Make new connections, learn from those who are the leaders in the beer industry, generate business opportunities and share with like minded professionals.
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I am Newfoundlander, and studied Biochemistry at MUN. I had no idea what I wanted to “be when I grew up”, until someone told me I could get paid to make the beer I was drinking. I started volunteering at a brewery before classes, then went to Scotland to study at Heriot-Watt where I earned my MSc in Brewing and Distilling. I returned to Canada and held a number of roles at ABInBev, predominantly in brewing. My journey then took me to Boston to quarterback R&D operations for the Boston Beer Company, where I helped to launch over 25 new beers nationally in my few years there. I again returned to Canada to take over as Brewmaster at Great Western in Saskatoon, and am now back on the East Coast with Moosehead Breweries as VP Operations, HR, and Supply Chain, where I’ve been for just over a year.
Fun fact: I’ve poured beers in festivals in 3 countries, on 2 continents.
Joanne Richter co-founded The Second Wedge Brewing Co. in Uxbridge, Ontario in 2015 with her husband Rob, and spends most of her time in the office, though her favourite place to be is outside in the brewery’s beer garden, mingling with all the customers, dogs and babies. A craft beer fan since the late 80s growing up in Montreal, she spent most of her career in book publishing, but once she envisioned opening a brewery in her adopted small town, there was no turning back.
Michelle is the Head of Education at Labatt Breweries of Canada. She is responsible for leading a culture of beer education and appreciation through the brewery’s people and diverse portfolio of brands, which includes Goose Island Beer Co., Stanley Park Brewery, Mill Street Brewery, Stella Artois and Budweiser.
A Certified Cicerone®, MBAA Beer Steward, and Recognized BJCP Beer Judge, Michelle holds a professional level of knowledge related to ingredients, brewing process, beer styles, tasting and evaluation, and pairing food with beer.
With a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Hospitality & Tourism Management from Ryerson University, Michelle developed her foundational knowledge in beer, wine, and spirits in the restaurant industry. Aspiring to make a greater impact and contribute to the beer community, Michelle pursued her Cicerone certification in 2013, becoming one of the first females in Canada to achieve the accreditation, and the first Certified Cicerone employed by Labatt. A fierce champion of beer education, she has coached Labatt employees to achieve various levels of Cicerone certification. There are now 20 Certified Cicerones at Labatt, more than any other Canadian brewer.
Michelle’s expertise on beer and food pairing has been featured on Global News, CTV Morning Live, 680 News, the Globe & Mail, and Fashion Magazine. With insights from Google indicating that Canada searches more about beer than any other country in the world, Michelle holds an important role in supporting the growth of the overall beer category by educating Canadians to beer better every day.
Being a professional brewer, Rod’s background is naturally law enforcement. Wait, what? Yes, after 23 years in the Federal government wearing a badge, he completely switched gears and followed his passion for craft beer, acquiring a Diploma in Brewing Technology from the Siebel Institute of Technology & World Brewing Academy at Chicago, IL and Munich, Bavaria.
Rod co-founded Brimstone Brewing Company, a small-town craft brewery in Ontario’s Niagara Region in 2012, held the position of Head Brewer at Propeller Brewing in Halifax, NS, and has worked as a consultant on a number of craft brewery start-ups and expansions throughout Canada. He joined Canada Kegs & Packaging in 2019 to help service the industry he loves.
A proud “East Coast’r”, Rod has also resided north, south and west within this great country of Canada. He currently calls home the wonderfully-diverse city of Mississauga. Under certain conditions however, his Maritime accent still comes out…
Wakelin joins us from Lakeside Process Controls. He is a professional engineer, a project management professional, and a trained brewer. He spent the majority of his career working in brewery operations and on engineering projects for Molson Coors Canada. He is now the Technical Sales Specialist for Lakeside Process Controls focusing on custom sanitary turnkey solutions for the Food & Beverage industry.
Lakeside Process Controls is an employee owned company with over 70 years of industrial automation experience. They are part of Emerson’s Local Impact Partner network. Emerson Process Management is the world’s leading supplier of process management products such as Rosemount instrumentation, DeltaV automation, and Micro-motion Coriolis meters.
With nearly a decade of experience in the alcohol industry, a passion for encouraging personal and professional growth, and her trademark wit, Ren Navarro is here to educate, enlighten, and engage. Since launching Beer. Diversity. in 2018, Ren has become a known name at breweries, wineries, distilleries, and beyond. She has given talks on diversity and inclusion at several colleges and countless festivals, panels, radio shows, and podcasts throughout North America. In addition to being a diversity educator, she is a craft beer consultant for bars and restaurants in Ontario and an educator for countless businesses throughout the country.
Dave started his brewing career at London Fields in 2013 before moving on to East London Brewing Co. in 2014 and becoming Head Brewer at Ignition in 2019. He joined Ignition having been inspired by training young brewers in previous roles, and determined to bring a bit more purpose into brilliant beer. His formal brewing training was at Brewlab in the North of England and the Institute of Brewing and Distilling in London.
Paul is the Canada Region Sales Engineer for GEA Canada, handling sales and process support for GEA Westfalia Separator centrifuge systems. He has well-over 30 years invested in application of centrifuge systems into food and beverage processes, with a particular focus into the brewing industry. His extensive experience includes systems application and support in breweries from coast to coast, from micro to macro. Paul has been involved in implementation of new and novel applications in breweries, and is active in the ongoing process to optimize the efficiency and reliability of centrifuge systems according to the ever changing demands of the craft beer and beverage industry. Paul holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Chemical Engineering from Queen’s University and is a registered Professional Engineer in the Province of Ontario.
Troy Burtch has been in craft beer since 2007 with the creation of the Great Canadian Beer Blog. The success of the blog propelled Burtch into the publishing industry, landing a role with TAPS Media in 2010, the parent company of TAPS: The Beer Magazine and the Canadian Brewing Awards. 2010 was also the year that Burtch, and friends, created Toronto Beer Week, a nine-day celebration of beer in Toronto. In 2012 Burtch joined Great Lakes Brewery, holding various titles throughout the years.
Today, as the Marketing and Communications Manager for GLB, Burtch has the pleasure to showcase the GLB brand to consumers through various social media platforms, community partnerships, content creation, media and public relations and sponsorships. He values the engagement with customers with customers, and potential craft beer drinkers, while building a strong community, both online and offline; through creative, unique, and structured messaging. Burtch is in the business of enriching people’s lives through craft beer, one at a time.
Marcello Vecchio is a Project Coordinator for the FRESHER project in the Human Environments Analysis Laboratory (HEAL) at Western University. Marcello holds a master’s degree studying the economic development of mid-sized cities, and has experience in economic geography, planning and development, and business retention. A portion of Marcello’s former research was finding out how former industrial buildings could be reclaimed as breweries and taprooms.
Avi Shayevitz is a food scientist from Oregon State University, having received his Master’s Degree in Food Science and Technology under the guidance of Professor Chris Curtin. His background includes industrial chemistry, biochemistry, fermentation microbiology, and traditional beer production technology.
Previous research has focused on applying high-throughput sequencing technology to study aging progression in Lambic-style beers, and how barrel origins may affect the final outcome. During his studies, he has interned as a malt operator at Great Western Malting of Vancouver, Washington and as a product development brewer for Anheuser-Busch’s The High End division. Originally hailing from Detroit, MI, he now lives and works Montreal, QC as a Research and Development associate for Lallemand Inc. and is heroically working on sampling every poutine Montreal has to offer.
Nigel is Director of Technical and Sustainability at Muntons. He is also Honorary Associate Professor at Nottingham University, School of Biosciences and runs his own consultancy specialising in sustainability strategy support and carbon footprinting for the cereal supply chain and providing independent technical support to the food, malting and beverage supply chain. He has also for over 30 years been an expert witness in legal cases involving high value cargoes in marine shipping insurance claims.
A widely experienced Board level Director for 15 years Nigel has had many technical roles in food and beverage manufacture and developed a reputation in the malting and brewing supply chain for leading sustainable business integration and innovation.
He is passionate about making real differences in sustainability within the malting supply chain and has spearheaded the establishment of farmer support groups focussed on sustainable agriculture. He developed the world’s first carbon footprint support tool for malting barley that has enabled a 30% reduction in GHG in Muntons supply chain over 10 years. Nigel coined the phrase ‘Practical Sustainability’ to describe his approach at Muntons to deliver real changes in sustainable practices that are readily understood and that make real differences in carbon emissions rather than hiding behind offsetting. He has been awarded the accolade of being in the top 100 leaders in sustainability in UK manufacturing being described as ‘an inspirational leader’ and a ‘driver of cultural change’ in sustainability. He has twice lead Muntons to gain the EcoVadis gold medal as a global top 5% sustainability company and win many supplier awards for sustainable business practices.
Previously he has been a research scientist in cereals and a lecturer in cell biology at London University and outside Muntons acts as an expert witness in cases where food safety of cereals is at issue. He is reviewing editor on a number of international scientific journals. His interests include playing piano, all terrain cycling, he is qualified to British Sign Language level 3 NVQ, a Community First Responder and a Mental Health First Aider. He achieved the Diploma in Brewing with distinction whilst at BRi.
Betsy Lay is the co-founder and owner of Lady Justice Brewing in Aurora, CO. After graduating from the University of Denver in 2004 she began her career working in education-based non-profits, including serving two terms as an AmeriCorps VISTA, where she met Kate Power and Jen Cuesta. Together in 2014, the three friends founded the philanthropic Lady Justice Brewing Company. She also holds a Master in Theological Studies from Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University. In her time off from the brewery, Betsy can be found with a good whiskey, a good book, and a good dog.
Kyle Smith is a consultant for the beverage industry helping companies such as Black Lab Brewing Company, Escarpment Yeast, and Stonehooker Brewing Company through the process of opening and expanding their facilities. Holding a Bachelor of Engineering Science from The University of Western Ontario with a specialization in Biochemical and Environmental Processes, and currently working towards a Master’s of Brewing and Distilling Sciences from the University of Heriot-Watt, Kyle brings a solutions-focused mindset and a refreshing yet tactical approach to problem-solving. Kyle has been judging beer since 2015, where his reputation for technical aptitude with beer has resulted in him sitting on the best of show panels for both the Ontario and Canadian Brewing Awards. Additionally, he lectures for the Brewing Program at Niagara College. Kyle lives in Toronto and occupies his time off the clock with live music, experiments in the kitchen, and a passion for mixology.”
With a background as a geological engineer and experience in electricity and solar power, Ted brings a unique and innovative approach that is disrupting the beer/beverage industry. In 2005, a diagnosis of Crohn’s Disease led to significant life changes including the decision to give up alcohol. A beer lover, he missed the taste of beer and discovering new beers, especially new craft beers. He also missed the connection and interaction that comes with social drinking. Ted turned to non-alcoholic beer but found that variety and taste were missing from current offerings and that inspired him to brew his own. He launched Partake Brewing to bring all the things that make craft beer great to those who don’t (or can’t) drink alcohol.
Partake Brewing is the now the number one craft, non-alcoholic beer in North America, producing a variety of beers that consumers love for their exceptional taste and class-leading calorie profiles. Since 2013, Ted has been a leader in the low and no alcohol market and has won numerous awards and accolades including the SIAL Innovation Award, CHFA Product Innovation Award, Grocery Innovation Canada Top Beverage Award, Finalist at FoodBytes, Nutrition Capital Network Pitch All-Star, and a Gold Medal at the World Beer Awards.
Kris has been with Diversey for 6 years and has 25 years of professional brewing experience. Kris specializes in CIP validation, soil identification, conveyor lubricants and has helped develop Diversey’s innovative DiverCraft brewing portfolio. He is an active member of ISBT & MBAA.
Roger Mittag, is the founder of Canada’s leading beer education company, Thirst For Knowledge Inc.® As one of the leading beer experts in Canada, he has delivered quality beer education since 1997 and is a consultant/educator to many breweries and restaurant groups bringing his extensive beer industry knowledge and enthusiastic approach to their businesses.
In 2009, he created Prud’homme Beer Certification®, a beer sommelier program (the first comprehensive online beer education program in the world). Roger is also a published author who contributes to magazines and books and has appeared on radio and television sharing his love of beer.
Natasha’s first taste of craft beer was on a trip to San Diego in 2010. While eating at Oggi’s, she found herself drinking a delicious Amber and was hooked. In following years, she tried every craft beer she could and became acquainted with the myriad of styles that brewers are producing.
However, her craft beer calling didn’t really come until 2013. While attending Simon Fraser University to complete her Chemistry degree, Natasha joined the home brewing and beer appreciation club. A local hops distributor approached them to take part in an inaugural university home brewing competition. Their club was the underdog, but the first beer she and a friend ever brewed won best-in-show and, as part of the prize, got to have their recipe scaled up for commercial production.
Since that day Natasha has held many positions in and strived to be a part of the fabric that makes up the craft beer community. She has worked in a home brew shop, been a craft beer sales representative, and was the brand manager and beer buyer for National Beer Hall in Calgary, Alberta. In 2017 she took the jump to the production side and has worked with Bomber Brewing, Tool Shed Brewing, and Last Best Brewing & Distilling. She is currently working as a brewer at The Establishment Brewing Company, which has an award-winning line up of core beers and an extensive mixed culture fermentation barrel program.
Natasha also holds Advanced Cicerone® certification – one of only 2 in Alberta, and 139 in the world – and regularly judges both professional and home brew competitions. As an active member of the Pink Boots Society she helped to create the hop blend used for Pink Boots Brew Day 2019 and most recently co-founded the Canada chapter, which is currently developing programming and opportunities specific to its local members.
The newly appointed VP of BioGill North America, spent 20 years as an environmental health regulator for Napa County, CA specializing in wastewater treatment, including high strength wastewater discharges from wineries and other food and beverage facilities. Sheldon joined the private sector in 2013 as a consultant and technology expert for the onsite treatment of food and beverage wastewater, including representation of a small scale membrane bioreactor technology. In January 2021, Sheldon was hired with BioGill North America as the primary business lead for promotion of BioGill’s patented nano-ceramic attached growth bioreactor technology for the treatment of high strength food and beverage wastewater. He holds a B.S degree in Environmental and Occupational Health from California State University, Northridge and is a California Registered Environmental Health Specialist.
Steve Grundy is the founder and CEO of Top 5 Solutions, your single source for process and packaging equipment in the craft beer and beverage industry. Steve has been a technology leader in manufacturing for more than 25 years spending most of his career at Rockwell Automation in a variety technical and commercial leadership roles across a broad set of industries including consumer packaged goods (CPG). For the past 5 years, with a dedicated focus on beer and beverage and an unwavering commitment to quality, Steve has completed dozens of successful projects with global multi-nationals, regional craft breweries, and neighborhood brewpubs.
Alexander Wray is a doctoral student in the Department of Geography & Environment at Western University, and holds degrees in geography, planning, and environmental assessment from Western and the University of Waterloo. His research and practice is centred at the intersection of healthy communities, parks and recreation, food environments, local government, and planning. His work has appeared in the International Journal of Drug Policy, Cities & Health, Canadian Journal of Public Health, and Cities. He is a huge fan of his neighbourhood’s craft brewer, Storm Stayed, and lives within a cap’s throw of the London Labatt plant.
A multifaceted and well-rounded entrepreneur, Sarabeth Holden loves to cook, write, and be active – whether in sports or community action. Sarabeth approaches all projects with a sense of humour, and possibility. Her playful outlook and vast experience has made for an eclectic career that continues to develop and grow with integrity.
In December 2020 Sarabeth and her husband Sean opened Red Tape Brewery in Toronto, a bespoke brewery that creates small-batch, custom beer for life’s milestones. Red Tape not only creates custom brews, personalised to the last detail, but has a retail storefront with their featured beers.
In 2020, Sarabeth released her debut book Please Don’t Change My Diaper with InHabit Media, the first Inuit-owned, independent publishing company in the Canadian Arctic. This rhyming book was inspired by her improvised songs about diaper changes and face wiping that made chores a little easier until the entire family could get back to the things they love like being outside, and kitchen dance parties. Sarabeth is the President of the Toronto Inuit Association, supporting the local Inuit community as it grows. As a board member she also lends her expertise to the YWCA of Toronto, and Indigenous Sport and Wellness Ontario.
Sarabeth lives in Toronto with Sean, and their two young sons. Sarabeth was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and grew up with her family between Nunavut, New Brunswick, and Ontario.
Karen W. Hertz is the founder of Holidaily Brewing Company. In her early 30’s, Karen survived both melanoma and thyroid cancers, leading to a treatment regimen including a gluten-free diet.
After adopting a gluten-free diet, Karen struggled to find a great tasting, 100% gluten-free beer. If the lack of quality gluten-free options was a challenge for her, she thought it certainly was a challenge for others as well. With an MBA in Entrepreneurial Studies from the University of Colorado at Denver and 10 years of beer industry experience under her belt, Hertz researched gluten-free ingredients, taste-testing alternatives, and gaining an understanding of brewing processes in order to create a better solution. Thus, the idea for Holidaily Brewing Company was born.
Since opening the brewery in 2016, Holidaily has grown nearly 800%. After years of exponential growth in Colorado, Holidaily Brewing opened the doors to a new production brewery in May of 2019, making them the largest dedicated gluten-free brewery in the U.S. The expansion increased their brewing capacity, allowing them to meet the demand in Colorado, expand distribution to Arizona, Kansas, Missouri and prepare for additional regional growth.
Holidaily’s success has garnered recognition from Bon Appetit Magazine, Denver A-list, Gluten-free Living Magazine, Food & Wine, Today, and more. Most recently, the brewery won the Gold Medal in the gluten-free category at the Great American Beefest and Hertz was selected by Colorado Biz Magazine as a finalist for Entrepreneur of the Year in 2020.
Outside of her role as Chief Brewista, Karen enjoys living in Golden, Colorado with her husband and twin daughters and taking advantage of all that Colorado has to offer including watching her favorite sports team while enjoying a Holidaily beer at Mile High Stadium.
Jon L. Renthrope, is a native New Orleanian and member of the United Nation of Houma Indians. He is CEO of Cajun Fire Brewing Company and an internationally recognized brewmaster by trade profession. He is one of the few Black American brewmasters in the nation. Renthrope is also recognized as a cultural ambassador for the Treme’ Community, is an alumnus of St. Augustine High School, and The University of Florida which he is an honouree of the 40 under 40 club. Renthrope is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated, he serves as lead project manager of The New Orleans East Cultural Hub, CEO of Levee World, and COO of Bridge Forest Investment Corporation. He is married, father of 2, and currently resides in the Gentilly community of New Orleans.
Katie Wallace is the Director of Social & Environmental Impact at New Belgium Brewing, where she has been for 16 years. As a pioneer in corporate sustainability and B Corp business models, Katie leads the company’s work to address pressing issues like climate change, diversity/inclusion, and economic equality. Her team works toward these goals through operational sustainability initiatives, corporate philanthropy, policy advocacy, brand-based advocacy, and coworker culture.
Katie sits on the executive team at New Belgium. She is the cofounder of the Glass Recycling Coalition and the Brewers Association Sustainability Committee. Before joining the sustainability team at New Belgium, Katie’s experience includes water quality, finance, sales & marketing, and supply chain planning. She holds degrees in Finance and Economics as well as a Masters in Applied Positive Psychology where she studied approaches to advancing a culture of social and environmental change in organizations.
New Belgium Brewing is a nationally distributed brand based out of Colorado and North Carolina. They are the makers of Voodoo Ranger IPA and Fat Tire Amber Ale, the nation’s first Certified Carbon Neutral beer. NBB is a Certified B Corporation and a founding member of 1% For The Planet.
In the UK the rate of unemployment for people with learning disabilities is stubbornly high. Nick and Will founded Ignition in 2015 to create a sustainable business that created meaningful jobs for people with learning disabilities. Since then it has grown up a little and is now a perfect model of a community micro-brewery and taproom, that is being prepared for replication around the UK (and perhaps elsewhere too). We produce great fresh beer that moves only seven metres from tank to tap and is consumed thirstily by our wonderful local community; our positive message travels far, which means our beer doesn’t have to. Beyond the brewery Nick is the chief economist at a mental health charity and Will specialises in the development of sustainable social businesses.
Cam spent 15 years working for Big Rock Brewery in Calgary in multiple capacities, most notably as senior sales management roles on key national and regional accounts. With strong knowledge in the provincial listing policies and retail strategies, Cam believes that remarkable relationships produce mutual benefits that create long standing success. With CWB, he’s in a position to advocate for further growth within the Canadian craft brewing segment. Find Cam reaching for a proper English Style Ale or a well-produced pilsner.
In the UK the rate of unemployment for people with learning disabilities is stubbornly high. Nick and Will founded Ignition in 2015 to create a sustainable business that created meaningful jobs for people with learning disabilities. Since then it has grown up a little and is now a perfect model of a community micro-brewery and taproom, that is being prepared for replication around the UK (and perhaps elsewhere too). We produce great fresh beer that moves only seven metres from tank to tap and is consumed thirstily by our wonderful local community; our positive message travels far, which means our beer doesn’t have to. Beyond the brewery Nick is the chief economist at a mental health charity and Will specialises in the development of sustainable social businesses
Best-selling author and accessibility strategist Julie Sawchuk combines her professional and personal experiences with accessibility and education; helping people design and build the best, most accessible, space possible. She has worked on a variety of projects including libraries, recreation centres, apartments, restaurants, small town shops, single family homes and even international airports.
The most recent resource to come from Sawchuk Accessible Solutions is the book Building Better Bathrooms — connecting real stories with the details you need for truly accessible results. Written as a team with Architect Jane Vorbrodt and Technologist Samantha Proulx, it will give you the answers to questions about all aspects of washroom spaces, from signs and toilets to showers and emergency systems.
Julie’s labour of love is her family home, built to be completely wheelchair accessible. She wrote Build YOUR Space: How to create an accessible home for you, your family and your future to help others benefit from what she learned throughout the process. Her second book, Roadmap to Recovery: Managing the way forward after spinal cord injury, is free to download from Spinal Cord Injury Ontario. Julie also teaches the program Building Without Barriers, the online platform for Accessible Design & Construction.
Julie is a Rick Hansen Foundation Ambassador, Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility CertificationTM (RHFAC) professional, Member of the Board of Directors at Spinal Cord Injury Ontario and community representative for the Huron County Accessibility Advisory Committee. As a professional speaker and author, she shares her message about accessibility and inclusion with students, businesses and organizations across Ontario.
When you work with Julie you will enlighten your team, inform your designs and build without barriers.
Chris White is the Founder, President and CEO of White Labs Inc. He founded the company in 1995 to pursue a vision of making the pure liquid yeast more accessible to people around the world. Today, White Labs operates four locations in San Diego, Calif; Asheville, NC; Copenhagen, Denmark and a distribution warehouse in Hong Kong, China. White regularly hosts educational seminars, classes and large-group consultations on a variety of topics, helping advance the many fermentation industries.
Prior to founding White Labs, White earned his Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of California San Diego and a Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry from the University of California Davis. While at UC Davis, he interned at Genentech Inc.–the world’s first biotechnology company–and from 1999-2007, he lectured at UC San Diego in the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department. He currently teaches for the UC San Diego Extension Brewing Certificate Program, specifically focused on the science of beer and fermentation.
White is the co-author of Yeast: The Practical Guide To Beer Fermentation and co-designer of BrewMaster: The Craft Beer Game. He has published numerous articles on yeast, beer and fermentation science. In 2013, the American Homebrewers Association Governing Board presented him with the Recognition Award for his outstanding service to the homebrewing community. In his spare time, Chris White enjoys reading about U.S. history and playing board games.
Anyone serious about kegging probably already knows Peter Mackenrodt, owner and CEO of m+f KEG-Technik in Bottrop Germany, a global leader in keg cleaning and filling systems. You’ll usually find him at industry events talking with customers that have happily owned his machines for years, with others looking on with a bit of envy.
Peter is one of the nicest people you would ever want to meet, but he’s serious about quality. Machinery must perform to the highest standards of cleanliness to ensure the beer we enjoy in our glasses is always fresh and at its best. It must also be designed to operate safely and reliably so that kegs can be cleaned and filled efficiently without the risk of workplace injury, and to provide years of trouble-free operation. These ideas are core to Peter’s values.
Join us for a conversation with Peter as we talk about keg cleaning and filling best practices in preparation for the return to draft beer in a post-COVID world. Tap into his vast experience and knowledge gained from having worked more than 30 years in the industry with some of the worlds most respected breweries including many in Canada and the USA.
Peter holds degrees in safety engineering, electrical engineering and business, is fluent in English, Spanish, French, Bavarian and German, has been a member of the Brewers Association for 3 decades.
A successful serial entrepreneur with inspiring leadership abilities, Greg Taylor has a track record of being on the leading edge of new industries. As a pioneer in Canada’s craft beer industry, he not only led his own organization from start-up to become the largest craft beer brand in Canada, but also created foundational, revered standards for his industry.
With Taylor at the helm, Steam Whistle Brewing was a nine-year winner as one of “Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies”, while Taylor himself has been recognized with many business leadership awards, including “Entrepreneur of the Year” in Ernst and Young’s annual competition to recognize the outstanding business success of Canada’s Entrepreneurs, “Food in Canada’s” 2016 Industry Leadership Award, the Toronto Region Board of Trade 2016 “Business Leader of the Year”, and 2013 “Clean 50 Award” for environmental leadership in business.
Greg is a captivating and vibrant public speaker, regularly participating in Entrepreneurial-based events and panels.
I graduated from Christopher Newport University in 2017 obtaining my degree, with a major in chemistry and minors in mathematics and leadership. I began working in the industry my senior year of college by partnering the labs at CNU with Oozlefinch Beers and Blending, periodically testing for yeast viability and cell counts. After graduating, I started full time at Oozlefinch Beers and Blending, building their laboratory to allow for the safe handling of clean and wild beers in the same facility and training on the production floor as an assistant brewer. Since then, I have isolated and propped up our own proprietary yeast strain from an ancient civil war dining chest, previously owned by General Butler and still preserved on Fort Monroe in the Casemate Museum. In January of 2020, I took over the head brewer role at Oozlefinch Beers and Blending, with a goal of creating high quality, consistent, product while maintaining an experimental approach using innovative and unique ingredients.
Stephen is a Brewer, Certified Cicerone, Prud’homme Beer Sommelier, and BJCP Certified Beer Judge. His brewing roots
started in 2004 as an eager homebrewer, and now has over 10 years of professional brewing experience working with a range of brewhouses, cellar equipment and packaging operations. Stephen managed one of Ontario’s most ambitious Brewery builds from green field and rebuilt one of Ontario’s first Craft Brewpubs. His experience includes Production Operations & Management, Product and Brand Development, Sales & Innovation Strategic Development, Quality & Food Safety Programming, Energy and Environmental Conservation Process Planning and Operation, and of course, Brewing.
Stephen is one of the best communicators & advocates in the Ontario Beer
Industry, having hosted more than 150 Beer Dinners or Tasting events.
Rob is Chief Toaster (Co-founder & CEO) at Toast Ale, the delicious planet-saving beer brewed using yesterday’s bread from bakeries to fight food waste. All profits are poured into environmental charities. Toast launched in 2016 and now has nationwide retail, pub and hospitality distribution. They have brewed over 2 million slices of surplus bread and their open-source source recipe has been accessed over 70,000 times. Toast has influenced over 50 collaboration brews using surplus bread in more than 8 countries and raised tens of thousands of pounds for charity. Raise a Toast. Save the World. Cheers.
Prior to Toast Rob led Ashoka in the UK, a global support network for social entrepreneurs. And he founded a number of social mission ventures over the years. Including setting up READ International in 2004; a Tanzanian student-volunteer-led development organisation which has benefited millions of Tanzanian school students and co-founded Generation Change in 2012, helping 600,000 young people a year in the UK take positive action in their local communities. In 2011 he co-authored a book with his wife Nikki about social entrepreneurs in Africa called On the Up.
Rob lives in Kent with his wife Nikki and their two very cheeky little boys Thomas and Matthew – with a third on the way! In his spare time Rob coaches his son’s football team, runs to try and burn off the beers, is a geek for all things social enterprise and never misses the Formula One.
Dave Frizzell is a Senior Product Development Specialist with Precision Fermentation. He manages all on-tank product testing programs for the BrewMonitor System. Previously, he led QA efforts for a series of breweries, first in the Boston area and then in Raleigh-Durham, including Jack’s Abby Craft Lagers, Trophy Brewing, and Starpoint Brewing. Dave is widely experienced in the intricacies of the fermentation processes, across many varieties of yeast and bacteria, based on years of hands-on production management for world class beers. Dave received his B.S. in Biology from the University of Massachusetts with a focus on microbiology and human pathology.
Nancy More brewed her first beer over 40 years ago and has been exploring and having fun in the brewing industry ever since. She started in the technical training program for Labatt Breweries and worked from one coast of Canada to the other in progressively more senior operations positions including being the first female head brewmaster.
Adventure beckoned and she moved to Russia to improve technical and quality capabilities across Eastern Europe. She headed up Brewing Product and Process Development for Interbrew with teams in Korea, Belgium, and Canada. In 2005, she joined International Beer Supply with Diageo (Guinness), focused on Africa, the Caribbean, North America, and Asia. After her return to Canada, she continued her passion for developing the next generation of brewers, working with Kwantlen Polytechnic University in the start-up of the Brewing and Brewery Operations program and continues to teach part-time. In her “non-beer” life, she can be found kayaking, skiing, and volunteering for not-for-profit organizations.
Adrian Pawliszko is the cofounder and CEO of Kegshoe. Adrian first honed his craft through years of brewery application development, along with packaging and beer can design in the Ottawa region. Since its inception, Kegshoe has grown to become an industry-leading keg tracking solution, with hundreds of customers from over 20 countries around the world.
The human brain, behaviour and interactions with their environment never fail to intrigue Samin Saadat. After spending long hours in psychology labs at UBC (University of British Columbia) and completing her Masters at the Sauder School of Business, she entered the workforce and observed a gap between what research suggests and what companies actually do to increase productivity and profitability. Now, Samin is on a mission to bridge this gap through Jalapeño Employee Engagement—leveraging technology and professional human services to bring research findings to life to help companies save invaluable dollars and to help individuals enhance their quality of life.
Tonia Wilson is a certified sommelier and chef. She is a regular contributor to the LCBO’s Food & Drink magazine, the Toronto Star and contributes recipe and beer pairings to The Growler. She has also authored the beer pairing cookbook Beer At My Table. Tonia spent many years working in Europe as Head Chef at Canadian Embassies in Rome and Brussels where her love for wine and beer flourished. She recently launched her company BRÜ Mustard and has moved much of her work online with virtual beer tastings for both corporate and public events.
Melyssia Santiago has been helping CO2Meter reach its potential since 2015 and has presented over a dozen times on CO2 safety education in indoor greenhouse and restaurant industries. While driving the sales growth for the organization Melyssia is also committed to team mentoring, the ultimate customer experience, and exceeding sales expectations year over year. Her dedicated advocacy for CO2 safety in restaurants, breweries, cannabis cultivation and extractions facilities worldwide has earned her a reputation as the constant gas measurement sales professional.
A 20-year sales veteran Melyssia credits her success to working for and with exceptional leaders that reinforced the importance of developing individuals and teams to maximize their strengths and skill sets as the foundations for exceptional results. Following through on her early training Melyssia has become a mentor personally and professionally encouraging and supporting others to reach their fullest potential. “Sparky”, as her team and customers know her, brings her enthusiastic, passionate, and determined personality to everything that she does. That positive attitude encourages and challenges her team members to dig deep to discover new opportunities as well as provide CO2 based education with every customer interaction.
Melyssia lives in Palm Coast, FL to be close to her adult children, Brittany and Ben, and the beach.
A transformational leader with a strong track record for developing strategies and building teams that deliver sustainable growth, Kristine Tsaousidis is the Vice President of SME, Global Commercial Services for American Express Canada.
In her current role, Kristine leads a team of 180 Small Business Enterprise National Sales and Account development professionals with a mandate to change the conversation with small to medium sized business owners around their financial needs.
Kristine believes in the power of team building and collaboration and has proven to be a visionary architect in defining team culture and best-in-class engagement across multiple teams.
She currently lives in Richmond Hill with her entrepreneur husband and her two adult children.