About Us

At GranFondo Canada we are dedicated to producing quality road cycling events that provide a memorable cycling experience to cyclists of all levels.

Our Team

Kevin Thomson

President and Chief Enthusiast

Kevin has been organizing public and corporate events in BC since 1992. As president of Carpe Diem Adventures for 7 years, he introduced people to the pleasures of hiking, cycling, ultra-running, mountaineering, paddling, air sports and many bizarre things like underwater running with cinder blocks, speed golf and jog-a-lagers. Most recently, he was the Director of Operations for the BC Bike Race from 2007 to 2009.

In 1999, his thirst for adventurous challenges led him to become the first person to run across Canada without a support team which turned out to be more of a logistical challenge than a physical one. After that adventure, managing special events for other people has 
                                          become his permanent passion.

                                          Hails from: Montreal, Quebec

Neil McKinnon

Co-Founder

Neil is an avid athlete with a passion for running, triathlon and biking. His racing pursuits have included Ironman Canada, Vineman California, Alcatraz Triathlon, Sea2Summit, Novo Coli (Italy), and numerous Test of Metal and marathon finishes. Neil's other passion is the business of sport; he is the founder of Sports and Social Clubs of Canada that currently provides sports leagues and activities for over 30,000 Canadians weekly.

Hails from: Ottawa, Ontario

 

Stéphane Delisle

Director of Events, Planning & Integration

With more than 15 years of experience at all levels of sport management in Canada, Stéphane enjoys working on the integration of the many pieces that bring events to life. Stéphane has worked with a number of Canada’s national and provincial sport organizations in addition to being recruited for Mission Staff duties at the Canada Games, Pan Am Games and four Olympic Games.

Prior to joining GranFondo Canada, Stéphane worked on the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games .

A cyclist since he was a kid, Stéphane is excited to be working to support the team that comes together to deliver the rides that we’ve all been dreaming about.

                                    Hails from: Port Colborne, Ontario

Alex Hermosillo

Project Leader, RBC GranFondo Whistler

With over seven years of experience as a project manager, Alex brings strong critical thinking and problem solving skills to the GranFondo Canada team. His particular focus is on the development and implementation of systems that make a project more efficient.

Alex enjoys all sports but has recently turned his focus towards road cycling and has begun track racing for the winter.

Hails from: Mexico City, Mexico

Penny Lidstone

Operations

Penny has fourteen years of experience in event management, marketing and promotions. She has worked on a variety of projects from grassroots initiatives to large corporate programs. Penny is also an 2012 Ironman finisher!

Hails from: Nelson, British Columbia

 

 

 

Magi Scallion

Operations 

Cross country skiing, running and cycling are what Magi considers to be her hobbies even if she has competed at an international level in cross country skiing and running and completed many mountain bike stage races.  This love for sport, coupled with ninja-like organizational skills, led Magi into the world of events. 

Magi organized numerous events in the Banff-Canmore region of Alberta before working in at the Canmore Nordic Centre where for four years she was involved with events, marketing, and volunteer coordination. 

                                     Hails from: Nova Scotia

Douglas Smith

Cycling Operations

Doug began his career in construction but left it at the young age of 32 to follow his passion and be part of the cycling world. He managed bike shops in Edmonton and Calgary then became a sales rep for Trek Bicycles. After a few years with Trek, Doug left to start his own agency where he introduced a long list of product lines to Canada including Zipp Wheels, Hincapie sportswear and Argon 18 bikes.

Doug brings his knowledge and passion for cycling and the cycling industry to GranFondo Canada. He sees events through the eyes of a cyclist and how to make the adventure more enjoyable for all.

Hails from: Edmonton, Alberta

Neil Macleod

Volunteer Coordinator

Neil is a proud Scot who loves to participate and compete in all sports and events. Having worked for over a decade on the development of schools and community sport he is passionate about promoting the role played by volunteers. He has a wealth of volunteer management and event experience built up over seven years with Sportscotland's Active School's initiative and most recently the 2011 International Children's Games. 

Neil's sporting achievements include the completion of two New York City Marathons (while wearing a kilt) as well as having played semi-professional soccer with some time spent on a scholarship in Atlanta, Georgia. He also loves golf, tennis, mountain biking, orienteering and volleyball and looks forward to getting involved in road cycling in the future.

                                                              Hails from: Glasgow, Scotland

Lester Tiro

Project Coordinator

Lester Tiro is a sports enthusiast with a passion for biking, running, surfing, kiteboarding, snowboarding, and climbing. Lester has an education in Geographic Information Systems and Business Management and assists the GranFondo Canada team with the project tools required to deliver great events. He has travelled extensively and has lived in four countries.

Hails from: Jakarta, Indonesia

 

 

Lindsay Carswell

Director of Marketing & Communications

During his 15 years in marketing, Lindsay has spent a great deal of time focusing on the marketing of sport and events. In an agency setting, he has negotiated and managed client sponsorships with sport properties that include National Hockey League teams, motor sports, PGA golf, professional soccer and the Olympics. He also spent time as the Director of Marketing and Corporate Programs for the BC Lions Football Club in the Canadian Football League.

At GranFondo Canada, Lindsay leads the sponsorship program, as well as the marketing and promotion of each GranFondo Canada event. He is a sports enthusiast with a passion for health and fitness.

                                     Hails from: Eastern Ontario

Alison Liebel

Manager of Rider Experience

Alison’s enthusiasm for sporting events started with organizing the transportation logistics for the BC Bike Race in 2007. Seeing the thrill of competition and watching racers achieve their personal goals is just so much fun, Alison jumped in to working with TOIT Events on the Fall Classic ½ marathon, Turkey Trot and Chip's Not Dead Yet Race. She's seen the birth of the gran fondo movement in North America starting with the RBC GranFondo Whistler and has helped thousands of riders get to the start line as the Athlete Relations Manager for GranFondo Canada.

Hails from: Campbell River, British Columbia

Chelsea Johnston

Rider Experience

Chelsea has played a variety of sports all her life growing up in Welland, ON but played basketball competitively at both the College and University level. Her experience of sports is coupled with an education in Human Kinetics - Sports Management and Special Events Planning. Her first major sporting event was planning the CCAA Women’s National Basketball Championships. Chelsea is an avid member of the community through spectating, participating and volunteering for numerous events. 

Hails from: Welland, Ontario

 

 

Mark Lavigne

Sponsorship and Manager of VeloSpoke

Mark brings a wealth of sales and business development experience to GranFondo Canada. Working for large and small companies in Canada, Europe and Africa, Mark's 15 years in international sales experience has touched all facets of sport.

Mark worked with several Olympic sponsors on their activation during the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games and most recently produced the VeloSpoke Bike Expo in 2011 and 2012. Mark develops partnerships and activation plans with our corporate sponsors.

Hails from: Cornwall, Ontario

 

 

Michael Kwon

Marketing & Communications

As an alumnus of SFU’s Communication program, Mike joined the GranFondo Canada team in March 2011. After stints in broadcast television and experiential marketing, Mike realized that sports marketing was the perfect fit for him. Similar to his colleagues, he shares a common interest and passion for sport and consistently strives to improve his fitness.

Mike is responsible for handling the day-to-day Marketing and Communications operations of each GranFondo Canada event, as well as managing sponsorship activation.

Hails from: Coquitlam, British Columbia

 

Naomi Ashton

Accounting

Naomi Ashton was raised in Canmore, Alberta where she was able to benefit from the ample outdoor activities the mountain town has to offer. She moved to Vancouver in 2011 to complete her accounting degree and enjoys climbing, running and working out on her free time.

Hails from: Canmore, Alberta