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Welcome To

Breakthru Beverage Canada

With operations in Canada starting in 2014, Breakthru Beverage, formerly known as Wirtz Beverage, expanded to an international footprint becoming the exclusive broker for Diageo spirits and beer brands throughout the country. The Breakthru Beverage team is made up of a sales force who are equipped with advanced brand knowledge and industry leading selling resources in order to drive Diageo’s market share at the local level. Breakthru Beverage has been in operations for nearly a century in the United States and has brought to its Canada operations a vast amount of resources, including a proprietary training and development platform, market analytics, the latest technology, and renowned category expertise with the Diageo Reserve team. Breakthru Beverage works closely with provincial and territorial government authorities and independent retailers to consult on how they can grow their businesses with the great brands that Diageo has to offer.

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Breakthru Canada Wine and Craft Spirits

Leadership

Supporting the company's core operations and strategic vision is the Breakthru Beverage leadership team.

Close Darcy Traer

Darcy Traer

Executive Vice President, Canada

An established leader in the Beverage Alcohol industry, Darcy joined Breakthru Beverage Group as the Canadian Vice President of Sales & Trade Development in July of 2018. In this capacity, he was responsible for the implementation and execution of sales strategies across the country in collaboration with our supplier partners. In October 2020, Darcy was appointed Executive Vice President of BBG Canada and is accountable for the organization's operations within the Market. 

Prior to joining BBG, Darcy spent the previous 10+ years in progressive leadership roles at Diageo Canada, culminating his time at the company as Commercial Director. In this capacity Darcy oversaw the Business Analytics, Customer Marketing and Category Development teams, tasked with creating an execution strategy to consistently outpace the competition while premiumizing the company's portfolio. Darcy began his career with Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE) in Toronto as an Account Executive in 2006.

Close Lorraine Ventresca

Lorraine Ventresca

Vice President Sales, Canada

Leading the Canadian Sales Team is Lorraine Ventresca, formerly the Regional Vice President of Sales, Ontario, and National Trade Director for Breakthru Beverage Canada. Previous to her roles within Breakthru Beverage Canada Lorraine held various positions at Diageo Canada.  During her 18 years tenure she led various teams in her capacity as Director, Sales Capability and Development, Director Customer Marketing, Director Pricing and Category Management.  Her broad cross functional knowledge makes Lorraine well equipped to manage and lead the Canadian Sales team.

Ryan Hannah

Ryan Hannah
Vice President, Wine & Craft Spirits

Close Charles L’Ecuyer

Charles L’Ecuyer

Region Vice President, East
Charles leads the Quebec and Atlantic teams that compose the East region. He joined Breakthru Beverage Canada at its inception in 2014. Charles has +20 years in the beverage industry, being in the hospitality before joining Breakthru. He possesses cross-functional leadership experience from his past roles: Key Account Manager, District Manager, Learning & Development Manager & Sommelier. Holder of a Bachelor in Economy & Politics at Laval University and an MBA at UQAM, he is a solution-oriented individual, who thrives human-connection and is eager to deliver consistent execution with his team.
Close Gareth King

Gareth King

Regional Vice President, Ontario
Leading the Ontario sales region is Gareth King. Prior to his role within Breakthru Beverage Canada, Gareth held various positions in the industry both here in Canada with Diageo, Bacardi and Sleeman Breweries and in the UK with Bacardi Brown-Forman Brands and various on-premise operators. With over 15 year’s experience, he has led large commercial teams and successfully managed large customers including the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO). Holding positions of National Account Manager, Business Development Manager, Key account Manager, Sales Director and Performance Management Director, he has a wealth of cross functional leadership experience that means Gareth is well equipped to manage and lead the largest region in Canada.
Close Jay Osier

Jay Osier

Regional Vice President (West)

Jay is a determined leader with over 15 years of beverage alcohol experience who is passionate about working with his team to solve problems and influence people. 

Prior to joining us in 2014, he held various commercial roles with Anheuser-Busch InBev and Modelo Molson Imports.

Jay holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Queen’s University and a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Victoria.

Close Lindsay St Jean

Lindsay St. Jean

Vice President, Trade Development

Leading the Ontario sales region is Lindsay St Jean.  Previous to her role within Breakthru Beverage Canada Lindsay held various positions in the industry at Diageo Canada, Modelo Molson Imports, AB InBev - Labatt and Pernod Ricard - Corby.  During her 14 years she has led National teams across Sales and Marketing as National Commercial Manager, Sr. Manager National Accounts, Sr. Manager Trade Marketing and Director On-premise Strategic Channel Development.  Her cross functional leadership experience makes Lindsay well equipped to manage and lead the largest region in Canada, in addition to co-lead Breakthru Beverage Women’s associate resource group for North America.

Close Sam David

Sam David

Vice President, Finance

Sam David leads the Finance agenda for Breakthru Beverage Canada. A Chartered Professional Accountant with over 14 years of experience, Sam is a proven leader with demonstrated expertise in various senior finance roles across the industry and in public practice.  


Most recently, he held the position of Director, Controller for Diageo Canada, leading the Accounting, Financial Control and Tax functions. 

Close Kermit Grant

Kermit Grant

Vice President, Human Resources

Leading the Company’s people agenda, Kermit is a seasoned Human Resource Professional  with over 18 years HR experience . He  joined the Breakthru Beverage team from Diageo Canada where he provided HR Business Partner services for the sales and marketing team across the country.  


Close Ian Buchanan

Ian Buchanan

Senior Director of Business Analytics
Ian Buchanan joined Breakthru Beverage after his successful tenure at Brown-Forman Canada as their commercial business manager. He has already built a long career in the alcohol industry, having served in various positions for more than 12 years at Corby Distilleries, including commercial insights manager and manager of business analysis. His strong passion for analytics and solid experience as a commercial leader make him an invaluable part of the culture at Breakthru Beverage Canada. Outside of the office, Buchanan is an active volleyball player and an avid runner who has completed four marathons.
Close Wesley Kwong

Wesley Kwong

Senior Director of LL&S

Leading the Learning, Leadership and Sales Solution department is Wesley Kwong.   Previous to joining Breakthru Beverage Canada, he held various positions at E&J Gallo Winery Canada Ltd.  During his 11 years in the industry he has led numerous teams in a variety of roles, while managing the Barefoot Wine & Bubbly brands across Canada.  His broad experience working cross functionally with internal and external stakeholders across a global organization makes him well equipped to lead the Learning, Leadership and Sales Solution team in Canada.

Our Brands

With an unrivaled portfolio, we support the sale of Smirnoff, Cîroc and Ketel One vodkas, Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, Baileys, Captain Morgan, Tanqueray, Guinness, Piper Heidsieck and Charles Heidsieck.