Photos Courtesy of Gervasi Vineyard
Nichole Cardinale has been in the promotions and sales business since she was in high school.
She was the first business manager for Tallmadge High School’s newspaper, selling ads for the paper that her class created. As a student at the University of Akron, she sold advertising for the university’s student-run radio station, 88.1 WZIP.
“I’ve always enjoyed the relationship building, being strategic with your plan and building your network and customer base,” said Cardinale, who earned her degree in business communication and public relations with minors in marketing and advertising.
She’s been building relationships ever since.
Cardinale was introduced to Stark County in 2000 when she became a sales manager for the Hilton in downtown Canton. The hotel, now the McKinley Grand Hotel, is being renovated and will reopen as a DoubleTree by Hilton this fall.
Looking for more of a challenge, she joined the tourism and marketing division for the Pro Football Hall of Fame a year later under the tutelage of Dave Motts. Over the span of 14 years, Cardinale held a variety of roles at the Hall, including manager of admissions and special events, travel and tourism marketing specialist and director of marketing and outreach.
She left the Hall in 2015 for a new challenge that also would allow her to balance her career with being a mom to Gina and Olivia.
Cardinale became the marketing and business development manager for Gervasi Vineyard, becoming only the second person to hold the marketing position since Gervasi opened in 2010.
“I was a patron before I worked there,” said Cardinale, who knew Gervasi general manager Scott Swaldo from when they both served on the board of the Canton/Stark Convention and Visitors’ Bureau. “I love the food, and I love wine.”
The North Canton resident has helped Gervasi, including its three restaurants, 48 hotel rooms, distillery and winery, solidify its position as a destination winery and resort.
Nichole Cardinale’s local favorites:
Most unique product in Stark County:
Lees Bees Boutique & Honey’s lotions.
“Just having all that product in one boutique is unique. They are incomparable to any other lotion that you can buy.”
Most admired CEO and/or business owner:
Scott Swaldo, general manager of Gervasi, and Ted Swaldo, founder of Gervasi.
“They are both amazing leaders and extremely giving. I appreciate what they do for the team at GV Destinations every day and also what they have done for our community over the past decade. We are blessed they call Canton their home.”
Most memorable spot:
Pro Football Hall of Fame.
“After ‘growing up’ there (professionally speaking) and a 14-year tenure, I have a lot of friends and fond memories there.”
Favorite date night:
“Dinner, drinks on the patio and lots of laughs! If it goes well, then we find a fire pit or some live music together.”
Favorite place to shop:
“My car just instantly drives straight to Belden Village Mall!”
Favorite place to take the kids:
Stark Parks trails.
“We all enjoy being outside and exploring.”
Favorite lunch spot:
The Piazza at Gervasi Vineyard.
“It’s good, quick, convenient and it’s by the lake. What’s not to love?”
Favorite spot to grab a drink:
The Barrel Room in North Canton.
“Love the vibe, the patio and the extensive wine list.”
Favorite spot to exercise:
“I enjoy running on the trails. If indoors, any place that offers yoga!”
Favorite local event:
“I love the First Friday events in downtown Canton—especially when the weather is nice!”
Favorite local volunteer opportunity:
“I love the United Way and all of the many opportunities the organization provides for our community. Volunteer opportunities are endless!”
Favorite place to see live music:
The Piazza and The Still House at Gervasi.