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Speakers

Check back for more 2015 show speakers.

Christine Christine Beard
Executive Pastry Chef Instructor
Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts

Since her first job in a fine dining setting at a country inn north of Toronto, Chef Christine has enjoyed the hospitality industry. This led to her studying Hotel & Resort Management at TRU in Kamloops; shortly after graduating however, she realized her true passion was the art of pastry. Pursuing an education to follow her passion, she attended a commercial baking program. A year after graduating, she headed to the United States to work at the renowned Inn at Little Washington where she became well rounded in pastry and breads. Interested in working for a larger property, she joined the pastry team at the Fairmont Washington DC where she held the Pastry Sous Chef position and assisted in standardizing recipes, developing menus, and creating beautiful wedding cakes. Ready for a new experience, Chef Christine headed west to Los Angeles and worked on the opening team for Bouchon in Beverly Hills baking beautiful breads and creating bistro desserts. Prior to joining Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts, Chef Christine spent 2 years working with Wolfgang Puck. During her time there, she was involved in many projects and is most proud of the dough she developed for Wolfgang Puck Pizza Bar, and for being a member of the team who worked on Wolfgang’s latest cookbook which was released in May 2014.

Adrienne Beck
Senior Tourism Development Officer, Tourism Policy Branch
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training

Adrienne has been with the Government of BC for nearly 10 years, holding positions in labour market programming, foreign qualifications recognition policy and labour mobility policy.  Currently, Adrienne works on tourism policy with a keen focus on investment alignment under the Municipal and Regional District Tax (MRDT) program, the Resort Municipality Initiative and other related programs. Adrienne has a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from the University of Calgary.  She lives in Victoria.

Julian-Bond Julian Bond
Vice President & Chief Operating Officer
Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts

British born Julian Bond’s career began in Barnsley, England where he attended culinary school graduating with honours before applying his skills at several notable restaurants across England. Enticed by CP Hotels (now Fairmont Hotels), he relocated to Canada to training apprentice chefs in the art of fine dining cuisine.

In 1995 he became part of the opening team for the award-winning Star Anise restaurant where he soon became Executive Chef and Co-Owner.  During his time at Star Anise he brought home Gourmet Magazine’s Top Table Award. Five years later he moved onto design and opened the kitchens of Oritalia in the Sheraton Le Soleil which received international acclaim from Conde Nast Traveller as one of the Top 100 restaurants in the world. Chef also received International recognition as he was selected by the Globe and Mail as one of the Young Chef’s of the Millennium and in 1998 was chosen one of Canada’s top young entrepreneurs by Maclean’s Magazine. Taking his love for passing on his skills, he accepted the position of Director of Culinary Programs at Dubrulle International Culinary and Hotel Institute of Canada.

Recruited in 2005 by the Cactus Club group of restaurants, Chef Julian Bond joined the Executive Team and was responsible for running the test kitchens, menu development, staff training and new acquisitions and openings.  Under his tenor he helped to grow the company to 19 locations by overseeing the openings and design.

His love for teaching brought him back to education and he joined Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts in 2007 as Executive Chef and Program Director.

Robert_Carter_resized Robert Carter
Executive Director, Foodservice
The NPD Group

Robert Carter is a highly-respected consumer behaviour industry expert and a dynamic speaker with a passion for tracking trends and consumer activity. Robert is a sought-after and energetic presenter who is regularly recruited to deliver subject matter expertise on consumer behaviour trends, market activity, and operator and retailer performance. A regular keynote speaker at numerous industry events such as The Canadian Coffee conference, The Canadian Tea conference, the Foodservice Interchange, The Canadian Restaurant Investment Summit, The CRFA Show, and The BC Foodservice Expo, Robert is frequently quoted in major newspapers and magazines, appears on television newscasts, and writes a regular column for Foodservice and Hospitality Magazine.

As Executive Director of Foodservice, Fashion and Beauty with the NPD Group, Robert provides key insights and strategy on consumer behaviour, guiding Canadian, U.S., and global manufacturers, suppliers and operator business decisions. 

When not monitoring consumer behaviour, he has become a dedicated ‘foodie’ sampling the delights of new restaurants performing what he calls “market research with a sample of one.”

Darren Darren Clay
Executive Culinary Chef Instructor
Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts

Graduating from culinary school in 1998, Chef Darren spent his early years in the industry honing his skills and beginning his apprenticeship at the prestigious Fairmont Waterfront Hotel in Vancouver. During this time he also began to make a name for himself, winning medals in all three categories (Team, Apprentice and Student) at the BC Junior Chefs Association’s Hot Competition as well as winning the Dubrulle/Vancouver Magazine’s Rising Star Black Box Challenge.

Finishing in the top 5% of his class for his Red Seal, Chef Darren set off to further his education and also apply his skills on an International level in Singapore, Thailand and other parts of Southeast Asia for three years before returning to the West Coast.

Back in Vancouver he led a team of 30 in his new role of Executive Chef of the Village Taphouse in Park Royal and the Robson Street Cactus Club.  Monitoring all aspects of restaurant revenue, expenses and employee training, he realized his passion for passing on his knowledge to others. After completing his Provincial Instructor’s Diploma in 2009 Chef Darren joined the faculty of Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts.

james_spoon_pic Maestro James Coleridge
Bella Gelateria

Under the expert tutelage of Italian Champions and Maestros, James Coleridge apprenticed and honed his skills in the art of gelato in Italy. James received formal training at the Italian Culinary Institute and advanced masters training at Carpigiani’s Gelato University.

His passion and commitment to hand crafting the best gelato soon caught the attention of Time Magazine Online. Subsequently, James was selected by a major Italian newspaper for a feature article – a North American gelatière in Italy!

In 2011, James was recognized by the world’s largest gelato company, Carpigiani as a world wide ‘Gelato Pioneer.” He was the first non-Italian to win this award and was designated as ‘The Father’. His spirit and artisan style of making gelato is seen in Italy as protecting the true art of gelato.

In 2014, James, with his protégé Salvatore Boccarossa was voted best in North America, winning the Gelato World Tour North America competition in Austin, Texas with their “Salted Pecan with Montmorency Tart Cherries & Tahitian Vanilla” gelato flavour.

James gives credit to his teachers in Italy and the many Maestros he has become friends with as the base of his success. “I took the time to learn from the best, go to Gelato University, and I give my teachers credit. I am proud to be a custodian of the art and passion of gelato which is being lost in an industrial world. We need more passion in the world today and I hope my gelato brings more smiles to people.”

CC headshots 016 Christine Couvelier
Executive Chef, Culinary Executive, Culinary Trendologist
Culinary Concierge

Christine Couvelier is passionate about food. She shares her passion and enthusiasm for food with everyone she works with. Christine is a Culinary Executive, an Executive Chef, and a Culinary Trendologist.  As a global Culinary Trendologist, Christine uses her ‘culinary crystal ball’ for forecasting upcoming food trends.

Christine is the past Executive Chef of President’s Choice, the Director of Culinary & Beverage/Executive Chef at Cara Operations, and the Chair of The Chef School of George Brown College. She worked on Global Innovation for Unilever and was the first Director of Culinary Strategy at Maple Leaf Foods, where she worked on the vision, design & construction of the ThinkFOOD! Centre. Currently Christine continues to educate, teach, and inspire her customers through her consulting company Culinary Concierge.

For Christine it really all come down to ‘Taste, Taste, Taste.’ From the test kitchen to the boardroom, from the glimmer of a recipe idea to the shelves of your local grocery or the menu at your favourite restaurant, Christine believes in sharing her culinary passion and love of all things delicious.

Poyan Danesh
Culinary Development Chef
Frobisher International / Ocean Mama Seafood

Chef Poyan Danesh is the Culinary Development Chef for Frobisher International and Ocean Mama Seafood. His role is to develop new and unique products and recipes for retail and foodservice market. Chef Poyan received his Red Seal of Canada in Culinary Arts in 2012 and was awarded BC Chef of the Year in 2013 by the BC Chefs’ Association. As a member of Culinary Team Canada from 2008-2012, he was one of five chefs to represent Canada at the World Culinary Olympics in Germany. The event is hosted by the World Association of Chefs Societies. Chef Poyan has also been team captain of Culinary Team BC and was the BC Knorr Culinary Champion.

Rick Dolman Rick Dolman
Centre of the Plate Specialist
Sysco Vancouver

As the Sysco Vancouver “Centre of the Plate Category Specialist” – aka The Meat Man, Rick brings with him 25+ years of industry experience starting all the way from the field to your plate. Rick is a certified journeyman meat cutter who has owned his own butcher shops and was a territory manager for a large protein distributor. Having worked closely with the restaurant industry, Rick understands that protein must be cost effective and high quality to meet your menu needs.  Rick’s main role is to work with Sysco Marketing Associates, helping customers become educated and informed about a variety of centre of the plate products, their applications, how to meet your food cost, profit margins and still maintain value to your customers.

 Dale Dubberley Dale Dubberley
Founder
DRIVE Customer Retention Software

 Dale is an entrepreneur with diverse experience in the hospitality, retail and technology sectors. As a former technology consultant, and owner of a successful restaurant chain, she designed DRIVE customer retention software to help restaurants increase sales and profits by building loyalty. DRIVE uses digital technology for restaurants to get insights into what customers really want, empower employees to improve the customer experience, and get more sales from marketing.

Brent Durec Brent Durec
Corporate Chef
Sysco Kelowna

Born in Vancouver, Brent began his culinary career at Vancouver Community College. After graduation, he worked in a number of small restaurants before signing on with a local golf and country club, where he took on many roles from lounge cook to sous chef. After six years, he moved to the Okanagan, where he honed his craft in establishments from pubs to fine dining.

Brent joined Sysco Kelowna as a protein specialist in 2000. A move to a sales role gave him even more tools to work with and a greater respect for the business side of the food industry. In 2012, he took on the new role of culinary specialist / corporate chef, which has brought together the many strands of his career, helping him to help others in a field he loves. Today, Brent works with and alongside 200 corporate chefs at Sysco, learning, teaching and growing their passion to help their customers succeed.

LindsayA Lindsay Eason
Vice President & Co-Founder
GreenStep Solutions Inc.

Lindsay is a sustainability consultant, with eight years experience developing and delivering environmental programs and sustainability strategies that focus on behaviour change. Lindsay helps to raise awareness of client’s personal and corporate environmental impacts and to understand the opportunities that arise from reducing their footprint while maximizing savings. Primary areas of focus include energy efficiency, water conservation, pesticides and toxics, transportation demand management and solid waste management. She has completed large scale waste composition analysis studies at the Glenmore Landfill and organized and conducted many waste audits with Okanagan schools and businesses.

Lindsay holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology with a Biology minor from UBC Okanagan. She has completed the Masters Level Strategic Sustainable Development program through the Blekinge Institute of Technology in Sweden, and is certified in Organizational GHG Accounting.

Lorne Folick Lorne Folick
Founding Partner
Dolden Wallace Folick LLP

Lorne Folick, a founding partner at Dolden Wallace Folick LLP, has a practice dedicated exclusively to insurance defence litigation. Lorne currently acts for many of Canada’s largest commercial and personal lines insurers as well as several underwriters at Lloyds of London, the defence of both first and third party claims. Lorne has a wide range of experience and is particularly well-regarded in the fields of liquor liability and is a leader of the firm’s complex personal injury team.

Peter Harrison Peter Harrison
Director, Destination Development & Co-op Programs
Destination BC

Peter has been with Destination British Columbia for over twenty years and during that time has held various positions. He is currently the Director of Destination Development and Co-op Programs where he is responsible for regional, community and aboriginal tourism programs. Before joining Destination British Columbia, Peter had ten years of private sector packaged goods marketing experience where he resided in Winnipeg, Toronto and Vancouver. Peter has a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Brandon University and a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from the University of Manitoba. Peter lives in North Saanich with his wife and three children.

James Henderson
Executive Vice President, Business Development
The Keg Steakhouse and Bar

Mr. Henderson has been employed with The Keg since 1973, with vast experience in Operations in both Eastern and Western Canada. After several years as part of the Human Resources team, Mr. Henderson led the Franchise Department for 9 years prior to being appointed to his current position in 2007.

David Larone
National Managing Director
PKF Consulting Inc.

David Larone is a National Managing Director with PKF Consulting in Canada. With offices in Toronto and Vancouver, PKF Consulting is one of Canada’s leading professional service firms specializing in the hospitality and tourism industries. In association with global affiliates, PKF International has for over 90 years provided advisory services to the hospitality and tourism industry internationally. In July 2015 PKF Consulting Inc. was acquired by CBRE Limited.

A graduate of the University of Guelph, David joined PKF in 1975. He has been instrumental in the development of the Canadian practice. Actively involved in all aspects of consulting to the hospitality and tourism industry, David concentrates his activities in the areas of asset evaluation and asset strategy; hotel valuations and acquisition due diligence/underwriting; management contract and franchise negotiation. However, David’s knowledge and experience is also more broadly based touching on a diverse range of topics including resort development and operations, tourism marketing and promotion.

David has considerable experience with resort development and hotel valuations in the Caribbean and Latin America with recent experience in Belize, Panama, Dominican Republic, Antigua, Trinidad and Tobago, Bahamas, Anguilla, Barbados and Bermuda.

Victoria-Leung Victoria Leung
Marketing & Sales Manager
Enterra

Victoria handles marketing and sales activities for Enterra. On the food waste side, she connects with local food producers, suppliers and processers to divert their organic waste to Enterra’s commercial-scale insect farm in Langley. Victoria is also involved with product sales, introducing Enterra’s sustainable, insect-based products to the world. She is passionate about global food security and closing the loop on food waste.

Bob Lund Bob Lund
VP, Marketing & Business Development
Punchh.com

 Bob is a senior Business Development and Marketing executive with a proven track record of creating high impact strategic partnerships. Bob has over 20 years of experience in Product Marketing and Business Development in his roles as VP, Business Development at Compaq Computer Corporation and GM, Internet Services and Software for the Hewlett-Packard Company. Following HP, Bob served as SVP, Marketing at GoDaddy.com where he managed Distribution Channels and Strategic Partnerships. Bob holds both BBA and MBA degrees from the University of Houston.

Andrew Marr Andrew Marr
Director of Solid Waste Planning
Metro Vancouver

Andrew Marr was trained as a chemical engineer at the University of British Columbia, and spent seven years in the private sector (in research & development for rechargeable batteries, and in hazardous waste management).

In 1991, he then joined Metro Vancouver, a provider of utility services for 24 member municipalities and local authorities. In his 24 years with Metro Vancouver, he has specialized in Solid Waste, especially waste reduction and recycling, as well as water conservation, liquid waste, and environmental management. He is currently the Director of Solid Waste Planning, leading a team of engineers, technicians and planners implementing waste reduction, reuse and recycling initiatives.

For the last 11 years he has also taught Waste Reduction and Recycling Technology at the British Columbia Institute of Technology.

janice Janice Martin
CEO
Magnum Consulting, Inc.

Janice Martin has always had an entrepreneurial streak. It is one of the many attributes that has made her successful. After holding key positions with several high-profile national retail and hospitality organizations, Janice decided to take the leap into full-time business ownership with her company Magnum Consulting Inc. in 2010.

Since then, the company has seen strong success in its market niche of building sales teams, working with retailers and restaurateurs to launch  or relaunch their business, and providing ongoing consulting services in these markets. With a solid 20+ year track record of building and leading successful sales teams in all sizes of organizations, Janice has taken that expertise and delivers action and results-oriented solutions for individuals and companies through Magnum. She helps her clients to clarify and define their goals and objectives, and develops and implements the strategic road map to achieve them.

Janice is a living example of why you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover. While it is obvious that she delights in creating a positive disruption with her unique personal style, it is also clear that she is smart, strategic, skilled and successful. With her sense of humour, experience and expertise – supported by her passion and purpose of living an authentic life – Janice is an engaging and inspiring speaker. She balances her cheeky sense of humour, business acumen and life experiences – blending entertainment, inspiration and information.

Janice is also a regular volunteer at the Surrey Food bank, teaching teen moms to cook, BC Chef Association, Variety Show of Heart Telethon, and Co-Chair of the Women in Food Minerva Foundation.

Alison McKay
Manager, Destination Development
Destination BC

Alison has been with Destination British Columbia for nearly 10 years, holding positions in both the Research, Planning & Evaluation and Community Partnerships departments. Most recently, Alison has taken on a new role as Manager of Destination Development where she works as a liaison and resource between Destination BC and its stakeholders, connecting programs and resources to people and businesses. Ali has Bachelor of Tourism Management Degree from the Thompson Rivers University and a Masters of Applied Environmental Studies: Tourism Policy & Planning from the University of Waterloo. She lives in Coquitlam with her husband and two small children.

Mott Best Andrew Mott
Business Resource Specialist/Chef
Sysco

Andrew started his hospitality journey working in hotel kitchens washing dishes and continuing on to complete his Red Seal Certification. Andrew joined the Earls Restaurant group where he worked for 18 years starting off as a prep / line cook to Kitchen Manager, Chef, Quality Leader and eventually Owner Operator. Andrew also had the opportunity to lead the Earls opening teams to Phoenix, Denver and Dallas, when they expanded into the US.

In 2003 Andrew joined Sysco Vancouver where for the last 11 years he has held the positions of Marketing Associate, District Sales Manager and currently Business Resource Specialist/Chef.

Andrew loves working with customers and sharing his many experiences in culinary trends, food costing, menu development, staff selection/training, and promotions.

Angela Nagy Angela Nagy
CEO & Co-Founder
GreenStep Solutions Inc.

Angela is a multi-disciplined consultant who has lived and travelled throughout North America working with all levels of business, nonprofits, and Canadian and US governments, on a variety of engineering and sustainability related projects. Her range of experience includes species at risk, agriculture, biofuels, solid waste, water, climate change, local food, operational and energy efficiency, employee training, facilitation, marketing, and communications.

Angela served one term as a Kelowna City Councillor and Regional District Director in 2008-2011, gaining valuable insight and experience into local government, and a unique cross-sector perspective. Angela currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce. She has been trained by former Vice President and Nobel Laureate, Al Gore, David Suzuki and IPCC scientists to deliver the Climate Reality Project. Angela is certified in Organizational GHG Accounting and as a Sustainability Practitioner through The Natural Step.

Bruce Okabe 2_cropped Bruce Okabe
Senior Partner
Okabe & Associates

Bruce has an extensive background in corporate strategy, marketing and executive leadership in both large private sector and public sector organizations. At TELUS Corporation, he held executive leadership positions in marketing, business strategy, web and channel management, leaving in 2006 to become Deputy Minister of Tourism, Sport and the Arts in the Government of BC. In 2009, Bruce was appointed CEO of Travel Alberta, the tourism Crown Corporation of the Province of Alberta.

Bruce is a Board member of the Tourism Industry Association of BC and has served on many travel and tourism boards. In 2014, Bruce was named as one of Alberta’s Top 50 Most Influential People by Alberta Venture Magazine.

In November 2014, Bruce left Travel Alberta to start Okabe & Associates, a firm specializing in corporate strategy, new business start up and organization restructure and renewal. Bruce has played an integral role in the creation of Check In Canada, leading the development of its national strategy and is currently assisting in its rollout across Canada

Pacinda_ Mark Mark Pacinda
President & CEO
Boston Pizza International Inc.

Mark Pacinda is President and Chief Executive Officer of Boston Pizza International Inc. (BPI).  He is also Director and Chief Executive Officer of Boston Pizza GP Inc., Managing General Partner of Boston Pizza Royalties Limited Partnership, administrator of Boston Pizza Royalties Income Fund.

Mark joined BPI as Executive Vice President in 1997 to lead the company’s expansion into Eastern Canada. He was named BPI President in 2002 and Chief Operating Officer in 2009, overseeing the performance of Canadian operations and managing the executive team responsible for defining BPI’s strategy, objectives and business planning for more than 340 locations across Canada.

Previous to Boston Pizza International Inc., Mark was President of Arby’s International, where he was responsible for the company’s operations in 12 countries worldwide.  He also held several senior management positions with Pepsi Co., including Chief Financial Officer for the South Pacific region.

Mark currently serves as a Director of the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association.  In addition, he is actively involved in the Boston Pizza Foundation, a registered charitable organization that has raised more than $12.1 million for Canadian charities including the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, Kids Help Phone and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

He earned a Masters of Business Administration from the University of New York and a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Southern Connecticut.

Shannon Ronalds Shannon Reynolds
Marketing & Customer Experience Manager
DRIVE Customer Retention Software

Shannon is a Marketing and Sales Director and a veteran in food and hospitality management and consulting. Shannon developed the wine program for the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills prior to returning to Vancouver to take over as President for a company with a line of all-natural grocery products. As the Founder of the School of Fish Foundation, he generated over 20MM media impressions globally for a unique fundraiser event hosted upon the world’s only “Plastic Bottle Dining Room.”

LouiseHeadshot2 Louise Schwartz
Co-Owner
Recycling Alternative

Louise grew up in Vancouver and studied Political Science, Spanish Literature, and Education. Before her trash-busting days, Louise attended school in Mexico, lived in Italy for three years and spent five years teaching middle school in Edinburgh. Off the trash-busting tracks, Louise hits a mean backhand, sings soul gospel, paints ceramics, and possesses an exaggerated predilection for trash-talking.

Louise sits on the boards of the Cultch and Our Social Fabric. Louise received the ‘Woman of Distinction Award’ in May 2012, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2013 for her work in environment and sustainability and in 2014 the City of Vancouver’s Award of Excellence for Greenest City Leadership.

Susan Senecal
Chief Marketing Officer
A&W Food Services of Canada Inc.

Susan Senecal is the President & Chief Operating Officer of A&W Food Services.  Susan joined A&W in 1992, and has held a number of positions since then.  In 1997 Susan became Vice President of Operations and later Chief Marketing Officer.  She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from McGill University.  She joined the Restaurants Canada organization in 2005, served as Chair in 2013 and has served as a director for the MS Society of Canada since 2014.  Susan was appointed to her current position with A&W in July, 2015.

vikram Vikram Vij
Chef/Owner
Vij’s Restaurant Inc.

Vikram Vij was born in India in 1964.  At the age of 20 he moved to Austria and earned his chef certificate from the Salzburg Hotel Management School.  From there, Vikram moved to Canada in 1989 to work at the Banff Springs Hotel in Alberta.  He became a certified sommelier from the International Sommelier Guild in 2000, and is passionate about pairing wines with his cuisine. Vikram is an extremely successful restaurateur and entrepreneur.  Together with his wife, Meeru Dhalwala, Vikram owns and operates Vij’s Restaurant in Vancouver, Vij’s Rangoli (market and restaurant selling Vij’s At Home pre-packaged meals based on the recipes from Vij’s Restaurant), a food production facility where the packaged meals are cooked by hand, Vij’s Railway Express mobile food truck, and in 2014 a new concept restaurant called My Shanti. Vikram has been involved with the Chef’s Table Society of British Columbia, Farm Folk City Folk Organization, Ocean Wise Sustainable Seafood, UBC Farm fundraisers and the Green Table Society.  As well, Vikram and Meeru’s dedication to the work done at UBC resulted in the funding and opening of Vij’s Kitchen, a state-of-the-art culinary learning facility at the University of British Columbia, dedicated to teaching the chefs and nutritionists of the future about ethnic food and cuisine.

Vikram’s expertise is also recognized by Food Network Canada where he has been a guest judge on Top Chef Canada in 2011 and 2012, the guest of honour in a 2013 Top Chef Canada episode dedicated to Indian cuisine, and is currently a judge on the first ever Chopped Canada show, as well as on CBC’s Recipe to Riches, which began airing in February 2014.  In 2014, it was announced that Vikram Vij would be joining the cast of the CBC’s top rated show Dragons Den, as one of two new Dragons.

Vikram and Meeru have published two award-winning cookbooks: Vij’s: Elegant and Inspired Indian Cuisine, (which won the Cordon d’Or Gold Ribbon International Cookbook Award), and Vij’s at Home: Relax, Honey.

Vikram and Meeru live in Vancouver with their two daughters.

Minerva-Ward Minerva Ward
Program Manager, Career Awareness
go2HR

Originally from St. Lucia, Minerva joined the go2HR team in 2013 with more
than eight years of experience in marketing, project management and
hospitality management. Minerva holds a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Tourism and
Hospitality Management from the University of the West Indies, and a
Digital Communications certificate from SFU. Minerva has worked as a hotel
front office manager and manager for a duty-free mall and cruise ship
terminal.

Jason wong Jason Wong
Community Manager
SociaMi Co.

Jason is the Community Manager of SocialMi and also the co-founder of Beta Collective, the first and only coworking space in Surrey. Being client-facing on a daily basis, he has a great vantage point on how social networking impacts the brand experience of companies. Jason sees the growing influence of customer-centric communication, and believes that in an industry as competitive as hospitality, it’s more critical than ever for businesses to seek out ways to speak directly to their target markets’ interests and needs.