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Board Members

National Board Members are :

Mark DeWolf

President and Chair of the Board, CAPS National

Mark DeWolf is the founder and owner of By the Glass (now known as With Zest) a combination event, tour and promotions company. In 2002, Mark passed the International Sommelier Guild's final exam with the second highest mark in Canada. After graduation Mark took a position as an editor of one North America's largest on-line wine publications, Appellation America. Since leaving Appellation America, Mark started his own beverage consultancy company, and became the Publications Editor and Art Director of Occasions Magazine, which is produced for the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation. Mark is the currently the Manager - Custom Content Food & Drink at The Chronicle Herald - Atlantic Canada's largest newspaper and part of the Saltwire Group - one of Canada's largest privately owned media groups.  Mark additionally heads the Tidal Bay Independent Tasting Panel and co-ordinates the Atlantic Canada Wine Awards, Atlantic Canada Beer Awards and soon to be launched Atlantic Canada Spirits Awards.   Mark has been a Sommelier instructor with CAPS since 2004. Mark occasionally writes for other publications, when time allows.


Aline Migneault

Vice-President, CAPS National and Vice-President, CAPS Quebec

Coming soon

Dan Tanner

Treasurer, CAPS National and Past President, CAPS Atlantic

Dan began his passion for food and wine in 1999 while attaining his Hospitality Diploma, and in the years since, he has become a certified Sommelier from the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers and returned to college in 2009 to enroll to enroll in the Culinary Arts program to refine his culinary skills. Graduating from this program in 2011, he is now working on attaining his Red Seal certification. As a volunteer, he remains actively involved at the Board of Directors level with the CAPS-Atlantic and the Restaurant Association of Nova Scotia. Dan’s affinity for food and wine spills over into his personal life as well.  When not at work Dan has a small organic farm complete with several hundred grape vines, so he can fully understand wine from the ground to the glass.


Michelle McCarthy

Past president, CAPS National

Michelle is a certified Sommelier, is proud to be the President of the National Board for the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers/ Association Canadienne des Sommeliers Professionnels (CAPS/ACSP) and Vice-President of the Alliance of Pan-American Sommeliers (APAS). Formerly the President of the Ontario Chapter of CAPS and their Director of Education for the sommelier program, she holds the Diploma of Wine from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) and is a WSET Certified Educator & Assessor. In addition to her passion for wine, the profession of sommelier, and the wine industry, she also holds a Masters in Leadership Studies; is a wine educator, with national and international teaching experience at the college and university level; holds diplomas in Culinary, Hotel and Food & Beverage Management; and, she conducts private and corporate seminars. Michelle is a member of CAPS, an Associate Member of the Institute of Wine, and the Women's Culinary Network.


Jean-Benoit Hinse

Director, CAPS National and Vice-President Quebec CAPS

Jean Benoit began working in the restaurant industry in Quebec as a teenager. Although initially moving to Montreal to study administration he chose to listen to his heart subsequently enrolling in the Italian Professional Culinary program offered at ITHQ. His passion and desired to learn more moved him to the dining room where he has continually climbed the ladder, from server, bartender to Maitre D’ at various hotels. By working along sommeliers at the Cube, Aszu and the legendary Don-Jean Léandry at Chez Garcon the world of the sommelier was exposed to him. Jean-Benoit began his sommelier education at the ITHQ at the same time he opened, as a co-owner, Au Chaud Lapin in Plateau Mont-Royal. He then began studies with the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET), which he has completed three of the four levels, and has since become the in-house sommelier of the House of Boulud at the Ritz-Carlton where he has worked for almost two years. It is at the same time that he joined the ranks of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Association of Professional sommeliers in Quebec, first as director of communications and social media and there is now vice-president. With regards to that decision it is important for him to give back to a passion and profession which has brought him so much. Dealing always of different projects of consultation in cellar and restore, it is also a sommelier in chief at the L’Auberge Saint-Gabriel. He is also the founder and manager of the club of wine of Midtown Le Sanctuaire and in this position does purchasing, management and evaluation of private cellars for individual clients. In this capacity he also organizes and hosts private parties and corporate events.

Elsa Macdonald

Director of Operations and Secretary, CAPS National and President, CAPS Ontario

President of the Ontario Chapter and Marketing Manager with Vincor Canada, A Constellation Company, Elsa develops and promotes Canadian wines and wine brands.  Elsa entered wine after a career as a Management Consultant in Telecom and Financial Services.  Elsa was certified by CAPS as a Sommelier in 2006 and became an Associate of the Institute of Wine and Spirits in 2009 (diploma graduate).  She received the Inniskillin Award for Top Academic Achievement in the CAPS program and the OIWSBA (Drinks Ontario) Brian Kirkwood Memorial Scholarship Award for top-achieving student in the IWEG/WSET Diploma Program.


Michelle Bouffard

Director, CAPS National and President, CAPS British Columbia

Michelle co-owns house wine, a consulting company offering private and corporate tastings, team building seminars, wine education, restaurant consultation and cellar management. Established in 2003, house wine advocates wine pleasure without pretence, where wine is demystified and laughs are guaranteed. Michelle grew up in Québec where she studied classical trumpet. In 1996, she moved to Vancouver to finish her bachelor’s degree in classical music and started working in fine dining restaurants. An introductory wine course proved to be a revelation. She went on to complete her International Sommelier Diploma which she finished with top marks as well as the internationally recognized Wine & Spirit Education Trust’s (WSET) Diploma Programme. From 2003-2006 she was the resident sommelier at Marquis Wine Cellars. Michelle was an instructor and a department head for the International Sommelier Guild from 2003 till 2013 and she teaches the WSET for the Liquor Distribution Branch. Michelle sits on expert panels for Cornucopia, the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival and the Vancouver Magazine wine awards. She’s also been a judge for the International Competition of Wines for Fish in the Marche in Italy. Michelle has been a regular wine columnist for CBC French radio since 2006, she writes for a variety of local and national magazines and makes regular television appearances. Michelle has traveled to many of the world’s major wine regions which add to her wealth of knowledge and experience. In 2013 she started the BC chapter for the Canadian Association of Professional Sommelier and he is now the president. Her defining wine moment was having her soother dipped in Champagne at Baptism but she also fully admits to cheating on wine with a delicious beer.

Sara D’Amato

Director, CAPS National and Vice-President, CAPS Ontario

Sara d’Amato is a Toronto-based wine consultant, sommelier and contributor to Vines Magazine. She has worked in cellars both in Niagara and in France and formerly as Sommelier of Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto. A graduate of the University of Toronto and of Niagara College’s winery and viticulture technician program, she was the youngest and only woman to win the grand prize at Canadian Renaissance Wine Tasting Challenge in 2006 as featured in CBC’s Wine Confidential Documentary. Sara has been awarded The Ontario Hosteliery’s “Top 30 Under 30” Award and is a staunch promoter of local wine and gastroculture. . In addition to serving on the CAPS Board, Sara is a member of the Wine Writer’s Circle of Canada and participates in judging wine competitions across the country.

Sylvia Jansen

Director, CAPS National and President, CAPS Manitoba

A wine educator, speaker and writer, Sylvia is a sommelier instructor and wine consultant at Banville & Jones Wine Co. in Winnipeg. She holds certification as a sommelier through the International Sommelier Guild and the Court of Masters; her wine credentials also include certification from the Wine & Spirits Education Trust and the Society of Wine Educators. Sylvia has co-developed Banville & Jones’ wine appreciation courses for the public, wine training courses for restaurant personnel and management, and is a guest wine instructor at Red River College. Her wine study and travel have taken her through Canada’s wine regions; California and Oregon in the USA; and in Europe (many parts of France [including numerous trips to Champagne], Italy, Spain, and Portugal), and to South Africa.


DJ Kearney

Director, CAPS National and Vice-President, CAPS British Columbia

DJ Kearney is a Vancouver-based wine educator, wine writer, judge, presenter and classically trained chef.  She has trained hundreds of sommelier candidates for the International Sommelier Guild during a decade as a non-stop travelling instructor in California, Colorado, Texas, Nevada, Washington State, Oregon as well as her home province of British Columbia. A diverse background in wine, food and geology makes DJ uniquely qualified to guide the discovery of the world’s wine regions, the sharpening of palates, the understanding of terroir and the chemistry of food and wine harmony. DJ is a critic with WineAlign and previously wrote for Wine Access Magazine until it folded.  She appears on radio and television regularly; moderates and presents at wine festivals throughout North America and judges several major wine competitions annually.  She is the Head Judge of the Vancouver Magazine International Wine Competition, now in its 10th year.  She consults for a small client list assisting with wine programs, lists, training and wine selections. After University, DJ completed her classical chef training, the WSET Diploma, the International Sommelier Guild’s Diploma and is currently working on her Master of Wine. Firmly believing in the benefits of wine and health, DJ is a distance runner, a black belt in Tae Kwon Do as well as a mother of twin black belts.  DJ takes to heart the dictum of the late great Julia Child:  moderation, and plenty of it.