President and CEO, NexGen Hyperbaric and The Center For Wound Healing & Hyperbaric Medicine
Wine and medicine may mix after all.
As a young pharmaceutical rep, Jonathan Rotella became a wine aficionado by entertaining physician clients with expensive vintages. “Most of the physicians I’d entertain and educate were also lovers of wine, especially when it was me paying for them. I could afford to be picky,” he says.
That love of wine continues today, except Rotella is now a successful Naples entrepreneur who has built a chain of 14 wound-care centers with another eight planned through 2015.
Rotella’s passion for wine is now the focus of a movie for which he’s raising $10 million in partnership with Robert Kamen, who penned hit screenplays such as “The Karate Kid” and “Taps.”
Kamen, who owns a vineyard, has written a screenplay called “Judgment of Paris” based on the life of Warren Winiarski, the man whose Napa cabernet beat the best French vintages in the 1976 Paris wine competition.
Rotella, a self-made entrepreneur, says he identifies with Winiarski, who started with a few hundred dollars to his name. Ultimately, Winiarski built Stag’s Leap Vineyards, transforming the California wine industry. “Following your passion and dedication is the recipe for success,” Rotella says.
City of residence: Naples
Birthplace: Binghamton, N.Y.
Years on the Gulf Coast: 12
The most important business lesson I’ve learned: Never underestimate what you’re capable of and never let anyone tell you that it can’t be done.
One community group you’re most involved with: Naples Children & Education Foundation
Two people, dead or alive, you’d like to have dinner with: Bill Murray and Harry S. Truman
Book you’re reading now: “The Great Ideas,” by Mortimer J. Adler
Favorite off-hours activity: Mountain biking in Beaver Creek, Colo.; Cooking, drinking wine with friends and family; Long hikes in the mountains with my two labs, Bachelor and Brunello; Watching my 3-year-old thoroughbred Lady Giuseppina race.
If I had a magic wand I’d: Give everyone on the planet a chance at a better life.