Graduation Year: 1998
The Entrepreneurial Achievement Award celebrates a specific contribution in organizing, managing, and assuming the risk of a business or enterprise.
Matt Sherrow, a 1998 Kettering graduate, is the co-owner of the Fenton Winery & Brewery in Fenton, Mich. He is also the brewer and winemaker. Matt took a huge risk to leave Hayes Lemmerz in July 2004 to open the Fenton Winery, following his passion for starting a business and a love of wine. Matt credits a marketing class in small business and entrepreneurship at DePaul University and an entrepreneurial family for helping him to take this leap.
The Fenton Winery opened its doors in January 2008. Through determination, passion, sweat equity and hard work, the business slowly began to grow in its first two years. In December 2009, brewing operations were added to complement the winery. In 2011, they added a second location, the FWB Tasting Room, in downtown Holly. By December 2011, they expanded their main location, added a larger lounge and a banquet area and the production space was increased to handle new demand. They recently purchased a five-acre property with two buildings and a total of 19,000 square feet. The new location has a home brewing and winemaking store, and houses the new brewery operations, the cornerstone of which is a seven barrel electric brewery (14 times the size of their previous brewery), which will allow the business to begin distribution to local bars and restaurants in the area. Future plans for the new location include a tap room, banquet facilities, beer garden and more. Awards the business has won include: 2011 Entrepreneurs of the Year: Fenton Regional Chamber of Commerce; 2011 Best Small Business Award: Mi-SB&TDC; 2010 Metro Detroit’s Best Winery: Detroit Young Professionals; 2001 Genesee 10 to Watch: eTeam and Genesee Regional Chamber of Commerce; 2011 Silver Medals for their “Opulence” Ruby Port – Finger Lakes International Wine Competition; and Silver Medals for their “Solo” Blackberry Merlot & “Vin d’Cocoa” Chocolate Wine – Finger Lakes International Wine Competition.
Matt’s co-op employer at Kettering was Proper Mold & Engineering in Warren, Michigan. He became a project engineer for plastic injection molds and eventually a Design Engineer at the time of his graduation. He transferred with Proper Mold to South Carolina to become a design engineer and program manager after graduating. In 2004, he moved to Chicago to work for Christiana Industries as a program manager and business unit manager. While working, he also attended DePaul University at night and earned his MBA in Operations Management.
Sherrow and wife Ginny have been married 14 years and have two sons, Josh and Kyle. His twin brother, Tim Sherrow, is also a 1998 graduate and their father, Tim Sr., is a 1971 graduate.