Board and Team
Jeff Guignard – Chair
Executive Director, Alliance of Beverage Licensees BC
Jeff is an accomplished leader and communicator with over a decade of successful experience in government relations, political communications, and issues management. Initially from New Brunswick, Jeff comes to ABLE BC directly from Parliament Hill in Ottawa where he worked for three different Members of Parliament-including two MPs from BC. He is well-connected in British Columbia and brings a wealth of experience working collaboratively with government, business, and industry officials-particularly in the small business and tourism sectors. In his free time, Jeff is also a ranked competitive curler and has served on the Board of Directors of the Ottawa Curling Club, where he was responsible for strategic planning and membership services to the club’s 600 members. In each of these roles, Jeff has distinguished himself as an effective and highly skilled communicator whose leadership style reflects his open, collaborative, and passionate personality.
Christine Coletta – Past Chair
Owner, Okanagan Crush Pad
After running a successful marketing consulting firm since 1986, Christine Coletta and her husband Steve Lornie, launched their own wine, Haywire, in 2010 and went on to construct and open Okanagan Crush Pad in Summerland, BC in 2011. Christine has been recognized as one of the most astute marketing people in the wine industry and her winery has been accepted as a leader and game changer in the Okanagan Valley. In addition to being a founder of the BC Hospitality Foundation (2006) she currently sits on the BC Wine Authority Wine Industry Advisory Council (WIAC) and the BC Wine Information Center board. Christine splits her time between Vancouver and Summerland.
Laura Starr – Vice Chair
Freelance writer and Sommelier
A veteran in the restaurant industry and an English teacher by trade, Laura’s debut in the world of wine came about due to a mash-up of accident and fate. Passion and circumstance enabled her to forge a women-led trifecta team of sommeliers at Vancouver’s Chambar Restaurant, and she gets her daily fix of grape-soaked language as Vita Daily’s wine editor. Keenly engaged in the community, she has been involved with Big Sisters and Adult Literacy programs, and has been a boxing contender for Vancouver’s Aprons for Gloves – a role she will reprise in the near future. Although she retains an attachment to the night-time restaurant and wine scene, Laura’s present regime sees her rising with the birds, with her nose in a book and her fingers on the keyboard, freelance writing for all things related to wine, food, culture, and media.
Bill Senghera – Treasurer
Business Consultant / Risk Manager, White Spot Restaurants Ltd.
Bill has worked with White Spot Restaurants for over 40 years and is there current Business Consultant/Risk Manager. He closely works with the franchisees, insurers and legal teams. As well Bill oversees the Health and Safety portfolio for the brand. Throughout the years Bill has lent his time and expertise to many non-profit organizations. He is Past President of Variety “The Children’s Charity” of British Columbia (January 2014-December 2015) and continues to serve on the board since 2009. Bill has also worked on committees with Go2 HR, including the Health and Safety Technical Advisory Committee for the Food and Beverage Sector, and the Technical Advisory Committee. Bill brings his expertise in board development, governance and strong interpersonal skills to the BCHF. He has received many awards with his work with Variety including 2010 Corporate Hero Award, 2015 Variety BC Barker of the Year Award and the 2016 Variety International Presidential Citation Award. During his spare time Bill spends time with his family, and enjoys traveling and golf.
Darcy Barish – Secretary
General Manager, A&W Root Beer Beverages
Darcy’s work in the food service industry began at a very early age, growing up in the founding family of Dickie Dee Ice Cream Ltd. Guided by his emerging passion for the industry, Darcy began his career with A&W Food Services of Canada Inc. right after graduating from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Commerce (Hons.) degree, majoring in both Marketing and Small Business/Entrepreneurship. He has been with A&W for the past 21 years in various roles covering both the Marketing and Operations departments. He is currently the General Manager, A&W Root Beer Beverages.
Richard Dittmar – Director at Large
Trialto Wine Group, President & CEO
Richard has spent his entire career in the hospitality and wine & spirits industries. At a young age he started working at his family’s lodge in northern Ontario, later attending Ryerson University and going on to become Beverage Manager at Deerhurst Resort. His hospitality background gave him the opportunity to move to the wine and spirits sales over 30 years ago.
Richard has been actively involved in a variety of industry associations and committees over the years. Some of these include IVSA, Drinks Ontario and the LCBO’s We Care industry fundraising committee. The BC Hospitality Foundation is an especially important cause and something Richard has become passionate for. The industry advisory committee has provided a chance to understand the purpose and people behind the BCHF. The BCHF is a unique organization and a vital part of our hospitality industry. Richard is keen to increase his involvement in the BCHF and support the great work of the board and executive team. The BCHF is playing a critical role during the COVID-19 pandemic and Richard is committed to work hard to raise awareness and the ability to give back to those most in need.
Bert Hick – Director at Large
President, Rising Tide Consultants
Bert graduated with a BA Degree (Honors) in Public Administration from Ottawa’s Carleton University while working part time as an assistant to a Member of Parliament. He then moved to Victoria for grad studies in Public Administration at the University of Victoria, after which he was offered a position with the Intergovernmental Relations Secretariat under Premier William (Bill) Bennett. In 1983 Bert was given the newly-created position of Secretary to Cabinet and Executive Director to the Cabinet Secretariat. In 1987 he was appointed GM of the Liquor Control & Licensing Branch and oversaw the 1987 Liquor Policy Review. In 1988 he founded Rising Tide Consultants which has been providing liquor license consulting services to the liquor/hospitality industry since that time. He has been involved with several organizations, including the Vancouver Aquarium, acting as former chair of Aids Vancouver Island, and he is a regular donor to various nonprofit societies. He participates and assists several industry associations including the BCRFA, and ABLEBC. Bert is also a part time actor and public speaker. He enjoys travel, sports, gardening and spending time with his family.
James Iranzad – Director at Large
Owner, Gooseneck Hospitality
A visionary armed with a passion for the hustle of small business, a lifelong love of good food and drink and a staunch belief in supporting local purveyors and suppliers, James Iranzad is a respected veteran of the Vancouver hospitality industry who first began affixing his indelible mark on the scene almost two decades ago. Born in Iran, James arrived on the West Coast by way of London, England, he graduated from UBC with a degree in Art History and Shakespearean studies and made his first foray into the industry as owner of Kitsilano establishments Abigail’s Party, Hell’s Kitchen and Flying Tiger. After savouring his first taste as an owner, James joined forces with acclaimed local bartender Josh Pape to found Gooseneck Hospitality and opened the first establishment under the brand’s umbrella in Gastown’s Wildebeest in 2012. The pair went on to launch Pizzeria Bufala in Kerrisdale in 2014, Kitsilano’s Lucky Taco in 2016, and Bells and Whistles in Fraserhood/Cedar Cottage in 2017.
Geoff Barlow – Director at Large
Director, Marketing & Business Development – ContainerWorld
A long term professional in the global logistics industry, Geoff joined ContainerWorld in 2009, providing diversified and in-depth experience in multi-modal freight, warehousing and distribution. He is a Canadian Institute of Traffic and Transportation (CITT) professional and has served on the CITT National Board. He currently holds executive roles on various community and industry committees and associations.
As part of ContainerWorld’s senior management team, Geoff is focused on providing our customers with a “solutions based” approach to supply chain challenges and opportunities, by offering the most cost effective & efficient options offered by the ContainerWorld Group of Companies’ extensive service offering across Canada.
Geoff started off his working life working in the hospitality industry in various capacities and fully supports the great work of the BCHF and its support to the amazing people who work in the BC industry.
Debbie Morris – Director at Large
Executive – Hotel Association of Vancouver
Debbie brings a wealth of experience in the hospitality industry to her position as a BCHF Board Member. She worked for Delta Hotels for over three decades, including a role providing support for the Regional Vice President.
Over the past 13 years, Debbie has assisted the Hotel Association of Vancouver Board of Directors and its 74 members. She has been instrumental in ensuring the success of the Association’s Hotels to Help Lottery since its inception. (The annual lottery is an industry-run venture that donates all proceeds to the BCHF.)
The Board benefits not only from Debbie’s expertise, but also from her longstanding relationships with many individuals and businesses in the local hospitality industry.
Sandra Oldfield – Director at Large
President – Elysian Projects Inc.
Sandra grew up in Northern California studying International business from California State University Sacramento and a Master’s degree in Enology from the University of California Davis. In 1995 she moved to BC to start Tinhorn Creek Vineyards. Over the next 20 years as winemaker was the first in Canada to use Stelvin screw top caps, expanded the marketability of Cabernet Franc and became a hub for South Okanagan events including a yearly concert series and the Oliver Festival of the Grape which she started with her husband, Kenn.
In 2011 Sandra stepped into the CEO/President role at the winery and continued with innovative initiatives such as driving for BC’s first sub appellation—the Golden Mile Bench, establishing Tinhorn Creek as Canada’s only carbon neutral winery and winning Canada’s safest employer award for Hospitality and Canada’s Top 100 Powerful Women awards, both in 2016.
Tinhorn Creek’s major shareholders sold the winery in the fall of 2017 and Sandra and Kenn began anew, starting Elysian Projects a beverage and tourism consulting company. Her desire to give a hand up to the beverage industry led her to create the annual business conference “Fortify” which helps small companies get better at human resource, marketing and financial issues.
Sandra is an active board member of the Tourism Industry Association for BC (TIABC) and is passionate about health and safety across the province. She loves social media and created the #BCWineChat hashtag on twitter in 2011 which she still manages weekly, every Wednesday.
Dana Lee Harris Executive Director
Owner, Dana Lee Consulting Ltd.
When the Vancouver wine scene began to heat up in the eighties, Dana joined her father’s import wine agency, LCP Wines International. In 2002 Dana chose to take on a new and more challenging role, becoming the Regional Manager for Western Canada at Robert Mondavi. In 2005 Dana started her own consulting business, bringing her skills and experience in public relations to businesses in the food and wine industry. She enjoys the multifaceted nature of her work, which includes planning winery events, preparing press releases, strategizing with clients, and communicating with members of the media. She is also a longtime member of the British Columbia chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier and volunteers at the YWCA as a fitness instructor.When not working, Dana enjoys spending time with her husband Dean and his daughter Emma. She enthusiastically pursues outdoor activities such as golf, biking, walking, and hiking.
Contact Dana – email@example.com
Lucy is a lawyer with more than eight years of volunteer experience in strategic and governance areas in the Greater Vancouver Area. Lucy worked as an associate lawyer with the Maritime in Mexico for six years before relocating to BC. She was a legal assistant for seven years at the law firms Hartshorne & Mehl and Shapray Cramer in Vancouver. From 2004 to 2015, she focused on starting a family and caring for her two sons while actively volunteering in her sons’ Elementary school and taking key roles at the Carisbrooke Elementary Parent Advisory Council. A trustee and former chair of the North Vancouver District Public Library board, she developed fundraising strategies, reviewed board policies and worked on trustee orientation and recruitment parameters. She cemented her passion for the hospitality industry with a stage as a baker for two years with Cobs Bread.
Before retiring Alan was the first Executive Director of the BCHF (2009-2016).
He has been involved in the Hospitality Industry his entire professional career. Firstly, in Hotel Management both In the UK and Canada. In Canada he managed 3 Hotels for Delta Hotels & Resorts and ultimately became their Corporate Director of Food and Beverage.
Since the early 90’s Alan has operated ABDM Enterprises a company focused on purchasing and procurement for the Hotel industry.
He has taught in the Hospitality programme at Vancouver Community College and was involved for many years running the BC Hotels’ Association Charity Golf Tournament.
Alan enjoys travel, playing golf and tennis and is the besotted grand father of two gorgeous granddaughters.
Fundraising and Volunteer Manager
Judy spent 8 years as the B.C./Yukon Chapter Director of the Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada before she joined Best Buy Canada as part of their Grand Opening Promotions’ team. In 2004 she transitioned into the Alcohol Beverage industry undertaking a variety of dynamic regional and national Marketing and Event roles with top agencies the Mark Anthony Group, Select Wines & Spirits, and the Andrew Peller Import Agency. In 2017 she started her own business: kape services, which offers Marketing, Event, & Administrative services to small business. She works with a variety of clients in diverse industries including Alcohol Beverage, Hospitality, Tourism, and Wellness. She is a Board & Planning Committee Member with the Vancouver International Wine Festival & volunteers with the BCHF. In her free time she can often be found spending time with family & friends, happily wandering around farmers’ markets, art galleries, wine events and more – all of which she loves to document on social media. She is thrilled to be working with the BC Hospitality Foundation.
Golf Tournament Operations Manager
A self-described program perfectionist, logistics expert and deadline junkie, Annabel supports the BCHF in managing the Vancouver and Victoria annual Golf Tournaments, as well as BCHF’s inaugural 5K run around Deer Lake. Annabel has over 25 year of large scale event and conference management, both as an independent consultant and through her Hospitality Industry Management roles. Annabel has executed flawless events for a diverse selection of leading brands such as Telus, Lululemon, HSBC, Manulife Financial, KPMG, FIFA Women’s World Cup, Hockey Canada and the Chinese Embassy.
An Ontario transplant now firmly rooted in Vancouver, Annabel holds a bachelor’s degree in Arts & Psychology from Carleton University. In her few moments of downtime, she enjoys training for triathlons, running, traveling and spending time with her young son.
To contact Annabel, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org