A word from Bill —June 2011

A few years ago we made great strides to ensure that the Guild was financially stable. With this firm financial footing we were able to turn to the matters this year to running an organization that served the needs of our members.

I would like to highlight a few of the key actions and that were presented at this year’s Annual General Meeting.

  • A newly created VPR Team was established. This group is responsible for running one VPR per month including the “Have your Say” approach allowing attendees to have a hand in the selection of products featured at the tasting. Thanks to Richard, Rod and Ian for your attention to detail in creating a quality series of events.
  • Rebranding! This past year we have reviewed our mission and updated our core values to ensure the Guild remains relevant. We have also redesigned our website and newsletter—members and fellow organizations have given us extremely positive reviews. Nicole Vallée assisted by Dawn Harvie and Dave Isaacs have delivered the new look and format to our communications.
  • We have re-engaged our Governors. At a Governor’s meeting last spring we presented our rebranding approach and ideas to this group and received valuable feedback and advice. We have also seen collaborative efforts between our Governor Steve Beckta and founding Guild president Phil Nicholson for some amazing events at Play and Beckta’s featuring Sherry and Cheese—what else!
  • Thanks to Phil Nicholson’s help, we have re-invigorated the Guild Scholarship and it is in great shape moving forward.
  • We have also solidified a relationship with a Toronto- based wine club, the Ontario Wine Society (OWS). Guild members will have the opportunity to attend OWS events in Toronto, Oakville and Niagara at member prices as we extend the same courtesy to their members while in Ottawa. In 2011 we will collaboratively be running a local event.
  • We have strengthened our ties with Algonquin College and have offered input through their Advisory Board for Program Quality. This will ensure that again we have strong ties with the college—an important partner.
  • Ottawa Food and Wine Show — again, thanks to Joan for offering us the ability to get our members involved and to promote special offers to the Guild. This will continue again this year at the new Convention Centre!
  • We had great success with Argentina and a few other Guild Exclusive Events and will continue to focus more on these types of tastings throughout the year.
  • Our membership has remained steady this year and we have introduced a student rate for Algonquin Grads.

Thanks to the directors that are leaving us this year. The contributions that Nicole Vallée, Maureen Murphy and Cynthia Mar have made to the Guild over their term have made a huge impact on how we are perceived by members and industry alike. I am pleased to say that they will still be helping us move forward in a volunteer capacity. Again, thanks to all of you!

Stay tuned for some great summer events including our summer dinner at Gay Cook’s home (weather permitting) as well as the Mechoui. Details will be coming to you shortly.

We are here to serve the membership and I look forward to your input and suggestions to ensure that the National Capital Sommelier Guild continues to deliver the quality that you expect.

Thanks for your confidence.

Cheers, Bill Ellis President