Artisan Fermenters and Distillers Business Conference and Tradeshow

Wednesday, November 15, 2023


We were absolutely delighted to yet again feature a comprehensive and relevant roster of speakers at Fortify. Download a PDF version of the agenda here.

Starting her journey in the Okanagan Valley, Danielle Barker was learning SEO andDanielle Barker digital ad strategies before they were mainstream marketing tools and hasn’t looked back since. After relocating to Vancouver in 2010 and founding Reflect Media, Danielle continued working with agencies and businesses to develop comprehensive digital marketing strategies that improve conversions, increase sales and reach long-term business objectives. A true relationship-builder, she has collaborated with many of her clients for over a decade, and her impressive roster spans from luxury auto to hospitality and as always, the best local businesses. Despite the global brands she has worked with, Danielle’s passion lies with the little guy: you can generally find her championing the small local businesses that she believes are the foundation and character of great communities. 

Wesley Peterson has been engaged in various capacitiesWesley Peterson across the global travel, tourism and hospitality sectors for the past 20 years. His prior experience includes financial positions with Canadian Airlines and Air Canada and executive roles with Expedia Inc. As Vice President Commercial at Expedia, he managed airline negotiations and other travel portfolios throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa from Expedia’s UK offices in London. He currently manages the BC Beverage Technology Access Centre (BCBTAC) in Penticton, BC. The Centre supports research, development and innovation for the beverage sector across Canada as part of its joint mandate between Okanagan College and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) in Ottawa. In addition to his role with the BCBTAC, Peterson also looks after the Canadian marketing and distribution portfolio of Odin Brewing Company, which he co-owns. The brewery operates multiple locations out of Washington State and brews under license in Vancouver, BC with distribution throughout Western Canada.  Wes holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of British Columbia as well as an MBA – Finance, from the University of Calgary.

Karen Graham has been involved in the British Columbia wine industry since 1998 and Karen Graham launched WineDrops in 2015 to offer analysis, commentary and advisory on the business, policy and regulatory issues that are critical to the B.C.
and Canadian wine industry. Her consulting practice emphasizes strategic planning and economic development for individual wineries and the overall industry.
She serves on the board of Business Alliance for Artisan Fermenters and Distillers, as Vice Chair of Vancouver International Wine Festival Society, and is a founding board member of AIDV Canada (Canadian Chapter of the
International Wine Law Association).
Karen holds a Master of Arts in International Relations and a Master of Public Policy degree, and has worked with the Business Council of British Columbia, Greater Vancouver Board of Trade and the United States Consulate-General (Vancouver).

Geoff McIntyre, CPA, CA is a Partner based in MNP’s Kelowna office. AsGeoff McIntyre Leader of Food and Beverage Processing Client Service Groups for MNP’s Thompson Okanagan Region, Geoff specializes in serving the British Columbia beverage industry; currently working with winery, vineyard, cidery and craft brewery clients of varying sizes to help them achieve their goals. Geoff is also the Regional Leader of MNP’s Succession Planning services. With 25 years of public practice experience, Geoff works closely with his clients to develop tax-efficient business structures, tax-minimizing strategies and effective tax-compliance services. Geoff presents regularly at the Fortify Conference and for the past fifteen years has been a regular contributor to Orchard and Vine Magazine.

Jory Soubiran isJory Soubiran a Management Consultant and Business Advisor with MNP. Jory provides business owners and managers with the tools, coaching and business fundamentals essential to running their business more effectively and profitably.  Since joining MNP, Jory has helped numerous business owners across Western Canada from a variety of sectors including manufacturing, food and beverage, real estate & construction, cannabis and technology start ups identify their vision, achieve sustainability and propel themselves to success.  A trusted advisor, Jory builds strong relationships with clients. His experience includes helping businesses in the areas of strategic planning, performance improvement and human resources. Prior to joining MNP, Jory spent 10 years in the luxury hotel industry, working in three countries and serving in various capacities.

Danny Turner is a “numbers” guy, bringing 30 years of experience as aDanny Turner financial analyst as well as several lived experiences growing, leading and selling businesses. As the Delivery Executive for the Basin Business Advisors Team, he leads the BBA team while delivering a straightforward, analysis-based coaching experience. Danny was in California during the dot-com boom of the ’90s, in London at the start of the financial crisis of 2008, and worked in several industries across North America and Europe in between. However, his true calling is entrepreneurship.

Danny holds an MBA from the University of Oxford. He was a management consultant at Deloitte between successful runs at starting and selling companies. In 2016 he retired to run his family farm, Just-A-Mere Organic Farm in Creston. He volunteers on several boards and is the past chairperson of Fields Forward, a Creston Valley horticultural society that operates the Provincial Food Hub in Creston. An entrepreneur at heart, Danny enjoys sharing his experiences and employing an always-learning philosophy as he assists all stage companies through his roles with the Columbia Basin Trust-funded Basin Business Advisors and Basin RevUp Programs.
Heather works with organizations to support adaptive change through businessHeather Stewart strategies, human resource management, and leadership and team development. Organizations are currently struggling to find and keep great employees, and to develop leaders and teams that can help their organization achieve their goals and objectives. Heather and her team help leaders to recruit, hire, train and develop their employees.
Sage Transitions has worked with many organizations, in many sectors, including the wine industry. Heather and her team developed a BC Viticulture Human Resource Communication Strategy, and completed international research and developed a Viticulture Training Program Model from 2014 – 2016. 
Heather provides innovative and creative services, that are tailored for each organization. She is flexible, respectful and collaborative, and open and honest in her communications. 
Patt Dyck has lived in the Okanagan Valley since 1980. She and her husbandPatt Dyck Ron moved to Naramata to escape the crazy pace of life in the Lower Mainland. Together, Patt and Ron founded and operated the Country Squire Restaurant in Naramata for 23 years. They welcomed tourists and locals to a fine dining experience in a heritage house, mere steps from Okanagan Lake. In 2000, they founded Cannery Brewing and began a new journey focused on craft beer well before the term craft beer became a thing. In 2015, when Cannery Brewing outgrew its original space in the historic Cannery Trade Centre, they built a purpose-built brewery on Ellis Street in Downtown Penticton. Patt is committed to building relationships in the community with customers, suppliers, partners, beer lovers, and the growing Cannery Brewing team. Outside of her day-to-day passion for running Cannery Brewing, Patt enjoys singing with the Naramata Choir, hiking the Kettle Valley Rail Trail, and spending time with her family.  

Leslia D'AndreaLeslie has spent the last 20 years developing Noble Ridge Vineyard & Winery in Okanagan Falls, BC with her husband Jim. Noble Ridge has grown from a dream and 3 acres of original vines to a 25-acreVineyard planted to vinifera grapes, a Winery producing international award-winning wines, a beautifulTasting Room overlooking Vaseux Lake and an incredible team focused on excellence. Recent initiativesinclude their “Be Noble” program and Noble Knight series wines.

Before this time, Leslie worked in the health care sector in Ontario and Alberta. Her focus was on health
administration and health promotion, particularly in the area of gerontology.

Currently Leslie is active in a variety of community and volunteer initiatives. These include the South
Skaha Housing Society (affordable housing initiatives), the Industry Advisory Committee for the BC
Hospitality Foundation and as a Chair of the Okanagan Falls | Skaha Lake Winery Association.

Leslie and Jim have three children, Jennifer, Benjamin and James, all graduated from Queen’s, working full-
time and of whom they are very proud. Their two dogs Sassicaia (Sassi) and Ornellaia (Nella) add to the
fun in Okanagan Falls.

Danny Brager has a wealth of experience in the U.S. Beverage Alcohol industry, analyzing trends over many years.  He formerly headed Nielsen’s Beverage Alcohol Practice Area in the U.S, leading teams that supported relationships with Nielsen’s clients as well as key industry groups and the media. 

In his current consulting role, Danny provides data-driven analysis and insights to Beverage Alcohol companies seeking to translate information into fact-based insights in support of their goals.  Each year, he presents at a large number of notable industry and company events, and is a frequent thought leader contributor to the media/press.   His informed opinions are highly respected by the beverage alcohol industry. 

Danny is also a Special Advisor to the Wine Market Council, and is Managing Director of Category & Consumer Insights at Azur Associates, founded to bring comprehensive advisory & consulting services to wine and spirit companies, including mergers & acquisitions, route to market, and strategic advisory support.  

Danny was born in Calgary and moved to Toronto where he graduated from the Schulich School of Business at York University. He relocated to Mission Viejo, California in 1993 where he now resides.  

Miranda and her husband Del embarked on their journey into the world of farming and
winemaking in 1999, creating Elephant Island Winery on a 5-acre cherry orchard on the Naramata
Bench. Taking an approach of balanced risk, the origins of Elephant Island sought to shake up the
establishment both from a regulatory and market perspective by producing a punk rock line-up of
wines made from alt-grape fruits – high quality fruit wines. Founded on a commitment to
sustainability, the maintenance of diversity of Naramata’s agricultural landscape and a fascination
with fermentation, Miranda and Del have continued to evolve and refine their portfolio and
businesses to include a line of premium vinifera wines under the Elephant Island label and locally
grown small batch ciders under the Naramata Cider Co label.
A passionate believer in the strength of the collective Miranda has been actively involved in
growing the agri-tourism movement in the South Okanagan. She is a founding member and past
president of the Naramata Bench Winery Association, and former Board member of Tourism
Penticton, a current member of the BC Beverage Technology Access Centre Board. Miranda has
been the Chair of the NaramataSlow Community Group for the past 7 years.
Her day to day is energized by the conversations, ideas and concerns shared by her three children
Finn, Mya and Grady, by getting her workout at the winery compost station and shepherding the
farms newest fertilizer/mowers … sheep.