Marianne Frantz


Driven to succeed, she’s turned her passion into a business.

We’re talking about Marianne Frantz, president of the American Wine School and the Cleveland Wine School. Formerly a chemistry teacher, Marianne moved to New York City to change careers. With a keen interest in the theatre, she worked for various Broadway and off-Broadway theatres producing special events, including the opening of Miss Saigon on Broadway. After working as a special events coordinator, she spent four years developing a culinary department and eventually started her own food and wine marketing company. In 2002, that company morphed into the Cleveland Wine School, followed by the American Wine School in Chicago in 2005.

Destined for Entrepreneurship

Marianne’s career took off as soon as she hit the streets of New York. But she also spent years compiling experiences, and they have made her what she is today. Everything she learned moved her one step closer to starting her own business. Best of all, she was able to take her passion, make it part of her personal brand, and then pilot it into a business where she could enjoy the freedom of setting goals and creating a plan or strategy to get there. And with no red tape to get in the way, she adds.

From Personal Brand to Business Brand

When asked if she ever feels conflicted between work and home life, Marianne says, “No. I work most of the time. It has become my social life, my professional life and part of my family.” She loves chatting with good wine people. She immerses herself in the business of educating people about wine. And she makes some wine tastings her philanthropy. For Marianne, success is measured by a well-attended tasting, a flawless event that makes attendees happy.

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