John Fusco is the VP of Creative and Brand Marketing at Wilmington Brew Works, as well as this week’s #PeopleofWilmDE! Read his story below:
“I grew up in White Plains, NY and went to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy to study Marine Engineering. After graduating, a few of us got jobs at the Navy Yard in Philadelphia. One had gotten an apartment in Wilmington, so the rest of us followed. I still work as an engineer for the Navy during the day, but I always liked design and started a T-shirt design company called WhizBang Concepts in 2004. That led me to meet my good friend and partner Craig Wensell, who founded Wilmington Brew Works and asked me to come on board as a partner. Now I do all the creative work for the brewery, from logos, to label design, to merchandising, to social media and marketing.
My wife Lisa and I are both transplants to Wilmington and Delaware. So much of who we are now is because of this city – everywhere we go we see someone we know. I can trace my partnership in Wilmington Brew Works through meeting all kinds of people along the way.
I have three girls between the ages of 6 and 11. My middle daughter has Williams Syndrome, which is a genetic condition that is characterized by medical problems & developmental delays but also highly social personalities and an affinity for music. My wife Lisa and I chaired the Greater Philadelphia Walk for Williams Syndrome for three years and were in the process of moving the walk to Delaware (Bellevue State Park) before the pandemic hit. I’ve also done a bunch of pro-bono logo and graphics work for a number of community organizations.
For me, I always thought Wilmington had a lot of the benefits of a big city (festivals, museums, restaurants…) without a lot of the hassles (like traffic and parking). Coming from Westchester County, NY, Wilmington also felt similar to home. We are a very diverse community which I love for my kids. It’s a 2 hour drive or less to everywhere: Philly, Baltimore, Washington DC, New York City, Delaware Beaches, Jersey Beaches. But there is so much here in Wilmington!
It has been fun to watch and experience the transformation of the Riverfront over the past 20 years. It’s a fun family pastime to walk the Riverfront up to DEEC and back to the restaurants and Children’s Museum. I look forward to the next phase on the other side of the river!
One of my proudest moments was when President Biden was elected, I designed a beer label celebrating him and his Amtrak rides called Rail Car One. I wrote a press release about the beer and it was picked up by news outlets across the country. The beer was a hit at the brewery, selling out quickly every time it’s brewed. I found it humbling that people across the country were ordering poster prints of the label design. The University of Delaware Library has the artwork in the collection of political ephemera related to President Biden, which is really cool.
My favorite memories of being in the city were when we were in our 20’s, we had a group of friends that tried to attend every ‘Wilmington After Work’ happy hour one summer. That same group played kickball in the first seasons of the Delaware Sports Leagues. Now we bring our kids to the same parks and restaurants that we discovered years ago. It’s a city that grows with you!
My advice to the people living and working in Wilmington is…Get Out Around Town! There is so much to do right here in Wilmington and the Brandywine Valley. It’s great that you can get lost in the silence of Brandywine Park or Alapocas Woods and 20 minutes later be in a bustling restaurant or brewery.”