Board of Directors
It is the dedication and hard work of Tea and Herbal Association of Canada’s board of directors which contributes significantly to the success of our programs and operational activities. This dynamic group of professionals have a wealth of experience and wisdom that they share to make our association stronger and more effective year after year.
President: Louise Roberge
Louise Roberge is the President of the Tea and Herbal Association of Canada, she has been working diligently to represent, protect and promote the Tea Industry in Canada for the last fifteen years. As the leader she tracks trends, disseminates information, and represents the interests of the entire industry on a broad spectrum of issues. She spearheads the industry’s educational and public relations efforts relative to communicating the many attributes of tea to consumers. Louise has a number of degrees and certifications; most recently she earned her certification as a TAC TEA SOMMELIER® Professional, offered by the Tea and Herbal Association of Canada. She also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Science from the University of Montreal, Masters of Business (MBA) from Sherbrooke University, is a Certified Association Executive (CAE), from the Canadian Society of Association Executives. Fully bilingual she understands and appreciates the diversity of tea leaders and aficionados around the world.
Chairman: Ron Sadler
Ron Sadler is the Managing Director of Twinings North America, one of the oldest and finest tea packing companies in the world, and has been with the company for over seven years. Ron has been serving as Tea and Herbal Association of Canada’s Chairman for the last 4 years and continues to provide exceptional direction and organization to the association’s role and function. Ron has worked in the consumer goods industry for over 30 years and has made great contributions to the association and the tea industry.
Vice Chairman: Sylvia MacVey
Sylvia MacVey is the President of G E Barbour Inc. and has over 25 plus years experience with the company. Sylvia has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Mount Allison University and studied marketing at the University of Calgary, as well as Finance at the University of New Brunswick, Saint John. In her spare time she acts as the Chair at the Rothesay Netherwood School and has been the past board member of various local, regional and national associations including Spice Association of Canada and St. John Ambulance.
Treasurer: Kathy Grant-Munoz
Kathy Grant-Munoz is the Senior Vice President – Marketing and Sales – Canada at TATA Global Beverages.
Director: Ray Boorah
Ray Boorah is the Vice Chairman at Harris Tea Co., a leading North American producer of private label black tea, green, herbal, specialty, instant teas and iced tea mix.
Director: Sandro D’Ascanio
Sandro D’Ascanio is the Vice President of Marketing and R&D for Hain-Celestial Canada and also the General Manager of Hain’s Natural and Personal Care Business Units. Hain-Celestial Canada participates in many natural categories with well-known brands that include Celestial Seasonings®, Europe’s Best®, Yves Veggie Cuisine®, Live Clean®, Earth’s Best®, Terra®, Sensible Portions®, MaraNatha®, Casbah®, Spectrum®, Dream®, The Greek Gods®, Imagine®, Tilda®, JASON®, Avalon Organics® and Alba Botanica®. Celestial Seasonings®, a leader in Herbal Tea, was founded in 1969 in Boulder, Colorado where the brand’s roots are still today.
Director: Natasha Fraser
Natasha Fraser is the Operator Marketing Manager at Unilever Food Solutions.
Director: Juliane Guevel
Juliane Guevel is Vice President Sales (Fruit & Herbal Tea and Dietary Ingredients) at Martin Bauer Inc., a leading company involved in the marketing and sales of all tea and botanical ingredients within the Americas.
Director: John Hales
Steeped in tea since before birth, John’s father worked for Brooke Bond from the end of World War II. John started his career in 1976 at S.S.Smith & Son Tea Brokers, where he took a holiday job in the sample room. In 1979 he began working for Ridgways Tea, one of very few “specialty” tea companies (at a time when specialty only meant Jasmine, Lapsang Souchong and Earl Grey). From 1985 to 1989 John worked for Teekanne GmbH in Duesseldorf . After which he returned to UK and started at Overseas Tea Marketing Ltd in Sir John Lyon House – at the time the centre of the UK trade and the then home of the London auction. In 1991 he moved with growing family to Mombasa to be MD of East African Tea Exporters Ltd. (a subsidiary of OTM) and bought, sold and exported East African tea around the world from there. In 1994 John moved back to London and back to OTM as a Director until 2004. In 2005 he made his move to Canada to work as the General Manager at The Metropolitan Tea Company Ltd.
Director: Sangwani Hara
Mr. Hara is the Chairman at the Tea Board of Malawi.
Director: Michael Higgins
Michael Higgins is the Co-Chief Executive Officer of Mother Parker’s Tea & Coffee, a family business since 1912 and supplier to some of the industry’s largest retailers and brand owners. It specializes in premium private brands, including Higgins & Burke Tea. Mr. Higgins has worked in the family business for over 30 years and has been instrumental in the company’s Sales & Marketing areas in Food Service and Retail. Michael operates the company with his brother, Paul Higgins Jr., and was a past President of the Tea & Coffee Association of Canada.
Director: Samuel Ogola
Samuel Ogola is the Managing Director at the Tea Board of Kenya.
Director: Ravi Pillai
Ravi is a Tea taster with over 32 years of experience in the Tea industry, and has been associated with the management of tea estates/gardens, and Tea processing on plantations in Sri Lanka for almost 20 years (encompassing Nursery management and tea planting field works, pre and post harvesting practices and tea production). He has traveled to many countries across the Middle East and Asia to market and sell teas and offer advice in the development of client specifics and needs. Ravi has been actively involved in the Spice trade and also served on the Management Committee of the Sri Lanka Spice Association for over eight years until proceeding to Turkey where he was a consultant in a leading conglomerate in Turkey where his role was developing tea standards for their brand, and also being an adviser to tea producers in the Black Sea region on leaf styles and quality of tea produced. Now in Canada, Ravi is Manager of Buying & Quality at DAVIDs in Canada. He holds an Advanced Diploma in Plantation Management awarded by the National Institute of Plantation Management in Sri Lanka.
Director: Peter Scandrett
Peter Scandrett is the Director of Business Development of Van Reese North America, a globally recognized international supplier and processor of tea, and has served on Tea and Herbal Association of Canada’s Board of Directors for over 12 years. Peter contributes his time and effort on the nominating committee and conference taskforce, and was previously the acting President of The Coffee & Tea Association and the Treasurer of Tea and Herbal Association of Canada. Peter graduated from both Ridley College and Ryerson University prior to commencing his 40 year career in the tea industry and enjoys hockey, golf, squash and anything else sports related.
Director: Santosh Sarangi, IAS
Mr. Santosh Sarangi is the Chairman of the Tea Board of India.
Director: Shabnam Weber
Shabnam Weber is the founder and owner of the specialty tea boutique The Tea Emporium Inc., which acquires and sells teas from around the world. Using her passion and knowledge of tea, Shabnam has created a place for herself in the tea industry by speaking at numerous tea events internationally and sitting on the Board of Directors of the Tea and Herbal Association of Canada. In her Director role, she currently chairs several committees and is the author of the TEA SOMMELIER® Certification Program. She has both a Political Science Degree and a Post-Graduate Degree in Psychology from the University of Toronto, as well as a Human resource Management Certificate.
Director: Premala Srikantha
Premala Srikantha is the Director of Promotion at the Sri Lanka Tea Board.
Director: Rick Winslow
Rick Winslow is the Vice President of Client Services at The Nielsen Company, a global leader in measurement and information research, and has been a TAC Board Director for three years. Mr. Winslow serves on the Research Committee and delivers key market overview presentations at Tea and Herbal Association of Canada conferences. Rick attended St. Mary’s University and holds a certificate from Queens University in Sales Management, and a Change Management Certificate from York University.
Executive Assistant: Adi Baker
Adi Baker joined the Association team in 2012. She holds an undergraduate degree from Queen’s University and a Master of Arts from York University. In 2014 she earned her certification as a TAC TEA SOMMELIER® Professional.