WCR Calgary Speakers and Panelists

Amy Turner

Amy Turner

Restaurant GM

Session #2 Panelist: Be Our Guess-"Setting the Table" for an Exceptional Guest Experience

Amy started her restaurant journey at the young age of 16, stepping into the corporate restaurant world feet first. After relocating from Vancouver to Calgary, she found her calling in small, independent chef-driven restaurants. She opened Model Milk as the Assistant General Manager and her love for the Calgary restaurant scene was born. After a year and a half stint at Model Milk, she moved into operations management for the Concorde Entertainment Group, overseeing the operations of their 17 venues. Amy assisted Concorde in their fast expansion and helped them open 5 venues in 1 year. After missing the hands-on interactions of smaller chef-driven venues, she transitioned back and opened Anju as the General Manager in 2014. Last fall, Amy left Anju to pursue her ultimate dream, opening her own restaurant. Donna Mac, named after Amy’s grandmother who was her first teacher in hospitality, is set to open late Summer 2017.

Andrea Harling

Andrea Harling

Vice President and Executive Chef, Made Foods

Session #4 Panelist: Entrepreneurs in the Kitchen

Originally from Toronto, Chef Andrea was fascinated with the culinary world at a young age where she learned to develop her own unique style and flair. She continued with her career at restaurants throughout Ontario, becoming an Executive Chef, at the age of 23.

In 2009, Chef Andrea relocated to Calgary and began her Calgary culinary career with restaurants around the city including one of the city’s most acclaimed restaurants, Brava Bistro. Her cuisine is globally inspired through locally acquired, premium and seasonal ingredients. These ingredients are grown with integrity from neighboring farmers and these partnerships allow Chef Andrea to focus on the unique flavor of each ingredient.

Chef Andrea is now the Vice President and Executive Chef of Made Foods, an exciting new company that prides itself on providing the accessibility of good quality and affordable food to everyone.

Angela Maculan

Angela Maculan

President, Seminario Permanente Luigi Veronelli

Keynote #3: It Takes a Village-The Relationship between Producers, Suppliers and Retailers

When she was old enough to use scissors, Angela started picking grapes for pocket money and as she grew, she continually pressed her father to allow her to help the winery workers in: bottling, packing the cases and of course, selling wine to customers. This, in addition to accompanying her father on his business and winery tours, formed her passion for wine.

Today, Angela is fully immersed in the family business. Along with her father, she hosts guests at the winery and plans all events. In the cellar, she gives input on the blends and other aspects of the winemaking process. Her job takes her around the world and she has become solely responsible for the U.S. market.

Since April 2016, Angela has been President of the Seminario Permanente Luigi Veronelli.

Betty Vazquez

Betty Vazquez

Executive Chef, El Delfin Restaurant (Riviera Nayarit, México)

Keynote #1: PURPOSE

Chef Betty Vázquez was born, raised and lives in the historic port town of San Blas, México. She is the executive chef at El Delfin Restaurant in the Hotel Garza Canela. With 33 years of experience under her belt (She was trained under her grandmother’s hand and formed by the Cordon Blue in Paris.), Betty Vázquez has positioned herself among the top chefs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of México, and as a Riviera Nayarit gastronomic ambassador. She believes the last decade in cooking has been prodigious because in the age of global communication people are constantly informed of the gastronomic panorama, making strong competition an unstoppable aspect of the art worldwide. By constantly being in the search for balance, movement, and gastronomic evolution she has become a judge in Master Chef México, and has appeared in tv shows, in front of congress and seminaries in countries all over the world.

Carolyn Frew

Carolyn Frew

Chief Operating Officer at Carya

Session #1 Panelist: How to Reinvent Yourself-Finding Your Place After Disruption

Carolyn is the Chief Operating Officer at Carya, Calgary’s largest social serves agency and her second home for over 18 years. Carolyn loves being part of someone having an “A HA” moment, a spark of change that puts them, their child, their family or community on a better path. Learning, innovation and strategic change are compelling to her in all forms.

Carolyn is reminded each day of the power of possibility at work and at home, as well as the joys and challenges of vulnerability as a parent of two active children and a pug named Ozzy with a penchant for lego and crayons.

Cherie Andrews

Cherie Andrews

Session #3 Panelist: It Takes a Village-The Relationship between Producers, Suppliers and Retailers

It all started with her love of bees. Cherie Andrews is the co-founder of Chinook Honey Company & Chinook Arch Meadery. This multi- faceted business includes honey extraction, packaging and value added production of everything from honey jams, jellies, sauces to mead (honey wine). Cherie has nurtured each item from concept, to testing to small-scale production with a mission to provide quality honey, while tending the bees with care and respect. By being a pioneer of Alberta mead she had to spearhead the inclusion of it in provincial liquor regulations, and educate consumers about this ancient drink. Since they started selling mead in 2008, other meaderies have opened in the province, helping spread the word about an old drink made with natural, unpasteurized honey and no harmful additives.

Cobra Collins

Cobra Collins

Calgary-based Metis poet

Spoken Word Poetry

Cobra Collins was the captain and coach of Calgary’s 2016 Slam team, representing the city on a national level at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word. She is also a member of Calgary’s Inkspot Spoken Word Collective.Cobra is the co-host of Expressions, a poetry open mic night at Cafe Koi, an evening which focuses on creating a space for emerging artists, while building a connected spoken word community.

The scope of Cobra’s work expands beyond spoken word. She facilitates workshops with local youth which focus on young women and those with an indigenous background in hopes of showcasing how poetry and performance can be used as a tool for expression, activism, and healing.
Cobra has participated in several nationwide Spoken Word festivals, and has collaborated with artists of different backgrounds for dance and performance festivals. Cobra was also shortlisted as a nominee for Calgary’s 2017 poet laureate.

Dan Clapson

Dan Clapson

Session #4 Moderator: Entrepreneurs in the Kitchen

Dan is a restaurant critic and columnist based out of Calgary, Alberta who writes for media sources across Canada including The Globe and Mail, Food Network Canada Online, Westjet Magazine, Culinaire, The Bay St. Bull and Avenue. He is a guest expert on Cityline and appears on various morning news shows across Western Canada, including Global BC, CTV Morning Live Vancouver and Global Calgary as their restaurant/food travel correspondent. You can hear him frequently on-air on KiSS95.9 and 660News and less frequently (but still occasionally!) on various CBC Radio programs. In 2013, Clapson founded EatNorth.com, a Canadian culinary-focused website that celebrates the country’s food scene from coast-to-coast.

Elizabeth Falkner

Elizabeth Falkner

Chef

Session #1 Panelist: How to Reinvent Yourself-Finding Your Place After Disruption

Chef Elizabeth Falkner, is known for her television appearances mostly as a competitor and judge on food competition shows such as Top Chef Masters, and Chopped Allstars. She was a chef/restaurateur in San Francisco for years and has opened two restaurants as a consulting chef in New York. Currently, Chef Falkner is working on a memoir, and an interactive Food Installation project. She’s also cooking and teaching with a focus on “Farm to Art” and “Fit to Cook”. Chef Falkner is an artist and a chef with a passion for a healthy lifestyle while appreciating indulgences. She respects culinary traditions as well as moving in modernism. She is both a savory and pastry chef and calls herself a “Culinary Instigator”, seeing as she prefers to pioneer new concepts and works on not feeling caged or stagnant. She is the author of two cookbooks, Demolition Desserts (2007) and Cooking Off The Clock (2012)

Erica Wiebe

Erica Wiebe

Canadian Olympic Wrestler

Keynote #2: PASSION-Poetry In Motion

A 1000 watt light bulb.

The heavyweight wrestler captured Canadian hearts when she won gold at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.The Stittsville, ON native is dynamic on and off the mats. She is full time athlete, speaker, research assistant, and active within the local and global sports community. After completing degrees in Kinesiology and Arts-Sociology with Honours, Erica now works as a research assistant at the University of Calgary and is on the Board of Directors for Alberta Sport Connect. She lives and trains in Calgary, AB.

Erica’s passion for sport runs deep in her dedication to training and her commitments as a volunteer and ambassador through working with Right to Play international, Fast & Female and KidSport Calgary. She has represented Canada internationally in winning over 20 international events in the past three years, including the 2014 Commonwealth Games and 2014 University World Championships in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

Fiona Odlum

Fiona Odlum

News Anchor, CTV Saskatoon

MC

Fiona Odlum anchors the Noon News for Prince Albert and is the CTV Morning Live Show producer for CTV Saskatoon. In addition to anchoring and producing, Fiona also covers the weather desk for both the morning show and noon show.

Fiona joined CTV Saskatoon in August 2016 after spending several years reporting and anchoring in Manitoba and Ontario cities.

She began her broadcasting career in 1999 with CBC Manitoba as freelance community reporter and has since worked as a reporter and anchor for various other television and radio stations. Fiona is passionate about delivering local news, meeting and playing with every puppy known to man (she loves dogs), trying new recipes and baking constantly. Lifting heavy weights is her stress reliever and she is passionate about meeting the people who are making a difference her community.

Gwendolyn Richards

Gwendolyn Richards

Food Writer, Editor and Photographer

Session #1 Panelist: How to Reinvent Yourself-Finding Your Place After Disruption
Session #2 Moderator: Be Our Guest-"Setting the Table" for an Exceptional Guest Experience

Gwendolyn Richards is a food writer and editor, photographer and author of Pucker: A Cookbook for Citrus Lovers. Her second book will be available this fall. She writes about all aspects of food and dining – from chef creations to cheap eats, must-try dishes and recipes to cook at home – for a variety of publications, including FoodNetwork.ca, WestJet Magazine, Avenue, Where Calgary and the Calgary Herald. She also serves as a judge for best restaurant awards for several magazines. Always at home in the kitchen, Gwendolyn was greatly influenced by her grandfather’s passion for cooking. She translated that enthusiasm for food into her blog, Patent and the Pantry, where she continues to chronicle her love of cooking, baking and eating while traveling.

Jennie Marshall

Jennie Marshall

Social Media Team

Born and raised in the City of Champions, this University of Alberta alumni loves exploring the amazing food, fashion and art scene that is abundant across Western Canada. An avid football fan, sporting events are always a priority. She spent 4 years as a Senior Community Manager with Yelp Canada, and can now be found frequently on CTV Morning Live, Dinner Television and on Shaw TV, as well as hosting and emceeing numerous events. With her finger-on-the-pulse of the vibrant city of Edmonton. – She is your “Expert In Everything Edmonton.

Jessica Fasoli

Jessica Fasoli

Session #3 Panelist: It Takes a Village-The Relationship between Producers, Suppliers and Retailers

Jessica Fasoli for the past 7 years has been labelled as a therapist but recently has surprised not only herself but her peers by now calling herself an ‘entrepreneur’ when asked what she does for work. After receiving her degree in psychology in 2011, Jessica began to take on clients from all walks of life, helping them heal. Combining spirituality, hypnotherapy and traditional counseling, she has seen incredible results in her clients’ lives. In 2015 her and her husband took a big leap of faith by leaving their 9 to 5 jobs and started 18 months later was is now Alberta’s second largest outdoor raised pork farm called Bear and the Flower Farm. They sell over 2000 head of naturally raised pork to the restaurant and retail industry. This year Jessica Fasoli along with her husband are building Hobo Brewing and Malt a craft brewing and craft malting company that will brew nearly 1 million six packs per year. Hobo will be the 1st craft brewery in Alberta to malt its own product and the 3rd in the country. The brewery is set to open this fall.

Jessie Radies

Jessie Radies

Interim Director, Agriculture
Northlands

Session #3 Panelist: It Takes a Village-The Relationship between Producers, Suppliers and Retailers

Jessie has built a reputation as an entrepreneurial, innovative and creative leader and a compelling advocate for local food and independent business. She has over 30 years of restaurant experience and 10 years of community development experience. Jessie is a BALLE Fellow; this fellowship has resulted in Jessie actively collaborating with international thought leaders on Community Economic Development programs, processes and economic policy issues. She was recognized as a Women of Vision in 2008. Currently Jessie is working with Edmonton Northlands to increase the scope and scale of agriculture and food programs.

Karen Trilevsky

Karen Trilevsky

Keynote #4 B

Karen Trilevsky has promoted social responsibility, sustainability, positive impact and entrepreneurship for more than twenty years. She created FullBloom Baking Company, based on the belief that a business can lead the way to better communities, harmony with the environment and a better life for workers. Her delicious, naturally made products and celebrated 95,000 square foot Platinum LEED-certified baking facility helped her partner with well-respected companies including Starbucks, Trader Joes and Whole Foods. She sold the company to Aryzta AG in late 2012.
Karen co-Founded the innovative Smart Cookie Scholarship program, which prepares first generation Latina and Latino immigrants for educational success by providing college scholarships, development & mentoring. Karen is a Board member of the Smart Cookie Scholarship Fund; The Chef Ann Foundation, GoVoluntr, and NoBull. A TEDx and Trade Conference speaker, she graduated from Stanford & UCLA’s Business School’s Entrepreneur Development Programs. She currently works with mid-market artisan food manufactures assisting & coaching them to operate more effectively, efficiently, and profitably.

Keri Miller

Keri Miller

Creative Director, e=mc2 events

Session #2 Panelist: Be Our Guest-"Setting the Table" for an Exceptional Guest Experince

Keri Miller, CSEP is Partner & Chief Creative Strategist of e=mc2 events. With over 15 years of award winning event design and production experience Keri recently took the lead of the companies creative services. As a managing partner of the company, she has been integral in its success and growth and focuses on cultivating and maintaining their enviable internal culture.

With offices in Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary, e=mc2 events has grown to be one of the leading event design, production and conference management companies in Canada. The team has been honoured with over 43 national and international awards and is the only Canadian firm showcased on the Special Events Top 50 Event Companies in the world list in 2016. She is fueled by creating experiences that matter and lives for the “Whizbang” – that explosive moment where she and her team – know they’ve really nailed it.

Kerry Bennett

Kerry Bennett

Owner, Care Bakery

Session #4 Panelist: Entrepreneurs in the Kitchen

After spending over a decade working in the front end of restaurants Kerry Bennett moved to Calgary to pursue a culinary diploma with hopes of opening her own restaurant. Shortly after enrolment, an unexpected twist was presented when she found out that she had a severe gluten intolerance. Kerry took the restriction as a challenge and turned it into an opportunity to delve deep into gluten-free cooking and baking. Today, Bennett’s Bakery, which specializes in high quality gluten free baking products, now supplies hundreds of restaurants in Alberta and beyond. These days, the chef-turned-baker has become the provincial “go to” for gluten-free culinary expertise.

Kim Bartmann

Kim Bartmann

WCR Board President

WCR Board President

Kim Bartmann operates 8 unique neighborhood restaurants in Minneapolis, MN. She holds many design and best-of food awards, and is a two-time James Beard Outstanding Restaurateur semi-finalist. Kim’s businesses are all committed to serving local, sustainably produced foods as much as possible and to constantly striving to be more socially and environmentally responsible. She has re-imagined spaces in what some would term ‘difficult’ neighborhoods since 1991. She has long been committed to the arts and theater, having opened the Bryant Lake Bowl and Theater in 1993. As an extension of her restaurants’ focus on local buying & sustainability, she created Minnesota’s first LEED certified restaurant, Red Stag Supperclub, in 2007. Her 8th and most recent project, Tiny Diner, takes these values further. The diner is producing energy with a patio/solar array and showcasing bio-intensive urban farming methods and efficient water use strategies through edible gardens, pollinator habitats, and rainwater catchment systems.

Kim Hayden

Kim Hayden

Social Media Team

Liana Robberecht

Liana Robberecht

Conference Chair

Liana Robberecht, one of Canada’s distinguished leaders in the culinary industry, is the executive chef at WinSport. The native of Smithers, B.C., joined WinSport in June 2015 after spending nearly two decades at the prestigious Calgary Petroleum Club, including 13 years as the executive chef. She began her career in the professional cooking program at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology more than 20 years ago. She also earned her professional pastry diploma from Vancouver’s Dubrulle French Culinary School and studied various mediums at the Alberta College of Art and Design, which is reflected in her menu and plating designs. Robberecht was named Chef of the Year in 2011 by the Alberta Foodservice Expos and Canadian Restaurant and Foodservice News magazine and received the 2010 Golden Whisk Award from the Women Chefs and Restaurateurs, for which she is a long standing member. She is a regular contributor to the CBC Radio Homestretch Show, as well as a contributing food writer for Restaurantcentral.ca. Robberecht is passionate for local and Canadian cuisine. This passion lead her to Slow Food’s Terra Madre in 2006 and 2008.

Mary Bailey

Mary Bailey

The Tomato

Session #1 Moderator: How to Reinvent Yourself-Finding Your Place After Disruption

Food, wine and travel writer Mary Bailey is the publisher of The Tomato food & drink.  A former wine merchant, Mary holds the Wines and Spirits Trust (WSET) Diploma; is a certified sommelier; a French Wine Scholar and possesses the Spanish Wine Educator’s Certificate. She is also known to make a stellar martini, with Eau Claire gin of course.   Mary is a national Gold Medal Plates/Canadian Culinary Championships judge. She is the creator of the Relish Food on Film Festival. She co-authored two best-selling books on Alberta food: The Food Lover’s Trail Guide to Alberta,Volumes I & II and is past co-chair of the Edmonton Food Council. She founded Edmonton’s Slow Food convivia in 2002 and co-founded the local food event Indulgence, a Canadian epic of Food and Wine now in its 15th year. Mary appears regularly on CBC Radio One’s Alberta at Noon and is a monthly guest on Global TV Edmonton Morning News.

Michelle Battista

Michelle Battista

Keynote #4 A

Bringing people and ideas together has always been at the heart of what drives Michelle Battista.
She built her reputation in the design and marketing world with international brands, including Walt Disney World and adidas, then struck out on her own to start creative consultancy Blind Spot Design in 2001. While traveling around the globe, Michelle helped companies home in on strategies to reach the right audience. A fateful consulting gig with renown chefs and restauranteurs ignited her love of food and led to a seismic shift in how she wanted to focus her talents.

In 2014, she and Chef Jason French opened Elder Hall, with the intent of connecting people around a table while breaking bread, sharing stories, and cooking up new ideas. Then in 2015, she launched Stockpot Collective, a community of creative thinkers and professional storytellers with a passion for breaking the old rules of food & design. Michelle’s vision for delivering assets and product revolves around creating cohesive brand strategy and authentic experiences. This circles back to her desire to bring together the right mix of people and ideas for inspired collaborations. While food may seem like an unusual move for someone who went to fashion school and built marketing strategies for big brands, she feels right at home in this space.

Nicole Fewell

Nicole Fewell

Business Owner

Session #4 Panelist: Entrepreneurs in the Kitchen

Nicole started Cheezy Bizness in March of 2012 when the pilot project for food trucks in Calgary was just getting under way. During Cheezy’s first winter, Nicole was introduced to tonic syrup as a gift from a friend. Nicole was intrigued, and when searching for another bottle found that it was not easy to locate. The tonics she did find offered flavour profiles that didn’t jive with her own palate, so in true Fewell fashion, she decided to make her own. After a great deal of research and testing, Porter’s Tonic Original was born. Thanks to a strong community of support, the Porter’s Tonic line-up has grown to include 7 flavours and is featured in close to 50 stores and restaurants across Canada.

Nicole Gomes

Nicole Gomes

Chef, Owner Nicole Gourmet, Owner Cluck & Cleaver

Session 4 Panelist: Entrepreneurs in the Kitchen

Chef Nicole Gomes is the winner of Top Chef Canada: All-Stars, Canada’s most prestigious high-stakes culinary competition. As a chef, caterer, entrepreneur, and passionate media personality, Nicole Gomes has excelled in all facets of food and dining in the modern world. Nothing gives her more joy than sharing her craft by bringing people together to enjoy great food. Her accomplishments as chef and owner of Nicole Gourmet Catering have been recognized with several awards including Western Living’s Top 40 Foodies under 40, Avenue Magazine’s Top 40 under 40, and Calgary Herald’s Compelling Calgarians in 2015.

In 2016, Gomes partnered with her sister to open Cluck N’ Cleaver, a Southern fried and French style rotisserie chicken take-out joint, priding itself on providing good food, fast.

No matter what she is cooking from her large repertoire of culinary experience, this busy chef remains committed to innovative, personalized cuisine served with personality and flair.

Patricia Koyich

Patricia Koyich

Hospitality Business Coach, Guest Speaker, Instructor, Mentor and Award-Winning Restauranteur

Session #1 Panelist: How to Reinvent Yourself-Finding Your Place After Disruption

Patricia grew up in a restaurant-oriented family, so she felt she was destined to have a career in the industry. After working in some of Calgary’s award-winning dining rooms, she opened a fine dining restaurant, Il Sogno, in August of 2000, which went on to win several prestigious awards.
Patricia went on to complete all three levels of the ISG sommelier diploma, joined The Woman’s Chefs and Restaurateurs (WCR) of America and became a member of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs in 2009. She was voted top business leader of tomorrow 2009 in Business Calgary Magazine, was awarded the Golden Fork award for restaurant operations with the WCR and the Doug Johnson service award at the Calgary White Hats in 2010. She was honored to join the Calgary Council in 2011 for the Châine des Rotisseurs and now sits on National council for Canada.

In 2011, Patricia, joined the Faculty at SAIT, teaching Dining room service, bar mixology and wine service to the Hospitality management and culinary students.

Peggy Garritty

Peggy Garritty

ATB

Session #4 Panelist: Entrepreneurs in the Kitchen

Peggy leads ATB Financial’s Reputation and Brand team. As the Chief Reputation and Brand Officer and member of ATB’s corporate leadership team, she is responsible for helping build ATB’s reputation as a trusted financial partner for over 710,000 customers across Alberta. Her specific responsibilities include marketing ATB’s services and raising its profile and reputation with Albertans, telling ATB’s stories through various forms of media, expanding ATB’s social media presence, delivering on ATB’s commitment to corporate social responsibility, keeping over 5,000 team members well informed about what’s happening in our company, coordinating sponsorships and community investments, maintaining positive relationships with our shareholder, and keeping people well informed about Alberta’s economy. In the past year, Peggy has led a significant initiative to articulate ATB’s brand and shift the marketing focus on a go-forward basis.

Randy White

Randy White

Sysco

Welcome Comments

Randy White is a strong advocate for diversity across the foodservice industry. He began his career in Vancouver BC and progressed through Sysco acquisitions and organizations between 1979 until today. In 2001 he was promoted to Vice President of SERCA’s Western Division and relocated to Calgary. In 2003 he was promoted to Senior Vice President of Sysco Calgary and in 2004 to Executive Vice President. In 2008 he became President & CEO of Sysco Calgary. In 2009 he took on the responsibility for the Sysco Prairie POD as President & CEO and in 2010 for Sysco Canada Western Region as President & CEO. Randy became President of Sysco Canada in September 2012.

Sandy De Almeida

Sandy De Almeida

Bartender

Keynote #5: Cocktail Culture: Back to Basics

Sandy is a Toronto based bartender and cocktail consultant. She launched Kindling in 2007, a pop up that, according to the Globe and Mail, “helped school Toronto on how to make a proper drink and introduced sturdy cocktails to a city that was still under the influence of flavored vodka martinis.” Six time winner of NOW magazine’s reader’s poll ‘best bartender in Toronto’, she has been an asteemed judged at many cocktail competitions, including Speed Rack Toronto and Rematch Toronto. You can find her at The Drake hotel.

Shannon Collins

Shannon Collins

Session #1 Panelist: How to Reinvent Yourself-Finding Your Place After Disruption

Shannon’s adventure began in Northampton, MA. where she was raised on her grandmother’s comfort food and her mother’s flair for gourmet meals. After much soul searching, she decided that she was culinary school bound. She graduated shortly after her 40th birthday and was hired on to work at Holly Hill Inn, Wallace Station, and later Windy Corner – all owned by her mentor, Ouita Michel. Chef Michel instilled a love for simple, local, classic recipes. The next phase of her career involved taking the classic dishes and “geeking” them out. Under Chef Jeremy Ashby at Azur Restaurant and Patio, Shannon’s creativity was challenged and she was introduced to the media aspects of being a Chef. It was at Azur where she founded the Lexington Women Chefs Dinner series which spotlights all the women in Lexington’s kitchens.

She has been honoured Cooking for WCR Conference in 2015 in New York City for Come out for Pride Orlando in 2016.”

Teresa Spinelli

Teresa Spinelli

Session #3 Panelist: It Takes a Village-The Relationship between Producers, Suppliers and Retailers

Teresa in Edmonton in 1961 and grew up at the Italian Centre Shop, taking her first steps in the pasta isle. Years later after the loss of her bother, followed with the passing of her father, Frank Spinelli, Teresa stepped in as the interim president for the company. But Teresa believed the Italian Centre could be bigger and better. With her vision of changing the business from a local grocery store to a major importer and distributor, she grew the business to $12 million in sales within a year. Today, the company has grown to four stores with 509 employees and sales of $64 million. She attributes her success to her business philosophy which comes from her dad: “The more you give, the more you get.” Teresa has been one of Canada’s Top 100 Women Entrepreneurs (Profit Magazine); the People’s Choice Businesswoman of the Year; and has received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition of contributions to Canada.

Toni-Marie Ion-Brown

Toni-Marie Ion-Brown

Acting General Manager Calgary Petroleum Club

Session #2 Panelist: Be Our Guest-"Setting the Table" for an Exceptional Guest Experience

Toni-Marie began her hospitality career with the Calgary Petroleum Club in 1990 as a food server. Later that year, she was promoted to supervisor and in November 1999, she became the first female Food and Beverage Manager in the history of the Club. In 2015, Toni-Marie was promoted to Assistant General Manager, and in February of 2017 she became the Acting General Manager of the Club.
Toni-Marie is passionate about food and wine pairings and has completed the International Guild of Sommeliers course. Her interest further developed through her association with the Confrerie De la Chaine des Rotisseurs, Calgary Baillage. Toni-Marie joined the Calgary council in 2013 as the Vice-Conseiller Gastronomique and in 2017 she accepted the role of Vice- Chancelier. Toni-Marie is a proud Albertan, born and raised in Duchess. Toni-Marie lives with her husband Bruce, and her Westie Ms.Ivy on acreage outside of Calgary.

Twyla Campbell

Twyla Campbell

Food Writer

Session #3 Moderator: It Takes a Village-The Relationship between Producers, Suppliers and Retailers

Twyla Campbell is CBC Edmonton AM’s restaurant reviewer, and a freelance food and travel writer. She is a seasoned traveler, local and abroad, a long-standing Slow Food member, and proud supporter of Canadian wine and sustainable food producers. She may have left the farm decades ago, but the farm has never left her. She is a champion of those who produce good, honest, conscientiously raised food, and is unwavering in voicing the importance of knowing where your food comes from. The best food, in Twyla’s opinion, is never fussy, but is food that connects us to a place and time.

Dave Holland

Dave Holland

Photographer

Headshot Booth

Dave is the photo guy for Winsport and the Canadian Sport Institute Calgary. He works with Canada’s elite Olympic and Paralympic athletes at home and abroad, in the gym and the lab, and on the international stage. His photos give the athletes a voice on social media to showcase their commitment to excellence. Dave is also a solid proponent of thick cut bacon and quality black coffee.

Natascha Schwarzer

Natascha Schwarzer

Cococo Chocolatiers

Natascha’s love for chocolate blossomed at 16 when she spent a year in Switzerland, where she fell hard for the world of fine chocolate, pastries, and old world ways. She returned a year later to do an apprenticeship as a pastry chef-confectioneur. She stayed 3.5 more years in Switzerland working at various hotels and pastry shops. During Natascha’s last year in Switzerland she joined Lindt, who then moved her to Australia to lead chocolate and ice cream categories. Other resume highlights include Head Pastry Chef at a top Australia restaurant, teaching at a college part time and her biggest achievement, managing Barry Callebaut’s Chocolate Academy in Switzerland for five years. Having now returned to her native Canada, she joined Cococo in 2014, to participate in recipe development and search for new trends and techniques. On a constant basis at Cococo, Natascha approaches chocolate with an open mind, experimenting with unique textures and global flavours.