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Export Program – Canada Overview
August 12 | 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Join us in welcoming a.m.c.c., NYWGF’s newest market representatives based in Toronto. Founders Andrea Backstrom and Melissa Stunden will be on hand to provide a comprehensive overview of the Ontario and Quebec markets, where much of New York wines activities will focus in 2022-2023. Melissa and Andrea have broad knowledge across all provincial markets, along with diverse experience in route to market strategy, educational initiatives, event management and media relations. As with our other market overviews, we encourage you to bring your questions!
Just a reminder that all wineries are welcome to join us for Export Market Overview Sessions, however, only current Export Program participants can participate in events after July 1st, 2022. If you have not already done so, please join the program or renew your participation today.
Andrea Backstrom. Andrea comes with experience in key regional and national sales and marketing positions for two leading national distributors. She started her career in beverage alcohol in Vancouver with Mark Anthony Brands, where she worked in sales for 3 years, followed by a move to Toronto where she subsequently worked in regional trade and national brand marketing for 4 years. She was then recruited by Lifford Wine & Spirits where she worked as their Sales Director for 2 years. Throughout this experience she gained an in-depth understanding of route to market and commercialization in all markets across Canada. She has strong relationships with liquor boards and retailers nationally where she has built wine and spirit brands with suppliers from around the world. Andrea is currently a member of the Board of Directors for Drinks Ontario, the provincial trade association representing agents, producers, importers and trade offices, offering a credible voice on trade, regulatory and policy issues.
Melissa Stunden. Melissa comes with experience as a certified sommelier and years of managing regional and national restaurant accounts at a leading wine agency. She started her career in beverage alcohol working at a local winery in Niagara and went on to complete her sommelier education to work at Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, one of Canada’s largest food and beverage outlets. She worked under Master Sommelier Jennifer Huether as the Assistant Sommelier for 7 years before making the move to the distributor side of the business. Melissa was recruited by Diageo as their Reserve Brand Specialist where she focused solely on developing the high end wines and spirits portfolio. From there, she moved to Lifford Wine & Spirits where she focused on the restaurant side of the business developing key relationships across Toronto and subsequently took that experience to a national scale where she built the Lifford business into national restaurant chains. Melissa also served on the Board of Directors for the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers for 8 years and maintains those relationships today.