Meet the Team
Founder, Managing Partner, Winemaker and Sommelier
Jennifer McDonald is a successful entrepreneur, human resources and recruiting professional who has spent the last 12 years developing and leading strategic initiatives for some of Wichita’s largest employers. She has leveraged her business acumen and leadership skills from the corporate world into the wine industry. She has spent the past six years turning her passion for wine and her love of the unique ability wine has to bring people together into an urban winery vision for expanding both depth and diversity into downtown Wichita.
Jennifer has a Master’s Degree in Agribusiness from Kansas State University. Jennifer has developed and produced research data on consumer wine preferences. She is an award winning winemaker. Her wines have received Best in Class, Gold, Silver and Bronze medals from the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, Texas International Wine Competition, New World International Wine Competition and Kansas Grape Growers and Winemakers Association.
She has received the Innovations in Business Award presented by Young Professionals of Wichita and was also recognized as one of Wichita’s top 40 people in business under age 40 by the Wichita Business Journal. She is a part of the Pipeline Fellowship and also completed Wichita State University and e2e’s collaborative start-up accelerator program, Launch Prep. She manages an urban orchard and teaches a monthly wine class called Wineucation. She manages the winery strategy and vision.
Bart Hettenbach is a successful winemaker, biologist, and entrepreneur. He has over 30 years of professional work experience in the public and private sector. Bart has a bachelor’s degree in Fisheries and Wildlife Biology from Kansas State University. Bart’s agricultural background and his love of nature have been assets in advancing his career. Bart entered the wine business as a vineyard manager and quickly transited into the winery. He has taken Viticulture and Enology courses through Vesta and Highland Community College. In 5 years, Bart has made over 50,000 gallons of wine. Bart entered his first competition, the New York’s Finger Lake International, in 2016. He received a gold and silver medal. Over the years, Bart has entered 15 wines in competitions and have received 12 medals plus Kansas Winery of the Year. Early 2020 Bart received his first Platinum medal on his peach wine. Bart has created 7 new wines for his past employer and re-blended some of their original wines. Bart has received Wichita Eagle, Reader Choice, Winery of the Year. Bart has a strong passion for high quality grape and fruit wines for everyday enjoyment.
Brandy Willett has extensive experience work in communications, public relations and within the Wichita entrepreneurship ecosystem. She has been a part of the Jenny Dawn Cellars team formally and informally since 2018. She is a valued member of the team assisting with strategy, marketing, communications, wine tastings and special projects. She has a B.S. degree is Communications from the University of Nebraska- Lincoln. She is currently pursuing a M.S. degree in Communications from Wichita State University.
Ann Rust has extensive customer service, serving and bartending experience. She has worked in fine dining, fast-paced restaurants, bars and office settings. She comes to Jenny Dawn Cellars with a wealth of food and wine knowledge. Ann leads our tasting room service on Friday and Saturday evenings.