After nearly seven and a half years of dedicated service to its beneficiaries and scholarship winners, Alan Sacks has announced his retirement as Executive Director of the BC Hospitality Foundation (BCHF), effective December 31, 2016.
Sacks was appointed the charity’s first executive director in September 2009. Since that time, he has dramatically increased industry awareness and oversaw its core fundraising activities and strategic development. He has been directly involved in nearly every committee and event, overseeing the annual Dish ‘n Dazzle wine, food and cocktail events, the two annual Foundation golf tournaments (Vancouver and Victoria) and engaging fundraising campaigns including Tip Out To Help, Buy Ben a Beer and Hotels to Help. Most importantly, Sacks has helped to provide emergency financial support to nearly 130 beneficiaries and has organized scholarships for almost 120 future industry leaders.
Previous to the Foundation, Sacks held senior management positions with Delta Hotels and was an instructor at Vancouver Community College, where he taught students labour relations, tourism, facility management and business law. A project manager for the BC Hotel Association (BCHA) for more than 25 years, Sacks, oversaw the association’s golf fundraising tournament, eventually rebranding it as the BCHF’s own tournament, now supported by the BCHA, the Alliance of Beverage Licensees, the BC Restaurant and Foodservices Association and Restaurants Canada. A successful entrepreneur in his own right, Sacks founded ABDM Enterprises in 1992, which developed the “condo in a box” model, a turnkey service for developers of hotels and resort condominiums.
Christine Coletta, one of the founding committee members of the BCHF and current board Chair says, “Alan’s commitment to the Foundation and our industry cannot be overstated. Without his passion and tireless efforts, we would not be anywhere close to where we are today. We are grateful and humbled by his service and wish him well.”
Effective immediately Annabel Aspler has taken the role of Operations Manager of the BCHF. She joined the Foundation in March 2016 as a project manager and is a Certified Meeting Professional, with more than 20 years in the hospitality and event industry. She previously held the position of meeting & event manager at the Westin Bayshore in Vancouver, where she 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.
Sujinder Juneja, who has overseen communications for the Foundation since March 2013, will immediately increase his role at the BCHF as Communications and Industry Relations Manager, working directly with beneficiaries, scholarship winners and key trade partners. He is additionally a publicist at Town Hall Brands, where he builds reputations for client wineries, their wines, and their people. Sujinder is a French Wine Scholar, and is a WSET Diploma candidate.
On Sacks’ retirement, Juneja adds, “I will personally miss working with Alan very much. He has taught me to think critically about the work that we do, while remaining sensitive to the needs of those people in our industry that most need our help. We will work hard to maintain and build on the successful foundation that Alan has built. On behalf of the Board, our trade partners, and each one of our beneficiaries and scholarship winners, we thank you, Alan.”