The committee what would eventually form the BC Hospitality Foundation came together in fall 2006, inspired by the desire to help long-time wine agent Michael Willingham with the money he needed for both a costly surgery and the rehabilitation time that would follow.
This desire to help Michael brought forward a need to establish a trust fund that could be used to help anyone within the foodservice, beverage, and hospitality industry that required extraordinary support due to illness or accident.
The founding planning committee was made up of friends and colleagues of Michael Willingham:
- Jim Bagan, Moraine Winery
- Richard Carras, Authentic Wine and Spirits Merchants
- Leeann Froese, Town Hall Brands
- Christine Coletta, Okanagan Crush Pad
- Jeannie Crane, formerly of Import Vintners and Spirits Association
- George and Trudy Heiss, Gray Monk Estate Winery
- Geoffrey Howes, Living Balance Investment Group
- Harry McWatters, Time Winery
- Tim Pawsey, freelance writer, HiredBelly.com
- Terry Sewell, Terry Sewell Agency
- Wendy Taylor, PlanitBC.com
- Darryl Weinbren, Authentic Wines and Spirits Merchants