Toronto Vintners Club
Thank you & Happy New Year
Dear TVC Member,
I hope that you had a joyous celebration during the holiday season. As the end of 2020 draws to a (thankful) close, I wanted to share some updates with you.
2020 was a year unlike any that we have known. COVID-19 disrupted virtually every aspect of our daily lives including TVC’s ability to offer wine tasting events. We did host two in-person tastings before COVID hit in March; we organized three virtual tastings of wines from other agents / wineries in late summer and early autumn, and in November, members had an opportunity to participate in a virtual tasting of New World Pinot Noirs from TVC's cellar. The latter event, while a huge amount of work and time to organize on our part, was very well received. Membership renewals were put on hold for 2021 and we solicited nominations for the Board of Directors whose term ends on December 31st , 2020.
It was announced earlier at a Directors’ meeting that three directors were stepping down:
· Colin Marsh
· Michael Matthews, and
· Sylvia Dorosh.
Colin joined the Board in 2015 and helped with the website, Blog, and set up our Instagram account. Michael was Director for 17 years and is also a wine buyer; he will continue on the Wine Buying Committee. I served the board for the past 17 years and decided it was time to step down as President.
Much changed over those years since I joined the TVC Board. I started with managing the website, taking on event registrations, memberships, and finally stepping into the position of President in 2009. I converted our registrations and memberships from paper to electronic, ending our reliance on Canada Post. We began inviting speakers and offering a reception wine to make our events more educational, friendly, and entertaining. TVC moved locations three times from the Ontario Club (Commerce Court), to the Toronto Board of Trade (First Canadian Place), to the present location, the Faculty Club on the University of Toronto campus. We introduced a 35-and-Under Membership category to attract younger wine lovers and this has helped our club to thrive. And because of COVID, we started offering virtual wine events in 2020. There were other changes as well and various directors and members have come and gone from the club. I am leaving the Board but not the club and plan on being at many future tastings. My time on the Board is filled with lots of wonderful memories and I've enjoyed meeting so many interesting and friendly people from all walks of life through Toronto Vintners who all share one thing: a great passion for wine.
I am grateful to the following incumbents who were acclaimed and will stay on the Board for the next two years. They have all played very important roles in ensuring our events have been successful and that our club operates well.
· Doug Colbourne
· Chris Morris
· Smruti Patel
· Perry Phillips
· Shauna Sexsmith
· Kumar Stengar
· Rick Wood.
Please join me in welcoming the following directors who will join the Board in January:
· Kate Simpson has been a TVC member since 2013. She has experience in marketing, administration, networking, outreach, and communications and is ccurrently head of knowledge management and practice innovation at a downtown law firm.
· Matt Grenaghan joined TVC in 2019. He has past Board of Directors’ experience with other non-profit organizations. He brings a lot of database management skills to the club and has 20+ years as HR executive in the Human Resources consulting & outsourcing field.
· Francis Roco is a new TVC member but is currently WSET (Wine & Spirit, Education Trust) Level 2 Certified and a Level 3 candidate. He is also Treasury Manager at TD Bank with strong research and analysis skills.
The new Board will meet in early January and at that time, will appoint its executive officers. I know I am leaving the club and the Board in good hands especially since Chris Morris (currently VP) and Doug Colbourne (Treasurer) are long-time Board members; the other acclaimed incumbents also have a few years’ experience on the board. I will be available to help in the transition.
2021 will continue to present challenges because of COVID-19. The club will likely continue offering virtual tastings for some time to come; we will learn more as the new year unfolds.
On behalf of the entire Board of Directors and the members, THANK YOU for all the wonderful times and memories, the great wines, and the fantastic events during my time on the Board and a very special thanks again to Colin Marsh and Michael Matthews for their contributions over the years.
Happy New Year! Stay safe and healthy. I wish you all well!