Michael had the honor to be interviewed on The Smith Floyd Water Cooler Radio Show by Matt DiGeronimo on January 30. Please check out the interview podcast: Smith Floyd Water Cooler Radio Interview 


Guest Appearance by Michael Houlihan, Founder of Barefoot Wine, on the Smith Floyd Water Cooler

January 28, 2013 By Smith Floyd

Smith Floyd Mergers & Acquisitions is pleased to announce that Michael Houlihan, Co-Founder of Barefoot Cellars, is making a guest appearance on-air with us this Wednesday @ 11AM HST.

Michael Houlihan

In case you’ve been living under a rock these past few years: Barefoot Wine is the leading single label in the premium wine business. And the story behind this wine giant is one that starts at humble beginnings…


Michael with his partner Bonnie Harvey started their business, like any successful entrepreneur, with an idea… the idea that you didn’t need to have your nose in the sky to enjoy quality wine. Starting from his home in 1986, Michael had such a confining workspace that you had to “go outside just to change your mind”.

The culture they created for their company was consistent throughout their journey.  As example, they supported local non-profit fundraising events and coastal water preservation projects in their early years and today, they continue to support local, national, and international non-profit organizations.

Michael and Bonnie chronicled this amazing and and groundbreaking adventure in the book, “The Barefoot Spirit” which details both the obstacles and the beliefs that came to shape this company and its moral fibers.


We encourage you to “taste” a sample of this captivating book . . . and then consider buying the full bottle (the book itself) at The Barefoot Spirit, which you can then share with your friends.


Michael Houlihan and Smith Floyd’s Senior Managing Director Matt DiGeronimo connected by chance through social media later last year.  Matt was fascinated and impressed (to say the least) with the story of Barefoot Wine and Michael’s amazing business acumen coupled with his socially responsible outlook.  Michael’s experiences and outlooks will be a gift for the listeners of the “Smith Floyd Water Cooler” to enjoy – his story is truly inspirational.   We are humbled and excited to have him join us.

Who We Are

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey Barefoot Wine Founders

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey co-authored the New York Times bestselling business book, The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand. The book has been selected as recommended reading in the CEO Library for CEO Forum, the C-Suite Book Club, and numerous university classes on business and entrepreneurship. It chronicles their humble beginnings from the laundry room of a rented Sonoma County farmhouse to the board room of E&J Gallo, who ultimately acquired their brand and engaged them as brand consultants. Barefoot is now the world’s largest wine brand.

Beginning with virtually no money and no wine industry experience, they employed innovative ideas to overcome obstacles, create new markets and forge strategic alliances. They pioneered Worthy Cause Marketing and performance-based compensation. They built an internationally bestselling brand and received their industry’s “Hot Brand” award for several consecutive years.

They offer their Guiding Principles for Success (GPS) to help entrepreneurs become successful. Their book, The Entrepreneurial Culture: 23 Ways To Engage and Empower Your People, helps corporations maximize the value of their human resources.

Currently they travel the world leading workshops, trainings, & keynoting at business schools, corporations, conferences. They are regular media guests and contributors to international publications and professional journals. They are C-Suite Network Advisors & Contributing Editors. Visit their popular brand building site at www.consumerbrandbuilders.com.

To make inquiries for keynote speaking, trainings or consulting, please contact sales@thebarefootspirit.com.