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 and 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 capacities 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.
Geoff McIntyre, CPA, CA is a Partner based in MNP’s Kelowna office. As 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 is 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 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.
Leslie 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.