Story by Jeanette Wages
Photography by Jonathan Thorpe
Silicon Valley was in its infancy when Rick Myllenbeck joined the scene, working for tech firms in the early 1980s after serving in the Navy. “Working for Apple in the 80s was epic – no other company I’ve worked for since has come close to that experience. There were innovations being announced every day, the environment for employees was superb, and the energy level was second to none.”
After a successful 30+ year career, the Pentagon asked Rick to relocate on a Navy Reserve assignment from California to the East Coast. Three days before leaving, he met his wife while picking up wine. The two knew long distance wasn’t for them, but they remained in close contact and eventually realized they wanted to be together.
Fun Fact: Rick learned the love of car racing from his father who was a bomber pilot in WWII and raced cars in Southern California in the early 1950's.
While living in Alexandria, the couple continued to bond over their love for Sonoma wine tastings and yearned to create a California-inspired wine tasting experience here. This led to the opening of Sonoma Cellar on King Street five years ago. Now, they have the opportunity to share their passion for “New World” wines with Alexandria through their restaurant. But Rick’s desire to bring a bit of California to our local streets did not stop at wine. He is also the mastermind behind the Old Town Festival of Speed & Style - a single day event filled with vintage cars, fashion & fun. The part: it all benefits the community.
In addition to owning Sonoma Cellar, Rick has “the honor of continuing to serve,” working as the Industry Engagement Advisor for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency where he applies his tech industry background to the benefit of the agency.
Next Interesting Man of Alexandria 2020 → Adris Tabibi