Who We Are
The Concierge Alliance of Napa Valley and Sonoma, CANVAS, is a dynamic organization comprised of outstanding leaders in the hospitality community. CANVAS Members continually provide guests to Napa and Sonoma with the best possible experiences. We are proud to have such dedicated and loyal individuals participating in the programs facilitated by CANVAS that benefit our Community.
Colby moved to Napa Valley in 2005, where she immediately embraced the hospitality community by becoming a Concierge at Villagio Inn & Spa. It was the perfect environment for her to share her enthusiasm for Wine Country with visitors. After almost four years at the desk, wanting to do more, she and Monica Stevens (who was with the organization for the first year) spawned the idea of creating a support organization for the hospitality community, and the Concierge Alliance of Napa Valley was formed. After a year and a half Colby reached out to incorporate Sonoma, promoting a broader region and pride in the uniqueness of each County. With that the name evolved to CANVAS, Concierge Alliance of Napa Valley and Sonoma. She has grown the organization to over 1,100 members and developed a great number of programs that align, connect and educate the important people who serve our visiting guests.
But, what was she doing before she moved to Napa Valley?
Colby has worked as a business, marketing and communications consultant for over 20 years.
She founded and ran a web development company in 1995 until 2006, where she strategized web projects for both corporate and start-up companies integrating web marketing, branding and revenue models. Because of her prior marketing background her focus was helping her clients use the web to maximize their marketing objectives.
The common theme for her businesses and speaking engagements has be “Relationship Marketing”.
Prior to her involvement in the Internet, Colby owned 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!
Colby has authored a series of audio cassettes on “Managing Change & Transition”, and another called “Divorce-Where Do I Grow From Here”.
When she moved to Napa, she found a wonderful little house in the middle of the vineyards and is enjoying the finches, quail her chickens and her two Birman cats. “Life is grand.”
Colby is on the Board of Directors of the Annual Wine Tourism Conference and The Board of Advisors for the California State Universities Hospitality Management Education Initiative. She has also been a recent Judge with the Great Wine Capitals of the World.
THE ADVISORY COUNCIL IS MADE UP OF TWO REGIONAL COUNCILS, NAPA & SONOMA
In addition to the Council, a few members of each Regional Council make up 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
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. 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, her chickens and her two Birman cats. 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”
NAPA ADVISORY COUNCIL MEMBERS
Kathy Cady, Concierge, San Francisco Marriott
Kathy started her concierge career at Galleria Park Hotel in 1992. She became a member of Les Clefs d’Or member as soon as she was eligible – 1998 and have traveled to several Congresses – including Miami, Santa Fe, Vienna, Lisbon, London, Buenos Aires, Rome, Edinburgh, Dublin, Prague and Salzburg. Attendance at these Congresses has provided her with a network around the world which has proven useful from time to time. Kathy has been a member of the Northern California Concierge Association since 1992 and served as president from 2011- 2012. She joined CANVAS from the time Monica and Colby outlined the program to her and has benefited greatly from having a network in the wine country! She is currently working at the San Francisco Marriott Union Square.
Pamela Grinnewald, Concierge, ANDAZ Napa
Pamela Grinnewald is originally from the East Coast and attended Brigham Young University in Utah before moving on to San Francisco. After traveling extensively all over the world Pamela decided to make Napa Valley her home. She spent many years just hosting family and friends from all over the globe and acting as their private tour guide before launching a career as a Concierge with Meadowood Napa Valley Resort in St. Helena. She joined ANDAZ in 2010 as a Concierge and enjoys working in the heart of downtown Napa. Pamela’s community involvement includes fostering animals, and walking the dogs for the Napa County Animal Shelter. She is a longtime foodie and enjoys sampling all the newest wineries and restaurants in the Valley. Pamela always has a smile and is very enthusiastic when helping her guests have a memorable stay in the Napa Valley.
Jocelyn Hoar, Director of Hospitality, HALL Wines, St. Helena
Jocelyn has been in the winery hospitality industry, working to build some of the biggest names in wines, for the last decade, and previous to that, providing front-of-the-house hospitality in high-end restaurants in the Bay Area. Her understanding of the nuances of the Northern Bay Area coupled with Napa and Sonoma wine regions makes this busy professional a valuable asset to the Advisory Council. An animal advocate, one can usually find Jocelyn providing support for animals in need in our communities.
Harris Oranges, Renteria Family Wines
Harris has a true affinity for local products-locally grown, locally made and locally consumed! A member of the Napa Valley Hospitality community for over 4 years, Harris sees his role on our Advisory Council as an advocate for local specialties and intimate experiences that go deeper (and last longer) than a cursory tour. Even a brief interaction with guests can be meaningful and personalized.
Christopher Parker, Tasting Room and Olive Mill Manager, Round Pond Estate
We’re sorry, we haven’t cornered Chris yet to get his full bio, and he’s a bit camera shy, but please bear with us and we’ll have his info here soon!
At Round Pond, nothing gives them greater pleasure than sharing handcrafted artisan creations and genuine Round Pond hospitality. Located in the spectacular Rutherford region of the Napa Valley, a visit to this family-owned and operated estate is an exquisite opportunity to explore the rich abundance of one of California’s most famed winegrowing areas. From the intimate and acclaimed olive oil tours to some of the best wine tasting in the Napa Valley, a day spent at Round Pond offers a warm, gracious and informative escape from the everyday. We invite you meet our hand-picked hospitality team, led by Chris himself!
Katie Prevost, Marketing Director, San Francisco Magazine
Katie hails from Boston, Massachusetts, attended 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 visitor market is a fabulous way to promote the city she loves so much. At WHERE, Katie holds many jobs including concierge liaison, social media promoter, marketing guru, manager of circulation and event planner. In addition 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. She is incredibly excited to be working with CANVAS to bring one-of-a-kind experiences and life-long memories to all who visit.
Ellen Reich Luchtel, Owner, Fortunati Vineyards, Napa
Ellen Reich Luchtel is owner and vintner, with her husband Gary Luchtel, of Fortunati Vineyards in Napa, where they grow and make stunning wines including Chardonnay, Cabernet, Pinot Noir, Syrah and many others. In addition to our AC, Ellen is an active member of Napa Valley Vintners, Napa Valley Grapegrowers, Napa County Farm Bureau, Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley AVA, the Junior League of San Francisco and Women for Wine Sense. Her efforts on behalf of our community and her many connections enable her to guide CANVAS on many issues.
Don Rickard, Owner/Operator of Platypus Tours, Napa
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.
Lisa Ross, Concierge, Carneros Inn
Lisa came to Napa on a fluke as a teenager on a cross country camping trip with $5.00 to her name. She spent a few nights on a friend’s couch and used her incredible bartending skills she learned while living in NYC to score a job at Franciscan Vineyards. She then spent the next 30 years in wine-schlepping cases at Caymus, polishing glasses at Silver Oak, calling club members at Grgich Hills…and fell in love with the industry. Although when Hurricane Katrina she joined the Red Cross and for a month distributed bottled water, mops, sandwiches, hugs and encouragement just outside the French Quarter, living in a church in La Place, Louisiana with 150 other volunteers.Lisa returned to Napa with renewed vigor and continuse to love Napa Valley every day. It was a natural progression for her to become a Concierge because she loves to show visitors to the Valley all the reasons why she loves it!
Scotti Stark, President, Stark Advantage
Scotti has been in the business of wine for close to two decades, and in the business of people all his life. As Wine Director at Pappas Bros. Steakhouse in Houston, Texas, and in top sales and hospitality positions at Glazer’s distributing, Revana Family Vineyard, Crocker & Starr Wines, and Fisher Vineyards, Scotti has developed close relationships with people throughout the wine industry.
In the fall of 2012, Scotti opened a new business in St. Helena, the Stark Advantage, offering services in direct-to-consumer sales, custom itinerary development, and winery sales consulting.
SONOMA COUNCIL MEMBERS
Nancy Boerum, Concierge, MacArthur Place Inn & Spa, Sonoma
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. 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 being a Concierge is such a fun job – we get to make memories for people! We are fortunate 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?” Her belief is that hospitality is a “YES” business ~ do whatever we possibly can to insure guests leave here smiling, with good memories and a desire to return!
Jennifer Buffo, Pure Luxury Transportation, Inc., Petaluma
Jennifer’s complete dedication to delivering the utmost in each visitor’s experience to Wine Country helped to define their motto– “Committed to Perfection.” With over 20 years of knowledge and service to guests visiting Napa and Sonoma, Jennifer knows the challenges and joys of providing hospitality in our area. She works closely with the CANVAS staff to provide transportation solutions and professional advice regarding growth and development. She’s also currently in the running to become the Leukemia Lymphoma Society “Man/Woman of the Year” for her support and diligence in raising awareness about leukemia & lymphoma.
Sue Burnet, Manager, Vintners Inn
Sue is originally from Connecticut and moved here 16 years ago to work at the Gaige House in Glen Ellen. Six years ago she moved to Vintners Inn as the Front Desk Manager and was promoted to Inn Manager three years ago. Sue has been a member of CANVAS since its second gathering. She is the VP of the Sonoma County Lodging Association and a member of the Russian River Valley Winegrowers “Valley Girls”. She is also an active member of Russian River Wine Roads and very happy to be a member on the Sonoma Advisory Council for CANVAS.
Tina Delaney, Owner, TLCD Concierge, San Francisco
Tina has been providing high-level personalized services and wine tours for over 10 years. With every project, the company reflects the qualities most important to Tina when working with a client: reliability, efficiency, honesty, and professionalism. But it’s also Tina’s warmth and friendliness that makes her a welcome partner, or really more like a good friend who’s helping you out. As a professional concierge, Tina’s contribution to CANVAS is invaluable for her knowledge of the Bay Area and Wine Country.
Stephen Pirak, Consumer Direct Manager, Lasseter Family Winery, Glen Ellen
Stephen has over 15 years of experience working in the wine & hospitality industry. Though his first career was in accounting, it was while working part-time behind the tasting bar at a small winery in Healdsburg that he found his true calling. Stephen enjoys creating memorable experiences for winery guests & sharing the story of Lasseter Family Winery. In his words, “I have the best job at the winery – It’s like I get to throw a party every day for new friends!”. In his free time Stephen enjoys entertaining friends, travel, cooking and exploring all that the Sonoma Valley has to offer.
Courtney Wilson, Wine Club and Hospitality Manager, Patz and Hall
Courtney embodies the spirit of hospitality that we all love and enjoy-warm, friendly and curious about her community and visitors. CANVAS is lucky to have Courtney’s insight and support as we move ahead! More from Courtney will be coming soon!