Serial entrepreneur, connoisseur, grape grower and hotelier Roger Scommegna was born to an American mother and immigrant Italian father, learning childhood lessons about hard work and creativity that have shaped his career to this day. Roger started more businesses prior to adulthood than most people do in a lifetime. At age 11, when most boys his age were busy playing baseball and riding bikes, Roger formed a company with his friends to make money shoveling snow and mowing lawns and grew it into a neighborhood powerhouse. In high school, seeing the growing popularity of skateboarding, he was instrumental in opening one of the Chicago area’s first skate shops. In college, he opened a multi-state chain of video arcades.
In 1983, looking to buy his first home and frustrated by the difficulty of finding available houses, Roger started a marketing company that ultimately became Realtor.com, the world’s most trafficked real estate website and the vehicle that brought home shopping to the Internet. He began a new chapter as a winemaker and hotelier in 1999, becoming a partner in the Boonville Hotel and building a vineyard in Mendocino County’s Anderson Valley. Other recent projects include up-start beverage companies, Black Dot Vodka and Bite Hard hard apple cider.