en fr

Board members

Sara D'Amato

President

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.

Michelle Paris

Vice President & Education

After many years on Bay Street working as an Investment Banker, Michelle decided to follow her passion. She graduated from the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers program in 2012 and earned the Wine and Spirit Education Trust Diploma in 2013. She also became a WSET Certified Educator and is now an instructor for both the CAPS and the WSET programs. Michelle is currently building her wine events and wine education company, Adventure in Wine, where she shares her love wine and teaching to both corporate and private clients. She also owns a vineyard in Argentina and produces wine under the label MouthWater. She is a member of CAPS, Association de la Sommellerie Internationale, and the Guild of Sommeliers. She holds and MBA, is a Chartered Financial Analyst and is a member of The Toronto CFA Society.

Steven Campbell

Sponsorship & Special Events

Steven Campbell is a sommelier and the Grand Fromage of Lifford Wines & Spirits which sells wine coast to coast in Canada. A passionate cook, he opened his first restaurant in 1978 where he discovered the noble grape. In 1985 Steven purchased Delisle Wine Bar where he won eight consecutive Wine Spectator Awards of Excellence for having one of the most outstanding wine lists in the world. In 1994 he left the kitchen, grabbed his corkscrew and purchased Lifford Wine Agencies,  a small, independent wine agency. Lifford became a pioneer in importing premium wines for the hospitality industry and today is the market leader in Ontario. Steven’s quest for the world’s best wines has taken him to the far corners of the earth seeking artisanal wines made by real people in all the right places and at the right price. Steven’s efforts have been lauded through numerous LCBO Elsie Awards, the Gold Award from the Ontario Hostelry Institute for Supplier of the Year and his inductions to the prestigious Commanderie du Bontemps de Medoc and the Confraria do Vinho do Porto.   Steven is also a passionate environmentalist; Lifford Wine & Spirits is Canada’s only Carbon Neutral wine agency and has planted over 100,000 trees across Canada.   Steven’s dream is to have one of Canada’s sommeliers win the best in the world competition.  

John P. Nadeau

Treasurer

Co-founded Toronto’s “The Wine Establishment” which brought such products to Canada as Home and Commercial Wine Cellars, Riedel Crystal, Spiegelau, Le Nez Du Vin and Steven Spurrier’s “Academie Du Vin”, has also worked in brand creation and global market development with wineries, breweries and distilleries from Canada, France, Brazil, Ukraine, Australia, Mexico, Italy, Spain, and the USA. Strengths include sound overall business management, unparalleled customer focus and a keen ability to foster product cross functional, customer and industry relations.

Elsa Macdonald

Professional Development

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.

905-564-3003

James Pollock

Education Co-Chair

James Pollock received his Sommelier certification from the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers (CAPS) in 2007. In 2012 James became a Certified Saké Professional after successfully completing the Saké Education Council’s program (Chicago, Illinois). Recently, James worked as a product specialist for B & W Wines, a notable wine agency in Toronto. In addition to lecturing for CAPS in Toronto and in Niagara, James teaches introductory and advanced wine courses at George Brown and Humber College in Toronto.

Lesley Provost

Competition/Technical & Website Director

Lesley Provost is a sommelier and wine educator in Toronto, Ontario. Certified by both the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers (on whose board she has served since 2011) and the Court of Master Sommeliers, she holds a Level 4 Diploma from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust. LCBO Vintages named her the 2010 “Go-Local” tasting competition champion and she won the spirits category of the Wine Tasting Challenge in both 2014 and 2009. Lesley teaches wine classes at George Brown College for their Wine Specialist certificate program and WSET program. She also independently consults on list development, appraisal and valuation and wine marketing. In the past, Lesley has managed wine program for restaurants such as FRANK at the Art Gallery of Ontario and Susur and today is currently happily spending evenings describing regional Italian wines to patrons at one of a couple of Terroni restaurant locations.

Anjana Viswanatha

Competitions Commitee

After a 15-year career in communications in both the corporate and non-profit sectors, including several years as an independent consultant, Anjana decided to follow her passion for wine and food. She received her sommelier certification through the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers and The Court of Master Sommeliers in 2014. She quickly went on to distinguish herself at two premiere Canadian restaurants – working at Canoe Restaurant and opening Alo Restaurant in Toronto. Anjana now runs Wednesday Night Wine, combining her experience in communications and knowledge of wine to provide consulting services and wine education. She is currently working with wineries in Niagara-on-the-Lake, corporate and restaurant clients in Toronto, and is looking forward to a new chapter in her career teaching at George Brown College.    

Carol Ann Jessiman

Membership Director

Following a successful career in Financial Services, Carol Ann decided to take her interest in wine and spirits to a new level of learning. In addition to WSET Level 3 and French Wine Scholar, Carol Ann has earned sommelier certificates from both the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers and the Court of Master Sommeliers. Today she works behind the scenes at WineAlign, one of Canada’s busiest wine websites. Her appetite for learning about wine and spirits is only surpassed by her passion for sharing her knowledge. In addition to her role as Membership Director for CAPS, Carol Ann can often be found instructing WSET Level 2 at IWEG or Humber College.

416-828-3722

Christopher Wilton

Regional Liaison Director

Hailing from South Africa, Christopher is currently involved in sales with the The Small Winemakers Collection in Toronto and runs Wilton Wine Consulting. In addition to sales and consulting, Christopher is a wine instructor at Durham College and was previously Sommelier at Coca Tapas Wine Bar after earning his Sommelier certification through the Court of Master Sommeliers. 

705-772-7440

Kim Gertler

PR/Social Media Director

With decades of experience working in media as a writer, filmmaker, producer and reporter, Kim Gertler is known for his work at The Economist, CBC News, BRAVO!, Discovery Channel and Global News. Kim has an Honours BA from the University of Toronto and is an alumnus of the Canadian Film Centre, as well as a graduate of the Level 3 program from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET.) Kim has written about wine and food for media like: Wine Television, The National Post and Good Food Revolution and continues to create wine educational content for: The Constellation Academy of Wine, Wine Rack and The Keg. A passionate crusader for local food and wine, Kim is a co-founder of the brand, FAWN – food and wine news, launching this fall. Of his new role with CAPS as PR director, Kim says: “I’m keen to raise the profile of Ontario’s Sommeliers in helping to promote the culture and the enjoyment of wine in this province.”  

Michelle McCarthy

Education Co-Chair

Certified Sommelier, wine educator and writer, holds the Diploma of Wine from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust, and is on the Board of the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers (CAPS). Michelle is committed to the education and training of staff within the industry and honed her skill at program development and delivery while Chair, Continuing Education Hospitality & Tourism, at George Brown College. She is the lead on the CAPS Sommelier Certification Program.  Currently she teaches at a number of Colleges, the Wine and Spirit Education Trust programs, and conducts private and corporate seminars. Michelle is a member of CAPS, the Society of Wine Educators, Women’s Culinary Network, Eau de Vie and Associate Member of the Institute of Wine.

519-766-2955