Posted on March 6, 2015 by Kendra
Did you know there are an estimated 75 operating breweries in Ontario that account for 1000 Ontario jobs? With craft beer sales more than doubling in the past five years, the craft beer industry is rapidly becoming an area where leadership and innovation thrive. In celebration of International Women’s Day and this year’s theme #MakeitHappen, we’re looking at the women who are helping to turn our craft brewery into Canada’s favorite Pilsner.
For co-founder Greg Taylor, the company’s culture is the foundation of the Brewery’s success and therefore, finding the right staff is key:
“Steam Whistle’s hiring process can involve up to five interviews, can include improv games and a meet & greet with future co-workers. A person’s work experience is only half the story. Our employees must embody the essence of a Good Beer Folk: unwavering passion, creativity, teamwork, and good values.”
These criteria have helped build an incredibly talented team of individuals from diverse backgrounds – it’s built our family.”
“Many of our senior positions are held by women and they are essential to our business’s success.”
Included are the stories of some of the women in senior roles, sales roles, and quality assurance who #MakeitHappen for Steam Whistle.
Meet the women behind “Do one thing really… really well”
Sybil Taylor, Communications Director: Working in the beer industry since 1987, Sybil Taylor is a beer marketing veteran. After completing her Honours Bachelor of Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University, Sybil worked at the Upper Canada Brewing Company for nine years holding various roles. As the Vice President of Development and Distribution, she was responsible for activities in Ontario’s LCBO and Beer Stores, as well as export development in the United States and through other provincial Liquor Boards. In 1999, Sybil joined Steam Whistle Brewing as its first employee, filling the Director of Marketing role for the brewery where she launched this iconic brand and helped to shape its unique market position. She later transferred her focus to Communications which brought record media attention to her brand. Sybil helped to form the company’s HR policies and became the steward of Steam Whistle’s environmental initiatives, for which the company has received much public recognition and numerous awards. Sybil is now acting Communications Director and manages the company’s public and internal facing communications. She continues to take pride in the brand she helped create.
Bromlyn Bethune, Director of Sales & Marketing: After studying Marketing & Visual Merchandising at Sheridan College, Bromlyn began her career in the beer industry back in 2001 working for the LCBO’s merchandising department handling stores across the GTA and Southwestern Ontario. After four years with the LCBO and an attempt to get more involved in the world of beer, she accepted an opportunity to work with Steam Whistle Brewing handling retail sales. Bromlyn left in 2009 for a chance to work with national brands at Moosehead Brewery and their sales agency, The Premium Beer Company. Here she filled the role of Sales Development Manager developing sales tools, processes and key accounts opportunities eventually leading to a Sales Management role representing 25 global beer and cider brands. In 2011, she returned to her craft roots at Steam Whistle Brewing as the Trade Marketing Manager and in 2013 was promoted to Director of Sales & Marketing, leading brand development and sales activities of this independent brewer as it grows across Canada.
Nicole George, Creative Manager: As Steam Whistle’s Creative Manager, Nicole is responsible for managing the brand presence and identity of one of Toronto’s most iconic brands. After completing her degree in Graphic Design, Nicole joined the brewery as a Graphic Designer in 2008. Nicole immersed herself in the brand’s retro aesthetic and in 2013, she was promoted to Creative Manager. In her current role, Nicole manages the in-house creative team as they produce and develop all visuals associated with the brand. She also manages relationships with external clients and suppliers. Her keen eye for detail and her light-hearted demeanour and diligence makes her a key asset to the Brewery’s success.
Amy Falkinson, Senior Venue Coordinator: As Senior Venue Coordinator, Amy Falkinson manages over 275 events a year and is the lead in venue sales, client relations and event coordination for all 3rd party event bookings in Steam Whistle Brewing’s party rooms. With a Bachelor of Commerce from Ryerson University, Amy started at Steam Whistle in the Retail and Events department and was promoted to Retail and Events Supervisor where she managed on-site staff during retail shifts and events. In May 2012, she was promoted to Events Coordinator where she began working directly with clients at the venue and in 2014, she was promoted to Senior Venue Coordinator. For Amy, her position at Steam Whistle is like “running her own small business within a business.” Her work ethic, premium customer relations and ability to understand clients’ needs and wants has allowed Falkinson to thrive in this dynamic, fast-paced and client-focused business.
Nancy Goodchild, Office Manager: Nancy Goodchild has been with Steam Whistle since the beginning. In 2000, she was hired on in Production and helped break ground at the historic Roundhouse site. In 2005, she was promoted to Office Manager. Before entering the craft beer industry, Nancy spent over 25 years in hairdressing graduating from the prestigious Vidal Sassoon Academy and working for trend setting salons across the GTA. Outside of daily tasks, Nancy is also the social convener ensuring morale stays buoyant with a lively calendar of social events. She is the proud holder of such titles as Director of First Impressions and Queen Mother III which is stated on her business card.
Kendra Nicholson, Community Manager: Kendra joined the Brewery in 2014 as the Community Manager. Kendra handles the Brewery’s customer service and engagement. She manages all online communications. Including social media activity, blogging and e-news even good old fashioned snail-mail. After completing her diploma in Fashion Design at George Brown College, Kendra began working as a Marketing Coordinator in cosmetics handling copywriting, product training and event planning. In 2012, she decided to parlay her communication skills into Social Media and was hired as the Social Media Manager for a company that owned multiple hotel and resort properties. She has also acted as a consultant for independent businesses in Toronto coaching teams how to use the power of social media to grow their business.
Anabel Fernandez, Quality Assurance Coordinator: Originally from Cuba, where she completed her degree in Chemical Engineering and worked in the rum and soft drinks industry, Anabel Fernandez has been with Steam Whistle for 13 years. As the Quality Assurance Coordinator, Anabel and her colleagues oversee the brewing process from beginning (when raw materials are received) to end (customer experience), to ensure a premium standard in quality is met in all aspects of the brand experience. Anabel began her career at the Brewery through a co-op program for new immigrants. After volunteering for three months, she took a permanent position on the Quality Assurance Team. Steam Whistle invested in Anabel, sending her to the acclaimed Siebel Institute, North America’s prestigious organization specializing in beer education. Anabel is a certified member of the American Society for Quality (ASQ), a certified brewer (paid for by Steam Whistle). In 2009, Anabel completed her Master’s Degree in Environmental Science from Ryerson University. Steam Whistle supported her studies by adjusting Anabel’s role to part-time between her to maternity leaves. Anabel is a member of the environmental committee helping implement sustainable practices.
Trish Yee, Quality Assurance Technician & Sustainability Coordinator: Trish Yee joined Steam Whistle in 2008 as a part of the Retail and Events team. A native of Vancouver, Trish holds a Bachelor of Applied Science from Queen’s University and a Masters of Engineering from the University of Toronto. After working in Retail and Events as a tour guide, bartender, and general Good Beer Folk, Trish joined the Quality Assurance team as the Quality Assurance Technician in 2010 where she continues to support the team in all aspects of quality management. As the Brewery’s Sustainability Coordinator and co-chair of the brewery’s Environmental Committee, Trish has led the way in implementing and maintaining important metrics to measure and benchmark the brewery’s sustainability practices with Steam Whistle’s full support. She and her team continues to guide and improve the environmental stewardship at Steam Whistle. Trish is an invaluable asset and embodies what it means to be a Good Beer Folk.
Tamara Crist, Retail Sales Representative for LCBO and TBS (Southwest Ontario): Tamara, an entrepreneur, built her own business from the ground up, specializing in executive corporate travel. At 50, Tamara decided she was in need for a challenge and applied for a position in Retail Sales at Steam Whistle Brewing. Tamara was competing against three other candidates, all men, all with previous beer-related experience. However, Greg Taylor went with his instincts, and decided to hire someone outside the industry to compliment the team. In May 2009, Tamara joined the brewery as Steam Whistle’s Retail Sales Representative for Southwest Ontario, managing the relationships and sales of over 200 LCBO and Beer stores. Once hired, Tamara took it upon herself, with Steam Whistle’s support and encouragement, to focus on developing her knowledge of beer and helping lead Steam Whistle to the success it now enjoys. Tamara is a driving force in the sales team and leaves a positive impression on everyone she meets.
Shannon McCaffrey, Retail Sales Representative for LCBO and TBS: Shannon has been with Steam Whistle Brewing for six years. Starting at the brewery in the retail store part-time, Shannon was promoted to Supervisor and later moved to the Order Desk. In 2012, after gaining a comprehensive understanding of the inner workings of the brewery, Shannon became a Retail Sales Representative for Steam Whistle. Shannon is now the face of the brewery for over 176 LCBO and Beer Stores where she builds relationships with, educates people about Steam Whistle’s premium Pilsner, secures positioning, and ensures the brewery’s programs are effectively executed within her territory. Shannon has a diploma in Food Nutrition Management, a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and a Post-Graduates Degree in Broadcast Journalism. A proud wife and mother, Shannon continues to be passionate as she spreads the word of the Good Beer Folks and helps drive the success of the Toronto-based brewery.
Stéfanie Théroux, Retail Sales Representative for LCBO and TBS (Eastern Ontario): Originally from Ottawa and with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from York University in Dance, Stéfanie Théroux joined Steam Whistle’s Retail & Events team in 2012. Between 2012 and 2013, Stéfanie held different roles including Events Coordinator and Merchandise Coordinator. In 2013, after a recommendation from senior reps, she applied and was promoted to Retail Sales Representative. Stéfanie currently manages the in-store relationships and sales of 156 LCBO and Beer Stores in Eastern Ontario. Stéfanie can be seen cruising in her Steam Whistle branded mini-cooper as she spreads the Good Beer Folk cheer.
We’re proud to be a brewery that nurtures in house talent, both male and female – but today in honor of National Women’s Day, let’s take a moment to say YOU GO GIRLS to the women behind the beer.