Check out THE BUZZ about CANVAS…








See what our Members are saying….

“It was a pleasure to work with you to host the CANVAS Connect event at William Hill. We felt the guests were definitely the right target for our property, and all the feedback was very positive. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us again in the future.” ~ Dan Michael, Director, Experience Marketing | E&J Gallo

“Thank you so much for inviting me to take part in the Sonoma Research Day. I’d never been to any of the locations visited and learned about each one. I will put together some details for my team members to share the experience. It was also good to get to know the other members of the group.”~ Mandy Hall, San Francisco Destination

“Thank you for a wonderful  (Hospitality Development Training Workshop) event! Holly was incredible, and it was such a beneficial program. I am very excited to share this with my team. Thank you so much!” ~ Samantha Espland, Public Cruise Sales Manager, Hornblower Cruises

“I just wanted to let you know what a FABULOUS training that was with Holly.  She is awesome.  So enthusiastic and informative and it was as though it was her first time… in all the right ways.  Please let her know that .  I’ve been to lots of training in my 30 years in the professional industry.  She is fresh and relevant.  I LOVED it..” ~ Susan L. Whitcher, Concierge, Andaz Napa

“Thank you for a fabulous day yesterday!  I thoroughly enjoyed the training and found the teachings extremely relevant to my daily job.  I appreciate your enthusiasm for the industry and your work to build a strong community of professionals in the area. I look forward to seeing you again soon at the next event!” ~ Julie Beckerman, Brand Ambassador and Corporate Concierge

“THANK YOU, Colby!! We were honored to be able to host the Inaugural Trade Show! It was an amazing feat of planning and logistics – you, Rita, Meg and your very courageous team are to be congratulated heartily on some very hard work well done!” ~ Aine Tucker, Charles Krug Winery

“My membership with CANVAS is probably the best return I get for the money spent. I would recommend it emphatically for any hospitality-oriented business that recognizes the power of personal connections in this market.” ~ Don Rickard, Platypus Tours Limited

“Last night’s Quick Connect was one of the most rewarding marketing events I ever attended. Thank you so much for all your hard work. Your next two events are already on our calendars. I had a fabulous time.” ~ Cindy Hurley, Napa River Inn

“I am very impressed (and inspired) with what you have created in CANVAS. I am thrilled that I am a member of such a wonderful network of professionals that love wine country. I learned so much on our Research Day tour. I am looking forward to attending as many events as my schedule will allow. I would love to be more involved.” ~ Ivana Kurian, The Destination Center

“Thank you for all you and CANVAS did to make the Alexander Valley Appellation night a success. I enjoy the panel format and messaging, aiding us in informing our guest on how Alexander Valley will exceed their expectations.” ~ Eric Markson, Dry Creek Inn

We love the work you do keeping us all informed!!” ~ Brenna Schlagenhauf, Hog Island Oysters

“CANVAS has been such a big help to us here at One Size Ride. We are staying quite busy and your Research Day opportunity really paid off well! Thanks for everything you do!!” ~ Chad Sylva, One size ride

The Quick Connect was one of the best networking nights I have spent. The one on one time with wineries and hospitality businesses is invaluable. Tonight’s personal time with a winery representative provided so much information, and special particulars about that venue. Tasting their wine, being able to ask questions privately, writing notes to be able to remember the unique features about them… offered pertinent new details for me. Well worth the night…. well-organized event!” ~ Donna Altes, Concierge, Napa Valley Marriott

“A big thank you for featuring the Speed Networking event at the Ehlers Lane Winery. It was fantastic! The guests that attended were all focused on letting others know about their business visions for the coming year, and interested as well in forming new business relations with others. It was truly a win/win event, made even more enjoyable with the wine and taco bars. If you decide to do this again…COUNT ME IN! Thank you. I think CANVAS is the best outreach investment we’ve made all year!!” ~ Jocelyn Hoar, Visitor Center Manager, Treasury Wine Estates

“Thanks again for providing such intimate access to some of the best Napa has to offer!” ~ Juliette Riedl, Las Alccobas Concierge

“We have noticed an increase in business from your work at CANVAS. Concierges are booking the Wine Train’s Vintner Lunch constantly. And I want to THANK YOU for sending out the bulletin each week as one email. Our concierge and people who handle our front lines are absolutely using your email for our Wine Train guests.” ~ Andrea Guzman, Napa Valley Wine Train

“Wow, in one day since the CANVAS blast, we’ve gotten another winery, Stein Family, who make an off dry Gewurtz, and The Hog Island Oyster Company to join our event. Incredibly effective. Thank you so much for the amazing posting! Great Stuff.” ~ Mo (Maureen Donegan)

“Spectacular event last night! Impossible to surpass in each of its elements. You set a standard of planning and performance which all of us can aspire to in our individual jobs whatever they may be.” ~ Bill Boerum, Beau Wine Tours

“…and may I say, what an impressive and beautiful job you are doing with the website!” ~ Paula, As You Like It Wine Country Tours

“I am so impressed with everything you are doing. The Alliance is amazing and people feel very special to be apart of the organization. It is a point of pride. You are changing the way the valley does business. Fantastic, simply fantastic.” ~ Sharon Harris, Rare Cat Wines & Wine Country Villas 

“Thank YOU for the opportunity! Not only did we appreciate the chance to speak with your very polite and interested group, it was fun hearing about what the other speakers specialize in. As one who regularly organizes meetings for groups it was really a pleasure working with you both in advance of the meeting. We may have met our match in terms of organization, planning, etc. – nicely done!” ~ Patsy & Bettina, Napa Valley Vintners

“…truthfully, I’m pretty thrilled with CANVAS!!” ~ Lisa Ross, Carneros Inn

“…thanks for organizing the meeting. I consider it a total success!! Looking forward to October already.” ~ Sarah, Beautiful Places

“It was a great crowd because of their sincere interest in our product and getting to know us to enhance their own business knowledge… Besides promise of visits and referrals, I went away with at least one very specific interest in our catering, which I will follow up on and hopefully book. Thanks for putting us together!” ~ Rick Enos, Compadres Rio Grill

“Thank you for hosting another wonderful day visiting some fantastic gems in the Spring Mountain AVA. I was so thrilled to be a part of it! I will write each person individually, but wanted to say a special thank you to Colby and you for organizing everything! CANVAS has really grown since I joined in 2009…but continues to offer exquisite opportunities to explore and enjoy this heavenly area. Thanks again!” ~ Juliette Riedl, Las Alcobas

“Truly appreciate your having included me on this Research Day Trip. So glad I went. Totally learned some important info, met wonderful people and net work along the way. FYI– I have already marketed Black Cordon to various people and Bounty Hunter. Also referred a driver to Debra of One Size Ride. Again, my sincere thanks. Totally enjoyed the trip and was quite impressed.” ~ Kindly, Lorraine Belo, Concierge, HILTON Financial District

“I attended the CANVAS event yesterday. I have to say going into it, I wasn’t looking forward to sitting in a room for 8hrs on my day off. Holly was hands-down one of the best speakers I have heard. I have heard many motivational speakers, coaches, leaders speak and Holly is in my top 5 for sure now. Her visuals, her stories, her way of saying what we have heard a 100 times in a way that connects, all very amazing. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you very much!.” ~ Jackie Zink, Private Charter Coordinator, Platypus Tours

2011 Review

CANVAS now has three years under its belt!

We’re always looking ahead, but for a moment we’d like to share with you all that we accomplished last year. Of course none of this would be possible or even matter if it weren’t for you, our members. Thank you for all of your support and for your contribution to building such a strong Hospitality Community.

And for those of you who are receiving this who are not CANVAS Members, we look forward to getting to know you better in the coming year.

During 2011…
Our membership grew to over 800 – Hospitality businesses and individuals!

We expanded to two Advisory Councils, one in Napa and one in Sonoma, to guide CANVAS in responding to the needs and collaborations in each of the two Counties. Our Advisory Councils also help us shape the vision and execute the plans, often very hands-on.

Our current advisory Council Members are:


  • Dave Bryant, Director of Hospitality and National Sales, Anomaly Vineyards
  • Kathy Cady, President, San Francisco Concierge Association
  • Cindy Crater, Director of Business Development, NapaStyle
  • Rick Enos, President, Compadres Rio Grille
  • Pamela Grinnewald, Concierge, AVIA
  • Margaret Meraz, Hospitality Director, Flora Springs Winery & Vineyards
  • Katie Prevost, Marketing Manager, San Francisco Magazine
  • Lisa Ross, Concierge, The Carneros Inn
  • Scotti Stark, Fisher Vineyards
  • Erica Valentine, Vice President, Sales & Business Development, WineDirect
  • Tom Wark, Owner, Wark Communications


  • Sondra Bernstein, Proprietor/CEO, Estate Restaurant
  • Nancy Boerum, Concierge, MacArthur Place
  • Sue Burnet, Concierge, Vintners Inn
  • Michelle Hogan, Outreach Consultant, Gary Farrell Vineyards & Winery
  • Ryan Moore,Director of Consumer Sales, Ridge Vineyards
  • Don Rickard, President, Platypus Tours
  • Sally Srok, Vice President, Francis Ford Coppola Winery


  • Colby Smith, Executive Director, Co-Founder
  • Sharon Leighty, Sonoma County Membership Director
  • Antoinette Freeman, Administrative Director, Event Coordinator

We now are alternating and blending Networking and Education events between Napa and Sonoma to great response from our members. So many of you are excited to expand your knowledge base and connections within your own region and reach out beyond in order to even better serve your guests.

Thank you (and CANVAS staff) for arranging the Quick Connect last evening. I’m so glad I had a chance to attend with Giselle. We both felt it was well worth the drive to Sonoma County.” ~ Cynthia Hurley, Hurley’s Restaurant



We conducted 12 Research Days in alternating regions expanding the awareness and relationships of Concierges from Napa, Sonoma and San Francisco with Wineries, Lodgings, Ballooning, Spa-ing and even Zip lining! All to the great excitement and enjoyment of those who attended. And to the benefit of those who participated in showing off their properties and activities.

“Thanks for another lovely Research Day! I wanted to inform you about how Research Day has benefited sponsors. As a result of the Ultra Day in April, we have booked full day bookings with Flex Wine Tours and OneSize Ride, the transportation companies on that day. We have sent multiple guests to Joseph Phelps and Barnett (from different Research Days), and a few to Spring Mountain Winery. Although Pride gained bookings from us too, in fairness it was Pride that recruited us for CANVAS, rather than vice versa.” ~ Randy Warren, 90+ Point Wine Tour

“It was so lovely to have your Research Day group last Wednesday, July 27th and sit at our long Jimtown table together. I’m grateful for the opportunity to share my story and connect in person – hurray for CANVAS! Sharing a leisurely lunch is such a treat & pleasure — thanks for taking the time to explore the Alexander Valley.” ~ Carrie Brown, Jim Town Store

“Thanks for including us in the CANVAS outreach visit. We’ve already received a few emails from the participants thanking us for the time and sharing our wines. We even had a Wine Club sign-up from one of the attendees! Looking forward to building relationships with everyone that joined, helping and us their guests get the most out of their Sonoma County wine experience.” ~ Sarah Kelley, Dutton-Goldfield Winery

We held another CANVAS Gatekeepers of Wine Country panel in Sonoma at the Charles Schultz Museum. The panel of Concierges, Tour Guide, and Destination Management Company representatives gave an updated review of what they are currently experiencing in traffic and interests from guests and included a spirited exchange from the attendees. The panel was followed by social networking in the lovely Schultz garden area for more conversation.

“I had a great time at the Gatekeepers event. So many of my clients and friends are part of CANVAS that is a delight to get out and socialize with them at such wonderful venues and on top of it be informed on new ideas and better education of our local concierge needs. I appreciate you allowing ATLcontributer to the event.” ~ Sylvia Parkinson, General Manager, ATL Events. Inc

“Thank you for putting together the Gatekeepers event. It was a wonderful event that was extremely helpful. Really enjoying our membership.” ~ Nick Benz, Landmark Vineyards

Because of the diverseness in the appellations of Sonoma we initiated an education program—Sonoma County Appellation Series. We held the first two in 2011, the first at Lambert Bridge to showcase the Dry Creek, Appellation and the second, at Lancaster Estate showcasing the Alexander Valley Appellation. The series will be ongoing with five more Appellations scheduled in 2012. This educational event consists of a panel made up of a Vineyard Manager to talk about the local terroir, a winemaker to discuss varietals, a chef, to discuss farm to table, and an expert on the various activities available in the region. And of course, the panel is followed by CANVAS members serving the Appellation’s wines, and great food while socializing.

“I think your Appellation educational series is one of the best ideas I’ve heard of recently. I am fascinated by the requirements of identifying each area and am really looking forward to the series. Thank you for all the great ideas and opportunities you provide your members.” ~ Drinda Petroni, Petroni Vineyards

The CANVAS Connect monthly networking event has resonated very well with members. Focusing on attendance of Hospitality Professionals only (members and non-members) and limiting the size of the event to only 250 to 300 attendees has facilitated much more effective networking.

2011 CANVAS Connect events were held at:

  • Francis Ford Coppola Winery
  • Soda Rock (Launch of their new winery)
  • Benziger Winery
  • Chalk Hill Winery
  • Sonoma Cutrer Winery
  • CornerStone Sonoma
  • Trentadue Winery
  • Gabrielle Collection
  • Reata Winery (Holiday Party)

“All I can say is thank you, thank you and thank you for such an amazing opportunity to showcase our wines, event space, vendors, and network with a wonderful group of attendees. The event was a huge success and I greatly appreciate all you did for us. The Trentadue Family said it was the best event they’ve ever had! You women were lovely to work with and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate all of your support during the planning process. I hope to work with each of you again in the very near future.” ~ Jennifer West, Trentadue Winery

“Chef Chris really enjoyed the event and thought it was an excellent match for our marketing efforts.” ~ Amy Davis Ludwick, Grapevine Catering

We held three Quick Connect events in 2011. They have become so popular they are now an ongoing part of our Networking program occurring every other month. They are a fun and comfortable way for Members to expand their connection base and form even stronger relationships with fellow CANVAS Members to better serve their guests. Our invitations describe the event:

To start our Quick Connect events, we will have ‘Meet & Greet’ hour to enjoy some delicious food and wines while socializing with your fellow CANVAS Members. This will be followed by the ‘Speed Networking’ portion of the evening. You will be seated with another Member for a short meeting. Once you hear the bell after 5 minutes, it is time to move to the next table!

In one hour you will have ten short, 5 minute, individual meetings with other CANVAS Members – Concierges, Tour Guides, Restaurants & Wineries, and more!

2011 Quick Connects were held at:

  • Landmark Winery
  • Flamingo Resort
  • Flora Springs Winery

“The Quick Connect was a great event for real connection, I was able to receive, and hopefully give, encouragement as well as information to everyone I met. The time was valuable, and the information priceless… thank you for all you do.” ~ Cat Olsen, White Pillow Concierge

“Thank you for hosting such a great event! I really see so much value in this Quick Connect event, and look forward to attending it again in the future!” ~ Lily Peterson, Saintsbury

“Quick Connect… GREAT event – great idea! I will definitely plan on being a part of these in 2012. We would love to host one, so please let me know if you have any open dates.” ~ Teresa Morgan, Benziger Family Winery & Imagery Estate Winery

We published 52 Newsletters in 2011. Each Weekly Newsletter was sent to our entire Membership. The Newsletters contain a wealth of information for Members. They have:

  • A message from Colby
  • Quick links to our website
  • CANVAS Announcements
  • Members’ Wine Country Announcements
  • A monthly interview with a CANVAS Members
  • Membership assistance for FAQ’s we receive
  • Our premier Members are featured
  • Upcoming CANVAS events with registration links
  • Listing of Member events occurring in Wine Country for the next two weeks
  • A monthly ‘Specials’ Issue where Members can share their business’ specials available to other CANVAS Members

“I wanted to thank you for your recent newsletter. I was reading the list of new members and notice a name I didn’t recognize. I emailed My Napa Valley, Driver, Chris Pratt, to introduce myself. He called me and we had a great conversation. Now he’s bringing guests to visit us the day after tomorrow. All this in a matter of minutes. Thank you for your continuous hard work and commitment to making the guest experience the best it can be. You’ve given us all tremendous tools with CANVAS.” ~ Candice Pannetier, Chappellet Vineyard & Winery

“Thanks so much for your Member Newsletter CANVAS! You were the first to let me know that one of my favorite musicians, Jim Brickman, is coming to the Napa Valley Opera House! I’ve got my tickets and now I’m just counting down the days!” ~ Lindsay Faith Weinhold, Parallel Wines

CANVAS MEDIA EXPOSURE to Support Our Members
We are very proud of the Feature article written about CANVAS that appeared in North Bay Business Magazine. It appeared in their Harvest Issue giving it a great deal of exposure. The article’s title was ‘WINE COUNTRY WELCOME’ and it was written by Alexandra Russell and printed in the October, 2011 Issue.

7×7 & CANVAS Promotions

  • Seven CANVAS Members received visibility as part of the Food Spotting Contest Gift basket including exposure in 7×7 magazine (viewed by over 50,000 bay area locals) on the 7×7 website (over 10,000 reads on a site that gets over 300,000 unique visits/mo) as well as features in 7×7 newsletters (27,000 subscribers) on and blogs, and Facebook mentions. All and all, exposure to hundreds of thousands of hip and savvy food-loving locals!
  • CANVAS was thrilled to collaborate with 7×7 Magazine on the CANVAS sponsored 7×7 Holiday Wine Buyers Guide in November. We were able to showcase 13 wineries, 7 hotels and 6 restaurants. The response was so positive we ended up with 11 pages in their Holiday issue.

We were very pleased CANVAS created the opportunity for members to participate in the 7X7 2011 Holiday Wine Buyers Guide. Thank you CANVAS for creating platforms that increase visibility for your member businesses both inside and outside wine country.” ~ Ann-Marie Conover, Meadowood Napa Valley

  • CANVAS Members also participated in 7×7’s Napa Pocket Guide benefiting from yet another wonderful arrangement with the publishers.
  • And they just completed the Sonoma Pocket guide for this year 13 of which are members receiving a special CANVAS ad rate.

San Francisco Brides Magazine also invited CANVAS to collaborate on a Wine Country Wedding issue. We had a section where CANVAS Members received discounted advertising rates, and editorial to give readers tips about how to orchestrate a wedding in Wine Country.

“I just met with Korri about advertisement with their Bride magazine today. Great opportunities ahead for editorial and ad placement. Thank you for the connection and preferred pricing through CANVAS, it always helps.” ~ Isabelle Adams, CWP, Soda Rock Winery

KRON TV has invited Colby to appear on Henry Tennenbaum’s program twice to talk about Wine Country, first Holiday activities in Wine Country, and another in February on Romantic Getaways in Wine Country. This looks to be an ongoing opportunity.

Wine Biz Radio has had Colby on their show. And she was on the Sonoma Sun Radio FM 91.3 station with Ken Brown. All sharing information about Wine Country activities.

We conducted a survey about CANVAS managed by an independent agency, Bennett Valley Group, receiving an exceptionally high percentage response. This gave us very helpful feedback on how we can enhance CANVAS services to our members. Thank you to all of you who responded.

The PAS Program was launched in our continuing steps to support Members in gaining a better understanding of their colleagues’ offerings. CANVAS currently has 24 PAS Members – Wineries that “P” – have an average wine price of $65 or greater, “A” – whose Access is by Appointment Only, and “S” – are small production of 7,000 cases per year or less. There is a special web page for these members in addition to their regular profile so when the appropriate guest requests this type of winery they can easily be found. We will be initiating other groups to help you all find what your guests are looking for most easily.

“I really appreciate the work you are doing to create a supportive cohesive group within small lot wineries with the PAS program. I believe the Jarvis event was very successful!” ~ Julie Webster, Crocker & Starr

I just wanted to personally thank you for putting on such a wonderful event for the PAS Program. There was such a great turnout all around and everything was perfect. I look forward to the events in the near future.” ~ Will Agee, Meadowood Napa Valley

What a pleasure it was to attend the event at Jarvis. I think it will be truly invaluable to have such a wonderful networking community, and it felt as though everyone there wanted to learn about and support one another. We at Kamen look forward to all the exciting new opportunities PAS will bring!” ~ Taylor Williams, Kamen Wines

CANVAS was very proud to be invited by the iconic Auction Napa Valley to contribute Concierge Services to the Barrel Auction Day. Twenty CANVAS representatives helped guide attendees to the activities at the CIA, answered questions, and shared history with those curious.

Our social media presence has expanded greatly! Our Facebook page posts great information, and is followed by over 1,000 fans. We post event photos on the page for attendees to view and share. We also post Members’ events, articles, and specials. Our Twitter account is very active, and we get some great mentions.

Colby served on the jury for the “Best of” selection for Napa Valley for Great Wine Capitals International.

CANVAS was represented at Trade Shows and showcases for Vineyard & Winery Management, Hospitality Showcase at Genentech, Spring Mountain Appellation.

We initiated a program of Member Interviews, one per month, viewed on the CANVAS Website and featured in the Weekly Newsletter. Interviewed so far: Michael Mondavi, Michael Mondavi Family Estate; Ryan MacDonnell, Round Pond Winery; Jim Treadway, Bardessono; Jennifer Buffo, Pure Luxury Transportation

AND… we continued working on our barrels of CANVAS Wine. It is a fun, experiential learning experience for our members. Participating in crush in 2010, then some punch downs in 2011, and soon tasting then bottling!! We’ll have just 30 cases of wine to share (not sell).

Fostered continuing and new strategic working alliances with:

  • Napa Valley Vintners
  • Napa Valley Destination Council
  • Napa Valley Film Festival
  • St. Helena Chamber/Visitors Bureau
  • Napa Chamber of Commerce
  • San Francisco Concierge Association
  • Sonoma County Visitors Bureau
  • Sonoma Valley Tourism Bureau
  • Russian River Valley Winegrowers
  • Heart of Sonoma Valley
  • Les Concierge, San Francisco (and beyond)
  • WHERE Publishing
  • 7×7 SF Magazine
  • San Francisco Magazine
  • San Francisco Bride Magazine
  • North Bay Biz Magazine
  • Marin Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Wine

Conducted outreach in support of some of our favorite Not For Profit and other organizations:

  • Napa Valley Arts Council
  • Festival del Solé
  • di Rosa Art Preserve
  • Napa Valley Opera House
  • Napa Valley Land Trust
  • Vine Trail
  • North American Wine Tourism Conference
  • Wine Women and Shoes

Entering our fourth year CANVAS will be expanding the types of programs we will be offering. More opportunities for connecting with targeted outreach, and more education programs are on the horizon.

  • We will continue and expand our 2011 successful programs.
  • The Sonoma Appellation Series is continuing.
  • We are initiating a Wine Country Professional Development series, co-authored by Holly Stiel. Professionals know that ongoing education supports their expertise.
  • Our Concierge programs are receiving great interest.
  • As well as more comprehensive Lodging programs for all Customer Service staff.
  • And July 17th will be the first CANVAS Wine Country Hospitality Trade Show!
  • We will be updating our Website presentation, expanding resource information, and expanding collaborative content.
  • We will continue to expand visibility for our Members. We always have our eyes open for opportunities for you.

It is very exciting to continue to grow CANVAS! I have no doubt that we will cross the 1,000 mark in Membership in 2012. This will inspire us to invent new programs to insure that our members will be well served. CANVAS’ offerings will continue to be the result of YOUR suggestions and what we seek out to support the Hospitality Community.

Don’t ever forget that you, the Hospitality Community in Wine Country, are influencers. You have a powerful affect on the experience of those who visit this extraordinary destination. And you can take pride in the fact that you have a great impact on our local economy. I congratulate you all, and am grateful for the opportunity to serve you.
Let’s see what we can co-create in 2012!

Warm regards,

Colby Smith
Executive Director, Founder

“Thank you for all the wonderful events you produce to educate, entertain and unite the Hospitality industry in Napa, Sonoma, SF and the Bay Area. We love all that membership brings us and are thrilled to be a part of such a dynamic organization.” ~ Pamela Grinnewald, Juliette Christensen, Shawn Diller, AVIA Hotel

“Congrats on the tremendous success you are having. We are all benefiting from it.” ~ Sarah Buxton, St Helena Winery

“I do want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of the great work you do with CANVAS. It is SO valuable AND so appreciated.” ~ Tina Delaney, TLCD Concierge, Inc. San Francisco

“You’ve done an outstanding job in creating a networking/socializing venue to help broaden our knowledge to benefit our guests. Thank you.” ~ Sue Burnett, Vintners Inn Manager

To me, the true value of my CANVAS membership lies in the personal relationships I am able to make and nurture with the help of this (awesome) organization. These relationships are the lifeblood of my company, from both the “acquiring new clients” standpoint and the “providing more compelling experiences for our guests” standpoint.
And it’s very time-efficient for me to interact with these contacts at the CANVAS events. To get in front of all these people without these events would require many hours of calling to make appointments and driving all over two counties, plus San Francisco to meet with them. At a CANVAS event, I can have 3-5 minute conversations with a myriad of potentially valuable contacts and then follow up later with just those are the most compelling for my business.
It’s hard to over-state the value of the time this saves me. My membership with CANVAS is probably the best return I get for the money spent. I would recommend it emphatically for any hospitality-oriented business that recognizes the power of personal connections in this market. ~ Don Rickard, Platypus Tours Limited


It is my honor to share with you CANVAS’ second year!

We had amazing activities and certainly wonderful growth. All of this, of course, is because of YOU, our wonderful Members, and the way you have embraced being a part of the CANVAS Hospitality Community, and contributed to many of the opportunities offered this year.


And to those of you who are receiving this that are not CANVAS Members, we look forward to getting to know you better!

During 2010…

  • Our membership grew to over 500 – hospitality businesses and individuals.
  • We inaugurated our first annual Advisory Council. They helped us shape the year and were hands on in creating our educational events, Research Days, and made other valuable contributions. We are so very grateful for all of their time, wisdom and assistance.

Thank you to:

  • Monica Stevens, Advisory Council President, 750 Wines
  • Tom Buck, Beau Wine Tours;
  • Elan Fayard, Direct to Consumer Sales and Marketing Consultant;
  • Andrea Guzman, Promotion & Partnership Manager, Napa Valley Wine Train;
  • Bryan Hair, Manager, Travel & Private Membership, LesConcierges San Francisco;
  • Ryan Hill, Proprietor, Hill Family Estate;
  • Jocelyn Hoar, Visitor Center Manager, Robert Mondavi;
  • Bob Hurley, Chef Owner, Hurley’s Restaurant;
  • Said Jarrar, Owner/Operator Jarrar Tours;
  • Holly Krassner, Marketing & Communications Consultant;
  • Ryan Moore, Director, Direct-to-Consumer Sales, Ridge Vineyards
  • Maria Newman, Tasting Room Manager, Ehlers Estate;
  • Nick Perata, Owner/Operator, Perata Luxury Car Service;
  • Katie Prevost, Marketing, Events, Circulation and Social Media Coordinator for WHERE Magazine;
  • Lisa Ross, Concierge, Carneros Inn;
  • Scotti Stark, Hospitality Director, Fisher Vineyards;
  • Wendi Webster, Brand Manager, Rudd Group
  • Jason Ivan Wright, Concierge, Solage Calistoga;

We became CANVAS. Toward the later part of the year we initiated our expansion into Sonoma to great receptivity. We are excited to be bridging the two Regions as we all are one Wine Country. And with all the new programs we’ll certainly have a lot to report for 2011 covering both Valleys!!

We continued, as well as initiated, some wonderful educational experiences: As you know, education is a very important part of who we are. Here are some highlights.

Research Days – We conducted 17 intimate Research Days introducing Concierges from Napa, San Francisco and Sonoma to wineries, restaurants and lodgings in both Napa Valley and Sonoma County so they have personal experience in getting to know the venues and the folks they can interact with on behalf of their guests.

San Francisco VIP Tour collaborating with SFCA. Three top SF concierges led guided tours to different neighborhoods and it culminated in the View Lounge at the top of the San Francisco Marriott Marquis where San Francisco Concierges hosted Wine Country Concierges and other members with hors d’oeuvres and wine while watching the sunset over the San Francisco skyline. The exchange enhanced relationships and information for CANVAS Concierges to serve their guests who ask for guidance in San Francisco.

Held CANVAS Gatekeepers of Wine Country – a panel of CANVAS Concierges and Tour Guides from Napa, Sonoma, and San Francisco, and moderator Alf Nucifora of the Luxury Marketing Council presenting their observations of trends seen behind the desk and behind the wheel, then a stimulating open discussion with many questions from the audience. We thank the Napa Valley Opera House for hosting the event and our CANVAS members for providing wine and food.

Launched a new CANVAS activity – Speed Networking, held at Ehlers Winery to great success and enthusiasm. You’ll see more of these.

Hosted a Panel discussion on Sustainable, Organic and Bio-Dynamic Farming for Concierges and Tour Guides hosted at Robert Mondavi Winery that was a BIG hit! A panel forum made up of very knowledgeable and entertaining Vineyard experts from our member wineries Katey Taylor, Viticulturist, Robert Mondavi; Dave Box, Vineyard manager,Grgich Hills; Sean Sullivan, Owner, Sullivan Winery; Jeff Hill Vineyard Management Company for Sullivan Vineyards, Charly dePottere, Enologist, Alpha Omega.

Conducted three Riedel Workshops, two in Napa Valley at Silver Oak and 750 Wines, and one for our Concierges in San Francisco at the Press Club.

Initiated a Wine-Making Program as education for all members who would like to learn about wine by participating in the wine-making process. We greatly appreciate the 1 ton of Zinfandel grapes donated by the Mendocino Grape Growers, and the American Oak Barrel donated by Premier Wine Cask. More about this as it develops/ferments in 2011!!

Sponsored two Social Media Workshops at the Cameo Cinema on Direct to Consumer Marketing

Held two CANVAS Website Tutorials at the Cameo Cinema to enhance Concierge, and other members’ use of the website tools

**Many of these events were held with the support of our extraordinary Sponsor, Wine Country Party and Events. We thank Marshall Bauer and his team for contributing to the quality of what CANVAS is able to produce and look forward to the expansion in 2011.

We also held a variety of Networking Events!!!

Launched the POKEN (digital business card) through the generous sponsorship of John Anthony Vineyards and hosted launch event at his tasting room.

Co-Sponsored 12 CHEERS To Taste Events with attendance between 500 – 700 held at outstanding CANVAS Member properties:

  • Rubicon
  • Maisonry/I. Wolk
  • Kuleto
  • Flora Springs
  • William Hill
  • Bourassa Vineyards
  • Rutherford Hill Winery
  • Jarvis Winery
  • Calistoga Inn
  • Round Pond Estate
  • The Uptown Theater
  • Franciscan Estate

**We have been collaborating with Todd White of CHEERS St. Helena and his team on these events for two years now. We are grateful for this successful outreach on behalf of our CANVAS Members. 

And… of course, the CANVAS Holiday Party “Giving back to the Community” was hosted at the beautiful Artesa Winery, with party design by David Aten, and rentals from our sponsor, Wine Country Party and Events, who created a Winter Wonderland. And tree donations by Steve’s trees, enabled purchased tree contributions to support Community Action of Napa Valley.

Fostered continuing and new strategic working alliances….

  • Napa Valley Vintners
  • Napa Valley Destination Council
  • San Francisco Concierge Association
  • Les Concierge, San Francisco (and beyond)
  • WHERE Publishing
  • Ritz Carlton Residences San Francisco
  • 7×7 SF Magazine to bring awareness of our CANVAS Members to the 30 something wine and food “explorers”

Conducted outreach in support of some of our favorite Not For Profit organizations:

  • Arts Council- Open Studio
  • Festival del Sole
  • Di Rosa Preserve
  • Napa Valley Opera House
  • Lincoln Theater
  • Napa Land Trust
  • Vine Trail
  • Community Action Napa Valley
  • Napa Valley Film Festival
  • Contributed to panel for the Green Summit

Had some very fun “hosted events” on behalf of our members….

  • 5 Invitation Dinners for John Anthony
  • An Invitation Lunch for Maritas Vineyard
  • Winery Invitation Dinner for Realm Cellars
  • Shopping & Ice Skating Evening at the V Marketplace which contributed to a festive celebration of the holidays!!!
  • A series of intimate Concierges Dinners (6 people at a time) for Hurleys with Chef Hurley
  • Flora Springs Lunch on the Zinfandel Lane Winery Patio
  • Walk Around and Samplings with the Oxbow Market Members with a group of San Francisco Concierges
  • Pink Party on the Hotel Luca Patio to show off Winery Members’ Rose’s in the Summertime
  • Cocktail Evening at Lookout Ridge with owner, Gordon Holmes
  • Small Cocktail Party at the Robert Craig Winery Ranch Property
  • Invitation Lunch at Chalk Hill overlooking the Horse Exhibition Ring
  • Concert from Festival del Sole at Lincoln Theater for group of Research Day Concierge Attendees
  • Two Concierge Lunches for Morimoto’s Opening!

We are always expanding our Digital Outreach

We placed additional resources on the CANVAS Website including “Specials” provided by Members for All Members or Concierge & Tour Guides to view; Weekend Appointment Availability; Collaborative Content with Wine Country Weekend; 52 Weekly Updates to keep Members informed for the benefit of your guests; Posted Open/Closed Information for Wineries and Restaurants during Holidays; and Current Event Calendar with Member Events highlighted in Weekly E-Blast…and more!!!


We have so many exciting new programs and opportunities! We can hardly wait to present them all to you!!

In January we launched CANVAS Connect in Sonoma County to a warm welcome from over 300 Hospitality Professionals from Sonoma, Napa and San Francisco who enjoyed networking and exploring at the Francis Ford Coppola Winery.

We will Continue and expand our 2010 successful programs.

We’ll be launching some extraordinary new Educational Workshops and Educational Series!

There will be initiation of more new strategic relationships to support the Hospitality Community.

Expansion of members in Napa Valley, Sonoma County & San Francisco will continue.

We’ll be initiating more Community Contribution Activities, such as CANVAS Members serving as Docent Volunteers for the Barrel Auction of Auction Napa Valley.

We will be updating our Website presentation, expanding resource information, and expanding collaborative content.

We now have two Advisory Councils for 2011, Napa Valley and Sonoma County, to help us carefully address the specific needs of each region, and to assure that CANVAS is an organization shaped by it’s Hospitality Community.

It is my honor to introduce and thank them.

Tom Wark, Tom Wark Communications, who assists with overall communications both regions
Scotti Stark, Fisher Vineyards, who serves on both Councils as our liaison between our two regions

In Napa:

  • Rick Enos, Compadres Rio Grill
  • Holly Krassner, Connecting the Dots
  • Margaret Meraz, Flora Springs Winery
  • Katie Prevost, San Francsico Magazine
  • David Bryant, John Anthony Vineyards

In Sonoma:

  • Nancy Boerum, MacArthur Place
  • Ramon Meraz, Hyatt Vineyard Creek Hotel & Spa
  • Ryan Moore, Ridge Vineyards
  • Don Rickard, Platypus Tours
  • Sally Srok, Francis Ford Coppola Winery

As co-founders, Monica Stevens and I are first of all grateful, and secondly proud of what has grown into a strong support system for our Hospitality Community. We continue to consult each other on important CANVAS objectives and goals, and know that we all are becoming ever better Ambassadors, contributing to fortifying the economy of Wine Country.

We’re looking forward to spending “value” time with you in 2011!

Warmest regards,

Colby Smith
Executive Director & Co-Founder

In celebration and in summary of our first 12 months!

We want to thank all of you, our members, for allowing CANVAS to support your businesses… And for the enthusiasm and participation shown by you that lends value to everything we do!

A recap of our first 12 months…


Over 365 members including wineries, supporting hospitality businesses, Concierges and Tour Guides (over 200!) from Napa to Sonoma to San Francisco, and 25 National members all the way to the East Coast joined CANV.

“Thank you. I think CANV is the best outreach investment we’ve made all year!!” ~ Jocelyn Hoar, Visitor Center Manager, Robert Mondavi Winery

Educational Meetings (6 to date) including:

    • Vetting Your Guest. Our first meeting was at Hourglass! Jeff Smith’s amazing property and U-shaped cave. Meet & greet hors d’oeuvres were hosted by Calistoga Ranch. A panel of Winery Tasting Room Managers discussing with the Concierges and Tour Guides how we can be more effective working together. A wonderful exchange and we were off and running!
    • Between Sips. A group gathered first in the Cassali of Crocker & Starr for wine tasting and food prepared by Press Restaurant. Then a short walk to the Walnut grove for presentations by hospitality businesses that were non wine related, from Balloon Co. to Painting in the Vineyard, and much more.“Thank YOU for the opportunity! Not only did we appreciate the chance to speak with your very polite and interested group, it was fun hearing about what the other speakers specialize in. As one who regularly organizes meetings for groups it was really a pleasure working with you both in advance of the meeting. We may have met our match in terms of organization, planning, etc. – nicely done!” ~ Patsy & Bettina, Napa Valley Vintners
    • Arts in the Valley. Hosted 200 people at Lincoln Theater for meet & greet, live music, Key Note speakers about the arts in the valley musical and visual. Then social networking with 12 CANV wineries pouring and 10 restaurants/food vendors serving. 25 Concierges in from San Francisco.“It was a great crowd because of their sincere interest in our product and getting to know us to enhance their own business knowledge… Besides promise of visits and referrals, I went away with at least one very specific interest in our catering, which I will follow up on and hopefully book. Thanks for putting us together!” ~ Rick Enos, Compadres Rio Grill“Great job on a fabulous event. My team was thrilled! My thanks go out to both of you for arranging transportation to ensure as many of us could go as possible.” ~ Bryan Hair, LesConcierges San Francisco.
    • Giving Back. Holiday Party at Solage. Supporting Local Charities in Napa Valley, We Care and Community Action of Napa Valley“Thank you again for hosting such a well-organized, informative and fun event! It felt great to be a part of such a vibrant group. Looking forward to the next big event!” ~ Juliette Riedl, Avia, Napa
    • Farming Practices. Panel educated on Sustainable, Organic, Biodynamic farming
  • Speed Networking. Valuable networking event wherein guests had a 5 min. exchange 10 new potential referral sources in one hour!!! To be repeated by popular request.”A big thank you for featuring the Speed Networking event at the Ehlers Lane Winery. It was fantastic! The guests that attended were all focused on letting others know about their business visions for the coming year, and interested as well in forming new business relations with others. It was truly a win win event, made even more enjoyable with the wine and taco bars. If you decide to do this again…COUNT ME IN!” ~ Antone Fahden, Hans Fahden Vineyards

Research Days
Valuable opportunities for concierges and tour guides to experience fellow CANV member wineries, restaurants, etc. during the “slower” seasons in the valley

Over 50 wineries, restaurants and other facilities visited. Over 70 concierges, including San Francisco (hotel, corporate, & residential) visited CANV Member properties throughout Napa Valley. 5/5/09, 8/10/09, 11/9/09, 11/16/09, 12/16/09, 3/31/10, 4/2/10, 5/1/10, 5/10/10, 2 more scheduled this June before high season completely consumes us all.

“I can’t thank you enough for including me in the “research” day yesterday……..what a blast! I have to commend you on your choices of wineries, lunch and dinner establishments. It was an excellent variance of what Napa Valley has to offer.” ~ Sharon Smith, Concierge, Millennium Tower, SF

“I want to thank you so much for the opportunity yesterday with the concierges. Everyone was so happy and informed about Napa in a way they couldn’t have learned on their own. I learned so much and I had a marvelous time. I do realize your activities are important to my growth in this business.” ~ Denise Parla, Premiere Sedan and Limousine Service

11 events with between 150 to 300 attendees. CANV has partnered with Cheers to Taste at the request of Todd White, Founder Cheers St Helena & Cheers to Taste

  • Paraduxx
  • Frog’s Leap
  • Whitehall Lane
  • Conn Creek
  • Maisonry
  • Terra Valentine
  • Rubicon
  • I Wolk/Ma(i)sonry Galleries
  • Kuleto Estate
  • Flora Springs
  • William Hill
  • Community Hospitality Calendar and Activities

For the first time in Napa Valley history(!), CANV now provides outreach to the hospitality community by gathering information and creating calendars showcasing activities of wineries/restaurant/businesses, etc., plus open/closed for the major holidays, restaurant intel and more!

Member News! – Weekly broadcast of CANV member events and announcements for the coming two week period

CANV gets hip with Social Media and Photography

  • Facebook – with help from Andrew Healy, Three Rock Wines. Highlights Members to each other and the public
  • Photography – with help from Greg Wright, Greg Wright Photography

Strategic working alliances formed with

  • Napa Valley Vintners
  • Napa Valley Destination Council
  • WHERE Publishing
  • Riedel Crystal USA
  • Ritz Carlton Residences San Francisco

Assisted CANV members with Special Strategic Outreach Events/Activities to build and strengthen relationships with fellow CANV Members

  • Ma(i)sonry

“Thank you Monica and Colby for a great event. We had a very nice response and it wasn’t a surprise to see such a great turnout with you two behind it.” ~ Michael Earls, Ma(i)sonry

  • Hurley’s

“We had such a great time with everyone. Really nice people and a great way to introduce ourselves or reconnect with others. Thanks so much!” ~ Bob Hurley, Hurley’s Restaurant

“The dinner at Hurley’s was great!!!!! They are definitely on my radar for recommendations to guests.” ~ Linda Tiefendal, The Lodge at Sonoma

  • Chase Cellars – July Fest
  • Flora Springs
  • Realm Cellars
  • Riedel Crystal USA
  • John Anthony Winery
  • Hans Fahden Winery
  • La Residence

Not For Profit Support of:

  • Arts Council- Open Studio
  • Wine Women and Shoes
  • Festival del Sole
  • Di Rosa Preserve
  • NV Opera House
  • Napa Land Trust
  • Vine Trail
  • We Care
  • Community Action Napa Valley
  • Lincoln Theater

Dynamic CANV Website

“The Last Minute Appointment Availability on your website is AWESOME!” ~ Elsbeth Sarao, Gamble Family Vineyards

Introduction of Leading Edge Networking Tools

Poken – digital business card!

“It was a great night last night and fun with the “Pokens“~ Susan Kleist, Napa Valley Balloons, Inc.

Formation of a 19 Member Advisory Council to better assist CANV, as a leader in the community, with its Missions & Goals. Refinement of Founders’ roles to strengthen the CANV structure.

“The Alliance is amazing and people feel very special to be apart of the organization. It is a point of pride. You are changing the way the valley does business. Fantastic, simply fantastic.” ~ Sharon Harris, Wine Villas & Amici Cellars

“…truthfully, I’m pretty thrilled with CANV!!” ~ Lisa Ross, Carneros Inn


Looking ahead to the Future – next 12 months

Continuation and expansion of these successful programs

Expansion of relationships and a mutually supportive Hospitality Community

Creation & Development of the Sonoma County Alliance

Workshops, including Social Media, marketing, etc.

It’s been a terrific 12 months! We thank you for your support and participation… and invite your communication should CANVAS be able to assist you in your business efforts!” ~ Colby Smith, Director & Co-Founder, Concierge Alliance of Napa Valley

With support of the Advisory Council of CANVAS

  • Monica Stevens, Advisory Council President & Co-Founder
  • Tom Buck
  • Elan Fayard
  • Andrea Guzman
  • Bryan Hair
  • Ryan Hill
  • Jocelyn Hoar
  • Bob Hurley
  • Said Jarrar
  • Holly Krassner
  • Ramon Meraz
  • Ryan Moore
  • Maria Newman
  • Nick Perata
  • Katie Prevost
  • Lisa Ross
  • Scotti Stark
  • Wendi Webster
  • Jason Ivan Wright