About us

Our History
Imagine stepping into your local liquor store to pick up a bottle of wine, only to find that a mere three options were available on the shelves — generic French red, random Spanish white and a rosé of unknown origin (perhaps from Bordeaux?). In 1973, the founders of Opimian didn’t have to imagine. This was the reality of the wine selection in Canada.
Our British-born founders took a close look at the wines offered at the liquor boards and compared it to what they, as well-travelled wine lovers, knew was available worldwide. They noticed a large gap there, one that needed to be filled; and that’s exactly what they pledged to do. Ever since that day, we have been living by this commitment.
We work directly with some of the best winemakers in the world to find compelling wines we want to share. These wines are tasted and handpicked by our Master of Wine Jane Masters and curated to your taste; thus ensuring that every Opimian member, no matter where they are in their wine journey, will discover wines perfectly suited to their interests.
Sharing is caring, as we all know. We care for our members just like we care for family — with an extra glass always on hand. That’s why we strive to make things as simple and seamless for them. Our community of wine lovers has strong ties that stretch across the country, from coast to coast to coast. And what we share among ourselves goes beyond wine: it’s the product of a deep passion and long-lasting relationships with winemakers all over the world. 


Management Team

Guy Parent, CPA, CGA
General Manager
Guy brings a wealth of executive experience in business and the not-for- profit sector. In the past 15 years he has held executive positions with professional associations as varied as those representing university alumni, engineers, and insurance brokers.

Guy served as General Manager of Regroupement des cabinets de courtage d’assurance du Quebec (RCCAQ), the professional association of insurance brokers and brokerage firms that seeks to promote and defend the socio-economic interests of its members. As General Manager, Guy supported the RCCAQ’s strategic planning and managed all operations including the organization’s outreach efforts. Guy’s business experience includes being Vice-President, finance and administration for LCC Vins & Spiritueux, the fifth largest wine and spirits agency in Quebec, where he established a human resources management framework and restructured all accounting activities. 

In his thirty-year career, Guy has gained vast experience in business strategy, accounting, human resources, marketing, communications and member/customer and government relations.  
Guy is a member of the Order of CPA – Quebec and CPA – Canada. He is a Board member and Treasurer of CPPAD, a coalition that seeks to promote the insurance professions. He is also a Board member and finance committee chair of On the Tip of the Toes Foundation, a foundation that seeks to help young people living with cancer.

Anna Tarzia Zappia
Wine Sourcing & Logistics Manager
Since 1979 Anna has been a staple of the Opimian management team. She understands the need for a respectful and personal relationship with those who craft the beverage of the gods that is so dear to us. Opimian’s continued growth and selection of future wine producers will rely heavily on her intimate understanding of the wine industry ecosystem and her broad knowledge of wine as such.

Governance - Board of Directors

Opimian is governed by a Board of Directors representing different parts of the country as well as a president, vice-president and treasurer. They dispatch stewardship responsibility according to the governance documents, available below. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to communicate with head office.

Ontario, Lois-Anne Brebner
President & Chair

Lois-Anne Brebner and her husband, Lee, are past Area Representatives for Halton/Niagara. A Director since 2009, Lois-Anne is President of Opimian and a former Trustee of The Opimian Vineyard Trust. Lois-Anne spent over 20 years in senior management positions in the telecommunications industry.  Upon retirement from her position as Assistant Vice-President, Government Relations, Bell Canada, Lois-Anne launched a successful management consulting business specializing in government relations, marketing communications, and strategic planning. She has extensive experience on not-for-profit boards, including: appointed by the Minister of Education to the Ontario Parents’ Council; Director of the Agricultural Leadership Trust of the University of Guelph/OMAFRA; Chair of the Eastern Ontario Selection Committee, Advanced Agricultural Leadership Program; Director of  RBC Festival of Classics; Director of Public Affairs Association of Canada.  Lois-Anne has completed the requirements for the Advanced Certificate in Board Governance from the OHA Governance Centre of Excellence as well as the Leadership Certificate for Hospital Board Chairs. Lois-Anne is a past Chair of the Carleton Place and District Memorial Hospital.


Alberta, Paul Reimer
Vice-President & Director

Paul Reimer is the retired Senior Vice-President Marketing Transportation & Power at Cenovus Energy Inc. His career in the oil and gas industry spanned over 35 years, primarily in the marketing and midstream areas. He has held board positions for numerous Canadian and International companies and partnerships. Paul holds a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from University of Waterloo and a Master of Business Administration from University of Calgary. He is a member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta. Paul has been a member of Opimian since 2004 and currently chairs the Governance Committee and Nominations Committee.


Ontario, Barry Wilson
Treasurer & Director

Barry Wilson is a Chartered Professional Accountant and Chartered Accountant with almost 30 years of senior finance and operations experience in both the private sector and the not-for-profit sector. He is an alumnus of Coopers & Lybrand Chartered Accountants (now PricewaterhouseCoopers) where he practiced insolvency in his final five years with the firm. Barry has extensive experience in the areas of corporate governance, finance and treasury, risk management and business operations. He has held Chief Financial Officer and Vice President, Finance and Administration positions in various private sector companies in the technology, printing, media and industrial sectors, as well as in not-for-profit sector companies, both government-funded and non-government funded. As a consultant, Barry has also assisted start-up companies to get off the ground by putting in place solid systems of financial control and key financial performance reporting. His experience with building budget and forecasting models, and raising both debt and equity financing, helped them to grow sales to eventually become acquisition targets. Barry has been a member of Opimian since 2008.


Atlantic, Terrence Hutchinson
Secretary & Director

Terrence Hutchinson, Q.C. is a native of Saint John, New Brunswick and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree (Economics) from Carleton University and a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of New Brunswick. Terry was called to the New Brunswick Bar in 1978 and received his Queen’s Counsel designation in December 2000. Terry’s 25-year practice of law has primarily focused on corporate and commercial law, representing local, provincial, national and international clients in matters including among others, financings, mergers and acquisitions, private equity financing, start-ups, reorganizations, regulatory matters, succession planning, and general legal advice to SME owners and management. Terry frequently advises businesses with respect to governance and board of director issues. Terry is actively involved in community, national and international associations and serves as a Director of Destination Marketing Organization (Saint John Tourism), Director and Vice-President, Turnbull Nursing Home, Director and Past President, Fernhill Cemetery Company.



Gerry Armsrtong
British Columbia

Gerry originally joined Opimian in the late 1970’s in Saskatchewan and renewed his membership after his return to British Columbia.   He is now retired from the public service of British Columbia having held a number of Deputy Minister appointments in that province,  including Community, Aboriginal and Women’s Services, Advanced Education, Finance, Forests and Environment.  He served in a variety of capacities with crown corporations, independent commissions and on corporate boards in both British Columbia and Saskatchewan.  Gerry completed an Honours Economics degree at the University of British Columbia and received his Master’s Degree in Economics from Northwestern University. He is a recent past chair of the Advisory Board to the School of Public Administration at the University of Victoria, a current member of the Advisory Board to the University’s Faculty of Human and Social Development and a Life Member of the Union of British Columbia Municipalities.  Gerry, who grew up in the mountain communities of Revelstoke and Rossland remains an avid skier and hiker.

William Podolsky
Manitoba / Saskatchewan

Bill Podolsky earned a BComm in 1966 and MBA in 1970. Bill has over 23 years experience in Executive Management as Assistant Deputy Minister and Executive Director two large government departments – Natural Resources and Conservation where his responsibilities included human resources, IT, Finance and Operational Support. Bill is currently occupied as a business consultant focussing on planning and operational issues. Bill has been an Opimian member for over 25 years. As well, he has participated in (and won) several Provincial wine tasting contests. Bill has served as a member of the National Board of Directors of the Kidney Foundation of Canada (executive board for three years) and served as President of the Manitoba Board, was a Director of the Tire Stewardship Board of Manitoba, Director and President of the Winnipeg Squash Racquet Club.

Neil McClughan

Neil and his wife, Ellen, joined Opimian in 1995 and were immediately hooked with Opimian, attending events and ordering wines, eventually becoming Area Representatives for 5 years and establishing renewed interest in local events and growth in membership. Neil is currently President and CEO of a small network technology company connecting research and education institutions to Canada’s national research and education network and is also a partner in a management consulting company. Recognized for delivering results and in creating high performing teams, Neil has extensive senior management and leadership experience encompassing business alignment, organizational effectiveness, business transformation, innovation, customer focus, stakeholder engagement, and partnerships. His experience is garnered from his current role as CEO and over 5 years in the management consulting industry as well as 31 years in the telecom industry leading complex international, national, and provincial teams and programs. On a more personal note, Neil and his wife Ellen both have a passion for wine and food, regularly enjoy entertaining, and Neil has achieved the 2nd level Sommelier certificate from the International Sommelier Guild.

Carol Fitzwilliam

Carol A. Fitzwilliam is the retired founder of Fitzwilliam Legal Recruitment and Fitzwilliam Third Sector Recruitment, two Canadian executive search firms dedicated to the legal profession and not-for- profit sector, respectively. She has served as a director of several non-profit organizations, including the International Women’s Forum, YWCA Canada, YWCA de Montréal and Centennial Academy. She is currently Chair of the Governance committee of the Board of Directors of the Société du Palais des congrès de Montréal, a provincial crown corporation and Chair of the Board of Directors of Masters Swimming Canada. Ms. Fitzwilliam holds an undergraduate degree in English and French literature from Sir George Williams University and a law degree from Université de Montréal. She is a retired member of the Quebec Bar, a certified director (ICD.D) and a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors.

Stan Thompson

Stan Thompson earned a CPA/CA designation in Ontario with Thorne Riddell, a predecessor of KPMG, and has been an Opimian member for more than 30 years. His 35+ year work experience was primarily with Consumer Packaged Goods and Resource companies in Canada. He is currently CFO & VP Corporate Services in Whitehorse, Yukon for Northwestel, a telecommunications company serving Canada’s three northern territories including northern BC and Alberta. Stan has also held positions as President of a Consumer Health products company and CFO in Consumer Products and Pulp and Paper companies in Ontario and BC. Stan has served as a Board Member and Chair of the not-for- profit Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce. He has also served as a Board member of commercial businesses and trade associations. Stan’s experience spans operating branded products businesses, acquisitions, employee buy-outs and developing and executing turn around plans for struggling businesses.



2017 Strategic Planning Session

Opimian's Board of Directors met in August 2017 in a Strategic Planning Session.
Click here for the summary output from that session.


Opimian Bylaws

Opimian is run based on a set of Bylaws most recently amended in 2017.  A complete set including the 1973 Letters Patent is available below.

1973 Letters Patent

Opimian Bylaws as of June 2017


Board Term of Office

Adopted by the Board June, 2017 

A. Board Member Term of Office

The term of each Board member shall be for one year. No member shall serve for more than six consecutive one-year terms.

B. President Term of Office

Notwithstanding the above, the term of the President is up to four consecutive years.

C. Past-President Term of Office

The term of the Past-President shall be for one year immediately following their term as President.


Opimian Committees

Click on the link below to view and print the pdf. 

Audit Committee

Governance Committee

Nominations Committee

HR Committee