Simply Elegant People

Robert Vidra

C.E.O and Owner

Robert is a certified chef and has worked in the hospitality industry for over 35 years.  He founded Simply Elegant in 1996 and designed each division to complement each other. He named Simply Elegant after Albert Einstein’s theory “if we can describe the universe in a ‘simple but elegant way’ we can understand the universe.” Simply Elegant has prospered due to Robert’s belief and nurturing the staff community. With his leadership Simply Elegant has grown from its humble beginnings as a catering company to a full-range hospitality firm.

Sharon Barwick

Director of Special Events

Sharon  is a Certified Special Event Professional (CSEP) and has been a manager with  Simply Elegant since 2004 in the roles of operations manager, florist,  decorator, wedding and event planner.  Prior to Simply Elegant, she owned a successful Vancouver floral and event decorating company. As a key note  speaker and educator in the event industry, she has been a member of the  International Live Events Association for over 25 years. Sharon is also an educator at Mount Royal University where she teaches the Business of Weddings and Social Events.

Peter Schwarz

Director of Food & Beverage

Peter  received his “top drawer” training at the Hotel Management School in Leipzig, Germany and honed his skills during his 8 years at Kempinski Hotels and Resorts, one of the oldest European hotel chains.  His previous experience  ranges from being a tea expert to an extensive knowledge of Champagne. His calm, professional demeanor is perfectly suited for coordinating large, international catered events to small, intimate dinner parties. Our clients  love Peter’s attention to detail and personalized service when it comes to menu selection for their events.

Toni Guffei

Marketing Director

Toni oversees our marketing department from design work and social media programming to implementing other digital and traditional media campaigns for Simply Elegant. With more than 20 years experience in marketing and branding, Toni is also involved in marketing research and ROI estimates. She is experienced in measuring performance indicators for events. Plus she’s been an adjunct professor for 10 years at MRU teaching  courses in marketing, research and branding. Toni has a BA in Economics and an MBA in Marketing.

Jason Wareham

Executive Chef

Jason started his career in the hospitality industry in 1997 and graduated from SAIT’s Professional Cooking Program in 2001. Jason has worked his way up from a Garde Manger at well-known hotel chains to the Executive Sous Chef at Fort Calgary before joining our team.  Armed with innovative ideas and creative food menus, he sources fresh produce from local suppliers and makes everything in-house from scratch. We’re proud of this work because he’s elevated the Simply Elegant brand with his unique approach to preparing quality food for our customers.

Shelley Clements

Office & Accounting Manager

Shelley is the person behind the scenes keeping us organized by handling  both the office and accounting functions. Shelley came to Simply Elegant with over 25 years in the industry where she did everything from being a short order cook, to serving and managing a downtown pub. Ten years of working at the famed King Eddy taught her a great deal about music and, more importantly, people. After 10 years with Simply Elegant, Shelley is a calm force during busy events. She has an eye for detail in our proposals and makes sure all the numbers add up.

Eduardo Cueva

IT Manager

Ed is a P.Eng. and an MBA who graduated from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Advanced Studies, in Mexico. With over 20 years of Information Technology consulting experience in North and Central America and the Caribbean, Ed is in charge of our Information Network. As part of our team since 2003, Ed has developed our information infrastructure onto a private cloud system which integrates communications, productivity, collaboration, data protection and security. He makes sure all of our internal systems are efficiently managed.

Alexander Zagoumenov

Digital Marketing Manager

Alex has over 10 years experience managing marketing campaigns through digital channels such as display, paid search and social media advertising. He previously worked on client accounts including Rolex and Mercedes-Benz USA. Alex has a Bachelor of Management (Marketing) degree and is a certified professional in Google AdWords, Inbound Marketing by HubSpot and Social Media Marketing by Hootsuite. Alex has worked with Simply Elegant for the past 5 years and is responsible for website development and our online marketing.

Join Our Team

Join an accomplished hospitality company that specializes in Event Management, Catering Decor, Florals and Consulting.

Simply Elegant prides itself on integrity and ethical business practices. Managers lead by example by showing respect and working alongside their staff. Employees are given responsibility and the authority to do their job with opportunities for advancement. We offer an exciting, fun environment for individuals who want to excel and grow in the hospitality industry.

Simply Elegant is a community of people who work hard, enjoy their lives and have earned the right to be respected as professionals and friends.

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