About > Meet Our Staff

Our Team

Meet the book & gift team at Ampersand Inc.

Saffron Beckwith

President

1. You can have any fictional character from a book as your friend, who do you choose and why?

Anne Shirley…although we would probably get annoyed with each other very quickly trying to out boss each other 😉. But she is the ultimate friend!

2. If you had to eat one meal everyday for the rest of your life what would it be?

Paella…it has everything you need in it…and it tastes even better the next day.

3. What skill do you think everyone should have?

EXCEL

Fun Fact

Joined Ampersand in 1994. Once challenged Olympic figure skater Kurt Browning to a dance contest...and won.

Morgen Young

Vice President

1. You can have any fictional character from a book as your friend, who do you choose and why?

Marvin the Paranoid Android from Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I think we would have a lot in common.

2. If you had to eat one meal everyday for the rest of your life what would it be?

Eggs with toast and butter.

3. What skill do you think everyone should have?

The ability to laugh at yourself. Seriously.

Fun Fact

Joined Ampersand in 2006. Reading on her front porch while drinking a coffee is her favourite thing to do unless it is reading on her front porch while drinking a glass of wine.

Ali Hewitt

Sales Manager Western Canada

1. You can have any fictional character from a book as your friend, who do you choose and why?

Haroun from Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie. This is one of my all-time favourite books, and I’ve re-read it countless times. Haroun is curious, brave, and kind. He’s good at puns and always up for an adventure; both excellent qualities in a friend!

2. If you had to eat one meal everyday for the rest of your life what would it be?

Pizza for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Pizza always!

3. What skill do you think everyone should have?

Empathy. Fun fact: you can build empathy by reading!

Fun Fact

Joined Ampersand in 2007. Has so many shoes that she bought a Billy Bookcase from Ikea to store them all.

Tamara Mair-Wren

Operations Manager

1. You can have any fictional character from a book as your friend, who do you choose and why?

Claudia Kishi from The Baby-Sitters Club. Her positivity, creativity, fashion sense, and most importantly, her amazing stash of snacks makes her a perfect 10 in my books!

2. If you had to eat one meal everyday for the rest of your life what would it be?

Lobster dripping with butter, crispy fried clams, and creamy clam chowder soup with salty oyster crackers from The Clam Shack in Kennebunkport, Maine.

3. What skill do you think everyone should have?

All the skills they teach you in kindergarten. Good manners, sharing, waiting in line...the list goes on!

Fun Fact

Joined Ampersand in 2011. Believes in the sacred balance of the three "Ch" food groups: chips, chicken wings, and cheese.

Vanessa Di Gregorio

Special Sales & Social Media Manager

1. You can have any fictional character from a book as your friend, who do you choose and why?

The disreputable dog from Garth Nix’s Lirael. She would be the perfect companion to help me vanquish any monsters in a library, plus who doesn’t want a loyal dog (who happens to be magic, also) by their side? Plus, Lirael remains one of my favourite books.

2. If you had to eat one meal everyday for the rest of your life what would it be?

This was VERY hard, but ultimately, I had to go with my favourite comfort food dishes: Filipino chicken adobo.

3. What skill do you think everyone should have?

Empathy.

Fun Fact

Joined Ampersand in 2010. Is known to open a new box of cookies and eat the entire thing in one sitting, then open another box.

Jenny Enriquez

Account Manager

1. You can have any fictional character from a book as your friend, who do you choose and why?

The Disreputable Dog from Garth Nix’s Old Kingdom series – a magical dog companion to go on adventures with sounds just perfect to me!

2. If you had to eat one meal everyday for the rest of your life what would it be?

I could eat dim sum every day forever and ever.

3. What skill do you think everyone should have?

The ability to fall asleep whenever one chooses.

Fun Fact

Joined Ampersand in 2014. Has been caught talking to her food privately…on more than one occasion.

Dani Farmer

Account Manager

1. You can have any fictional character from a book as your friend, who do you choose and why?

My ultimate fantasy girl gang is Tiffany Aching (Discworld), Sophie Hatter (Howl’s Moving Castle) and Ginny Weasley. Our crew would be unstoppable!

2. If you had to eat one meal everyday for the rest of your life what would it be?

Brunch! It has something for every mood: French toast, waffles, fruit salad, eggs benny, smoothies, hash browns, and, always key, mimosas!

3. What skill do you think everyone should have?

Listening is the most important skill anyone can have… outside of being able to properly fold a fitted sheet.

Fun Fact

Joined Ampersand in 2015. Is a super nerd who has named all her cars, past and present, after Marvel superheroes.

Laureen Cusack

Account Manager

1. You can have any fictional character from a book as your friend, who do you choose and why?

Hercule Poirot – I love his elegance and style and how the little grey cells work inside that remarkable brain of his!

2. If you had to eat one meal everyday for the rest of your life what would it be?

Fresh green salad with salmon filet.

3. What skill do you think everyone should have?

Computer skills are necessary to stay current and you really should have a driver’s license – oh, the places you could go!

Fun Fact

Joined Ampersand in 2016. Has lots of interests, but doesn’t always stick to them; including: Irish dancing, Tai Chi, therapeutic touch, learning new languages...

Evette Sintichakis

Account Manager

1. You can have any fictional character from a book as your friend, who do you choose and why?

Peter Pan so he can teach me how to fly and never grow up.

2. If you had to eat one meal everyday for the rest of your life what would it be?

Pasta – any kind of pasta.

3. What skill do you think everyone should have?

Everyone should have the ability to be kind. It’s a skill that’s often overlooked, but always has an impact.

Fun Fact

Joined Ampersand in 2016. Is known to smile at animals and often has fulfilling one-sided conversations with them.

Pavan Ranu

Special Sales Account Manager

1. You can have any fictional character from a book as your friend, who do you choose and why?

Dally from The Outsiders! Aside from the usual trope of saving the bad boy 😉, I think his character had a lot of depth and potential - I often wonder if things would have turned out differently had he a better support system in his corner.

2. If you had to eat one meal everyday for the rest of your life what would it be?

Potatoes.

3. What skill do you think everyone should have?

It’s a toss up between outrunning zombies and escaping Jurassic Park.

Fun Fact

Joined Ampersand in 2019. She loves traveling!

Kris Hykel

Account Manager

1. You can have any fictional character from a book as your friend, who do you choose and why?

Anomander Rake from Malazan. That dude gets it.

2. If you had to eat one meal everyday for the rest of your life what would it be?

Tacos – the options are endless!

3. What skill do you think everyone should have?

Knowing the difference between ‘I couldn’t care less’ and ‘I could care less.’

Fun Fact

Joined Ampersand in 2017. Is determined to try all the hottest chicken wings the world has to offer.

Dayle Sutherland

Account Manager (maternity leave)

1. You can have any fictional character from a book as your friend, who do you choose and why?

Pippi Longstocking because she’s creative, unconventional and like to bend the rules.

2. If you had to eat one meal everyday for the rest of your life what would it be?

Like many others…pizza!

3. What skill do you think everyone should have?

Good Communication skills – one of the biggest challenges in life.

Fun Fact

I was once in a band that was mentioned on the David Letterman Show…we didn’t PLAY on the show, but we were mentioned!

Kim Herter

Account Manager

1. You can have any fictional character from a book as your friend, who do you choose and why?

I would choose Swiv from Marian Toew’s Fight Night – she would be a hilarious and gimlet-eyed companion who would always look after me despite any annoying personal traits I may exhibit.

2. If you had to eat one meal everyday for the rest of your life what would it be?

The meal I could eat every day would be pillowy handmade gnocchi in brown butter with sage served with arugula salad and a dessert of salted caramel ice cream.

3. What skill do you think everyone should have?

I think everyone should know how to ride a bike – it’s a quiet efficient mode of transportation that lets you explore pretty much anywhere, although I will admit riding in the pouring Vancouver rain is not my favourite. Cycling the sunny country roads of Sicily would definitely be preferable!

Fun Fact

I love horses and in an alternate universe I would be a cowgirl rancher with goats, alpacas and organic gardens galore.

Sarah Gilligan

Sales Coordinator

1. You can have any fictional character from a book as your friend, who do you choose and why?

Kya Clark, from Delia Owens “Where the Crawdads Sing.” She’s fiercely smart and independent, despite having had to raise herself. I have a lot of respect for her character, and her personal growth throughout the story.

2. If you had to eat one meal everyday for the rest of your life what would it be?

Sushi.

3. What skill do you think everyone should have?

Empathy.

Fun Fact

Joined Ampersand in 2018. Likes to hangout in dog parks, but doesn’t own a dog.

Declan McIntosh

Sales Assistant

1. You can have any fictional character from a book as your friend, who do you choose and why?

Death from Neil Gaiman’s Sandman.

2. If you had to eat one meal everyday for the rest of your life what would it be?

Chicken Gyros and Greek Fries.

3. What skill do you think everyone should have?

Patience, humility, and deep breathing.

Fun Fact

Joined Ampersand in 2019. Fun fact: I’m in two (possibly three) bands!

Rachelle Carvalho

Sales Coordinator

1. You can have any fictional character from a book as your friend, who do you choose and why?

Shahrzad from Renee Ahdieh’s The Wrath and the Dawn. She is clever, strong-willed, stubborn (endearingly so), and is fiercely protective of the ones she loves.

2. If you had to eat one meal everyday for the rest of your life what would it be?

Pizza! It’s great for any time of day and there are so many options for toppings.

3. What skill do you think everyone should have?

The ability to be kind.

Fun Fact

Joined Ampersand in 2021. Is a big Marvel fan and she rewatches the entire MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) at least once a year.