Our Team

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Jonathan Smolensky

CEO & Executive Sales Manager

Jon operates under the simple motto of: “good drink, good food, and good company.” With a lengthy resume working at some of Vancouver, B.C.’s best bars: Brix and Hawksworth, and not to mention such prestigious certifications as Bar 5-Day Graduate with Distinction, CSS Graduate, and WSET Level 3. He is the founding father of Sovereign Canada and boy are we lucky. As an industry mentor for many across Canada, he’s one of a few responsible for bringing cocktail culture into vogue.

Fun fact about our humble leader: You’d be surprised to know that he once worked for Fox Sports in Denver covering Colorado Avalanche games

Lauren Sosnowsky

General Manager

Hailing from Winnipeg, with an incredibly solid resume, Lauren brings a great many talents to the table. She took on an impressive move to start a new life in Singapore, where she is now working as a senior bartender at ATLAS Bar, recently crowned Asia’s Best Bar by World’s Best 50 .

She is responsible for dotting all the “i’s” and crossing the “ts” for Sovereign. Lauren remains an integral part of the company for ensuring our spirits become listed and available for purchase. As if she weren’t busy enough manning the bar at Atlas, she is also working on getting her Business Degree, plenty more bar certifications and learning Italian.

A little known fact about Lauren is that she is a practicing ballerina.

Deja Gordon

Digital Content & Marketing Strategist

Born and raised in Toronto, Deja oversees many important behind the scenes aspects of Sovereign Canada. From website updates to organizing events, she is a power house!

Her first ever service job was at an Alice Fazooli’s in Woodbridge, Ontario. A crab shack, it was by no means glamorous but it was enough to get her hooked on hospitality. From there, she has worked a broad spectrum in the industry, from the local hole in the wall to the city’s top fine dining establishments. For her, it’s all about the people and relationships she’s been able to build along the way.

Her favorite celebrity customer? The Fonz! aka Henry Winkler – Getting a double thumbs up with his catch phrase: “Ayyyy” was priceless!

Marie Stewart

Logistics & Inventory Operations Manager

OG of ordering and liasing with the BCL, her position is no easy feat! Currently living in New Westminister, British Columbia, she has hung up her serving gloves for the moment, but not before garnering an incredible track record working at some of Vancouver’s finest haunts; Vij’s, Chambar, Royal Dinette and St Lawrence to name but a few. On top of Sovereign, this savy entrepreneur is also the Principal of Ampersand Hospitality Consulting. On her days off, she enjoys calligraphy, taking her two adorable Mastiff dogs, Beef and Bones to the park, and on her nights off? She’s most likely sipping on a Four Horseman.

Julia Diakow

Non-Liquor & Grocery Channel Operations Manager

Julia Diakow, our Non Alcoholics Queen (yas!) deals in the invoicing and ordering of bitters and syrups to bars across the country. Born in Vancouver, she got her start in hospitality at 15, hustling lemonades at then GM Place, still claiming this to be one of the best first gigs possible! She moved on to work behind the bar at Earls, for the Donnelly Group, Cuchillo, Hotel Georgia and Tacofino. She has currently left behind bartending to pursue a career in the Forest industry in Squamish.

Her perfect cocktail? A Margarita made by Amber Bruce of the Keefer Bar

Evan McNeil

Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, P.E.I, Senior Portfolio Specialist

Hailing from Nova Scotia, Evan is our portfolio manager on the East Coast.Another Earls Alumni, he worked his way up and soon, after sitting at Jenner Cormier’s bar, Noble, he became enthralled with the hospitality scene. With Evan’s care and attention to guests’ needs, he became a solid fixture behind the bar at Lot Six. Today, he is an important fixture in the industry, helping to organize Spirited Sessions and educational seminars for the bar community.

Evan’s go to bar anecdote? – “Don’t have one but give me a couple ounces of Mezcal and an Olands and I’ll tell you anything you want to know.”

Shrawan Khanna

Vancouver Island, Senior Portfolio Specialist

Growing up in Ontario and educated at the University in Edmonton, Shrawan now considers himself a true Islander since residing in Victoria for 29 years. His passion for learning and wine has manifested in travelling to many wine regions in France, Italy, Switzerland, India, USA and Brazil and more to come! He has managed to successfully combine his twin passions of education and wine by completing the WSET 3 program, Masters of Champagne, and becoming a certified wine educator for WSET as well as leading seminars for small private groups. You can likely find him on a patio near the water, laughing with friends and enjoying a glass of fine bubbly or a shaken margarita while discussing politics and cooking up a storm.

Johann Lozinski

Saskatchewan, Senior Portfolio Specialist

Born in Guatemala, he has spent most of his life in Saskatchewan including time at the University of Saskatchewan where he was following his original aspirations, to be a Physical Educator; But instead, like so many of us, he caught the beverage and hospitality bug. Here he is nearly 20 years later, still in the industry and he hasn’t looked back.

We are so happy to have Johann now representing the Sovereign Canada portfolio as he has represented many local, national and international beer, spirits and wine brands over the years.

Manu Ruiz

Quebec, Senior Portfolio Specialist

Born in Barcelona, raised in Montreal, Manu fell in love with the hospitality industry over 13 years ago. From the bottom of the ladder, working his way up from dishwasher to bar manager in one of Canada’s most coveted craft cocktail bars.

From Old Montreal’s dynamically intense scenery to a more polished environment, Manu rocks the bar program at Le Royal Cocktail Bar & Le Rouge Gorge Wine Bar offering his take on hospitality, fun & comfort. From festive nights to a classic dining experience, his motto is to always bring out the “feel good” vibes no matter the drink.

Self-taught, he is always seeking dynamic collaborations between brands and bartenders while preaching a unified & constructive bartending community to keep the “spirit” alive!

Oh yeah, and he also is an aquarist.

Peter Singh-Vigilante

Web Developer

Peter is our web specialist, handling all aspects of the website and digital technologies.

Peter has spent over 15 years in the web and digital marketing industry and specializes in all aspects of web development from PHP programming, WordPress development, Javascript Development, SEO implementation, server management, and much more. Since graduating from the Centre of Arts and Technology, he has picked up many skills in multiple disciplines to become a 1 man army of web development. Before starting his own marketing agency, Vigilante Marketing, Peter was the Senior Developer at Lifeblood Marketing, the CTO and Senior Developer at Hiilite, and the National Distributed Learning Manager and Lead Instructor for the Graphic Design and Web Development programs at CATO.

Erik Coomber

Senior Territory Manager

Ontario, meet your Senior Territory Manager, Erik Coomber. Originally hailing from Stoney Creek, these days you’ll likely find Erik in Toronto’s west end where he lives with his girlfriend Jess, and their two adorable pets, Tomato Sauce, their pet dog, and a hairless cat named Filbert.

Erik has a true passion for hospitality. He says it’s because of the connections you get to make with your guests and co-workers. The feeling of purpose and accomplishment he gets from guests that appreciate his craft is so fulfilling. 

His favourite mixed cocktail? Chairman’s Reserve Rum Daiquiri. A classic.

Cheers Erik. Welcome to the Sovereign Canada Family

Steven Jorgensen team member

Steven Jorgensen

Alberta, Senior Territory Manager

Alberta, meet your Senior Territory Manager Steven Jorgensen. Born in Red Deer  Steven has been living in Edmonton since 2007.  His career in hospitality started long before, but he shifted to behind the bar at Woodword Bar in 2018. These days, when not representing our incredible brands across Alberta, you might find Steve Edmonton’s hot spot, Baijiu. 

Interested in buying Steve a drink?  Lime-based Daiquiris or Margarita’s are his go-to’s.

Outside of the hospitality industry, he loves to collect records, travel when it is safe to do so, and obsessively follow the Edmonton Oilers.

Cheers Steven. Welcome to the Sovereign Canada family.

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