Caterina de Renzis Sonnino is proprietor and director of Sonnino International Education(SIE) in Tuscany Italy, a private educational institution, housed at Castello Sonnino a 13th century farm and winery. SIE is affiliated with the University of Siena and Universita delgli study Firenze and provides experiential education programmes with a focus on sustainable food, wine and tourism systems to international visiting universities from around the world. Baronessa de Renzis Sonnino is also an internationally acclaimed graphic designer of wine labels and wine branding.
Donald House is a broadly experienced corporate marketing and media executive with over 29 years of experience in planning and directing national projects in corporate, government and academic environments. As Managing Director of IDMG Culinary Marketing Strategies Mr. House provides marketing, communication, event and social media platforms for such companies as Visa, American Express, Four Season Hotel, Fairmont Hotels, Travel Alberta, The Banff Centre, Redpoint Media, The Globe & Mail and Wines of British Columbia.
Donald's foremost client is Visa Canada, since 2008 he has provided Visa with extensive culinary marketing and tourism services conducting over 300 event activations with national and international reach.Mr. House has more than 20 years of governance experience and is past Chair of Alberta Culinary Tourism Alliance, Art Gallery of Calgary and Alberta Publishers Association.
Dr. Randelli is an economic geographer with extensive research and pedagogical experience in the area of sustainability and rural change, specifically agricultural, wine and food tourism and regional economic development. His research and writing in the area of evolutionary economic geography and its approach to documenting rural economic change through tourism is frequently cited and globally respected within and outside of his home discipline.
Dr. Jones is a research climatologist who specializes in the study of climate structure and suitability for viticulture, and how climate variability influences grapevine growth, wine production and quality. He conducts applied research for the grape and wine industry in Oregon and has given hundreds of international,national and regional presentations on climate and wine related research. He is the author of numerous publications including the 2008 Nobel Peace Prize winning intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report and other reports and articles on wine economics, grapevine phenology, site assessment, climatological assessment of viticultural potential and clime change. He was named to Decanter Magazine's Power List representing the top 50 most influential people in the world of wine.
Professor John Overton is a leading scholar in critical examination of the wine industry. His research area involves wine, place and capital and looks at the global wine industry as it is rapidly transformed with important geographical implications. Overton has also examined'place' as an important element in production, helping to establish a wine's provenance and supposed quality. Wine regions are being constructed by the industry to build and protect ideas of place. Secondly,his research discerns some interesting ways in which capital investment in the wine industry articulates in complex ways with other forms of capital, labour and local regulatory institutions. Overton's Research involves the wine industry in New Zealand and Chile in particular.
Dr. Cradock Henry received a PhD in Geography from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand in 2012. He is currently Senior Scientist, Governance & Policy at Landcare Research where his work is focused on the impacts and implications of climate change and natural hazards for primary industries and rural communities. He is a Research Fellow with the Earth System Governance Project, co-lead of the Rural Co-Creation Laboratory, and currently investigating wine industry vulnerability and resilience in relation to seismic hazards and climate change in Hawke’s Bay and Marlborough wine regions of New Zealand.
In 1997 Howard ambitiously launched a new era for Canadian wine which would later go on to define the notion of Terroir in British Columbia. The release of Sandhill 'Small Lot' wines reflects Howard's pioneering spirit and remains as the definitive example of 'Single Vineyard' Winemaking in BC - a true testament to Howard's drive and vision.
Further collaboration with key growers with unique vineyard sites led Howard and Sandhill to countless awards and accolades on the show circuit including the Founder's Award from the Okanagan Wine Festival in 1998, the first BC Winemaker to receive a gold medal at the Chardonnay du Monde in France and most notably a clean sweep at the 2009 Canadian Wine Awards - Best Red wine of show, Best White wine of show and Best Canadian Winery.
More recently Howard received the Vancouver Wine Festival 'Spirited Industry Professional' in 2015. Howard retired as Master Winemaker – Sandhill Wines in July 2017.
In 2013, Marsha Walden was appointed CEO of Destination British Columbia, an industry led Crown corporation that works collaboratively with tourism stakeholders across the province to coordinate marketing at the international, provincial, regional and local levels. A life-long British Columbian, Marsha's career spans corporate leadership roles in marketing, strategy, transformation, operations, communications and social responsibility.
Miles Prodan has more than 30 years of marketing experience specializing in destination marketing and new media strategies. His extensive background and knowledge of the British Columbia agri-tourism industry, combined with his in-depth marketing and management experience with member-based trade organizations makes him the ideal candidate to lead the BCWI.
In addition to his role at the BCWI, Miles is also Board Member of the Canadian Vintners Association; Member of the Federal government’s Wine Sector Advisory Board; and member of BC Ministry of Agriculture’s Production Insurance Grape Advisory Committee.
Since 1990, the BCWI has played a pivotal role in taking BC's wine industry from a vision to an internationally recognized niche region producing premium wines and providing quality wine tourism experiences.
For the past 14 years, Philip Coppard has been the principal of Stormy Lake Consulting and leads the strategy development practice at Stormy Lake. Philip earned a B. Comm. Honours (1987) with specializations in Marketing and Computer Science from Queen's University. Philip has worked with a cross section of the tourism industry, including Destination Canada, Parksville Qualicum Beach Tourism, Tourism Kamloops, Travel Alberta, Tourism Jasper, Banff & Lake Louise Tourism, the City of Port Moody, BC Ferries and the BC Wine & Culinary Tourism sector. Philip has developed a proprietary planning model that embeds the principles of design and change management into traditional strategic planning. Philip is a trained facilitator in the Simplexity method of Applied Creativity for creative problem solving and innovation.
A passionate educator, wine lover, judge, writer, and grape grower/farmer, Rhys has worked in the wine industry since he was a teenager in Australia. Rhys moved to the Okanagan in 1999 to pursue the food and wine culture. Rhys spent time working in the vineyard, the cellar, wine shops and catering events. In 2010 Rhys became Canada's youngest Master of Wine (the wine world's highest level of achievement), one of only 300 in the world. In 2008 Rhys used his training to design and plant the Mulberry Tree Vineyard in Cawston. Rhys looks after the vineyard, farming it organically, to produce intensely flavoured grapes from calcium carbonate rich soils. Rhys brings a global perspective to the project, an understanding of the world's wine regions and styles. He continues to run Wine Plus+ , a wine school, consultancy, writes for a number of publications and judges wine competitions around the world.
Internationally recognized Master of Wine Tim Hanni, with over 40 years of experience in every sector of the wine industry, has worked for over 25 years with leading sensory experts, physicians, researchers, consumers and data companies to understand the role that sensory genetics and psycho-sensory elements of culture, peers, learning and life experiences influence what wine people prefer. The findings of this work can be found in his highly acclaimed book, Why You Like the Wines You Like; changing the way the world thinks about wine. Tim speaks and consults around the world on the topics of wine, taste preferences and sensory sensitivities at wine and other related events. His concepts have been adopted and employed in wineries, wine education organizations, hotels, restaurants, retail stores and universities around the world.