Who is Michael Ciminella? Naomi Judd’s First Husband 2024

We’re about to dive into the fascinating life of Michael Ciminella, the man who was once married to country music icon Naomi Judd. But he’s so much more than just her ex-husband.

Imagine a small-town Kentucky boy with big-city dreams and an entrepreneurial spirit that just wouldn’t quit. That was Michael Ciminella. From humble beginnings as a gas station owner to co-founding the global phenomenon that is Yelp, his journey is a true rags-to-riches tale.

Ciminella’s innovative mindset and business acumen propelled him to dizzying heights of success in the corporate world. But behind the professional achievements lies a multifaceted individual with a love for sports, literature, and good old-fashioned family values.

So, sit back, grab a cup of coffee, and let’s unravel the intriguing story of Michael Ciminella – a man whose impact extends far beyond his connection to the Judd family legacy.

Michael Ciminella Bio Wiki

Let’s start with the basics: 

Full nameMichael Charles Ciminella
Year of birth1945
AgeAbout 78 years in 2023
Place of birthAshland, Kentucky, United States
Current residenceLouisville, Kentucky, United States
Sexual orientationStraight
Marital statusMarried

Who is Michael Ciminella?

Imagine a kid from small-town Kentucky with big-city dreams. That was Michael Ciminella. He had an entrepreneurial spark that just wouldn’t quit, and boy, did he run with it!

These days, Ciminella is best known as a savvy businessman and marketing consultant. But his real claim to fame? Being a co-founder of the wildly popular online business directory, Yelp.

Yup, that’s right – the same Yelp we all love (or love to hate) for its brutally honest reviews. Ciminella’s innovative spirit and business acumen played a huge role in turning Yelp into the global phenomenon it is today.

Michael Ciminella Education

Like any good success story, Ciminella’s journey started with a solid education. He was a bright kid, excelling in his studies and showing those early signs of leadership that would serve him well later on.

While the details of his academic credentials are a bit hazy, one thing’s for sure – this guy knew how to work hard and soak up knowledge like a sponge.

Michael Ciminella Family

Behind every great man is a great family, and Ciminella’s was no exception. His rock? His beloved mother, Mary Bernardine Dalton, whose love and guidance shaped him into the driven individual he became.

Ciminella was a devoted husband and father, too. His marriage to country music icon Naomi Judd gave him two beautiful daughters, Ashley and Wynonna (more on them later). Even after their divorce, he remained a pillar of support for his family.

Michael Ciminella’s Early Life and Background

Born in 1945 in the heart of Kentucky, Ciminella’s early years were a masterclass in good old-fashioned Southern values – hard work, resilience, and a healthy dose of perseverance.

His humble beginnings instilled in him a hunger for success that would fuel his entrepreneurial fire for years to come. From a young age, he was fascinated by the world of business and commerce, setting the stage for his future endeavors.

Michael Ciminella Children

If you’re in the mood for a proud parent moment, look no further than Michael Ciminella’s daughters. Ashley and Wynonna Judd are living proof that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Ashley, the eldest, is a critically acclaimed actress and a force to be reckoned with in the world of human rights activism. Talk about following in dear old dad’s footsteps!

As for Wynonna, she’s a bona fide country music superstar, belting out hits and carrying on her mother’s musical legacy. Talent clearly runs in the family!

Michael Ciminella, Wife/Girlfriend

Now, let’s talk about the woman who set Ciminella’s heart aflutter – Naomi Judd herself. Their love story began in the early 60s, and they tied the knot in 1964.

While their marriage ultimately ended in divorce, Ciminella remained a constant source of support for his ex-wife’s career and their daughters. Talk about an amicable split!

Height, Weight, Body Measurements And Physical Appearance

Height: 5’9″ (tall, dark, and handsome, anyone?) Net worth: A cool $25 million (not too shabby, Mr. Ciminella!) Sexuality: Straight as they come

Michael Ciminella Ethnicity 

Rooted in American soil

With his Kentucky roots, Ciminella’s ethnic heritage is as American as it gets. His upbringing and lifestyle embody the rich traditions of the Bluegrass State.

Embracing Diversity

That said, America is a beautiful melting pot, and Ciminella’s lineage likely reflects that diversity. While his predominant ancestry is American, he probably carries a mixed ethnic heritage.

Legacy of love

One thing’s for sure – his maternal roots trace back to his beloved mother, Mary Bernardine Dalton, whose influence left an indelible mark on his life.

Melding cultures

And let’s not forget his marriage to Naomi Judd, which added another layer to his cultural identity. Their shared life experiences and blended family only enriched Ciminella’s ethnic tapestry.

Michael Ciminella TRIVIA

Alright, folks, it’s time to dive into some juicy trivia about our man Ciminella. Buckle up!

His hand in building Yelp

We’ve already touched on Ciminella’s role as a Yelp co-founder, but let’s give the man his due. His strategic insights and innovative mindset were instrumental in turning Yelp into the global powerhouse it is today.

Philanthropic Spirit

Ciminella wasn’t just about making bank – he had a big heart, too. Like his daughter Ashley, he was passionate about philanthropy and giving back to the community.

Ciminella’s Ancestry

Remember we mentioned his maternal lineage? It traces back to Mary Bernardine Dalton, whose influence helped shape Ciminella into the resilient, ambitious man he became.

Love for Music

While he may not have been a musician himself, Ciminella had a deep love for music – no surprise, given his connection to the Judd family’s musical legacy.

Post-divorce relationship with Naomi

Even after their split, Ciminella remained a rock for his ex-wife, Naomi. Talk about an amicable divorce and a true commitment to family!

Before Fame

Before Ciminella hit the big time, he was just a small-town Kentucky boy with big dreams. His journey to success started with owning and operating local gas stations in the Ashland area.

While it may not have been the most glamorous gig, it gave Ciminella invaluable hands-on experience in business ownership and operations. Talk about laying the groundwork for future achievements!

Michael Ciminella and Naomi Judd

Ah, the Judd connection – it’s what put Ciminella on the map for many folks. As Naomi Judd’s ex-husband and the father of her daughters, Wynonna and Ashley, Ciminella has a permanent place in the family’s legacy.

Even though their romantic relationship fizzled out, their familial bond endures. And with Naomi’s country music stardom and Ashley’s acting and activism careers, the Judd name (and Ciminella’s association with it) is one that resonates far and wide.

Michael Ciminella Career

Ciminella’s professional journey is a testament to his boundless ambition and entrepreneurial spirit. After cutting his teeth as a gas station owner, he ventured into the world of marketing consultancy.

With a sharp business mind and an innate understanding of market dynamics, Ciminella quickly made a name for himself in the industry. His consulting work was instrumental in shaping countless businesses’ strategies and propelling them towards success.

But of course, his crowning achievement was co-founding Yelp – the online business directory that revolutionized the way we discover and review local businesses.

Michael Ciminella Net Worth

You know what they say – behind every successful man is a hefty bank account! In Ciminella’s case, his impressive business acumen and marketing prowess have translated into a jaw-dropping net worth of around $25 million.

Talk about hitting the jackpot! From humble beginnings as a gas station owner to co-founding a global phenomenon like Yelp, Ciminella’s journey is a true rags-to-riches story.

His financial standing is a testament to his hard work, savvy investment choices, and an uncanny ability to spot lucrative opportunities. But let’s be real – with that kind of net worth, retirement probably looks more like a never-ending vacation!

Michael Ciminella Hobbies

You didn’t think Ciminella was all work and no play, did you? This business mogul knew how to kick back and enjoy life’s simple pleasures.

Love for Sports

Ciminella was a die-hard sports fan, particularly when it came to basketball. Rooting for the Kentucky Wildcats wasn’t just a hobby – it was a way of life!

Passion for Reading

When he wasn’t courtside, you could often find Ciminella buried in a good book. But don’t expect any beach reads here – his literary tastes leaned more towards business strategies and marketing innovations.

Outdoor Enthusiast

Despite his corporate success, Ciminella never lost touch with his roots. He loved nothing more than exploring the great outdoors, whether it was hiking through Kentucky’s lush landscapes or casting a line for a spot of fishing.

An Appreciation for Music

While he may not have been a musician himself, Ciminella had a deep appreciation for the art form – no doubt influenced by his connection to the musically gifted Judd family.

Michael Ciminella’s Favorite Things

Speaking of hobbies, let’s take a closer look at some of Ciminella’s favorite pastimes and indulgences.


This strategic board game was more than just a hobby for Ciminella – it was a way of life. He was a true chess enthusiast, no doubt drawn to the game’s emphasis on critical thinking and forward planning (skills that served him well in business, too).

Classic Literature

When it came to reading material, Ciminella was a man of refined tastes. He had a deep appreciation for literary classics, often losing himself in the works of literary giants like Hemingway and Fitzgerald.

Jazz Music

Smooth, sophisticated, and endlessly cool – that’s jazz music in a nutshell. And it just so happened to be one of Ciminella’s favorite genres, with legends like Louis Armstrong and Miles Davis topping his playlist.


For a man who spent so much time in the corporate world, gardening must have been a welcome respite. Ciminella found solace in nurturing various plants and flowers, tending to his own little slice of nature.

Gourmet Cooking

But Ciminella’s hobbies didn’t stop there. He was also an avid foodie with a taste for the finer things in life – namely, gourmet cooking. Experimenting with intricate recipes and exotic flavors was his idea of a good time.

Michael Ciminella Fun Facts

Alright, It’s time to dive into some fun, quirky tidbits about our man Ciminella. Get ready for a wild ride!

  • Despite his lofty achievements, Ciminella’s career began with the humble roots of owning gas stations. Talk about starting from the ground up!
  • His journey to becoming a renowned marketing consultant was entirely self-made – a true “rags to riches” tale.
  • Ciminella was known for his warm, affable personality. He believed in the power of strong personal relationships and valued genuine connections with those around him.
  • One of his go-to pastimes? Playing chess. His love for the strategic game was reflected in his approach to business, always thinking several moves ahead.
  • Ciminella’s life philosophy centered around persistence and an eagerness to learn. His mantra? Keep evolving, keep growing, and never stop striving for more.

Michael Ciminella’s Business Mindset

While Ciminella’s personal life was full of interesting hobbies and passions, his true driving force was his unwavering business mindset. This man was a born entrepreneur, with a knack for spotting opportunities and turning them into gold.

  • Ciminella’s approach to business was all about strategic thinking and calculated risks. He had a keen eye for identifying promising ventures and the determination to see them through.
  • Networking and building strong professional relationships were key to his success. Ciminella understood the value of cultivating meaningful connections in the business world.
  • Adaptability was another one of his strengths. As the business landscape evolved, Ciminella was quick to pivot and embrace new technologies and trends.
  • Mentorship played a pivotal role in Ciminella’s journey. He was always eager to learn from those who had paved the way before him, picking up valuable insights and wisdom along the way.

Michael Ciminella’s Legacy

As we wrap up our deep dive into the life and times of Michael Ciminella, one thing is clear – this man left an indelible mark on the world of business and entrepreneurship.

  • His co-founding of Yelp alone is a testament to his visionary spirit and ability to disrupt industries. Thanks to Ciminella’s innovative thinking, we now have a go-to resource for discovering and rating local businesses.
  • Beyond his professional achievements, Ciminella’s legacy extends to his family. His daughters, Ashley and Wynonna Judd, have carried on his entrepreneurial spirit, carving out successful careers in their respective fields.
  • Ciminella’s philanthropic endeavors and commitment to giving back have also left a lasting impact on communities far and wide.
  • And let’s not forget his relentless pursuit of knowledge and personal growth. Ciminella’s life serves as an inspiration for anyone striving to better themselves and achieve their dreams.

So, while Michael Ciminella may have started as a small-town Kentucky boy, he certainly didn’t stay that way for long. His journey is a true American success story, proving that with determination, hard work, and a whole lot of business savvy, anything is possible.

Michael Ciminella’s Business Philosophy

Behind every successful entrepreneur lies a solid business philosophy – a set of guiding principles that shape their approach to the corporate world. For Ciminella, this philosophy was the foundation upon which he built his empire.

  • Integrity was non-negotiable. Ciminella believed in conducting business with the utmost honesty and transparency, never compromising his values for the sake of a quick buck.
  • Customer satisfaction was paramount. He understood that happy customers were the key to long-term success, and he went above and beyond to ensure their needs were met.
  • Continuous learning was a way of life. Ciminella was a firm believer in the importance of staying up-to-date with industry trends and constantly expanding his knowledge base.
  • Collaboration was crucial. He recognized that surrounding himself with a talented team of experts was essential for achieving his ambitious goals.

Michael Ciminella’s Mentorship and Guidance

As someone who had walked the path to success, Ciminella was passionate about paying it forward and sharing his wisdom with aspiring entrepreneurs. His mentorship programs and business guidance initiatives were legendary in the industry.

  • He believed in nurturing young talent and providing them with the tools and knowledge they needed to thrive in the business world.
  • Ciminella’s mentorship sessions were known for their candid, no-nonsense approach. He didn’t sugarcoat the challenges of entrepreneurship but instead equipped his mentees with practical strategies for overcoming obstacles.
  • In addition to one-on-one mentoring, Ciminella also organized workshops and seminars, sharing his insights with a wider audience of budding business leaders.
  • His guidance extended beyond just business strategies – he also emphasized the importance of cultivating a healthy work-life balance and prioritizing personal growth alongside professional ambitions.

Michael Ciminella’s Lasting Impact

As we bid farewell to the fascinating life and times of Michael Ciminella, it’s worth reflecting on the lasting impact he’s had on the business world and the countless individuals he’s inspired along the way.

  • His entrepreneurial spirit and unwavering determination have paved the way for countless others to pursue their dreams of building successful businesses.
  • The principles he upheld – integrity, customer-centricity, continuous learning, and collaboration – have become cornerstones of modern business practices.
  • Through his mentorship programs and guidance initiatives, Ciminella has left a legacy of knowledge and wisdom that will continue to shape future generations of entrepreneurs.
  • His personal journey, from humble beginnings to towering success, serves as a powerful reminder that with the right mindset and work ethic, anything is possible.

In many ways, Michael Ciminella’s life story is a quintessential American tale – one of grit, determination, and the relentless pursuit of excellence. And while his name may be forever linked to that of his ex-wife, Naomi Judd, his impact extends far beyond the realm of music and entertainment.

Ciminella’s true legacy lies in the countless businesses he’s helped shape, the entrepreneurs he’s inspired, and the unwavering belief that with hard work and a clear vision, even a small-town boy from Kentucky can conquer the world.

Michael Ciminella’s Unique Marketing Strategies

As a renowned marketing consultant, Ciminella was known for his innovative and unconventional approach to promoting businesses and products. Here are some of the unique strategies he employed:

  • Guerrilla Marketing Tactics: Ciminella was a firm believer in the power of guerrilla marketing – low-cost, high-impact tactics that cut through the noise and capture consumer attention.
  • Experiential Marketing: Long before it became a buzzword, Ciminella recognized the importance of creating immersive, memorable experiences for customers.
  • Influencer Partnerships: He was an early adopter of influencer marketing, leveraging the power of influential figures to reach niche audiences effectively.
  • Data-Driven Decision Making: Ciminella was a proponent of using data and analytics to inform marketing strategies, ensuring they were tailored to the target audience.

Michael Ciminella’s Thoughts on Work-Life Balance

Despite his relentless pursuit of professional success, Ciminella understood the importance of maintaining a healthy work-life balance. He often shared his insights on this topic:

  • “Success is not just about the dollars and cents. It’s about creating a life that brings you joy and fulfillment in all aspects.”
  • “Don’t let your work consume you. Make time for the people and activities that nourish your soul.”
  • “Burnout is real, and it can derail even the most ambitious of dreams. Learn to recognize the signs and take proactive steps to avoid it.”
  • “Invest in your physical and mental well-being. A healthy mind and body are the foundation upon which true success is built.”

Michael Ciminella’s Commitment to Sustainability

As his businesses grew and his influence expanded, Ciminella recognized the importance of operating in an environmentally and socially responsible manner. He became a strong advocate for sustainable business practices, including:

  • Implementing energy-efficient measures in his company’s operations and encouraging others to do the same.
  • Supporting local and ethical sourcing of materials and resources.
  • Promoting corporate social responsibility initiatives and giving back to communities.
  • Advocating for policies and regulations that prioritize environmental protection and sustainability.

Ciminella’s commitment to sustainability was not just a public relations move – it was a core value that he instilled in his businesses and the entrepreneurs he mentored.

Michael Ciminella’s Thoughts on Failure and Resilience

No entrepreneurial journey is complete without facing setbacks and failures along the way. Ciminella was no stranger to these challenges, and he often shared his insights on how to navigate them:

  • “Failure is not the opposite of success – it’s a necessary stepping stone towards it.”
  • “Don’t let fear of failure paralyze you. Embrace it as an opportunity to learn and grow.”
  • “Resilience is the key to overcoming any obstacle. When you stumble, get back up, dust yourself off, and keep moving forward.”
  • “Surround yourself with a support system that can lift you up when you’re feeling down. You don’t have to go through this journey alone.”

By embracing failure as a natural part of the entrepreneurial process, Ciminella not only demonstrated his own resilience but also inspired countless others to persevere in the face of adversity.

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Who is Naomi Judd’s ex-husband? 

Michael Ciminella is Naomi Judd’s ex-husband. He was married to the country music star from 1964 until their divorce.

Is Michael Ciminella married?

Yes, Michael Ciminella is currently married, though details about his current wife are not widely known.

Does Ashley Judd have a relationship with her dad? 

Yes, Ashley Judd maintains a relationship with her father, Michael Ciminella, despite his divorce from her mother, Naomi Judd.

Did Wynonna go to Naomi’s funeral?

Yes, Wynonna Judd, Michael Ciminella’s daughter with Naomi Judd, attended her mother’s funeral after Naomi’s passing in 2022.

Final Words

In a nutshell, Michael Ciminella is a small-town boy turned business mogul who’s so much more than just Naomi Judd’s ex-husband. From co-founding Yelp to conquering the marketing world, his entrepreneurial spirit and innovative mindset have propelled him to incredible heights.

But Ciminella’s life isn’t just about professional triumphs. It’s a tapestry woven with family values, philanthropic endeavors, and a genuine love for hobbies like sports, literature, and music. His journey is a testament to the power of perseverance, hard work, and a willingness to embrace personal growth alongside professional ambitions.

Dive into Ciminella’s world, and you’ll uncover a multifaceted individual whose impact extends far beyond the realms of business, leaving an enduring legacy that continues to inspire and empower.

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