SEARCH SITE BY TYPING (ESC TO CLOSE)

Skip to Content

MEET OUR TEAM

JOHANNES MARLENA

Editor in Chief & Senior Editor, Wine

johannes@corkscrewerreport.com
Forbes Communications Council, 2020-2022

Firmly entrenched in the entrepreneur mindset, I left my job as head of marketing at a large business management firm in the L.A. entertainment industry to launch my own digital marketing company, Paradigm Shift DM, as well as to pursue other passion projects. Corkscrewer Report manifests my love of wine, arts and culture, and I envision this lifestyle publication to be a place where all can come to the table to enrich their lives with more knowledge about everything that feeds the great palette which is our collective soul. 

I live in Las Vegas, Nevada, and deeply love what the local scene has to offer. Even though every other license plate is from California, the city has a rugged, vivid identity and is holding its own while redefining itself through explosive change. My creative contribution to this site reflects this spirit of re-definition. 

I also make a living trading the stock market and continue my artistic pursuits since graduating from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. I was born in Jakarta, Indonesia, and immigrated to the U.S. to the sounds of Hall & Oates, Lionel Richie and Journey on my Sony Walkman and became a U.S. citizen in 2013. A citizenship letter signed by President Obama is one of my proudest mementos. I remain fiercely Independent and am registered with no political party–following the words of the great Groucho Marx who said: “I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member.”

RYAN KOCZARA

Executive Editor

ryan@corkscrewerreport.com

I grew up in metro Detroit and, upon graduating from high school, I did the unthinkable— I attended college south of the border—south of the Michigan/Ohio border. After graduating from Miami University – Ohio, I worked in retail sales and then earned a law degree. While practicing law in Detroit, my fiancé at the time (and now my wife) convinced me to move to Los Angeles. It’s a good thing I did that because it allowed me to develop a passion for wine. When I’m not arguing motions in court or writing legal briefs, I’m typically enjoying a California cab or a Super Tuscan, getting lost in a Beatles tune, or simply hanging out with my wife Alexis and/or my two kids, Jack and Milo. I hope to be an Olympic skier or a professional golfer in my second or third life.

LISLE FRIEDMAN

Chief, Digital Strategy

After a decade of experience in digital advertising at true[X] (formally a wholly owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Co.), I recently began an exhilarating journey as the Vice President of Marketing for Casa Komos Brands Group (CKBG). At CKBG we aim to craft amazing products that make precious moments that much more enjoyable, and scale them to a global community.

This role not only demands a deep understanding of market trends but also requires an innate ability to anticipate and shape future consumer behaviors. Outside of CKBG I am also an ardent adventurer with a passion for skiing, scuba diving and traveling the world.

Currently residing in Nashville, I love to enjoy endless country music at Honky Tonks as well as explore the booming food and craft cocktail scene.

KINGSTON KUO

Chief, Finance & Accounting

Born and based in L.A., I bring a diverse background in production finance, forecasting and CPA-accredited expertise, spanning various sectors of the Entertainment industry. This journey in my career, enriched by a variety of life experiences, aligns well with the diverse themes of Corkscrewer Report. The challenge and excitement lie in harmonizing financial strategies with the creative and expansive nature of this lifestyle site.

Inclusivity, leading by example and having a growth mindset are principles I hold at the core of my professional and personal endeavors. These values inform not only my financial decisions but also my approach to engaging with the initiatives and audiences of Corkscrewer Report.

Much of my time is devoted to experiences, friends and family—things money can’t buy. My interests in sports, entertainment, travel and languages complement the diverse themes within our communities. This blend of professional knowledge and personal passions allows me to contribute authentically to my projects, living a life of service through both work and personal pursuits.

BRIAN SKAGGS

Senior Editor, Beer

brian@corkscrewerreport.com

Dear Reader: I never thought this would ever happen to me, but I’m here to tell you about amazing malted beverages! At 1.76m and 69kg, I never considered myself large, and, as a working biologist who took exactly zero biology classes in college, I never even considered myself employable. My suburban Chicago high school graduated three participants of Lollapalooza 1993, a Wet Hot American Summer star, and an original Hamilton cast member. But me? Puh-lease. I’m that guy standing in the corner at all the swankiest Los Angeles elementary school parties, hoarding the last Hop Rod Rye while muttering about six-row barley, the superiority of rock ‘n’ roll circa 1993-2001, and whatever current pro cycling event is not on telly. But, dear Reader, the benevolent Fates have intervened! Lo, let us embark upon a beautiful malted beverage journey together, hop bines intertwined. The journey is the destination, enlightenment is the focus.

LOEKE DE WAAL

Senior Editor, Entertainment

loeke@corkscrewerreport.com

Born and raised in Utrecht, The Netherlands, I was far from home when I first visited Los Angeles, California, in the early 00’s. But I fell in love. I finished journalism school, had a career as a documentary reality series director and creative editor for all the main public and commercial Dutch networks and shot and directed two documentary films. But, something still gnawed at me, so I made my move to the West Coast several years ago.

Here, I became the Culture Correspondent I am now. For several renowned Dutch newspapers, online platforms and radio news dailies I delve into the quirkiest facets of Hollywood, societal trends and the endeavors of creative minds and philanthropists. Outside of California and Hollywood, Sundance, SXSW, and TIFF serve as my playground, where I work from the fringes of mainstream entertainment instead of competing with others wanting to be “the next” Scorcese or Meryl Streep. There I get to observe and create stories from the sidelines. Just how I like it.

JOHN ANTOLOS

Senior Editor, Spirits

john@corkscrewerreport.com

A beer geek since my college days, the first six-pack I purchased legally was Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, and from that point I was on a mission to seek out quality, flavorful beers in the days when there was a dearth of craft beer breweries. Later in life I became a Scotch fanatic, and then working for Total Wine got me into all spirits. I’m a SoCal native, living within view of the Pacific Ocean for most of my life. I even went to UCSB because it was on the beach. Years later, I went to UCLA for a master’s in Public Policy, and now I work at USC as a historical researcher. I used to travel a lot in my single days, often spending summers on the Croatian coast. Nowadays, I spend time with my family, cooking foods that’ll pair great with beer, bourbon or tequila, or trying to learn the finer points of Muay Thai (kickboxing). Like wine, great spirits are made for having with good friends, and I hope my writing about great spirits (and beer) will help you find something extra to add to those special times you spend with others.

MIREYA “MIMI” LEON

Director, Technology & Full Stack Developer

mimi@corkscrewerreport.com

Growing up in Salinas, CA, near Silicon Valley, the blend of agriculture and technological innovation inspired me. As web developer at Corkscrewer Report, my journey in technology began at CSU Monterey Bay with a B.S. in Computer Science, and was further enriched by an M.S. in Human-Computer Interaction from UC Santa Cruz. In my full-stack development roles, I’ve honed my skills in both front-end and back-end development. My focus is on crafting intuitive, straightforward tech solutions that meld with the user experience. This commitment drives me to continually push the boundaries of what’s possible, aiming to improve how technology integrates into and enhances our everyday experiences.

to-topto-top