Ontario Chapter – 2016 AGM

The Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers
Ontario Chapter

Invites you to the 2016 Annual General Meeting

Date: Tuesday April 19th, 2016

Time:  Registration from 3:30 PM to Meeting start time at 4:00 PM

Following the AGM cheer on Team Canada at our live feed of the World’s Best Sommelier Competition. Raise a glass with us from 4-8 PM.

Place: At St. Lawrence Market Event Space (2nd Floor), 92-95 Front St E, Toronto

CAPS members in good standing ONLY


(If you are currently not a registered 2016 CAPS member there will be a registration desk at front door to receive your membership payment)

Hope to see you there!


Vote to Confirm CAPS 2016 Board of Directors

The following is the slate of the individuals up for re-election and ratification for the 2016 CAPS Board of Directors. Without sufficient nominations the standing board appointed new members. The list Directors appointed and brief summaries of credentials are provided below to assist members in making an informed decision.

Only 2016 ‘Members in good standing’ holding the Sommelier membership category (certified Sommelier and non-certified and working professionally in the role of sommelier in the food and beverage alcohol industry), may vote. Should there be more ‘no’ than ‘yes’ votes for a candidate then they are not ratified to the board.

2016 Members eligible to vote and who cannot attend the meeting due to work obligations or travel restrictions will be sent an email ballot via the most recent email address that CAPS has on file. Please contact vicepresident.on@sommelierscanada.com to receive your ballot. The completed email ballot must be received on or before 2:00 PM on April 19, 2016. Instructions on how to submit will be included on the ballot.

Thank you for your support of CAPS,

Michelle Paris

Chair, CAPS Nominations
CAPS Board of Directors


Nominees are listed by category:

President – Sara d’Amato RE-ELECT

Sara has served as CAPS Ontario Director of Public Relations for five years before her recent appointment as President. She has held the position of Sommelier at both the Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto as well as for Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment at the Platinum Club. She is currently a Partner and Principal Critic for WineAlign and columnist for Chatelaine among, other publications, as well as a WSET instructor with Fine Vintage Ltd.

Vice President - Michelle Paris RE-Elect

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.

Treasurer – John Nadeau RE-ELECT

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. 

Secretary – Melissa Stunden RE-ELECT

A 2006 CAPS and WSET intermediate graduate, Melissa Stunden has worked at Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd. with Jennifer Huether, Master Sommelier. In 2008 Melissa was the recipient of the OHI Top Thirty under Thirty award which acknowledges the achievements of key performers in the hospitality industry.  Melissa has enhanced her knowledge by travelling extensively through various wine and spirit making regions. She is currently working with Lifford/ Schiralli Wine Agencies to grow their on-Premise business. 

New board member appointments: 

Membership Director– Carol Ann Jessiman RATIFY BOARD APPOINTMENT

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. 

Sponsorship Director – Lisa Fenn RATIFY BOARD APPOINTMENT

Lisa is currently a Regional Sales Director with Andrew Peller Ltd where she is responsible for coaching and developing the LCBO Sales Representatives across Ontario as well as leading and developing business in Quebec. Previously she held the role of Key Accounts Director at Diageo where she was involved in strategic sales to the LCBO. She is multilingual with proficiencies in French, Spanish, German and Russian. 

Regional Liaison Director – Christopher Wilton RATIFY BOARD APPOINTMENT

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. 

Hospitality Liaison Director – Adam Hijazi RATIFY BOARD APPOINTMENT

Adam Hijazi is a chef, sommelier, and adventurer. After going to culinary school and working in some of the hottest restaurants in Toronto he began travelling and working throughout Europe and North America. He is certified as a sommelier through CAPS and CMS and has worked internationally including cooking at 4 three Michelin starred restaurants. He is currently the general manager of Terroni Price Street, the flagship restaurant of the southern Italian inspired hospitality company. 

PR/Social Media Director – Jamie Drummond RATIFY BOARD APPOINTMENT

Hailing originally from Edinburgh, Scotland, after university in London, England, Jamie began working as Sommelier at his hometown’s acclaimed Atrium restaurant, whilst at the same time studying with the Wine and Spirits Education Trust. Moving to his adopted home of Toronto, Canada in 1997, Jamie has worked as the Wine Director for both Toronto’s prestigious Granite Club and later for Chef Jamie Kennedy’s numerous restaurants. In 2010 Jamie and co-founder Malcolm Jolley established Good Food Media, a non-profit dedicated to educating people about good food and wine through the weekly online publication Good Food Revolution, www.goodfoodrevolution.com 

New and renewed portfolio appointments: 

Co-chairs Education – James Pollock RE-ELECT

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. 

Director, Website & Competition/Technical Director – Lesley Provost RE-ELECT

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, 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. 

Professional Development – Elsa Macdonald RE-ELECT

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.

The ballots will consist of a “YES” or “NO” option for the members listed above.