so the brothers moved in 1991 to less-restrictive Delaware and expanded into
wine and spirits.
Robert and David gradually grew their
company, then called Liquor World,
through the 1990s, developing a model
that offered elements of both high- and
low-end stores: discount prices, an attentive and well-trained sales staff, and a
In 1998, they acquired the D.C.-area
chain Total Beverage and renamed the
company Total Wine & More. In 2000,
they moved the company’s headquarters
to Montgomery County. With more than
7,000 employees, including 500 in Maryland, and stores in 17 states, Total Wine
& More calls itself the country’s largest
independently-owned alcohol retailer.
According to Trone, the company projects
that its 2015 revenue will be $2 billion.
VICKI ALLEGRET TO says she knew
right away that Anna and Robert were
a good match. Her husband, Steve, had
met Robert through business, and in
1994 the Allegrettos decided to set the
two up. They were scheduled to meet in
the Burgundy aisle at the Trones’ store in
Claymont, Delaware. Anna had agreed to
go only if the Allegrettos went with her.
“We saw immediately that this was
probably going to work out pretty well,”
Vicki says about watching the couple
meet. “Steve and I made ourselves scarce.”
Robert invited Anna up to his drab,
windowless office—which didn’t faze her.
“I saw it as a testament to how hard he
worked,” she says.
The two had dinner at an Italian restaurant the following evening, and first
impressions proved correct: They had
much in common, including, perhaps,
a lack of impulsivity. After four years
of dating, the couple got engaged. They
married in October 1998.
Anna worked in sales for Total Wine
until Sophia was born in 2002. “She took
maternity leave and said she was coming
back, but that was 13 years ago, so I’m
guessing she’s not coming back,” Robert
says with a laugh.
Over the last 13 years, Parisi-Trone
has dedicated much of her time to fundraising. Her warmth and sociability have
made her a natural at turning staid fundraising events into joyous occasions. As
a board member of Imagination Stage,
Parisi-Trone co-chaired with Jean-Marie Fernandez and Evonne Connolly a
fundraising effort for a Kennedy Center
co-production of The Lion King. They
were so successful that they’ve been
asked to raise money for next year’s co-production of The Little Mermaid with
The Washington Ballet.
The Trones often donate wine for
galas, which adds to the fruitfulness—
and festivity—of such events. “More people will come when there’s a free glass of
wine,” says Anna Hargrave, the interim
executive director of the Community
The couple is heavily involved in fundraising for Mercy Health Clinic in Gaithersburg, which provides free medical
care for low-income county residents.
Robert sits on the 12-member board
of Catholic Charities, helping to shepherd the $70 million that the organization spends on 65 different programs in
Montgomery County and throughout
the Washington area, including medical
and dental clinics, pro bono legal services for immigrants, mental health and
addiction programs, and shelters for the
homeless and for women and children
fleeing domestic abuse.
Karrels, the head of school at Stone
Ridge, calls the Trones a “dynamic blend.”
“Anna is very social and loves bringing
people together as a vehicle for building
community, inspiring giving and expressing gratitude,” Karrels says. “Robert uses
his business sense to help analyze impact
as well as communicate with other stakeholders about the metrics of fundraising.
Where they are in complete synchronic-ity with one another is the spirit of their
Kathleen Wheaton lives in Bethesda.
Each year, The Community
Foundation in Montgomery
County recognizes successful
area businesspeople who “give
where they live,” as the organization puts it. Recipients of the
Montgomery County Philanthropist of the Year award are: Josh
Freeman in 2007; Craig Ruppert in 2008; Stewart Bainum
in 2009; Carol Trawick in 2010;
Jeffrey Slavin in 2011; Patrice
and Scott Brickman in 2012;
Solomon Graham in 2013;
Tammy Darvish in 2014; and
Anna Parisi-Trone and Robert
Trone this year.
If you would like to
nominate someone to be the
2016 Montgomery County
Philanthropist of the Year,
watch for an announcement
in an upcoming issue of
Bethesda Magazine. To learn
more about the Community
Foundation, go to
About the Award
philanthropists of the year