twitter followers, Gary was included in BusinessWeek’s list of the “top 20 people every entrepreneur should follow.”
In 2006, with a flipcam and a NY Jets bucket, Gary began Wine Library TV which further revolutionized the wine world. His wine reviews soon attracted over 100,000 viewers each day and his die-hard fans nicknamed themselves “Vayniacs.” Gary’s cult-like following was the result of his unconventional, often irreverent commentary on wine. Using comical expressions like “Sniffy Sniff” and “The Oakmonster,” he encourages straightforward wine tasting and debunks wine myths. A business visionary, Gary also started CinderellaWine.com, a flash sale website which features one wine per day for 24 hours sold at a severely discounted price. He also started a monthly newsletter that gives readers access to the hundreds of wines he tastes and reviews each month off camera.
Gary’s first business book Crush It! Why Now Is the Time to Cash in on Your Passion (October 2009) hit the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Associated Press Best-Sellers lists in its first weeks. It maps out Gary’s road rules for how to “Crush It” in today’s business market by following your passion and building your own personal brand. His second New York Times bestseller The Thank You Economy (March 2011), details the effect of social media on business and has become required reading for business leaders around the world. Gary’s next book Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook will be released November 2013.
In the spring of 2009, Gary and his brother AJ launched VaynerMedia, a new breed of agency that helps Fortune 500 companies like General Electric, PepsiCo and Green Mountain Coffee find their social media voices and build their digital brands.
Gary has appeared on countless programs from Jimmy Fallon, Late Night with Conan O’Brien and Ellen to MSNBC, CNBC, CNN and NPR. He was also notably featured in Decanter Magazine’s 2009 Power List which lists the 50 most influential people in wine. In 2009, Gary was named Innovator of the Year at Wine Enthusiast’s Wine Star Awards as well as one of Askmen.com’s 49 Most Influential Men of 2009.
Gary’s ultimate goal is to own the New York Jets. Although his various businesses obviously play an enormous role in his life, he always puts his family first.