Entrepreneur, CEO and Author Joins Spark’s National Board of Directors

Spark Welcomes Alyssa Rapp to National Board

Spark is pleased to welcome Alyssa Rapp as the newest member of its National Board of Directors.  Rapp is the Founder & CEO of Bottlenotes, Inc. where she runs the leading interactive media company in the U.S. for the wine and craft beer industry. She is also the author of Bottlenotes Guide to Wine: Around the World in 80 Sips.

“As a former Spark Chicago Board Member, Alyssa has already successfully furthered our work by providing strategic guidance, creativity around events and so much more to our regional team,” said Jason Cascarino, CEO of Spark.  “We are thrilled she is willing to bring this commitment and her acumen to the national level.”

“I am delighted to expand my role with the country's leading nonprofit organization that is transforming the lives of middle school students through apprenticeships,” said Rapp. “It has been an honor to serve on the Chicago Executive Board and I look forward to my ongoing work on the National Board with the phenomenal Board Members, team members, mentors and students that comprise Spark.”

Rapp has been the recipient of many prestigious awards, including Inc. Magazine’s “30 Under 30” coolest entrepreneurs in America.  She was named one of the wine industry’s 100 most influential people by Intowine.com in both 2012 and 2013 and frequently shares her expertise on wine and entrepreneurship on national television (The TODAY Show, Fox Business Network, ABC, CBS, NBC, The Rachael Ray Show and more).

“I am very excited to have someone as passionate and energetic as Alyssa on our National Board,” said Holly Depatie, Spark’s National Board Chair. “The organization will certainly benefit from her leadership and entrepreneurial experience.”

In addition to serving as a Spark Board Member, Rapp is on the Board of Trustees for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago.  She is also an appointed lecturer with Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.

Rapp attended Yale University where she earned her B.A. in Political Science and the History of Art. She also earned an M.B.A. from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.


Spark inspires 7th, 8th and 9th grade students to succeed in high school and beyond by connecting them with mentors in leading workplaces and supporting their academic journey with skill-building and resources. By engaging working professionals and connecting businesses with local communities, Spark empowers the next generation to perform better in school, graduate on time and lead fulfilling careers and lives.

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