CANVAS Advisory Council
THE ADVISORY COUNCIL IS MADE UP OF TWO REGIONAL COUNCILS, NAPA & SONOMA. There will be a few members of each Regional Council who will be part of the Oversight Advisory Council to help support and nurture the most productive exchange and action between the two regions of Wine Country.
Colby Smith, Co-Founder, Executive Director of CANVAS; Proprietor, Wine Country Access
Having moved to Napa in 2005, Colby's first joy was sharing her new passion for Napa Valley with the Guests at Villagio Inn & Spa. This grew to collaborating with friend and colleague, Monica Stevens to form the Concierge Alliance of Napa Valley in early 2009 and continues to be Colby's primary focus. In addition, Colby operates a private Concierge service, Wine Country Access, arranging personalized, intimate access for her clients to the gems of Wine Country. Prior to moving to Napa Colby founded and directed a web development company strategizing web projects for both corporate and start-up companies integrating web marketing, branding and revenue models. She also founded and directed a Public Relations firm in New York, which represented a range of image conscious clients nationally and internationally, including Gianni Versaci and Revillon Furs, jewelry and cosmetics firms and a variety of top restaurants. Earlier, in Los Angeles, she was active in the film industry for many years as Production Manager and Producer for both feature films and commercials. She's been an actress, model, and even a stunt woman! When she moved to Napa, she found a wonderful little house in the middle of the vineyards and is enjoying the finches, quail and her two Birman cats, Sedona & Merlin. Life is grand.
"Being able to help others with marketing, perspective and expanded relationships is what is most rewarding to me. And doing that in this scenic, agricultural and sophisticated environment is truly an optimal experience."
2012 NAPA ADVISORY COUNCIL MEMBERS
Dave Bryant, Director of Retail Sales & Marketing, John Anthony Vineyards
A native of the Napa Valley, Dave brings extensive luxury sales, marketing, and hospitality experience to the Advisory Council. With a background managing food and beverage operations in high end hotels, Dave knows how to take care of a guest. His enthusiasm for creating memorable experiences and going above and beyond to exceed expectations is the driving force behind his success. Add experience selling some of the most expensive wine in the world, creating micro production brands for discerning clients, and owning a small production label himself, and you have a well rounded industry professional.
While leading a small team at John Anthony Vineyards, Dave is redefining the traditional thought of a tasting room. Located in Downtown Napa’s new West End neighborhood, the John Anthony Tasting Lounge is open daily from 10am to 2am. These extended hours give Dave and his team the opportunity to provide their guests with unique experiences both day and night. From a private tasting or custom vineyard tour during the day to a glass or bottle to relax with at night, you know you’ll be well taken care of.
Richard M. Enos , Compadres Rio Grille. President/CEO
A California native, born and raised in Sacramento, Rick graduated from Santa Clara University with a degree in Finance. Commissioned as an Officer in the US Army, his service included studying at The Defense Language Institute in Monterey, where he met his wife Nancy, two years in Germany, and a tour of Vietnam. Rick returned to Graduate School at Santa Clara following his Honorable Discharge from the Army. It was during this time that he met the founders of the now legendary Victoria Station chain of restaurants and joined their management team to develop restaurants across the country, eventually numbering over 100. Prior to conceiving and developing Compadres, Rick was a consultant in Food & Beverage operations, helping to launch the very successful Cantina in Mill Valley, California. The Compadres developed and successfully operated restaurants in Hawaii and California starting in 1983.
A Napa Valley icon for 20 years in Yountville, California, Rick and his family relocated the Yountville restaurant to Napa in 2007. Situated on The Napa River just North of a rapidly re-developing Downtown Napa, COMPADRES RIO GRILLE continues a legacy of great food in the style of Northern Mexico and The Southwest, award-winning Margaritas, and casual hospitality. Catering and group party sales at this unique facility are now a large part of the Compadres business plan. Rick is an active (but Senior) Guardsmen, he is Chairman Emeritus of The San Francisco Giants Community Fund, and serves the local community by supporting, chairing, and participating in various events and activities. Rick and Nancy, long time residents of San Rafael in Marin County, are parents of three grown children – Jeff, Scott, and Lauren – all of whom are partners in Just One More Restaurant Inc, and they are enjoying an expanding family that includes granddaughters Emma, Ava, and Mila.
Margaret Meraz, Hospitality Director of The Estate & The Room, Flora Springs
It takes a dynamic personality to be the life of the party and somehow still make everyone feel welcome. How does Margaret do it? Let’s just say she loves what she does! It’s been nearly 10 years since the Flora Springs family first caught a glimpse of Margaret’s enthusiasm for the world of wine. Without hesitation the family asked her to oversee the entire guest experience at Flora Springs. Now, Margaret’s warm smile and welcoming personality is something people have come to expect when they visit Flora Springs. Born in the sun of Bakersfield, California, Margaret received her Bachelor of Science in dietetics at San Francisco State University, but it was at Flora Springs that she realized her heart belonged to the Napa Valley. “I swear my first interest in wine was due to the health benefits that we studied about in school!” She says with a laugh, “it took just one glass of Napa Valley Cabernet and I knew this was where I wanted to be.”
In addition to planning our series of unforgettable events, hosting cave tours and summer lunches, Margaret also runs our daily Facebook posts and blog entries. In some circles she is even referred to as the ”queen of social media” and has been asked to share her expertise to those new to the social media scene. Her creativity and energy keeps fans of Flora Springs on the wine pulse. So whether you’re looking for conversation and a glass of wine at The Room, or the 411 on the next party, Margaret has you covered.
Katie Prevost, Marketing Manager for San Francisco Magazine
Katie hails from Boston, Massachusetts, attended The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and moved to San Francisco in the fall of 2007. She immediately fell in love with San Francisco and finds that working for a magazine geared to the curious local is a fabulous way to continue to learn more about the city she loves so much. At San Francisco magazine, Katie holds many jobs including sponsorships coordinator, event planner, marketing guru, manager of circulation and promotions manager. In additional to these, duties being a foodie, literary addict, road running fan, and planning fun weekend excursions throughout the Bay Area keeps her quite busy. During her visits to Napa Valley, Katie finds herself basking in the beauty of the area. Katie also believes that The Wine Country and San Francisco must partner and work together in order to create the best visitor experience possible to Northern California as well as create a bond between the metropolitan city just south and it's fruitful neighbor. She is incredibly excited to be working with CANVAS to bring one-of-a-kind experience and life-long memories to all those who visit.
Tom Wark, Wark Communications
2011 SONOMA COUNCIL MEMBERS
Nancy, originally from the East Coast, has called The Bay Area her home since the '70's having migrated north from SF, to Marin and then finally settling in Sonoma in 1992. Falling in love with MacArthur Place as it was being built turned Nancy's life around as it was then that she decided she wanted to work there. The Hotel will be celebrating its twelfth birthday this fall, and Nancy is proud to be one of only three original employees! The Hotel is a small, 64 room boutique Hotel with lovely gardens, a spa and Saddles Steakhouse just four blocks south of Sonoma's main plaza. Nancy enjoys the small town atmosphere of Sonoma (pop. 9,000) where she is involved in local community activities. Nancy sings with the Sonoma Valley Chorale and is past chairperson of the Greve-in-Chianti Sister Cities Committee. "I thrive on contact with people so I can't think of a better job for me and besides, being a Concierge is such a fun job - we get to make memories for people! When we arfortunate enough to live in such a beautiful place and enjoy the good things in life that are in such great abundance here in Wine Country, how can I not be enthusiastic about wanting to share this with visitors to the area and want to make their experience the best it can be? The way I view those of us in the Hospitality business is this: we are in the "YES" business ~ it's up to us to do whatever we possibly can to insure that they leave here smiling, not only with good memories but with a desire to return!
Ramon Meraz, Concierge, Hyatt Vineyard Creek Hotel & Spa, Santa Rosa
A native of Chihuahua Mexico, Ramon moved to the USA in 1985, where he attended Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa. He has been a Sonoma County Resident since 1992, where he has attended SRJC and graduated from SSU (Mexican-American Studies). Ramon has been concierge at The Hyatt Vineyard Creek since 2006 and has worked at The Sonoma County Hilton, Double Tree and The Sonoma Mission Inn in the 10 years before that. He brings strong language skills to his work speaking Spanish, Italian and some Japanese. Also Ramon has worked seasonally for the last 5 years with the Agricultural Commissioner's Office, walking vineyards, orchards and gardens in an effort to protect Sonoma County against invasive and destructive pests, like the Glassy Winged Sharp Shooter, Ligth Brown Apple Moth and the European Vine Moth. While working both at the Hyatt and the Ag Office at the same time was difficult, Ramon is thankful for the intimate insight that he gained as a result of driving all over the county during the day, while describing it during the night and weekends to the visitors.
Don Rickard, Owner/Operator of Platypus Tours
Don was born & raised in California, growing up for the most part in Modesto. He came to the wine country by way of San Francisco, Rhode Island and Seattle. Formerly a restaurant manager, (Market Restaurant in St. Helena), he founded Platypus Tours in 2004 and is the president of that company. Don lives in Napa with his magnificent wife, Kathy and their three splendid dogs, Gertie, PJ and little Roscoe. He loves folk music and most any type of casserole.
Sally Srok, Vice President, Francis Ford Coppola Winery
Sally Srok enjoyed a long career in Manhattan in both retail management and in the world of fashion on Seventh Avenue. Her work in marketing, communications, sales and event for Go>Silk, Emanuel Ungaro and Carolina Herrera brought her to locations around the country. When she moved to the Bay Area from New York 10 years ago, she continued her career in marketing and sales, working in various fields including design, construction, and non-profit organizations. She also became a writer for parenting magazines and published her first book in 2010. Sally found the perfect match for her background and her passion for wine and hospitality as Vice President of Francis Ford Coppola Winery in Geyserville, where she has worked since 2010.