Morning Keynote Presenter

Randall Grahm – Bonny Doon Vineyard

Randall was born in Los Angeles in 1953 and attended the University of California at Santa Cruz where he was a permanent Liberal Arts major. Some time later he found himself working at the Wine Merchant in Beverly Hills sweeping floors.  He returned to the University of California at Davis to complete a degree in Plant Sciences in 1979. With his family’s assistance, Randall purchased property in the Santa Cruz Mountains in a quaint eponymous hamlet known as Bonny Doon, intent on producing the Great American Pinot Noir. In 2010, he was  able to purchase an extraordinary 400-acre property near San Juan Bautista, which he calls “Popelouchum,” (the Mutsun word for “paradise”), and has very ambitious plans to breed 10,000 new grape varieties there and perhaps produce a true vin de terroir in the New World. He lives in Santa Cruz with his muse Chinshu, their daughter, Amélie, and his thesaurus.

Afternoon Keynote Presenter

Luis Osorio – Wine Intelligence

Luis joined Wine Intelligence in October 2014 after working as a consultant in an auditing and consulting firm, where he developed strategy related projects in Portuguese-speaking countries in industries such as oil & gas, banking, media and retail. Prior to this, he spent two years developing entrepreneurial projects, including start-ups and an NGO. He also did a six-month internship with a major Portuguese wine producer. Luis graduated from Lisbon Technical University with a BA in architecture / civil engineering and later with a master’s degree in business administration majoring in strategy from the Catholic University of Portugal. He also holds the WSET Level 2 qualification in wines and spirits. Luis’ passion for wine started early within his family of wine producers; he then went on to launch a wine bar and in one year he opened five more wine bars in Lisbon, later selling the company and making a valuable profit.

 

Breakout Room Speaker

Christina Atkinson – DJB LLP

Christina Atkinson is a Certified Human Resources Leader (CHRL) with over 25 years of senior HR and leadership experience. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Psychology, the Human Resources Management designation and is a Certified Executive Coach (CEC).  Christina is a member of the Niagara chapter of the HRPA, as well as the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) in the US. Christina is a strong people leader who combines experience, a keen business acumen, and best practices to create solutions for people and business leaders to help drive performance. Her breadth and depth of experience in HR has led to demonstrated success in developing and maintaining partnerships with leaders to link HR initiatives to business objectives and corporate strategies. Christina’s experience includes work in corporate and not-for-profit environments, including healthcare, manufacturing, retail, distribution, transportation, developmental services, hospitality, and financial services. As the Director, Human Resources, Christina oversees both the internal HR department and the HR Advisory Services practice, providing leadership and direction to DJB senior management on all HR matters and providing the full range of HR services for external clients.

 

Breakout Room Speaker

Laura Carr – Chez Nous

Laura is the owner/operator of Chez Nous Wine Bar, which has been described as “a neighbourhood local that also just happens to be a wine bar”.  It has also been dedicated to serving nothing but Ontario wines (along with a few craft beers and local spirits) since day one.  Born and raised in Niagara Falls, Laura’s passion for all things local continued to grow as she spent a number of years living and working abroad, never very far from a wine region.  She returned to Canada for good in 2016 after a stint running a wine bar and restaurant in New Zealand, with Chez Nous as a fully-formed idea that would take shape and become a reality over the next year.  It’s now been over three years, and hopefully will continue to support local wineries and help everyone realize just how awesome our wine is!

Breakout Room Speaker

Pierre Costa – SommDigital

Pierre is based in Napa Valley, California and has an exotic mix of digital marketing and wine experience. He founded SommDigital a consulting firm that develops and implements innovative digital marketing strategies specializing in wineries. He also lectures at Sonoma State University in Sonoma, California focused on Wine E-commerce and Digital Marketing. Before he moved to Napa, he spent over five years working with Digital Media Agencies in London (England) and Dublin (Ireland) managing the digital marketing of large corporate accounts including Bank of Ireland and eircom (telecom). He spent 10 years working in the wine industry in high knowledge positions including head sommelier for star Michelin restaurant Bon Appetit in Dublin (Ireland) and Café Journal in Brazil along with finance and marketing roles with Inglenook winery, Delicato Family Wines, and Naked Wines. He is known for having a fantastic palate which was proven when he won the 2014 Top Taster blind wine tasting competition at Flavor! Napa Valley. He holds a Masters degree in Electronic-Business from University College Dublin and an Honors degree in Mathematics from UNESP (Brazil). Pierre is a passionate Star Wars fan and enjoys archery and meditation.

Breakout Room Speaker

Paul Leary – Assemblage Consulting Group

Paul Leary is the founder of Assemblage Consulting Group, a firm focused on optimizing the profits of consumer-packaged goods businesses in California. As a leading Northern California entrepreneur and senior executive, Mr. Leary brings more than 20 years of business leadership, brand marketing, sales and operations expertise to his roles. Leary’s continual business concern is to build a company’s brand equity and financial returns by ensuring product and service quality while spearheading niche sales & marketing strategies that create consumer demand in the direct and wholesale distribution channels. During his tenure at St. Helena-based Duckhorn Wine Company, Leary oversaw the marketing and consumer sales for three distinct wine brands including Duckhorn, Paraduxx and Goldeneye. “Over the last decade, the premium sector of the consumer-packaged goods industry has become increasingly fragmented and competitive. The focus is on niche marketing, establishing direct relationships with clients, and maximizing the chain of influencers and peer-to-peer referrals. It’s up to the company to create the brand and then to let customers tell the story,” Leary says. Leary earned a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from St. Mary’s College in Moraga, California, a Certificate in eBusiness Strategy and Management from U.C. Davis Extension and a Certificate in Business Administration from U.C. Berkeley Extension. Paul and his wife live in the Napa Valley with their son and daughter where he is a proud husband, father and member of the Napa community.

Breakout Room Speaker

Laurie Macdonald – VQA Ontario

As the chief staff officer at VQA Ontario, Laurie oversees the management and operations of the Province’s wine authority.  VQA Ontario administers the Vintners Quality Alliance Act and associated regulations that establish an appellation of origin and quality assurance system for Ontario VQA wines.  VQA certification provides consumers with label integrity and the industry with a foundation to build consumer confidence in local wines. Laurie has been with VQA Ontario since its inception in 2000 and seen the Ontario wine industry establish an international presence and more than triple in size. Before joining VQA Ontario, Laurie was Registrar and CEO of Professional Engineers Ontario, responsible for the regulation of the practice of engineering in Ontario under the Professional Engineers Act.  Trained as a mining engineer, Laurie started her career in the mining and consulting engineering sector.

Breakout Room Speaker

Dave Robinson – Destination Canada

Prior to joining Destination Canada, Dave was Director General, Strategic Coordination at Veterans Affairs Canada, responsible for managing corporate governance, and the Department’s cabinet and parliamentary business. From 2001 to 2010 Dave led the Government of Canada’s preparations for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. He led the coordination of over 30 federal departments and agencies and worked with provinces, local municipalities and First Nations to make the 2010 Games, “Canada’s Games.” Along with his team, Dave created the strategies and sought the funding that allowed the Government of Canada to take full advantage of the unprecedented platform the Games provided for the promotion of Canada internationally. From 1999 to 2000 Dave was Director of Government Relations for the Canadian Bankers Association. Prior to that, from 1993 to 1999, Dave worked as a senior political advisor to the President of the Treasury Board, supporting the Minister with the development of the Canada Infrastructure Works Program, the Minister of International Trade supporting the Minister’s work on International Business Development and planning for the Team Canada Mission (1997) and finally as Chief of Staff to the Minister of National Defence.

Breakout Room Speaker

Sandra Tavares – Tavares Group Consulting Inc. / Staarsoft®

Sandra, an approved Ontario Viticulture and Winery Sustainability Auditor and certified Sustainability Professional, was introduced to Sustainability in her global Environment and Health & Safety (EHS) role for UK-based Marconi plc. In 2005, Sandra established Tavares Group Consulting Inc., a firm that emphasizes the process approach to sustainability. This approach has been formalized via the Sustainability Toolkit and its associated Staarsoft® software, which incorporates risk assessment and stakeholder concerns to ensure successful implementation of sustainability programs and meaningful reporting on material environmental and social issues. The approach has been successful in a number of sectors and presented at a number of national and international conferences, including Canect 2019, Automotive Industry Action Group’s 2015-2018 Corporate Responsibility Summits, 2016 World Ethical Apparel Roundtable, Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s 2015 Annual Conference & Expo, and the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering’s 2015 Professional Development Conference.

Speakers To Be Announced Soon!

Check back regularly for updates

WHEN

THURSDAY, APRIL 2nd, 2020

Registration/Continental Breakfast: 8:00 a.m.

Conference: 9:00 a.m. – 5:45 p.m.

Trade Show: 10 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

WHERE

The Beanfield Centre (2nd floor), Canada’s greenest conference centre at Toronto’s Exhibition Place 105 Princes Blvd., Toronto, ON, M6K 3C3

Drop Us a Line

Let us know if you have any questions about the Ontario Craft Wine Conference & Trade Show?