Erik FisherGeneral Manager
Danett FisherTasting Room Manager
Rudi EiterOperations Manager
Miguel FontalvoVineyard Manager
Ashley DemedeirosMarketing Manager
Shelley FairbairnOffice Coordinator
Megan CharleboisWine Club, Tours & Events Coordinator
Courtney BylengaAssistant Tasting Room Manager
Erik Fisher General Manager
Erik brings 20 years of sales, marketing, and hospitality experience along with him to this new and exciting project at Monte Creek Ranch Winery.
Before heading up this great venture, Erik worked for the largest Canadian owned wine company in Andrew Peller Ltd. Erik shared his time at Peller in key sales and marketing roles. Erik directly impacted a lot of success Sandhill, Red Rooster and Wayne Gretzky Okanagan experienced across Western Canada during his tenure with the company. Prior to Peller, Erik was part of a very successful team launching Red Bull Energy Drink in BC. Erik spent 5 years with Red Bull directing the sales team and like his time at Peller, he consistently produced tremendous results in excess of market and competitor growth.
Outside of work Erik has maintained a strong interest in teaching, community and giving back to the industry that has been so generous to him. Erik currently holds a position as a director on the BC Wine Institute board, Thompson Okanagan Tourism board and the Okanagan Wine Festival Society board.
Galen Barnhardt Winemaker
Galen grew up in the North Shuswap and developed a passion for wine after 15 years in the restaurant industry and several years travelling the world. In 2009, he returned to school to study at the Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI) at Brock University in Niagara, Ontario.
Galen began his winemaking career with a vintage in Niagara, followed by Cedar Creek Estate Winery in Kelowna where he worked his way up to the position of Assistant Winemaker. While working with Cedar Creek, he took an opportunity to work with the ultra-premium Pinot Noir producer Ata Rangi in Martinborough, New Zealand. In 2014, Galen moved to Western Australia to work with Cape Mentelle Vineyards, one of Australia’s top estates. He also spent three months working in Oregon, making premium Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
Galen joined the Monte Creek Ranch team in December of 2014. His broad range of experience has been instrumental in the completion of the winery and the guidance of the winemaking and viticulture. Galen strives to make balanced and elegant wines that are representative of the unique South Thompson terroir.
“I truly believe that Monte Creek Ranch will be a leader within the British Columbia wine industry. We are at the boundary of cool climate viticulture and it is when wineries push boundaries that exciting, unique, and delicious wines are made.”
Danett Fisher Tasting Room Manager
Danett has been part of the team from the very start. She moved here from Vancouver in the summer of 2014 to be part of the launch team for Monte Creek Ranch. She started out with outside sales and did the back of house processing payments and orders, while she got her family settled in Kamloops. Once the plans were developed for the winery and the building process started taking place, she turned her attention to the tasting room, where she developed the merchandise and tasting room program. That has been her heart ever since.
Before Monte Creek Danett, worked in the social work field but always has a huge passion for food and wine. After having children, she left social work behind her and focused on developing her hospitality experience.
When she’s not at the winery Danett is very busy with her two young children and all of their activities. She loves to stay active and has a passion for health and fitness. She also enjoys writing and is known to blog now and then.
Rudi Eiter Operations Manager
Rudi Eiter has spent his entire career in hospitality. It is these years of first-hand experience in customer service that make him an asset at Monte Creek Ranch. His career began with his passion for food that lead Rudi to start out as a red seal Chef. You may have already noticed that his name is unique in Canada, along with his accent. He was born and raised in the St. Anton am Arlberg in the Austrian Alps of Tirol.
Rudi’s early working years were spent mainly in Switzerland and Austria. He landed in Canada in 1987, for a one year contract with a Swiss managed restaurant in Toronto. Rudi enjoyed his time in Canada so much that this job opportunity turned into him becoming a permanent resident shortly after that.
One of Rudi’s highlight was working for Delta Hotels & Resort where he became the General Manger for the Tantalus Lodge Resort in Whistler.
When Rudi isn’t at the winery he enjoys various activities throughout the year. In the summer he spends his days fishing, riding his road cycle or running on one of the many trails in the nearby mountains. Winter it is all about downhill skiing and watching his favourite hockey team the Edmonton Oilers.
Miguel Fontalvo Vineyard Manager
Miguel is from a fourth generation agricultural family in Colombia where Agriculture is one of the most important resources. His passion for Agriculture was developed from the legacy of his Grandfathers’.
Miguel loves to travel around the world and believe these experiences are a great way to expand his knowledge in life, work and family. After completing his studies as an Agricultural Engineer, Miguel came to Canada and worked in Ontario as a Vineyard Manager for 12 years. His knowledge, experience and passion for Viticulture, paired with a positive attitude and outlook are the qualities he is proud to bring to the Monte Creek Ranch Team.
In his free time, Miguel, along with his wife, enjoy going to the gym, seeing a movie or taking a relaxing walk enjoying a cup of coffee. He enjoys all sports and is extremely passionate about soccer and football. He also developed an interest in turtles that began at the age of twelve.
Miguel makes a great addition to our Monte Creek Ranch family.
Ashley Demedeiros Marketing Manager
As a seasoned integrated marketing guru, Ashley has dipped her fingers into various elements that are used in creating a brand. Over the last 7 years, she has been gathering experience in the marketing industry and has loved the journey. Her employment history has had her doing everything from HTML coding, to social media campaigns, promotional content, website content writing, print advertising strategies, photography, design and online marketing strategy.
Ashley is excited to do her part for the Monte Creek Ranch Winery team by developing marketing plans and watching the business grow. Her passion and determination are a great asset to the team.
In addition to writing, social media, marketing strategies and customer service, Ashley loves traveling, reading, hiking, mountain biking, staring at the stars and being surrounded by laughter.
Shelley Fairbairn Office Coordinator
Shelley Fairbairn is the Office Coordiantor at Monte Creek Ranch Winery and brings to the group an endless passion for all things database-related. Shelley has dabbled in various industries over the years that has created quite the unique resume. She has a certificate in Television Broadcasting and a degree in Human Resources Management from BCIT. Before her time here at the ranch, she worked in electronic retail for over 20 years.
Her childhood is filled with fond memories that come with growing up on her family’s ranch in Alberta. It was in these early years that she developed a passion for agriculture and Canadian history. There were many nights around the campfire spent sharing the tales of the people and of the land. This is a passion that Shelley shares in the tasting room when she can be pulled away from her desk to the tasting bar.
In more recent history, Shelley chose to settle in the small settlement of Pritchard, located just past the winery. This area caught her eye as it has a small community, has easy access to all the beauty the ‘West’ has to offer and the opportunity to explore the next frontier in winemaking. She is thrilled to be a part of the Monte Creek Ranch Winery team by working with databases to help grow the business.
When Shelley isn’t formatting and decrypting excel sheets, she enjoys camping, kayaking and taking her dog Teek for long walk around the parks and common land in the beautiful Thompson Valley.
Megan Charlebois Wine Club, Tours & Events Coordinator
Born and raised in Kamloops, Megan has a love of the ocean, mountains, and of course BC wine! Megan began her passion for events while obtaining her Bachelor’s Degree in Tourism Management at Thompson Rivers University. Who knew an elective course in Events Management would someday lead to her career path today? After working in the Okanagan with Created Lovely Events, and with Wild Sage Events in Kamloops, Megan really gained a love for all things weddings. Having been in the events industry for almost a decade now, Megan is excited to be a part of the Monte Creek Ranch team as the Wine Club and Events Coordinator, bringing her experience, excellent level of professionalism to with winery.
When she’s not engaging with guests at the winery, Megan enjoys travelling, going to local coffee shops, hiking and catching up with friends – and let’s not forget, obsessing over her cat!
Courtney Bylenga Assistant Tasting Room Manager
Originally from Langley, BC, Courtney moved to the Okanagan in 2012 to pursue her studies in Wine Sales at the Okanagan College. During her time working at Saxon Winery in Summerland as a Customer Relations Coordinator, she had a hand in all things wine – from overseeing the tasting room to assisting with bottling. After moving back to the coast, her love of wine took her to the White Rock Save on Foods, where she was a Team Leader in the BC VQA Wine Department.
Courtney and her husband love the outdoors, and can be found out on the trails with their dog, Dean. She loves to cook – always trying out new and exciting recipes to pair with her favourite wines. Being new to Kamloops, she’s excited to explore Kamloops and everything it has to offer.
Her passion for BC wine led her to Monte Creek Ranch and we’re very excited to have her as part of our team!