As director of marketing for Donelan Family Wines, Cushing Donelan brings diverse experience in brand development and entertainment production to his role. Never one to sit on the sidelines, Cushing saw the opportunity to enhance the evolution of his family’s winery and create new partnerships.
“I love the familial aspect of Donelan Family Wines,” says Cushing. “My biggest desire is that our customers know and trust the Donelan label, so that when they open a bottle they know it is going to be a great wine. They smile because they are confident in our family’s brand and then they share it with their own circle of friends and family.”
Growing up in a small coastal town in Connecticut, Cushing was first exposed to wine as a young teen through his father, Joe Donelan, who had co-founded PAX Wine cellars, a brand that was thriving with renaissance super-premium Rhône varietal bottlings in California. The family often had large celebrations and get-togethers where wine was flowing and laughs and memories were abundant. At a young age, Cushing saw the marriage between good wine and family memories and he knew it was something special.
In 2003, while studying art history and studio art at Amherst College in Amherst, Mass., Cushing traveled to Western Europe to explore art and architecture abroad. In 2005, he graduated with a degree in Fine Arts. Though art was always important to him, his growing interest in entertainment led him to California to pursue a career in production and in 2006, he officially relocated to Southern California.
In 2007, through restaurant connections in Nantucket, Cushing was introduced to Matthew McConaughey and subsequently assumed an executive assistant role for the actor and his company, j.k. livin productions. After two years, the company carved out a creative executive position specifically for Cushing. In this role, Cushing assisted in the launch of j.k. livin’s clothing line, music label, and charitable foundation, in addition to the development of the company’s television and film projects.
After five years of working with j.k. livin, Cushing went on to create the production company oneinarow, developing scripted and non-scripted television series – a company he remains involved with to this day.
Having always had a desire to work with his father and enter into the wine business full-time, Cushing officially joined the family business in 2012. Donelan Family Wines was founded in 2009, and with both Tripp and Cushing now involved on a daily basis, it has become a true family endeavor. “In both my personal and professional life, I love engaging with people and traveling and I knew that being involved with Donelan Family Wines would provide just that,” says Cushing.
Cushing resides in Los Angeles, Calif., with his wife and two young children. When he is not traveling and engaging with Donelan consumers, he enjoys being active in the community, playing hockey and surfing, and cooking with friends over a bottle of wine.